My last batch of O.C. spray has reached its expiration date and it was as big as a soda can anyway. I don't think I carried the thing once.
However, the more I have looked into my own self-defense, the more I have seen the need for defensive tools other than just guns. A knife has its place as does even non-lethal means of self-defense so that one does not have to decide whether or not to take the next step from confrontation to gun fight.
I've added the Kimber LifeAct Guardian Angel O.C. spray to my pack and am happy to have done so.
I've done some reading up on this stuff as well as watching a few short videos and feel its a good choice for a spray.
Because my belt and pockets are getting full (let's see... Commander sized Wilson Combat 1911, Ka-Bar TDI Law Enforcement Knife, Spare Magazine on belt, cell phone in back pocket, Kershaw in one front pocket, anther folder in the next) I've decided that the Guardian Angel is going to probably stay in my purse or coat pocket.
My belief has always been that the most important things you want the quickest access to should be on your belt/waistband, and so my belt is reserved for the gun, fixed-blade and spare mag, everything else can go in pockets and in purses.
I also believe that the more self-defense options you add into the mix, the more susceptible you can be to getting confused over which option to use in a time of need. You can waste precious milliseconds thinking about options instead of responding.
Because of that I'm in the process of formulating STRICT rules in my head about how, why, where and when I will choose one method of self-defense over the other.
So far my rules go something like this (and they are still a work in progress so bear with me):
1. If attacked physically either with fists, knife, baton or whatever, I'm going for the gun. No fooling around, no wasting time with other options. My life is in danger, I'm responding. (There may be exceptions to this rule, but this is a general rule)
2. The TDI knife is used for gun retention and last-ditch-efforts ONLY. It will not be used for utility purposes as that is why I have two other knives in my pockets. Only in extreme circumstances (such as my gun being fought over, or not being able to draw my gun) will I deploy the TDI. I carry it weak side just behind my spare magazine so that it can be draw with my weak hand. If necessary, I can deploy the knife weak-handed to protect a strong-hand draw of my gun.
3. The Spray is for any situation that may be unclear and will also be deployed with my weak-hand ONLY in case the situation escalates and I need my free hand to draw a gun. If I see someone being attacked and feel I should intervene but do not have all the information, I MAY intervene using the spray instead of a gun from a safe enough distance that I might not be caught up in a physical altercation. Even if the victim is sprayed, it's a heck of a lot better than missing with a gun and accidentally shooting a victim of an attack.
4. When unable to carry a gun, the Spray goes strong side, knife remains weak-side and the Spray takes on the role of my gun. The knife keeps its role.
So far, those are my rules. Feel free to comment on them, ask questions to get me thinking, and give your thoughts and opinions. I'm eager to hear them.