Insights with Sticky Holsters:
Why You Should Consider Augmenting Your EDC with A Less Lethal Option
Written by: Eric Rice
Why would I carry a Taser or pepper spray when I carry a gun? I have heard this sarcastic rhetorical response to the idea of carrying less lethal hundreds of times. My response is, why wouldn’t you? I mean logically think about a variety of different scenarios, and what your legal response to those situations would be. The reality is not every criminal, violent, or dangerous situation can legally be solved with a lethal response. Also, why take a life if you don’t have to? There is a lot of big talk from people who have never take a life. I promise you it’s something you’ll never forget.
A very high-ranking official at Taser International once told me, “Often times you cannot legally shoot someone, but you can Tase the shit out of them.” For example, you cannot use lethal force to protect property, period. Imagine a person decides to destroy or vandalize your car. Can you legally shoot them? Absolutely not. Wouldn’t you want a chemical spray or Taser to dissuade or stop the crime? If someone breaks into your house late at night and you shoot and kill them, how long do you think your wife and kids will want to live in that same house? Doesn’t it make sense to have a less lethal option as well? This is not a debate about lethal vs. less lethal. This is an argument to also have less lethal options as part of your EDC or home defense kit.
So lets talk about what is out there, the differences and what I use.
Taser vs. Stun Gun: Taser is actually a registered trademarked brand but has become the generic name for any electric self defense product, much like Kleenex for tissues, and Sticky Holsters for clipless holsters. Tasers typically will look and feel more like a firearm. Some of the most popular Tasers are the Pulse/Pulse+ and Taser 7 CQ. These electronic self defense tools that shoots two prongs into an attacker. Once in the attacker there is an electrical current of 50,000 volts that runs through the wires for up to 30 seconds. The electric charge over-rides the central nervous system incapacitating the attacker. The maximum effective range is 15 feet. Taser the company also has a stun device called the StrikeLight which pairs a flashlight and stun gun.
A stun gun requires you to actually touch the attacker with the electronic nodes. The electrical current will only be effective when the nodes are in contact with the assailant. Stun guns rely on local pain from the electric charge to stop an attack. Typical stun gun voltages range between 15,000 and 60,000. Some brands that make stun guns are Taser, Mace, Sabre and Vipertek.
Pepper Spray (Mace) vs. other chemical devices: Like Taser, the company Mace has almost become the default term to refer to any aerosol chemical spray used in self-defense. This is commonly referred to as pepper spray or OC spray. Pepper spray is typically a single use CO2 charged device, that emits or sprays a liquid containing a percentage of Oleoresin Capsicum (OC). Do not get caught up on the OC percentage. The true strength of the product is measured in capsaicinoids. The higher the percentage, the more powerful.
Now what are some other chemical devices that are not a spray. These would include devices that shoot or project the chemical irritant in a closed device like in breakable ball similar to a paintball or are projected without the use of CO2. The Byrna brand and Sabre pepper ball launchers are some of the most common launchers on the market. Both brands are CO2 propelled and fire a .68 caliber breakable ball containing a pepper-based powder. The idea is when an attacker is shot with these balls, they break and cause the power or gas to irritate the eyes, nose and mouth causing them to become incapacitated.
The Kimber PepperBlaster (II) is kind of a combination. It is a small device that is aimed like a firearm and contains two “shots” of defensive “gel”. The device uses a pyrotechnic charge, NOT CO2, so it doesn’t have to be replaced every year. The Kimber PepperBlaster (KPB) emits an almost gel like substance at over 90mph at a range of 15 feet.
So what products do I use and why? I typically carry with me a KPB II and/or a Taser Pulse. Why do I choose these too? The KPB is the strongest commercial chemical irritant I have found. It contains 2.4% Capsaincinoid which is up there with bear spray. There are also two charges and is fired at 90mph which mitigates any potential blow back from wind and ensures a heavy concentration on the attacker. I keep one in my car door, one in my fanny pack, one in my BOB jogging stroller and one in my Hill People Gear chest kit bag. When I typically workout, or go for a walk with my kids and dog, I will be using either my fanny pack, chest pack or pushing a stroller. The main reason I choose the Kimber PepperBlaster for this is for dog attacks. I don’t really want to shoot a dog (not rabid or domestic) and feel like the KPB is the best option for that. During these activities I will also have my firearm on me. I also keep a KPB in my car door, because has been a long riot season, and I can’t legally shoot someone for bashing my car windshield.
I also carry the Taser Pulse. I always carry a Taser Pulse in my vehicle and I have one on my gun belt as part of my home defense set up. Frequently I will throw one in a diaper bag, or throw in my back pocket with a Sticky Holster. I really like having standoff. A firearm, KPB and Taser all give me standoff, or better stand off than the alternatives. The Pulse allows me to not have to go hands on with an attacker. I really don’t want to get into a fist fight if I don’t have to. Everyone has a puncher’s chance regardless of skill and frankly using the Pulse is safer for me and the attacker than engaging in a physical confrontation. The Pulse, with its 30 second charge also gives me ample time to either restrain the attacker or escape. Finally, the Pulse allows me to stop an attack without the risk of suffering from a chemical irritant myself. For me, It’s all about options and having the best tool to solve the problem at hand.
Let us know what you think about augmenting your EDC with less lethal options in the comments below.
Carry on and be safe.