Less Lethal Defense

Less Lethal Defense

This is a discussion on Less Lethal Defense within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I decided to make this thread because in the past couple days I have had two responses to posts I made about my choice to ...

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Thread: Less Lethal Defense

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array Rollo's Avatar
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    Less Lethal Defense

    I decided to make this thread because in the past couple days I have had two responses to posts I made about my choice to carry OC spray. On the recommendation of one of the mods I figured it would be good to make a thread on less lethal to get some other peopleís perspective. First, a little back ground.

    When I started carrying a handgun I did not carry OC spray. I was still in the process of building my EDC kit and just didnít see the need. I carried a gun, a folding knife (that I donít consider a weapon but would use it as one if I was left no other choice) and a light. The reason I decided to start carrying the OC spray was because of a incident at work where someone threatened violence. While I would much prefer to carry a gun at work itís not possible to I figured OC spray was better then nothing.

    Well, after carrying it around at work I got to thinking that I liked having another option for defense so I started carrying it even when I could carry my pistol. I decided to do this mainly for a couple reasons. First and foremost is because for me to deploy my handgun in self defense my life must be in danger. For me to deploy OC spray there just has to be a threat of physical harm, it doesnít have to be life threatening.

    This is big for me. Just because I am the victim of a attack doesnít mean that my life is in danger. For example a hand to hand fight. Letís say that I am walking out of restaurant and have a belligerent customer that had a few to many drinks start hassling me. The guy pushes me a couple times and maybe even knocks me down. Iím not going to shoot him however I will hit him with the OC spray.

    Another example. Letís say there is a 16 year old kid threatening me with a knife. While I may be able to justify lethal force there is a good chance that a jury would not see it my way. Using a gun on a kid armed with a knife isnít going to look good. And on another note I am going to feel horrible. If there is a way to avoid having to use lethal force I would much prefer it. I donít want someoneís life on my conscience even if I was legally and morally justified in taking it.

    Animals are another use. Even though I carry my 709 when I run I also carry my OC spray for dogs. Sure, I could shoot a dog if I were attacked but I REALLY donít want to. If it was a vicious looking pit bull I would probably go ahead and shoot it but if it was a questionable mini schnauzer that wasnít actively trying to attack me a quick blast of OC spray would probably solve the issue and I wouldnít have to kill anything.

    Overall I think there are a lot of reasons to carry OC spray. I understand that a lot of people donít and thatís fine. Everyone should carry what they feel comfortable with. What are your thoughts?
    Do you carry OC spray? Do you think less lethal is a good idea? Pro/Cons?
    -It is a seriously scary thought that there are subsets of American society that think being intellectual is a BAD thing...


  2. #2
    Member Array mirage2521's Avatar
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    I always enjoy reading your posts they are always well thought out and reasonable. I carry spray for many of the same reasons. I am not going to risk getting hurt by some drunken redneck nor do I really want to shoot him. I see spray as a great way to create time and space allowing me a get-away.
    You may now carry on with your absurd non-directional bantering.
    Yocan

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array paaiyan's Avatar
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    I have no problem with carrying OC spray and simply have yet to get around to getting some. I can definitely see where you're coming from. There are situations where you aren't really justified in using lethal force, but obviously want to end the conflict before it begins. OC spray is a very effective way of ending many possibly violent situations where lethal force is not justified.
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    Distinguished Member Array GWRedDragon's Avatar
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    Legally, OC spray is more iffy in some areas. For instance, in VA, state law prevents municipalities from regulating anything with regards to guns. Municipalities can, however, do whatever they want in terms of banning knives, sprays, or whatever else. I don't want to have to check local ordinances for every place I go in the state to make sure it is legal for me to carry a particular spray, or knife. For this reason I stick solely to pistol(s).

    Would I carry spray if I could do so easily within the law? Probably not. Attacks which do not present a threat of death or serious bodily injury also tend to be easier to escape from, and less likely to occur to me. I do not put myself in situations where I might get in a fight, and if one were to happen my response would be to act like a total wimp and try to escape. I believe this tactic will be quite effective against attackers who are not committed enough to threaten death or serious bodily injury.

    However, those who threaten with deadly force are much less likely to be convinced to stop by the "please don't hurt me!" tactic. Thus, the gun is necessary for when those situations are inescapable.
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  5. #5
    Member Array steyrsdad's Avatar
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    OC 17

    Quote Originally Posted by Rollo View Post
    Animals are another use. Even though I carry my 709 when I run I also carry my OC spray for dogs. Sure, I could shoot a dog if I were attacked but I REALLY donít want to. If it was a vicious looking pit bull I would probably go ahead and shoot it but if it was a questionable mini schnauzer that wasnít actively trying to attack me a quick blast of OC spray would probably solve the issue and I wouldnít have to kill anything.

    Pro/Cons?
    You might want to edit this it will start the dog war and the topic will go to the way side. I carry OC17 itís what I was issued when I was with the PD. It is very effective .
    Guns dont kill people. people kill people
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  6. #6
    pax
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    Since you're going to carry OC, you owe it to yourself to go take a class in how to use it. Yeah, I know it seems silly ("What, I don't know how to spray a can of aerosol??!") but it really is incredible how much there is to learn.

    Further, a good class will give you the opportunity to get sprayed yourself in a controlled environment. Again, I know that seems silly ("What? I don't need to stand in front of a firearm to know I don't want to get shot! So why would I want to...?") but it's very valuable. First, getting sprayed allows you to really understand the tool and how it works. Second -- and far more important -- getting sprayed allows you to know for sure that YOU can fight through it if (when!) you get exposed. This is crucial because it's very rare to use the stuff without getting at least some level of exposure, so it's very helpful to know exactly how your own body reacts to the stuff and to have some experience shrugging it off and driving on.

