It seems to be one of the most common questions asked in the forums when it comes to self-defense. Usually something along the lines of ďMy wife doesnít want to carry a gun, I want to get her OC, what is the best out thereĒ.
This thinking places OC in your someoneís personal defense program in the same place that many carry a firearm. This can be a huge mistake. There are basically two reasons why women donít want to carry firearm-
1)They donít want to be bothered.
2)They really donít want to hurt anyone.
Letís look at number one, OC to be effective during a spontaneous attack situation has got to be pre-deployed. That means that it is not at the bottom of a pocket or purse. This takes constant effort and mindset to have it ready in the hand whenever in a danger area (anywhere outside the home).
Number two, use of OC without proper mindset can lead to even more violence, let me explain. Being light skinned and blue eyed OC tears me up. I have been sprayed with it in the line of duty dozens of times. Each and every time it made my eyes slam shut and my face burn. What it never did was take me out of the fight. If anything it make me fight harder. I just had to fight by touch. As we see time and time again in pistol classes people have a very bad tendency to stand still while shooting, this is even more so when deploying OC. What will your wife be able to do if the guy gets his hands on her?
Besides state and local laws there are lots of issues with the carry of OC. The first is that in todayís security climate they may be prohibited in courthouses, some forms of transportations and academic institutions. So depending on life style and environment you many not be allowed to carry your OC. Of course this changes for everyone, what percentage of your life will you need to leave your primary force option at home or in your vehicle? Then when you do carry it, will you have the presence of mind to pre-deploy it?
OC is good for two things, bridging and transitioning. Bridging is using a tool to move to remove yourself to a safe location or at least to a safer one. Transitioning is using a tool to get you to another tool. OC can be very effective when backed up by a firearm and quite possible save you from having to shoot someone. In police use of force OC is usually very low on the list right after verbal persuasion. Donít use it as your primary force option. A guide for citizen use of force should look something like this-
Impact tools (flashlights, pens, kubatons, stylus)
The impact tools that are mentioned can be carried in even the most prohibitive environments and can allow you to bridge or transition with little training as long as the mindset is correct. OC, firearms and knives can be added depending on lifestyle and environments.