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Author Topic: Yay yay pepper spray!
Stone_Wolf_
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I have been on a life long campaign to get everyone to buy, own and carry pepper spray. I've advocated for people to carry pepper spray in multiple different threads, but it is time to create it's own thread.

When I say everyone, I mean...most everyone. Small children generally shouldn't be given pepper spray. Teenagers generally should (maybe not). Some parental discretion should be taken in this matter as not all children have the same maturity level.

First off let's go with some definitions here...
quote:
Pepper spray, also known as OC spray (from "Oleoresin Capsicum"), OC gas, and capsicum spray, is a lachrymatory agent (a chemical compound that irritates the eyes to cause tears, pain, and even temporary blindness) that is used in riot control, crowd control, and personal self-defence, including defence against dogs and bears.[1] Its inflammatory effects cause the eyes to close, taking away vision. This temporary blindness allows officers to more easily restrain subjects and permits persons using pepper spray for self-defense an opportunity to escape.
...or to put it simply, the chemical in peppers which makes them spicy, in an aerosol.

There is a difference between tear gas and pepper spray. Suffice to say, tear gas doesn't work the same way, takes time to kick in and is more heavily regulated (for more info on the differences check out (http://www.guardian-self-defense.com/peppersprayfacts.htm). What you want is pepper spray. How about a tazer or a stun gun? Again, these are much more highly regulated, more expensive, can cause more permanent damage and are often harder to use. "Mace" is a brand name of pepper spray.

Pepper spray can come with a "marker" or bright colored die which lets the authorities know quite easily who just got shot in the face with a pepper spray. Pepper spray also comes in "stream" or "fogger"...I personally recommend the "stream" variety, as it gives you the ability to "reach out and touch someone" and does not have the same concern with the wind blowing back the OC into your own face.

Pepper spray can expire, but most can's will be clearly labeled with an expiration date. Considering that A) different accelerants are used, which break down differently, B) the capsicum losses some potency with time and C) the relatively low cost of getting a new one, when the date is reached, just get a new one!

Okay, legal stuff: Canadians, you are boned...sorry.
quote:
In Canada all products with a label containing the words pepper spray, mace, etc., or otherwise originally produced for use on humans are classified as a prohibited weapon.[31] Only law enforcement officers may legally carry or possess pepper spray. Any similar canister with the labels reading "dog spray" and/or "bear spray" is regulated under the Pest Control Products Act - while legal to be carried by anyone, it is against the law if its use causes 'a risk of imminent death or serious bodily harm to another person' or harming the environment and carries a penalty up to a fine of $500,000 and jail time of maximum 3 years.[32]
For us Americans, carrying pepper spray by an adult non-felon is 100% legal in every single state, however there are a few restrictions by state.
quote:
In California, the container holding the defense spray must contain no more than 2.5 ounces (71 g) net weight of aerosol spray.[34]

In the state of Maine, criminal usage of pepper spray or similar products is a violation of law[citation needed], but usage of said products for self-defense as well as possession are legal.[35]

In Massachusetts, residents may purchase defense sprays only from licensed Firearms Dealers in that state, and must hold a valid Firearms Identification Card (FID) or License to Carry Firearms (LTC).[36][37]

The state of Michigan allows "reasonable use" of spray containing not more than 10% oleoresin capsicum to protect "a person or property under circumstances that would justify the person's use of physical force".[38]

In the state of New York, pepper spray may be legally possessed by any person age 18 or over; however, it must be purchased in person (i.e. cannot be purchased by mail-order or internet sale) either at a pharmacy or from a licensed firearm retailer (NY Penal Law 265.20 14 (a)), and the seller must keep a record of purchases. The use of pepper spray to prevent a public official from performing his/her official duties is a class-E felony.

