The subject of planning for emergencies and security always seem to come up together. With these two always comes the topic of firearms. The one subject which never seems to really come when people start talking about emergency planning, is anything to do with options you can give yourself which do not include firearms. We have discussed the use of force during situations and one very important aspect of the use of force continuum is having options.
When you hear a bump in the night we all think this is what we are going to find. But what if you find something different lurking outside?
Are you going to shoot them because this is the only option you have prepared for and given yourself to work with? Are you going to pistol whip the kids to make them leave? If you have answered with some form of "You bet I would!" picture this being your loved ones. Your loved ones looking for shelter, food and you are not there to help them. Would you want them to be shot? If your still saying yes just go away now...................
For the rest of use we can give ourselves options to use, especially if you are not trained with firearms and can never own one due to your personal beliefs. Now these options are not better or worst than firearms. Each is a tool and can be used for different tasks. As with any tool if you do not know how to use the tool it might as well be a door stop. We should also think of these tools as option makers which should be used in conjunction with our personal abilities and skill level.
Three of the main options you see being sold to people are Tazers, stun guns and batons. Each of these have advantages and disadvantages. A big issue is people will ask their friend what they should get, then they go buy one, put it somewhere and forget it. Tazers have batteries and batteries die, batons take a bit of skill to use above the level of a caveman smashing something and if your attempting to use a baton for less than lethal you need some training.
Before we go any further it is absolutely important, as in do not buy anything we are talking about, NO, do not do it until you have checked your local laws!! In some locations, like sunny Southern California, simply having one of these tools is a crime! You do not want to make it through a really bad situation to only find yourself in jail facing more bad situations because you did not check the laws. No ignorance of the law is not a defense and stores will sell things which are illegal to own!! DO YOUR HOMEWORK!!!!
Remember these tools are less than lethal but can cause permanent damage and could also kill someone. Sure you bought the baton to defend yourself without killing someone but the one time you used it the bad guy ducked and you smashed his head in.........
The biggest tool I heard people are told to buy is Pepper Spray. Without getting into all the details, yes I could bore you with the details, not all spray or delivery options are the same. Do a little research before you go buy a keychain spray of this stuff and think you are safe. Hint; the key chain stuff in a size you will carry probably ain't enough to stop someone....
These photos of people standing within arm reach of the bad guy and deploying their tools to end the situation are very misleading. Having been sprayed and partaken in training with others being sprayed I can tell you in each of these pictures it would be nothing for the bad guy to reach out and grab the women. Once he has his hands on her he does not need to see and is probably even more motivated to hurt her because he is in pain.
These photos using other tools also give a false sense of confidence on how these tools work.
This distance you see with the spray is what is used during training to ensure the trainee is inundated the first time and does not have to go through the process more than once. A hand held up between the two at this distance will do a lot for the bad guy and give him time he can close the distance with.
At this distance you can not expect to spray the bad guy and the situation ends. This is where you have to utilize the tool as part of your overall response to the situation. You could deflect the reaching hand, deploy the spray and make some distance. This is a good idea of how to properly utilize pepper spray. Use the spray from the greatest distance you can. The spray takes time to work, might only be a second or two but in a confrontation tenths of a second make the difference
If we had the video of the situation in this picture odds are we would see the bad guy, with the club. Continue forward as he followed through with the swing. For their positions it would appear the guy in the helmet will be struck by the club if he just stands there. The club guy might even take two or three swings before the spray effects him to the point he can no longer fight. In a small percentage of the population there are people who are not affected at all by pepper spray. Again, these are tools and should be part of an overall strategy for surviving the situation. If you look at the guy in the helmet he appears to be law enforcement of some type.
Let's say he is for this post. They guy swinging the club is sprayed and as the cop changes position to gain space and time the club man keeps coming. At this point the cop would be thinking of changing tactics and would move further up the scale for using force. The shotgun, if loaded properly, could be his next step to stop the situation. Ok gun folks pay attention to this next part..........
There are less than lethal rounds made for shotguns! Again these are designed to be less than lethal but the person deploying the tool needs to understand how to deploy it. For all of the kinetic energy rounds or even the baton targeting is the key to helping ensure nothing becomes lethal.
These are some of the types of less than lethal rounds available for shotguns. In essence most of them are bean bags thrown really hard from the shotgun. Some rounds are a softish plastic which bounces a lot. All of them are designed to cause pain. Pain makes people stop doing what they are doing because nobody likes pain!!!!! The next time you see a protest on TV or a situation where police utilize these remember they are made to hurt but not kill anyone.
Sure these look bad, I can tell you from experience they hurt and take a few weeks to heal up, but none of these people are dead. We will skip discussing why these people were targeted......... For those of us out there who focus our security planning on firearms, here are some new ways to utilize your shotgun (you have one right) and a reason to buy more ammo. These do not fly like regular rounds and take some practice to learn to deploy correctly.
This is getting a bit long so I will wrap it up here. In the future there will be more postings on less than lethals and I will attempt to give more details on selection and deployment. For now, if I found the women and children in the second picture in my area and I needed them to leave..... I would step up wind of them, move ten to fifteen yards away and utilize the pepper spray more like a mist to inundate them as little as needed. After a few minutes and once the kids started feeling the irritation they would leave! At least I hope they would!!