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Five Fundamental Options for Self-Defense Without a Firearm

Firearms Legal

Woman Using Pepper spray in Self Defens

Ask anyone, and they'll probably tell you that the world is becoming an increasingly dangerous place. Even though violent crime rates have supposedly been dropping for years, an endless procession of daily news stories, along with personal anecdotes, of individual attacks, home invasions, workplace and domestic violence, and robberies have fueled the perception that those statistics are skewed, that violence can happen anywhere, and that a person better be able to protect themselves and their loved ones, because chances are no one else will be there to do it.

There's little question that owning a firearm and knowing how to use it effectively and safely is the best option for self-defense. But with strict firearms laws in effect in many states and municipalities, and the number of places that one cannot legally carry a firearm expanding almost daily, there's a growing interest in methods of self-defense that don't require a gun. It's well worth knowing some basic options for defense when you can't carry, or if you live in a home environment where for whatever reason you don't want a loaded gun around.

Situational awareness

This is one of the most fundamental principles of self-defense, whether you carry a weapon or not. Developing an automatic sense of what's happening around you, what kind of situation you're getting ready to walk into, observing possible assailants, and noting avenues of escape and evasion, will help you avoid or extract yourself from most potentially dangerous situations. A lot of it is just plain common sense, and with a little practice will become second-nature.

Improvised weapons

It's a fact that many common items you carry on your person every day can be used for defense in a pinch. Car keys, ballpoint pens, heavy purses and briefcases, hairspray, tire irons, nail files, and of course your hands, feet, and teeth can all be used effectively, especially in distracting an assailant long enough to run away.

Edged weapons

The most effective weapon after a firearm, and many argue even more effective at close range if your attacker has to draw a weapon. Drawbacks are that most states have restrictive knife laws governing blade length and concealment, and they can be slow to deploy. However there are many excellent folding options for self-defense that will pass muster in most places, and in many states you can carry any kind of knife you want as long as it's carried openly.

Chemical sprays

These have been around for a long time and are universally carried by law enforcement for non-lethal response, because they work. The products on the market today are more effective than ever, can shoot an incapacitating spray a pretty good distance, and a direct hit will definitely stop most assailants. Just make sure to carry it in a quickly accessible place, not buried in the bottom of a purse or shoulder pack. And keep in mind that if you have to use it in an enclosed space, you might take yourself out too.

Blunt force objects

Brass knuckles and old-fashioned leather ‘saps' will get you in trouble with the police in most areas, but heavy rings are still legal. Other products, like the small hand-held Kubotan, the telescoping steel baton, and the Maglite line of flashlights can be great choices for a blunt-force defense.

As always, it's essential to check the laws in your state before you carry any type of weapon, and to remember that if you cause serious injury or death by using one, you're going to face some considerable legal hassles. Anytime you choose to use a weapon for self-defense, having a legal protection plan in place can save you time, money, and major inconvenience.

 

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