New Jersey allows non-felons over the age of 18 to possess a small amount of pepper spray, with no more than three quarters of an ounce of chemical substance.[39]

In the State of Washington, persons over 18 may carry personal-protection spray devices. Persons over age 14 may carry personal-protection spray devices with their legal guardian's consent.[40]

In Wisconsin, tear gas is not permissible. By regulation, OC products with a maximum OC concentration of 10% and weight range of oleoresin of capsicum and inert ingredients of 15-60 grams are authorized. This is 1⁄2 and 2 oz (14 and 57 g). spray. Further, the product cannot be camouflaged, and must have a safety feature designed to prevent accidental discharge. The units may not have an effective range of over 20 feet and must have an effective range of six feet. In addition there are certain labeling and packaging requirements: must state cannot sell to anyone under 18 and the phone number of the manufacturer has to be on the label. The units must also be sold in sealed tamper-proof packages.[36]

In many (but not all) other states, pepper spray can be purchased at various stores and carried legally by anyone over 18. However, many states do not say anything about age.

There is also state laws about shipping pepper spray.
quote:
The first state is New York. It is illegal for online self defense dealers to send pepper spray to New York. The only way you can buy pepper spray is NY is by going to a licensed Firearms dealers or Pharmacists within the state.

The next state is Massachusetts. The laws there are pretty much the same has New York with the exception of one thing. In Mass you are still only able to purchase pepper spray from licensed firearms dealers but not form Pharmacists. In NY you can buy it from Pharmacists that sell it but not in Mass.

Those are the two states that we cannot shit to at all. The next two states I’m going to tell you about have specific regulations on pepper spray formulas. This means you can have certain types sent to these states.

The first of these two states is Michigan. If you live in Michigan than there are some pretty specific pepper spray regulations you need to know about. The only pepper spray you will be able to purchase is spray that has less than a 2% concentrated. Sometimes it is hard to tell what the exact percentage is so it is a good rule of thumb to look for Michigan Approved Pepper Spray. Many sites sell specific types of pepper spray made for residents in Michigan.

Another thing to note is that you are not able to purchase combination sprays. There are several types of pepper spray that combine both pepper spray as well as tear gas. It is illegal to have this type of defense spray in Michigan.

The last state that has regulations with pepper spray is Wisconsin. If you live in Wisconsin pepper spray cannot be more than 10% concentration with a weight range of oleoresin of capsicum and inert ingredients of 15-60 grams. This will limit you to our canisters that are 2oz or less. On top of that you are not able to purchase pepper spray that is camouflaged such as our lipstick pepper spray and it must have a safety to prevent it from going off by mistake. Along with that it must be able to spray at least 6 feet but no more than 20 feet and need to have a warning stating that no one under 18 can purchase it. Finally, the last piece to know about is that each container of pepper spray needs to be sold in sealed tamer proof packages.

There is also one last law I want to tell you about that is not related to any particular state. When ordering pepper spray you only have the option to send it with ground shipping. It is illegal to have pepper spray shipped via air. So this will limit you to normal shipping times such as UPS ground.

Okay, so, what pepper spray to buy. First off, you should have two, one that you carry on your person at all times, for this, you want something small and easy to carry. For one to carry, I highly recommend a key chain model. Being on your keys, you will have it with you, in an easy to get to place which you won't have to dig for it at the bottom of a purse or pocket. The second one I recommend is a big ol' canister pepper spray, sticky velcroed next to your front door. Home invasions are rare, but having the ability to disable anyone at your door is A Good Thing™. This and you often do not have your keys handy when at home.

So, how to use pepper spray: Some pepper sprays will have a safety which will need to be disengaged before you can use them. These can a flip top, a slide lever or something else. Regardless, if your pepper spray has one, practice disengaging it a bit until you feel comfortable being able to do it in a high stress situation. While all pepper sprays are a little different, basically, there is a nozzle in the front that you aim at your attacker's face, you then depress the button on the top of the canister and out shoots the OC. To be most effective, make a "Z" moving the stream over both eyes, down across the nose and across the mouth. This should be done before they get within arm's length of you, but only after you have clearly told them not to come any closer to you. You should know the maximum range of the spray, and not try and spray people outside of that range.

**Caution** If someone tries to rob you of your personal belongings at gun point, you should probably not attempt to pepper spray them, especially if they are ten or more feet away. Guns have a very long range, and your personal belongings are not worth the chance of being shot.

I want to note that pepper spray is not lethal in most cases, but if someone has a severe reaction, and it goes in their throat, it is possible, but not likely to cause them to not be able to breath. There is also a possibility of causing permanent harm to people's eyes, amongst other things. The phrase "non lethal" speaks more to the designed intent then the actual outcome, and is a better term is actually "less lethal" then say a bullet to the chest.

