6b. Bonus topic: Less lethal / alternative weapons options: Pepper Spray


Did you know that the hijackers of 9/11 used pepper spray to coat the first class cabin of the planes, so it would make it harder for brave US travelers to breach the cockpit?

According to the stewardesses the terrorists sprayed pepper spray, as it was one more layer which kept passengers away from the cockpit.  Law enforcement knows that pepper spray is a mean, mean weapon, as they use it often whether it is against mobs or individual criminals they need to subdue.

The problem that I see is that more civilians like you should carry it.  Why?  In short, it is a non-lethal projectile weapon, which can equalize the playing field against a bigger and stronger opponent.  I’ll admit, for years, there was a sigma that only women carry it, but then when I talked to male civilians, I always reminded them that most law enforcement are males, who carry guns, and they carry pepper spray as well!

My point is that you should carry it, but more important is that you should get training in it.  I searched for years, for the perfect sprayer and after testing dozen of products, I finally found the “one” which out performed every other?

Why did it?  First, it is ergonomically designed so it shoots where you naturally point, cutting down your training time and improving your natural accuracy.  Second, it is small enough to fit on your key chain, and hence perfectly in your pocket.  No bulky or awkward sizes to haul around, so it is perfect to carry anywhere.  Lastly, and this might be the most important, it allows you to insert “inert” (spray without the pepper agent) cartridges, so you can practice spraying it.

Here is where this product separates itself from everything else.  Assuming you have to “spray” real pepper spray, you are wasting it, but the biggest deal is that you have to find a safe place to train it.  Believe me, you don’t want to be anywhere in the vicinity once you fire real pepper spray.  Therefore, if you want to practice it anywhere, including your small office or even in your own house, just insert the inert cartridges and fire away.

I save this amenity for last, because it is the most overlooked, and hence gives you a false sense of security if you don’t practice with it.  Ask anyone else who carries around a pepper spray and most will tell you they have no clue how far their sprayer shoots, how wide or even what type.  Did you even know there are three different types of spray?  Probably not.

However, when you practice with the inert sprayer, you can see exactly what your range is, but also get practice on getting the sprayer from where ever it is (pocket, keychain, purse) and firing it.  I see people make the same mistake with their guns.  I mean, can you believe there are actually people who would buy a gun and then have never fired it?  Well, there are a few of those people, but unfortunately most pepper spray carriers do the exact same thing, by never practicing with it.  Don’t make the same mistake.

Now that I’ve convinced you that you need to practice, how do you practice?  Easy.  Practice three positions, with three “scenarios”.  The three positions are in front, from behind and on the ground.  The three “scenarios” would be where you are pulling the sprayer from.  The first is simple, assuming the sprayer is already in your hand.  Raise with a bent arm, and fire at the target (I find that hanging a piece of paper from the ceiling or taped to a tall piece of furniture is the best).

The second “pulling” scenario is pulling from your pocket or purse.  Have someone “attack” you by pushing or pulling on you, and pull from your pocket or purse, then spray.  Do this a couple dozen times.  Lastly, have the sprayer on the ground, and after getting attacked, pick it up and spray away.  Why do this?  For two reasons:  First, you may drop your sprayer under the stress, and need to practice going from picking it up to spraying.  Next, the sprayer may not exactly be in your possession.  Maybe it is on a table.  Maybe it is in your glove compartment.  Maybe it is in your nightstand.  My point is that it is not on your person, so get it and go right to using it.

Being able to work with different positions and scenarios, while also being able to actually “spray” gives you the perfect kind of training you need.  As you go through these you’ll think of other situations to practice from and with, so please use your own creativity to practice and have fun!