Having a family produces feeling you never discovered, even during your hazy college daze. As the man of the house, you not only provide for your wife and kids, but you take precaution to protect them. You live in a nice neighborhood, but what other measures can you employ to keep your home safe? There are actually a variety of self-defense items available to you, though just owning them does not give you a right to use them. We discuss the legality and use of different defense weapons.
We’ll start with the most deadly, and work our way back. Most states in the country have what is called a “castle doctrine” which explains that homeowners are not forced to retreat from their own property if threatened, and as such, they can defend it. A lawyer in Montana (who requested anonymity) explains, in situations where an individual feels immediate danger that would result in death or serious injury, the use of deadly force is applicable. If an intruder is threatening you or anyone else in your home with obvious deadly malice, you do have the right to shoot. If, at the sight of your gun or verbal threats, the intruder retreats, do not shoot him in the back. You would no longer be in danger, and thus your use of force is not warranted. The attorney also noted that laws change dramatically once you are outside your home, so don’t follow the attacker out the door.
If you are choosing to have a gun in your home for self-defense, that is your 2nd amendment right, but take caution to keep it stored properly, like away from kids. We recommend a shotgun because it is very intimidating, you don’t have to be a sharpshooter and the shot will not penetrate walls and hit something you did not intend.
Potentially less deadly, unless someone has a heart condition, a Taser, when used properly has the ability to totally incapacitate an individual. Although it was hilarious on the Hangover, do not take this defense tool lightly, it is a serious weapon and should be treated as such. When describing the effects on a human, a Redmond, WA police officer (who has been Tased as per training requirements) says plainly, “It is very painful and you lose all control of your muscle system.” Most states, but not all, allow Tasers to be kept in one’s home, so check your local laws. The publicly available device differs from the one cops use. Your Taser will fire prongs up to 15 feet and issue 30 seconds of muscle spasming electricity into an attacker. The cop version actually shocks for less time, but they have the ability administer the electricity over and over, if the perp won’t calm down. The Taser is light, compact, easy to use and effective. For you, 30 seconds, plus the stunned victim’s recovery time, should allow time to get to safety and notify law enforcement.
Wilbur Scoville, a early 1900’s chemist, created the Scoville Heat Unit (SHU) to define the heat or spicyness of peppers. A jalepeno maxes out at 8,000 SHU. The hottest habanero reaches 575,000 SHU. Your common pepper spray clocks in at 3,000,000 SHU, though it can get even hotter! That should put in context the stopping power of this little spray bottle. The same officer that had been Tased has also experienced some police grade face spice. He remarked, “If you have a choice, take the Taser. Pepper spray stays with you for days.” He had to rub baby shampoo on his eyes the next morning. For all the power contained in a simple spray can, these devices are surprisingly cheap. They are also easy to use and conceal. We sound like a broken record, but check your state’s laws on the legality of pepper spray. Some areas restrict the formula that is allowed, so make sure you don’t get caught with something too powerful. When using, take caution to not spray yourself, it is easier than you think. Also, some sprays come with a UV dye to mark your attacker for easy identification later. Of course, you really just need to look for the guy that’s been crying for 3 days.
Perhaps you live at home with just your dog and you are not into having projectile weapons around. You do, though, own a lot of cool stuff that potential burglar may want to take off your hands. In that case, having a simple yet powerful weapon such as a baton nearby provides added protection without the danger of a firearm. These solid steel devices expand up to 26 inches, from a compact 8 inch storage size, with the flick of a wrist. The length is intimidating to an intruder and also keeps you out of reach. Unlike the other weapons described, the baton takes a little bit of skill to be fully effective. If the invader is not immediately deterred and you have to strike them, aim for bone, like the ribcage, collarbone or head. A powerful blow to any of these areas will deliver a great amount of pain. Law enforcement is trained to attack these areas as, although painful, a shot to muscle is not as incapacitating.