There is a reason that police carry a gun AND pepper spray, it gives them the option of getting people who are out of control back under control (and easier to arrest) without having to shoot them.

So, pepper spray comes in different concentrations, but since the capsicum comes in different strengths from different sources, this number can be misleading. The number you want to pay attention to is SHU...which is what the following quote basically says (emphasis mine):
quote:
Many people mistakenly believe that the percentage concentration determines how effective a pepper spray product is. However, this is not true. Pepper sprays with a higher percentage concentration (>10%) may take longer to be effective, and are also illegal in certain states. It’s usually best to purchase a pepper spray product that has from a 2% to 5% OC concentration.

The main factor that affects how well a pepper spray product works as a self-defense measure is the SHU units of the spray. SHU stands for ‘Scoville Heat Units’, and is a rating of how potent the OC concentration in the spray is. You should usually try to purchase a pepper spray product that has at least a 3 million SHU rating.

Effective against dogs, legal to carry, effective, non-lethal, inexpensive and easy to use. Buy one for yourself, buy one for your loved ones, buy one for your friends. Carry pepper spray with you and you might never need it, but you will be able to walk at night with confidence that you will be able to defend yourself should you need to!

Pepper spray, yay!

**Edited for clarity and some additions**

[ June 24, 2014, 11:35 AM: Message edited by: Hatrack River ]

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Lyrhawn
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Out of curiosity, have you ever been sprayed, or, have you have had cause to spray someone?

How'd it go?

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Stone_Wolf_
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I haven't started a fight in my life, and been in one since jr high school...so, thank FSM, I have not had to use pepper spray on anyone...nor have I been sprayed.
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rivka
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Personally, I prefer having taken self-defense classes, carrying my keyring defensively, and paying attention to my surroundings. Much less likely to get turned against me.
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Hobbes
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I sprayed bear spray once (not the wimpy, personal defense stuff [Wink] ). My family went to Alaska and obviously couldn't take that (pressurized) stuff with us on the plane, not even baggage. So we bought some there and despite seeing quite a few grizzlies never had to use it. So, since we'd have to junk it before we returned anyways, we each took a turn spraying it to see what it was like. The other members of my family each took quarter second sprays and called it good. Being a male teenager I blasted the thing for about 2 seconds, or just under. Despite being careful to check the wind and spray with it, the minimal blow-back from that was enough to send all of sprinting the other way, crying and blinking for a solid 5 minutes. That's real stuff.

Yet I would never carry any out of bear country. SW, you provided some good info on getting the right stuff but why are you so insistent on everyone carrying? I recognize anytime I leave the house (or even in it for that matter) there's a chance someone attacks me but it's not worth it to me to carry a weapon (pepper spray or other) nor constantly worrying about it. Did something happen to you? Is there some stats that convince you that every single person should be armed?

Hobbes [Smile]

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Stone_Wolf_
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quote:
I recognize anytime I leave the house (or even in it for that matter) there's a chance someone attacks me but it's not worth it to me to carry a weapon (pepper spray or other) nor constantly worrying about it. Did something happen to you? Is there some stats that convince you that every single person should be armed?
As to "worth it to carry a weapon"...what is the cost of having a small (think roll of life savers) pepper spray attached to your key chain? And as to worrying about it, if you have the pepper spray, you don't have to worry because you are prepared.

Nothing happened to me, I just think that we good citizens can change our country for the better by standing up to the criminals and being prepared.

I will look for stats, but just think about this...how many rapes, assaults and killings could be prevented if everyone spent $8 and carried pepper spray?

It's such a little thing to do which has such a huge impact if you need it, and nearly zero impact if you don't.

To rivka: Good for you (seriously)...that does work to a certain extent, but regardless of your training, someone like myself who is physically larger/stronger, with more training would not be instantly incapacitated by your keys reliably, where as if you used pepper spray, we would be (and dogs too).

