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  • The Value of Using Non-Lethal Self-Defense Options

    Shield with self-defense termsAnyone at any time can become of a victim of a crime. I hope that never happens to you, but if it does, are you able to defend yourself? Will you be able to fight back? Passively complying to a criminal's request, hoping that they won't hurt you or your family is not usually the best option. If you have an effective means of self-defense, you can not only prevent the criminals from hurting you or your loved ones but can also thwart their criminal intent altogether.

    Basically, you're your own first line of self-defense.

    There are various options to be prepared to defend yourself against an attacker. Some have said "if someone attacks me, I'll just kill them." While that may make them feel powerful, in reality, it's something that is much easier said than done. Many people are just not really prepared to take another human life, even in self-defense.

    In addition to that, there are many legal and moral implications to that method. While there may be some cases where taking a life in self-defense may be legally justifiable, that's a legal minefield. If you misjudged the situation and the attacker may be unarmed and may be intimidating, you're more likely to face criminal charges if you would kill them. Or, if you're able to escape criminal charges, you may be exposed to civil liability. Legal fees and many other expenses may be financially debilitating and can take years to resolve. Then there are the moral implications of taking a life. Taking a life is also a serious matter in that respect, and not to be taken lightly. It can lead to serious psychological and emotional repercussions.

    However, there are many other ways of defending yourself without resorting to taking another human life to defend yourself. If you prepare yourself with non-lethal methods of self-defense, you will be more likely to utilize those options without hesitation and at the same time avoid the legal and moral implications of taking a life.

    So, what that said, what forms of non-lethal self-defense can I use?


    By far the best way to protect yourself from a crime is to avoid it altogether. However, that is not always possible. Regardless of where you are, there is always a chance that someone will make you a target. No matter how meager your means are, there's always someone who has less or wants what you have. They also may be motivated to take what you have, no matter how little that may be.

    While, yes, there are places that are safer than others, relying on merely avoidance is not 100% effective. Especially nowadays with the current trend of people attacking people in public places that are normally safe to be in.

    Verbal Judo

    This means talking down your attacker as a means of self-defense.

    Verbal Judo, or verbal self-defense can take various forms that in some cases may be effective. You can try making yourself appear to be mentally unstable by mumbling to yourself or acting in an unpredictable way. This can, in some cases, deter an attacker. Another option is to aggressively threaten your attacker, hoping that it will intimidate your attacker and make them think twice about attacking you. You can also try the opposite. Instead of being aggressive, you can instead talk in a calm voice. One thing you can say is "I really don't want to go back to prison again, go find someone else to pick on."

    Another form of verbal Judo is to scream "FIRE!", "RAPE!" or "HELP!" to get attention and possibly bring help from someone in the area. Criminals don't usually want witnesses, so attracting help could thwart their attempt and seek a quieter target without witnesses. If you're somehow unable to scream, then one thing to consider in this line of reasoning is to buy a personal alarm to do the screaming for you.

    Self-Defense Devices

    There are a wide variety of non-lethal products that could help defend yourself. However, the top three categories are personal alarms, pepper sprays and stun guns.

    Personal Panic Alarms

    These devices either work by pushing a button or pulling a pin. They make a very loud noise like a siren that can either deter an attacker and send them off to look for a quieter target. It can also attract attention to someone who can help, or also deter the attacker by having a witness present.

    Pepper Sprays

    These are the most popular non-lethal defense products. Spraying this stuff in someone's eyes can incapacitate them for 15 to 45 minutes or more. This will allow you plenty of time to escape the situation. Some pepper sprays also have a dye that can help identify your attacker to the authorities.

    Stun Guns

    They work by sending strong impulses of electricity directly into the attacker's muscles. They temporarily override their control of their own muscles and triggers them to violently contract. This is rather painful and can disable a person for up to 10 minutes. If the stun gun is discharged for 5 seconds or more, it can also cause confusion afterwards.

    While these devices are very effective and useful, they all have one major weakness: If you don't have them with you, then they won't help at all.

    One of the best non-lethal self-defense options available to you is to learn unarmed self-defense techniques. There may be situations where you don't have any sort of weapons on you, other than your physical abilities and willingness to fight back.

    If you don't have the financial means of taking a self-defense class, you can still learn one or two self-defense moves or techniques like eye jabs or shin kicks. Practice is the most important thing to make a self-defense technique effective. Once you master it, you can implement it in an actual attack where you may not have the opportunity to think about what you're doing. With enough practice, you can remember the technique in your "muscle memory", or in other words, you can implement the technique without thinking about it. That's why martial artist masters can seem like they have superhuman reflexes. Their reflexes are not any better than a regular person, but they can appear that way because of the many hours of practice, they have placed the technique in their "muscle memory" and they don't have to think about what they're actions are reflexive and automatic.  There are many useful instructional DVDs that you can purchase to teach you and help you master any sort of technique that works for you.

