Many civilians choosing less-lethal weapons

This is a discussion on Many civilians choosing less-lethal weapons within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Saw this interesting article. Whats your take on it. Many civilians chosing less-lethal weapons Many civilians chosing less-lethal weapons 1:57 PM EDT, June 27, 2008 ...

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    Member Array NKMG19's Avatar
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    Many civilians choosing less-lethal weapons

    Saw this interesting article. Whats your take on it. Many civilians chosing less-lethal weapons


    Many civilians chosing less-lethal weapons

    1:57 PM EDT, June 27, 2008


    With a push of a button, Carol Jara is ready to zap an attacker with her new stun gun.

    She considered getting a handgun, but decided against it.

    "I don't feel that comfortable thinking that I could kill someone," said Jara, 26, who lives in Miami and works as a graphic designer in Broward County.

    Local gun shop owners say the number of people coming in looking for "less lethal" self-defense options such as pepper sprays and electric stun guns is on the rise. Whether out of fear or for personal beliefs, many people aren't comfortable carrying guns.

    "They want something in the middle. A big part of our society is that way," said Jeff Dillard, president of National Law Enforcement Distributors in Davie. "There's not a day that goes by when we don't have four or five customers come in here discussing this."

    Choosing the right item isn't easy.

    In Florida, you can carry two different types of weapons without a permit: pepper sprays and stun guns, including the Taser.

    Pepper spray

    Pepper spray is the cheapest less-lethal item, starting at around $10 for a canister small enough to keep on a key chain. Containers can also be disguised as pens, pagers, lipstick and hand-held fitness weights. Made up of chemicals derived from chili peppers ("OC" spray) or tear gas ("CS" spray), pepper spray causes burning, stinging eyes and coughing. Dillard recommends pepper spray because the effects are lasting. When shot directly into the face and eyes, it will leave the attacker in pain for up to an hour if untreated.

    "Whatever I came to do, that's no longer on my mind," Dillard said. "I'm going to be screaming and yelling and rubbing my eyes and in pain."

    There are drawbacks. If you fire it into the wind, you may end up with a face full of your own pepper spray.

    Some people have been known to fight through the pain of pepper spray, said Robert J. Leitner, chief operating officer of Tactical Products Group in Delray Beach. He prefers stun guns for self-defense.

    Stun guns

    Stun guns are small, electronic devices that zap assailants, causing pain and locking up their muscles. Stun guns come in different shapes and styles and cost about $20 and up, with most putting out at least 50,000 volts of electricity.

    "You only need a second or two to touch the assailant and it also has a powerful deterrent," Leitner said. "In our experience, criminals fear them more than pepper sprays."

    One of the devices looks like a pink MP3 player. When a button is pushed, blue sparks arc from two prongs with a startling crackle.

    Dillard said the downside of stun guns is that they require direct contact with an attacker, and they don't have a lasting effect like pepper spray does.

    You could also be zapped if the device were turned on you in a struggle.

    Tasers

    Tasers are the newest less-lethal items on the market. Unlike a traditional stun gun, the Taser shoots two barbed probes up to 15 feet to deliver a 30-second, 50,000 volt zap. They're also the most expensive, starting at $299 for a base model. Police have used them for years to subdue unruly and combative suspects. Since 2006, civilians in Florida have been able to carry Tasers without a concealed weapons permit.

    Steve Tuttle, spokesman for the Arizona-based Taser International, said the Taser has none of the shortcomings of pepper sprays and traditional stun guns. You can shoot the Taser from a distance, then drop it and run away. The device will continue to shock the attacker, even when you take your finger off of the button.

    "I don't want to get one foot away from them and try to apply something to them directly," Tuttle said. "Place it on the ground, let it do the work for you and get to safety."

    Dillard recommends against civilians buying Tasers., like other stun guns. He said recovery from a Taser is immediate after the 30 seconds of zapping.

    "What are you going to do when those 30 seconds are up?" he said.

    And what if you miss? Both of the Taser's barbed probes must hit a person's body or clothing for it to work. Tuttle said if that happens, you can also use the device's handset as a contact stun gun.

    Use caution

    Stun guns and pepper spray can be found in local gun stores. Some convenience stores, department stores and outdoor stores also carry pepper spray.

    These items are designed to stop attackers without killing them, but there have been rare instances where such devices proved deadly. If you purchase one, you should treat it like a firearm: realize that it is a weapon and make sure to keep it far from kids' reach.

    Dillard also warned against storing your pepper spray inside a car. He said Florida's heat can weaken the seals on canisters, and it can take up to six hours to air out your car out if it leaks.

    Cossetty Denbow, general manger of National Law Enforcement Distributors, said it would also be good to take a self-defense class, just in case.

    "Because with every less-lethal item, there's always the caveat that it might not work," she said.
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    I don't feel that comfortable thinking that I could kill someone," said Jara, 26, who lives in Miami and works as a graphic designer in Broward County.
    I have no problem with less than lethal weapons.
    I do have a problem with that mindset.
    The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it...- George Orwell

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    Distinguished Member Array SixBravo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HotGuns View Post
    I have no problem with less than lethal weapons.
    I do have a problem with that mindset.
    I couldn't have said it better myself, man.

    What's funny is you can get decent pocket guns cheaper than a taser and if you empty it or score some good hits, then you won't have to worry about the offending jerk recovering.
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    The responsibility of carrying a gun and maybe taking a life is something that not everyone is equiped to handle, even some LEO's.

    I have no problem with someone being honest and knowing that they couldn't take a life. My problem lies with the "perceptions" that these devices create, or help to foster. The plain truth is that sometimes a shooting situation is just that, a shooting situation, and needs to be dealt with accordingly.