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Hobbes
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Well for one it's annoying, I hate carrying anything in my pocket and normally either just carry the key itself or not even that if I have a work-around for it. And two, if I have to grab the pepper spray then I have to think about the fact that I'm taking it because I'm afraid of being assaulted in some way. At some point, at some level of danger, I'll change my life so as to reduce the chance of assault. Being a male helps a lot, even if I'm not particularly strong (though I am tall so that helps too, at least from a distance) but where I am now, and where I've lived in the past that level of danger hasn't even been approached.

My point being if you want to convince everyone to carry pepper spray you need to convince them that the cost in total (monetary, mental, annoyance, etc...) is small enough and the danger large enough, as well as the chance of removing the danger with the pepper spray (not %100 I'm guessing) that it's worth it. Harder to do for males I'd imagine, less risk certainly and at least stereotypically less inclined to worry about physical danger.

Hobbes [Smile]

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:
To rivka: Good for you (seriously)...that does work to a certain extent, but regardless of your training, someone like myself who is physically larger/stronger, with more training would not be instantly incapacitated by your keys reliably, where as if you used pepper spray, we would be (and dogs too).

You actually have no idea if you are larger or stronger than I am. But anyone who is larger and/or stronger, is capable of taking the spray from me and using it on me. What good does it do me then?

Also, my kids frequently use my keys. (To get into the apartment, get the mail, use the laundry room, get stuff from the car, etc.) What if one of them managed to accidentally spray themselves?

I'll stick with NOT having harmful stuff on my keychain, thanks all the same.

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Samprimary
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'All teenagers carrying pepper spray' would lead to district-wide zero tolerance bannings of pepper spray so fast that it's not even funny. It would just take a handful of idiot incidences (which teenagers would readily and easily provide) to lead to state bans as well.

Anyplace that's already scary enough to compel any sort of personal defensive weaponization like this is already too dangerous to warrant a guess that people carrying pepper spray is going to make enough of a positive difference.

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Stone_Wolf_
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Hobbes: It is a personal choice, but the idea, I'd rather be less safe then have to think about the possibility of violence is...um...silly?

rivka: I've heard you described as a little orthidox Jewish woman, but I guess it's possible you are over 6'2" 275 and stronger than I, although I doubt it highly. About having the pepper spray taken away from you, I advocated in the OP that you do not let anyone get with in arms reach of you which is exactly one of the reasons pepper spray is better then trying to punch someone with a fist full of keys, that and the effectiveness level of the respective attacks. As to not putting it on your keys, that's fine...that was just a suggestion.

Samp: I hadn't considered how schools would react to lots of teens with pepper spray, but I can see that that particular aspect (pepper spray in school) might need to be addressed separately. I still think it wise to give children the ability to defend themselves as soon as they can handle the responsibility.

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Miro
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I've been sprayed. It's a requirement for me to be able to carry it at work.

It's no fun. But I was still able to fend off my "attacker" during the drill. I know two people at work who weren't affected by the spray at all. It's a genetic thing. Pepper spray, even if used correctly, is no guarantee of safety. It may dissuade someone who just wants some money, or it could piss off an aggressive, violent attacker.

Pepper spray is a useful tool for some circumstances. But it is no cure-all.

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Stone_Wolf_
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Do you know what the scoville heat units were for the spray used on you and your coworkers?
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:
Samp: I hadn't considered how schools would react to lots of teens with pepper spray, but I can see that that particular aspect (pepper spray in school) might need to be addressed separately. I still think it wise to give children the ability to defend themselves as soon as they can handle the responsibility.

Then that's a campaign for "everyone who is reasonably responsible enough" as opposed to just "everyone."

Under that qualification, I wouldn't even recommend most adults to carry pepper spray.

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Miro
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I don't know the specs for the spray. It's the same stuff we carry, though.
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Stone_Wolf_
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Samp, did you read the OP (or even the first few lines of it?) because it seems like you are responding to the title without having read it...I said:
quote:
When I say everyone, I mean...most everyone. Small children generally shouldn't be given pepper spray. Teenagers generally should. Some parental discretion should be taken in this matter as not all children have the same maturity level.

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Stone_Wolf_
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Well Miro, you have an advantage over me there, having been sprayed in the face where I have not (I could...but don't think I will spray myself in the face just to know for sure).

You think that if someone who was intent on harming someone was sprayed it would greatly increase chance of the victim being able to get away?