    Finally, after you've been exposed and have realized that you really can shrug it off and drive on if you need to, that helps you completely internalize the need to have a backup plan if & when your original plan of stopping an attacker with OC spray doesn't work. It'll probably work, but anyone who carries it needs to fully grok that they need to have a backup plan in case it doesn't.

    Me, I don't carry the stuff. I'm severely asthmatic and just haven't wanted to risk getting sprayed either in a class or incidentally while using the stuff on someone else. If my lungs worked a bit better, I'd probably carry a can in addition to my firearm.

    More here: Cornered Cat - About Pepper Spray (OC)

    pax
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    My website: Cornered Cat

  7. #7
    Senior Member Array youngda9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pax View Post
    ...after you've been exposed and have realized that you really can shrug it off and drive on if you need to...
    Sounds like a way to just piss someone off. Quite similar in force to delivering a decent punch...but gives you the benefit of doing it from a short distance away.
    Speak softly, and carry a big stick.

  8. #8
    Distinguished Member Array Rugergirl's Avatar
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    I haven't carried the spray, yet, but I have been considering it.
    It seems like a great option for when I have to go someplace I can't legally carry a firearm.
    Disclaimer: The posts made by this member are only the members opinion, not a reflection on anyone else, nor the group, and should not be cause for anyone to get their undergarments wedged in an uncomfortable position.

  9. #9
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    You are absolutely correct. I feel that carrying a non-lethal option is a very good idea! Much like you, I dragged my feet on that relatively small purchase until after I was actually compromised. My gun may well have been 'overkill' or at the very least, a lot more paperwork. Besides, if I’m confronted again by a potentially strong-arm individual, I will protect my gun against a hostile takeover. For now, it's my primary option unless someone attempts to trump my aerosol. Frankly, I’m considering a C2 Taser and it remains on the short list... If you can't beat em' - spray em'
    ďMonsters are real and so are ghosts. They live inside of us, and sometimes they win.Ē
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    Good post, Rollo. After studying these situations myself, I've come to the conclusion that I have much greater confidence in my ability to whoop some butt, than I do in the effectiveness of pepper spray for less-than-lethal encounters. This is just my personal SOP, and I don't recommend it to anyone else.

    I have to question myself if this approach is out of concern that my cc rig would turn into a Batman tool belt. I must admit that there is some influence there. However, as I get older and more feeble, I will one day resort to more tricks in my bag.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member Array youngda9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rugergirl View Post
    It seems like a great option for when I have to go someplace I can't legally carry a firearm.
    I agree with this.
    Speak softly, and carry a big stick.

  12. #12
    VIP Member Array Rollo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WHEC724 View Post
    Good post, Rollo. After studying these situations myself, I've come to the conclusion that I have much greater confidence in my ability to whoop some butt, than I do in the effectiveness of pepper spray for less-than-lethal encounters. This is just my personal SOP, and I don't recommend it to anyone else.

    I have to question myself if this approach is out of concern that my cc rig would turn into a Batman tool belt. I must admit that there is some influence there. However, as I get older and more feeble, I will one day resort to more tricks in my bag.
    I agree with your sentiment. I have been doing kendo for 15+ years and a good portion of the training is a lot of judo/jiu-jitsu which is great for close in hand to hand. For me though I would like to avoid getting that close.
    -It is a seriously scary thought that there are subsets of American society that think being intellectual is a BAD thing...

  13. #13
    Senior Member Array Adkjoe's Avatar
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    Good post and I agree, however I will share one quick experience with OC an animals.

    I used to get chased by this German Shepard all the time when I used to jog. After talking to the owner and getting no where except cussed at I decided to pick up some fox labs OC to keep this dog away from me. One morning he comes flying off the porch like usual right on my tail, this time I turned and emptied the whole can of OC right in it's face. It did absolutely nothing. besides blinking it's eyes and getting angrier it did nothing to slow down or stop it.

    I then started bringing my husky/timber wolf dog running with me (my avatar) and that was enough to keep the dog on the porch and quiet...go figure, he was intimidated by a big gentle giant wolf dog but immune to OC spray...
    Vermont does not issue Permit/Licenses to Carry a Concealed firearm. Vermont allows anyone
    who can legally own a firearm to carry it concealed without a permit of any kind.

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    Ex Member Array maddyfish's Avatar
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    Agree with Pax. You should at least experiment with the stuff some. Some friends and I did some back yard testing with a couple cans -I don't know what they were, the test wasn't my idea-what I thought was surprising is that it had very little effect on one of my friends. It certainly wouldn't stop him, and only might slow him. So a class might be a good idea, or at least some experimentation.

  15. #15
    AzB
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adkjoe View Post

    I turned and emptied the whole can of OC right in it's face. It did absolutely nothing. besides blinking it's eyes and getting angrier it did nothing to slow down or stop it.
    That's very odd. I've maced several dogs over the years and even a short burst stops them in their tracks.

    (Disclaimer for all those that are going for the reply button with flamethrowers at the ready: I've been an avid cyclist for 4 decades and nothing gets dogs going more than a bicycle, for some reason. Most dogs just want to play or chase, and really are no real threat other than maybe hitting them and crashing. I've trained several dogs on my route to stop chasing... it's very easy and quick. But as the area has become run down, we've had some dog fighting rings pop up. If I'm being chased by a pit bull in a bad neighborhood, I have to assume it's been trained to kill. I do carry also, but I always use mace first and it's always worked. I do carry while riding, but I am a dog lover and have no more desire to shoot a dog than I have to shoot a person. But I will protect myself)

    Perhaps a different kind of spray might work better? I get mine from a police supply store or use bear spray from REI. Both come in large cans and shoot a stream 10-25ft which makes it far less likely that you will get any residual spray, although wind can still be a problem.

    Az

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