What are Tasers and Pepper Spray?
Tasers are small, non-lethal electroshock weapons that use electric current to incapacitate people by disrupting their muscle function. Basically, you shoot a couple electrodes at someone that is near you (within 35 feet if you have a law enforcement Taser, or within 15 feet if you don’t have a law enforcement Taser), and then electricity blocks the person’s ability to control their muscles. So, the idea is that sometimes police (or citizens) can use a Taser to stop someone when otherwise they would have needed a gun.
Pepper spray is also called OC gas, and it is a chemical that affects peoples’ eyes—it causes tears, pain, and sometimes it even causes temporary blindness. Pepper spray is often used for crowd or riot control, but individuals also use it for self-defense because temporarily blinding your assailant gives you a chance to escape.
Tasers and Pepper Spray Won’t Protect Your Preparations
If someone approaches your home and threatens you or violently tries to take your preparations, Tasers and pepper spray will not be very useful.
Tasers and pepper spray will give you a chance to get away, but if you’re trying to stand your ground, you may not want to get away. You may want your uninvited guest to “get away,” but they’ll have a tough time fleeing if they’re incapacitated. So, although Tasers and pepper spray do have valuable uses, this isn’t one of them.
Tasers have another disadvantage—each shot of electricity requires a cartridge, and replacement cartridges are about $30 each. That’s quite a bit more expensive than bullets. A Taser itself costs about $300. Pepper spray is much more economical; a typical canister costs $10 or less and can be used 20-30 times. Pepper spray is also available in very small containers, so it is easy to carry around on a keychain, whereas Tasers are more comparable to the size of a gun.
Tasers and pepper spray are legal in most states but not all of them, so if these options are interesting to you, please check your state’s laws.
Why You May Want One Anyway
Even though a Taser or pepper spray will probably not help you protect your preparations, it may be worth having one of them anyway. If you don’t feel comfortable with a gun, a Taser or pepper spray may be good for carrying while you’re out and about, particularly after an emergency. Pepper spray can also be used if you are ever attacked by a dog. The primary advantage, though, is that both of these weapons may give you an opportunity to flee from attack, and that is still an advantage that may be important sometimes after an emergency.
This concludes my series of articles on protecting your preparations. I hope you came across some good ideas that will help you maintain your preparations before and after any emergency you may face.
[Note: I considered discussing martial arts as another option; if you really want to consider everything, you can look into MMA or Krav Maga for training that may be useful in an emergency situation. I don’t really feel like I have enough to say about those, and again, typically you’ll be looking at methods for protecting yourself (often by enabling yourself to escape), so they may be fairly ineffective options for protecting your preparations. I don’t actually know that and others may disagree.]
Do any of our readers have a taser or pepper spray? Are there other thoughts about this that I’ve overlooked? Or, more generally, how are you planning to protect your preparations?