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Fitz
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I prefer to carry a big stick. And walk softly, of course.
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Kwea
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I got sprayed once, and it sucked.
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Rappin' Ronnie Reagan
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quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:
You think that if someone who was intent on harming someone was sprayed it would greatly increase chance of the victim being able to get away?

Maybe in some circumstances. And I bet that in some circumstances it would greatly increase the chance of the victim being harmed more or even murdered.
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Stone_Wolf_
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Kwea: Could you please elaborate on "sucked"?

RRR: Have you been sprayed? I was asking Miro (not that your opinion is unwelcome) specifically because he had.

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Miro
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(She)

Stone Wolf, there's no way that I can make that determination without any other details. When I was sprayed, it definitely reduced my ability to act, mainly by making it hard for me to see. But I was not incapacitated. If I was intent on harming someone, getting sprayed would put me at a disadvantage but it would not stop me. And as I stated before, not everyone is affected by it.

Pepper spray is a great tool in that (in most cases) it does not cause lasting injury or death. That does not mean it is not dangerous. Sprayed too closely into someone's eyes, it can do lasting damage when the force of the spray literally injects the OC into the eyeball. Sprayed into the mouth, it can cause the throat to swell, shrinking or closing the airway.

I carry pepper spray at work as a less-than-lethal option of force. But I also carry other tools in case the pepper spray is ineffective or inappropriate for the situation. I have no experience with its use outside of work, but I don't like the idea of handing it out like candy to everyone on the off chance of them being mugged by an unmotivated attacker.

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Stone_Wolf_
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Sorry about the gender confusion...

You make a good point that pepper spray can cause permanent damage. In my advocacy I should make it a point to mention that.

There are few ideas that I hold which prompted this thread. One being that if we rely on the police to protect us, we set our selves up for failure. Not that the police don't do a good job, more that it is impossible for them to be everywhere at all times. The police show up after the crime has been committed and draw a white line around the victim and try and capture the person responsible. Again, not bashing the coppers, just the reality of the situation.

Another core idea is freedom through strength. If you are prepared for possible violence, you don't have to worry about it, it's taken care of. Not that you should just wander blindly into the worst neighborhoods whistling at midnight, but more like "luck favors the well prepared".

I don't think of pepper spray as an ultimate solution, but I do think of it as a distinct advantage when it comes to self protection.

So, one side of the scales you have the real possibility of saving your life and peace of mind and the other, $8 and the inconvenience of having to carry one more thing.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:
Samp, did you read the OP (or even the first few lines of it?) because it seems like you are responding to the title without having read it...I said:
quote:
When I say everyone, I mean...most everyone. Small children generally shouldn't be given pepper spray. Teenagers generally should. Some parental discretion should be taken in this matter as not all children have the same maturity level.

Yes, I read that. I'm responding to this based on what I expect would happen were that, quote, "teenagers generally should" become the way things work.

my expectation: you wouldn't have safer teens. You would have a rash (heh) of dumbass pepper spray abuses sparking discussion on district, county, and state levels asking pretty straightforwardly if this is a good idea or a good trend.

This is not something that should be recommended even 'generally.' It's a piece of advice and potential preparedness that parents should offer to educate their teens in if they really seem to be at risk in a way that warrants the bother (and seem competent enough to be trusted with them), but not have the ultimately strange goal of saying "I'm going to make it so that you are always carrying around pepper spray."

I'd pass over this initiative anyday in favor of self-defense classes, at any rate.

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:
rivka: I've heard you described as a little orthidox Jewish woman

Xavier certainly didn't say "little". In fact, I don't believe that adjective has been used to describe me since I was about 12. Maybe 14.

He was trying to explain why I wasn't likely to attack anyone. Not imply that I could not -- or would not -- defend myself.

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Samprimary
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DON'T YOU WORRY THERE LITTLE MISSY
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Stone_Wolf_
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Samp: I'm totally willing to back down my "everyone" to adults and a few select teens...and I would too be very much in favor of universal self-defense classes.

