The Disadvantages of Pepper Spray
I get a lot of questions and hypotheticals about the effectiveness of pepper spray. Yes pepper spray can be an effective deterrent against an assailant – if the circumstances are just exactly right.
First, it must be in your hand when they happen to strike– you won’t have time to say “excuse me Mr. Bad man, let me dig down into my purse to find my pepper spray so I can get away from you”.
Second, you have to know how to use it. I was once approached by a woman who sold “specialized” self defense utensils. (Turned out they weren’t really special at all) She had seen my website and asked it we could meet to discuss an arrangement where she could sell her self defense tools. But when we met, after explaining how to use the pepper spray, she admitted she had been trying out the product and accidentally sprayed herself! Can you imagine counting on a device to protect you, and then it actually disables you so you are helpless to fight back! Needless to say, I wasn’t interested in teaming up!
Third, you have to hit the target. Pepper spray wont work if you miss! I’m not sure exactly how wide the spray pattern is, but in a highly anxious state, anyone could easily miss the target. Then what do you do, throw the canister at the guy?
Fourth, what if it’s windy. Or maybe not windy all the time but just at the wrong moment a gust of wind kicks up and blows the spray back in your face. See reason number two. Or if it blows in the direction of the bad guy, it may be disseminated too much to be effective.
Fifth, if the bad guy happens to see it in your hand, he may be inclined to just grab it and use it against you. If that happens, not only are you extremely uncomfortable for a good period of time, there is no way you’ll be able to fight back.
So compare that to the use of your hands fingers elbows knees or feet. They can’t be taken away, they’re always on hand
( at least your fingers are –) The wind doesn’t matter, and you have the opportunity to do repeated strikes if you miss the first time- or if it takes a couple of techniques to thwart the attacker and get away.
The bottom line is you don’t need pepper spray. What you need is serious self-defense training.