pepper-spray-hot-topic

Pepper Spray:  a Very Hot Topic!

During my self defense seminars, someone invariably asks for my recommendations regarding Mace/pepper spray.  My unequivocal recommendation is this:  pepper spray is great, if you HAVE it and CAN USE it when you NEED it.

If you’re going to buy pepper spray and let it roll around in the bottom of your purse for 6 years, don’t bother.  If you get a keychain canister, but don’t carry it because it’s big and inconvenient, forget it.  If you go for a run but have your pepper spray zipped up in a pocket or otherwise stashed out of reach…you get the point.

Some common objections:

 “I don’t know what kind to get.”  True, you have a lot of options.  There are large canisters, which are more often used by law enforcement, or to deter animal attacks.  Keychain canisters are much smaller and more convenient for carrying on a regular basis.  Some have breakaway clips so that, for example, if your key is in your car’s ignition, you can quickly and easily disengage the pepper spray without turning off your vehicle.  Pepper spray is available with a belt clip as well.  There are pepper spray containers that look exactly like a tube of lipstick, if you’re self-conscious about carrying it or need a very compact size.  Some canisters offer a retractable cord so you can attach a clip or button to a purse or pocket and easily find and deploy the pepper spray if needed.  Consider how you’ll be carrying it and how you want to deploy it in a self defense situation.  Do you want something with a “safety” on it?  A button on top you can easily depress?  A switch you can slide forward?  The bottom line:  Get something that YOU are comfortable carrying and using.

“I don’t want people to think I’m paranoid.”  I get that.  A potential rapist or abductor doesn’t want you to think about fighting back, either.  Pepper spray and other personal defense items exist for your personal defense.  Carry them when appropriate (not in the airport, please), when you’re prepared to use them (test-fire, anyone?), and don’t let social pressures sway you.  Better safe than sorry!

 “I don’t know how to use it.”  Well…pepper spray is very affordable, and available at almost any sporting good store.  Buy one or more items to test fire.  OUTDOORS, PEOPLE.   It is important that you know whether it sprays, streams or shoots a gel…and what the range is.  If you already own pepper spray but haven’t test-fired it, do yourself a favor and clean the nozzle before doing so.  If the nozzle is blocked, you’ll get to “enjoy” the blowback when you test-fire it.

Like any item with propellant (hairspray, sunscreen, WD-40), it has a shelf life and an expiration date.  The pepper spray you bought 10 years ago?  Please replace it…you wouldn’t trust a can of corn that was a decade old, so don’t trust out-of-date pepper spray either.  It’s a small investment that can pay off big time.

My longtime friend Janis Tanksley is president of Defense Angel LLC.  I recommend their products;  they offer four kinds of personal defense sprays.  Check them out here!

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3 thoughts on “Pepper Spray:  a Very Hot Topic!

  1. Pingback: 6 Reasons Parking Garages Are Scary | Common Sense for Self Defense

  2. Miguel Galley

    Pepper spray is a great self-defense option. Keep in mind that during deployment you will get it in your eyes and the people that you are with as well. So be prepared for the burn! Remember, this is a distraction technique used to give you time to get away while the aggressor is surprised and struggling with what just happened. You need to remember that you can work through it and get to safety!
    Not all pepper sprays are created equal. Some pepper sprays are “hotter” than others, meaning containing more oleoresin capsicum (the compound from peppers). You can always look to see what the scoville rating is, which is a scale that measures the pungency of peppers. Don’t be surprised if it is in the millions for pepper spray.
    It is important that you check your local laws to see what percentage of OC (oleoresin capsicum) or orthochlorobenzalmalononitrile (CS tear gas) can be carried by non-law enforcement. For example,
    The Michigan Penal Code
    750.224d Self-defense spray or foam device.
    (1)(A)(i) Not more than 35 grams of any combination of orthochlorobenzalmalononitrile and inert ingredients.
    (ii) A solution containing not more than 10% oleoresin capsicum.
    If you plan on carrying it, keep it where you can use it and keep it a surprise!
    Respectfully submitted,
    Miguel Galley
    Officer, Michigan
    PPCT Defensive Tactics instructor
    II Dan, Taekwon-Do

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

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