Part of why I advocate pepper spray is the very little effort it takes ($8 and clipping it on) and how instantly it provides a measure of protection. Self defense classes require a lot more commitment and effort to be effective.

rivka: *shrug* Okay, it's entirely possible that I remembered that detail wrong. Regardless, at my size it is a safe bet 95% (at a guess) that I am bigger and stronger then any female I might run into. Also a safe bet I have more martial arts training, although that one isn't as high.

I think you are missing my point though. But that's okay too.

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BlackBlade
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I'm *extremely* wary of talking about rivka's stature, it sufficeth me to say she would not be my top choice for a woman who is easily pushed around.

Also you forget she designed Krav Maga. True story!

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rivka
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LOL! You'll have people believing that nonsense! [Big Grin]

And it's all right, BB. No need to be delicate on my account, although I appreciate the thought. I am what is sometimes referred to as a woman of size. I'm also not short.

But as I said before, that's not the point. There certainly are men (and women, for that matter), who could physically overpower me. And anyone who fit that bill would likely be able to get the spray away from me. A weapon that can all too easily be turned against its owner is not much of a defense.

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Stone_Wolf_
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quote:
A weapon that can all too easily be turned against its owner is not much of a defense.
So, pepper spray that you can use to keep an attacker 6-20 feet away from you is more likely in your mind to be taken away from you and used against you then a handful of keys which you have to be with in 3-4 feet and physical contact with your assailant to use?
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
I'm *extremely* wary of talking about rivka's stature, it sufficeth me to say she would not be my top choice for a woman who is easily pushed around.

Also you forget she designed Krav Maga. True story!

The name "rivka" is totally synonymous with "badass" in my brain. It's hardwired that way after years of interacting with her. If I were looking to mess with someone, I wouldn't touch rivka with a ten foot pole. I'm seriously worried about what she'd do with the pole once she wrested it away from me.
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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:
So, pepper spray that you can use to keep an attacker 6-20 feet away from you is more likely in your mind to be taken away from you and used against you then a handful of keys which you have to be with in 3-4 feet and physical contact with your assailant to use?

That's a reasonable question. But the keys, as I was taught, are not so much an actual weapon (although they can be). They're more something that my holding in that way influences my body language. I know that I can defend myself, I am aware of my surroundings -- and thus I don't give off "easy victim" vibes.

If I frequently walked through Watts at night, I might need something more. But I live and work in pretty safe neighborhoods. The crime rate's not zero, but neither is it all that high.

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Stone_Wolf_
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As I was saying to Samp, I am 100% on board for self defense, and I was really serious before when I said "good for you"...if you feel that your training is sufficient, then who am I to argue (not knowing your exact circumstances and all).

My goal with the pepper spray crusade is to get people to take steps for their own safety and self defense.

Clearly you do this, so...all is good. Perhaps one day you might see one for sale and think of me and buy it just cause, and throw it in your purse and forget about and actually need it and have it...maybe not. I hope you need neither the spray nor your skills, but I'm glad you are prepared either way.

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Stone_Wolf_
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Miro I found this:
quote:
What strength of pepper spray do the police use? The police actually find wear-off time to be a problem, because they have to baby sit the receiver while the effects are present. You will find that it is for this reason that for law enforcement uses police pepper spray, they use the lower percentage pepper sprays.
rivka: One thing that you might consider is animal attacks. Pepper spray works even more effectivly on dogs then it does humans, because of their sensitive sense of smell. Perhaps your neighborhood is decent, but even decent people can have a dog who get the wrong idea in it's head and attacks someone. Just a thought.

Oh, and for those who find the info handy, I've been updating the OP with more data.

Despite some effort I have yet to be able to find any statistics on the civilian use of pepper spray. I found some stats where police use caused lower injury to police and suspects, but that's not really related to this thread.

I'll keep looking.

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rivka
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There are very few dogs in my neighborhood, and very strict leash laws.
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Stone_Wolf_
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It was worth a shot... [Wink]
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rivka
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You do realize this is not the first time I've considered this issue?
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Stone_Wolf_
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As I said before, my main goal is for people to take an active hand in self defense, so that fact that you are trained accomplishes that goal.

I carry pepper spray, even though I have confidence in my training, and a knife on me (and a tactical pen), because I like having options.