    In conclusion, your own self-defense is your personal right and your responsibility. You have the choice of using lethal or non-lethal means to defend yourself. If the former is your choice, just be prepared for the legal and moral consequences of that choice. The latter can be just as effective if you're properly prepared and are trained in your technique of choice, while at the same time avoiding the implications that are associated with lethal forms of self-defense.

    An addendum to this article: YouTube is another excellent (and free) resource to learn about self-defense techniques. There are thousands of videos that are very useful. Just watching these videos isn't all that you need to do. To reiterate, you need to practice those techniques and master them to place them in your "muscle memory" to be able to use them in a real attack.

    Here's an excellent video that illustrates that point:

  • The Truth About Pepper Spray

    pepper spray self-defense You don't want to be on this side of the pepper spray bottle!

    I’m sure you have bitten into a chili pepper and felt the resulting burn in your mouth and watering of your eyes and runny nose. If so, you haven’t felt anything yet. Pepper spray is many times more powerful than the hottest edible pepper.

    The pungent and spicy heat that peppers release come from a chemical that occurs naturally in those plants. This chemical is called Capsaicin. OC sprays usually contain an extract from natural peppers. Capsaicin can also be produced synthetically. “OC” stands for Oleoresin Capsicum. Oleoresin means that it’s a naturally occurring mixture of oil and resin that’s extracted from plants. Capsicum can mean two things: (1) A tropical American pepper plant of the genus Capsicum, (2) The fruit from any of these plants, especially the dried pungent that’s typically used as a condiment and in medicine. Therefore, Pepper Spray is typically referred to as “OC spray” or just “OC”.

    Capsaicin is a derivative of capsicum, which is the active ingredient in Pepper Spray. Capsaicin, which is a very potent irritant is added to either alcohol or water solvent and then packaged in an aerosol container. In it’s purest form, capsaicin is a white powder that has a Scoville Heat Units (or SHUs, the standard rating for chili heat) of 16,000,000. This is so hot that one single drop, even when heavily diluted will make your tongue blister. However, Pepper Sprays intended for us against people are rated from 200,000 to 2,000,000 SHUs.

    Some pepper spray dispensers can project anywhere from a few inches to several feet. When it contacts skin, incapacitation is the result. The target will feel intense burning of the skin, eyes and nose, which would make it very difficult to see, giving you a chance to flee.

    When buying Pepper Spray, here are a few things to consider:

    What about brand names? There are lots of various brands out there that make pepper spray, so making a choice can be hard.

    Here are some things to consider for that:

    • What does law enforcement use?
    • Keep in mind that just because it says “police grade” doesn’t mean that it’s a quality product.
    • What size of canister do you want? Usually in ounces (oz)
    • Is the potency notated? Measured in Scoville Heat Units (SHUs). Be careful if this information is missing.
    • Does it say the OC percentage? Again, you want this information to be displayed.

    At RC7 Defense Products, we sell a full array of pepper spray products. All of our products are clearly and completely labeled.

  • How a Stun Gun Can Save Your Life

    In today’s world, there’s no shortage of danger. It doesn’t matter what size of city you live in, crime seems like a normal part of society. It’s easy to see why tools for self-defense have become high in many people’s shopping lists. The top item on that list for both civilians and law enforcement are stun guns.

    Stun guns apply a high amount of electrical voltage to the target. The “gun” part is usually more like a wand that you wield in your hand that has two metal prongs at the end. Those prongs are the “business end” of the stun gun and transmit the voltage to the bad guy. That voltage zaps and immobilizes the target.

    Don’t worry too much about the attacker, however. Stun guns only incapacitate the person, not kill them, that’s why they’re referred to as a non-lethal form of self-defense.

    The energy pulse from a stun gun causes a person’s muscles to go crazy by completely discombobulating the person’s nervous system. All the muscles simultaneously contract violently. In turn, the muscles release lactic acid, just like after a strenuous workout. That lactic acid makes it hard for the muscles to continue working.

    A second effect of the stun gun also causes a blackout in the nervous system. The electrical messages from the brain to the muscles are interrupted. Therefore, if the person can’t use his or her muscles, they lose their balance and are usually complete incapacitated for several minutes.

    The stun gun has different effects on different people. Some may go down quickly only after a discharge of a second or two while others may need several more seconds for incapacitation. The effects of the stun gun get stronger in proportion to the length of time contact is made. After contact has ceased, the effects will eventually wear off.

    One nice thing is that the electricity that’s passed to the target will not pass back to the wielder, even while standing in water.

    The voltage and size should be considered when buying a stun gun. If you’re going to carry it in a small container such as a small purse, then you’ll need a compact stun gun. However, try to buy the highest voltage stun gun as possible.

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