    We don't get many second chances when we are involved in a life or death encounter, so we had better pick the right tool for the job the first time. I'm not saying that a gun is always the answer, but that dependance on a "less lethal" tool when a lethal tool is necessary is foolish.

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    That is exactly right Biker.

    It is a thing that we discuss with much seriousness when teaching CHL classes.

    LTL weapons do have their place. I am somewhat concerned that the more "timid" people among us will subsititute firearms with LTL weapons and think that they are well defended.

    LTL weapons for some things just dont cut the mustard though. A few I can think of are a potential mall or school shooting scenario or perhaps at a church.A tazer isnt going to do you much good is someone is standing 15 or 20yards away blazing away.

    What if several gangbangers confront you on the sidewalk? You have one shot. That is hardly enough.
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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    I agree what happens after you shock the BG,he pulls his gun and he doesn't have a problem taking your life.A stun gun might work ok against an unarmed assailant but you are putting your life on the line expecting them to be unarmed
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    Distinguished Member Array sniper58's Avatar
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    I too admire her honesty, but her mindset isn't grounded in reality. One (of the many) reason I don't care for LTL weapons is that it requires the defender to be pretty close to the attacker. Tasers are the exception, but they only give a few more feet of a buffer before a physical confrontation ensues. I think I'll keep my distance. Besides, I've got many more years training with a firearm than any LTL weapon.
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    VIP Member Array Eagleks's Avatar
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    Reminds me of the ad I see on TV.... about having a security system.... where a "intruder" is coming in the door, she's shocked and the intruder runs away.... and they call her then..... to check to see if she's alright.... and they tell her "we've called the police and they should be on their way". Her reply .... "oh thank goodness you are there for me".

    Ok... ya call to see if they are OK, after the intruder was already in the house ???? and called the police, but only after you've called and verified it with the resident. ... and the police... well, they are on the way...

    Oh, that will really work well............ just like a lot of other non-lethal items. BG' are arming themselves more and more..... so, what's mace or taser going to do against an armed assailant. About as much as that security system will.

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    Unfortunately, these options and how they are described still allows people to act as sheep in condition white...with their talisman (pepper spray, taser, stun gun) there to protect them.

    While they are on the right track, they are on a different train.

    Plus, all of their options do not allow for stand-off distance.
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    my wife used to have that mindset about my firearms when we first got married, I helped her realize that if it came down to her/me/our child living vs a scumbag....who would she choose?

    too bad that a scumbag has to get close enough to put his knife in her in order for that stun gun to work
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    Less lethal weapons have their place. They are great equalizers against a certain level of violence. Could they be used in lethal force situations? Sure, and you can kill a bear with a .22 but it is not really the best or wisest tool for the job.

    I think that people have unrealistic ideas on what these less lethal weapons can do. I have been pepper sprayed. It hurts but I can keep my eye open, take the spray away from you and make you eat the whole can. I have been stunned with a stun gun several times. It gives you a start but that's it, it would just motivate me to take it away from you asap. The problem with the stun gun is that they are not just going to stand their and let you hold it on them for any length of time.

    The Taser is very effective, but it is not a cure all. The Taser has a lot of draw backs as well. 1. It is battery operated(enough said) 2. the electricity doesn't always jump far enough through the outer layer of clothing into the skin, for it to work 3. you might easily miss with one barb, causing it not to work 4. savvy street thugs have already developed defenses against the Taser. That's just a start on the Taser. Their are a lot of other issues.

    Bottom line, they are effective but certainly not effective enough to be counted on in lethal force encounters.

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    If LTL weapons were effective in every situation, LE would carry only them. Of course, they aren't, so LEOs still carry firearms.
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    Senior Member Array CR2008's Avatar
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    It's a dangerious mindset allright

    Quote Originally Posted by sniper58 View Post
    I too admire her honesty, but her mindset isn't grounded in reality. One (of the many) reason I don't care for LTL weapons is that it requires the defender to be pretty close to the attacker. Tasers are the exception, but they only give a few more feet of a buffer before a physical confrontation ensues. I think I'll keep my distance. Besides, I've got many more years training with a firearm than any LTL weapon.

    There are people who conceal carry but use a certain type of round that literally does not penetrate... I don't know if it's some sort of rubber bullet type thing but I saw this "expert" online claim that's it's just as good and reliable as regular ammo to stop criminals... of course, he is assuming that pain is enough to stop a deadly attack and I think such a mindset can get that person killed in their false sense or security... it's just like those house alarm advertisements that claim to "protect" peoples lives and property and they show you a little weakling burglar with no weapon, and they run away after it's triped but all they really do is ALARM and not protect. In real life, the guy could be a hardcore carrier criminal armed and have no regard for life. Just look on what happened to that college student from NC some months ago? 2 armed men broke into her place where she was doing her studies, then they forced her to drive around to ATMs, they shot her up multiple times after they got the money and the investigators claim that are now looking into a possible attempted rape as well... they don't show you the gritty realities of such things in ads for LTL and home alarm systems.
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    VIP Member Array obxned's Avatar
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    These devices fall into the 'better than nothing' category. They are not nearly as easy to use or as effective in the real world as advertized, the owners don't practice with them regularly, and they probably create a dangerous false sense of security.
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    "I don't feel that comfortable thinking that I could kill someone," said Jara, 26, who lives in Miami and works as a graphic designer in Broward County.
    I don't either, but I know I could do it if necessary.

    Feelings are one thing. Survival is something else. Feelings won't help much in a survival situation.

    BTDT, on a couple occasions, though not via firearms. Nicely, each stopped and withdrew prior to the end. Good for them, and me. Win-win, I suppose. In both cases, feelings had nothing to do with it.

    As for a stun gun, think about what that means. It temporarily stuns. Then it's gone, at which point, a determined attacker can be up again, angry unlike before. They may have their place, but the "place" is limited.
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