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scifibum
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SW, I wonder if you should make it a prerequisite to know how often people abuse pepper spray or accidentally injure themselves or someone else with it, before you advocate something like this. Then that would need to be compared somehow with estimates of reduced harm or crime deterrence.

If a would-be attacker is pretty sure that he's going to encounter a pepper spray defense, does he:
a) get a real job
b) just shoot with a real gun from 20 feet away
c) arm himself with a better pepper spray gun and shoot first

I'm guessing you feel (a) is the most likely? But are you sure?

Also what Samprimary said.

This might be an effective tactic in some few situations but as a general

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Stone_Wolf_
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bum...I'm less interested in robberies as I am rapes and assaults/murders. It seems to me that most robbers don't actually want to hurt people, just the minimum fuss for maximum gain (and to commit the lessor crime). To be honest I don't really care that much about people's wallets, watches and cell phones.

I do care when people are hurt and killed though. Perhaps arming everyone with pepper spray would cause there to be an escalation in force used by the bad guys. But I think it would also stop a lot of the less committed ones and help with the overall problem. Of course I am having difficulty finding statistics which would show that...to be clear, it's not that I'm finding stats, and they just say thew wrong thing, I'm just not really finding much.

As to robbers, I suggested in OP that if they just want your stuff, and have a gun, and are far away, that you just give it to them. Pepper spay is not a personal shield which deflects bullets, it should be used to stop people from getting in range of touching you. In this way, it is -very- effective. Even should someone not have as strong an effect as others, their eyes will be watering, they will have trouble seeing and probably be coughing, which is a great opportunity to run away.

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Miro:

It's no fun. But I was still able to fend off my "attacker" during the drill. I know two people at work who weren't affected by the spray at all. It's a genetic thing. Pepper spray, even if used correctly, is no guarantee of safety. It may dissuade someone who just wants some money, or it could piss off an aggressive, violent attacker.

My response to capsaicin is also very low. I enjoy the flavor of tabasco sauce very much, for instance, but find it to be only very mildly spicy; and in most commercial brands of salsa, I am not able to detect any spiciness at all. When in California, I sometimes look for and buy specialty sauces that have more capsaicin in them, to add to whatever I'm cooking. This tends to bother people when I cook for them, because I have more than once made dishes that seemed perfectly palatable to me, and which others were unable to eat- so I've learned to cook milder, then add flavor to my own plate. It does still piss my mom off when I add habenero sauce to my servings of the spaghetti she makes, because "there's chili powder, and 5 drops of Tabasco in it already!" Sorry mom, can't taste it. I imagine the spray wouldn't be that effective against somebody like me- and I have met people who are even more tolerant of capsaicin.
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The Rabbit
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Don't be so certain. I eat a great deal of hot pepper and I love it. The idea that 5 drops of Tobasco would make a sauce spicy is kind of laughable to me. (Although it is general insulting to the chief to add any spice to food before tasting it).

But despite that, getting hot pepper in my eyes was an entirely different experience from eating.

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The Rabbit
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Arming everyone is a dangerous idea no matter what the weapon. We teach our children that hitting isn't an appropriate way to solve problems. Violence is something we should all be seeking to avoid rather than preparing for. While I know that carrying a weapon doesn't mean you will use it, in virtual every instance studied, carrying a weapon lowers the threshold for violence. It makes people more likely to take risks, like walking through Watts. It makes people more likely to fight than flee. It makes people less likely to negotiate and more likely to act on their anger.

That said, there are people who can't avoid dangerous situations like walking through Watts. If you are one of those people who has to be in dangerous situations, I think pepper spray is a good choice of weapons. It's effective in many situations. It doesn't require much skill or strength to use it effectively. It's not lethal and very rarely results in any permanent harm -- so if its taken from you by an attacker, its much less serious than if it were a gun or a knife. It's what I carry when I'm in Grizzly country.

Trinidad currently has a very serious crime problem. People are regularly brutally killed by burglars. Our house has been burglarized once, while we were sleeping. A few weeks ago, we had another attempted break in. If I could buy a large can of pepper spray in Trinidad, I would and I would sleep with it next me.

