After living in the Bay Area for nearly two decades, I was used to having emergency supplies set up in case of the next big earthquake. I remember hearing about the violence and assault happening during Hurricane Katrina and realized that there are a few other emergency supplies that were needed, weapons. Not everyone can have or wants to have a firearm. Knives are good to have in emergency situations, but unless you have trained using it for self-defense, it may do more harm than good.
There is inherent danger in using weapons that you haven’t trained with, be it operator error or simply having them taken away from you and used against you. It’s safer to assume that the bad guy has a communicable disease and you don’t want to cut them or in any way expose yourself to their bodily fluids.
But as one of my favorite scenes in the Robert DeNiro film Ronin shows, ‘ambushed’ a guy with a cup of coffee, you can use everyday objects as weapons. I recently bought a tactical flashlight. They’re like normal flashlights, but brighter, made of stronger material and have a rough edge in case they need to be used for self-defense. They don’t look like weapons and most likely wont get confiscated when you go into a sporting event, bar or club.
I am an advocate of carrying mace or pepper spray (check your local laws on which you are allowed), but they often don’t have a very far range. Have you ever thought about wasp and hornet spray? Although it is a larger and more cumbersome container, they often have a range of over 20 feet. Granted, not something to carry in your backpack or purse, but not a bad idea for beside your front door or in an emergency container.
After the 2016 Stockholm music festival assaults I started thinking about what self-defense items could be brought into a festival. In that event, multiple men were groping women. That scenario is really messed up and made me even more uncomfortable with large crowds. Then it came to me. Hairspray and a lighter. Yes, playing with fire is dangerous, but shouldn’t assaulting another person be dangerous too?
So those are just a few ideas, but perhaps when you mind starts to wander, instead of playing with your phone you can think of other creative tools for self-defense.