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Samprimary
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I was able to repair a carseat once under the full effects of pepper spray. That was a story where a girlfriend had managed to mace me from across state lines, too, so
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
Don't be so certain. I eat a great deal of hot pepper and I love it. The idea that 5 drops of Tobasco would make a sauce spicy is kind of laughable to me. (Although it is general insulting to the chief to add any spice to food before tasting it).

But despite that, getting hot pepper in my eyes was an entirely different experience from eating.

Well, it's my mom's spaghetti, so I know exactly how it tastes at this point. She gets no complaints from me on any of her other great dishes- and since probably 50% of her repertoire is Mexican anyway, adding spice is usually expected... though of course not spaghetti. Who knows what she was expecting though? You can't raise kids on mexican food and then expect them to have a taste for midwestern cooking (her spaghetti being the last holdout from her childhood).
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Geraine
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I think Pepper Spray is great for those that feel safer with it.

Luckily in Nevada we have open carry laws. [Wink]

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Stone_Wolf_
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quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
Arming everyone is a dangerous idea no matter what the weapon. We teach our children that hitting isn't an appropriate way to solve problems. Violence is something we should all be seeking to avoid rather than preparing for.

This idea that we should try and avoid violence instead of prepare for it is one that mystifys me. I honestly do not get it. If you do not prepare for something, then you won't be ready for it if it happens.

Yes, I teach my children not to hit, but as soon as they are old enough I'm gong to send them to self defense class. It's like not wanting a flat tire, so you don't carry a jack or a spare. It just doesn't make sense to me.
quote:
While I know that carrying a weapon doesn't mean you will use it, in virtual every instance studied, carrying a weapon lowers the threshold for violence. It makes people more likely to take risks, like walking through Watts. It makes people more likely to fight than flee. It makes people less likely to negotiate and more likely to act on their anger.
What are you basing this on? As a person who regularly caries a weapon, and who has shooting/guns as a hobby and therefor talks to people who are armed, I'd say it is the exact opposite. When you have a weapon you carry greater responsibility, and therefore try and avoid a fight, as you do not want to have to hurt anyone.

I understand that people want to live without violence in their life, I do as well. But I live more by "Let him who desires peace prepare for war." as I think that it is our duty to be strong and good and not rely on others or fate or luck to keep us and our loved ones safe.

The protections that society afford us are only in place as long as everyone agrees to them. Criminals do not. And all it would take to turn this country on it's ear is for the power to go out for a month.

We do our best to plan ahead for possible unfortunate circumstances, like car/home owner/life insurance, and a spare tire and AAA. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. When it comes to well, let's not bandy words here, the worst thing that could happen to you I want people to be prepared.

The cost benefit analysis alone would convince me: Cost: minor inconvenience (carrying a small cylinder) and very small monetary expense ($4-$50 depending on what you get) Benefit: the ability to save your life, the confidence of not being worried about your well being.

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Scott R
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quote:
Benefit: the ability to save your life, the confidence of not being worried about your well being.
I'm not sure that any weapon that can be bought on the public market grants that sort of confidence.

[Smile]

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Stone_Wolf_
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Well, nothing is for certain, but...how about: "the confidence of having a plan and drastically increasing your chances of avoiding being harmed."

As to weapons which are off the public market...I'm not sure what you are saying. I mean, I could walk around with M60 machine gun and a bandoleer of hand grenades and still not be safe. Like said, nothing is for certain.

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Juxtapose
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Stone Wolf, I think you've got some misconceptions about crime. One big one is that the types of crime you're talking about (violent personal crimes committed by a single stranger) is actually quite rare. These cases make up a pretty tiny percentage of crimes.

The way crime actually happens decreases the odds that a carried weapon will be useful. What if you're at a friend's house, and you put your keys down somewhere? What if there are multiple attackers? What if they jump you? What if it's your "friend" who's attacking you?

You're far better off, I think, learning to plan ahead, be aware of your surroundings, read a situation, deescalate tension, and pick good companions.

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Juxtapose
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quote:
Originally posted by Scott R:
quote:
Benefit: the ability to save your life, the confidence of not being worried about your well being.
I'm not sure that any weapon that can be bought on the public market grants that sort of confidence.

[Smile]

Oh I think having that confidence is by far the main reason people purchase weapons. I just don't think that confidence is always (or even usually) deeply rooted in fact.
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