I’m a big proponent of the Second Amendment. All Americans should enjoy the right to defend themselves as they see fit.
But because there are places you can’t have a gun it doesn’t mean you have to feel vulnerable and unprepared to protect yourself in the face of a threat. In fact, here are six alternatives to guns to use at home or on the road… and that will let any would-be attacker know they picked the wrong person to mess with.
Taser or stun gun
Many people use these terms interchangeably, but they’re two different things. Taser® is a brand, while stun guns are a type of weapon. And those aren’t the only differences. You can shoot someone with a Taser from a distance – think 15+ feet. But you’d better not miss, because the vast majority of Tasers allow for only one shot. A stun gun requires direct contact with an attacker, but once that contact is made, you’ll be able to discharge the gun. A stun gun is one of my favorite self-defense tools many of my friends and family carry one.
These have so many benefits, it’s hard to justify not having one. Tactical pens are inexpensive, widely available and easy to use. There are no age restrictions on them, and they can go many places guns can’t. They’re generally made of metal and have a pointed tip which can be used to break glass, or injure an attacker. And they actually write very well from multiple angles, wet or dry.
Even if you don’t like to carry a pen anymore, odds are that you have a keychain. You may as well make it one that goes above and beyond the usual purpose. A whistle is always a good basic (I have one). You can also buy paracord keychains… extendable batons… plastic animal keychains with sharp ears… metal spikes… “keys” which actually contain hidden knives… you get the idea. Do your homework to decide what you like from the huge variety that’s available.
Pepper gun or bear spray
Pepper spray is a reliable way to distract and injure an attacker – except you need to be close to them when you spray for it to be effective. These pepper guns and bear sprays resolve this issue by allowing you to spray from further away.
Though most people probably aren’t going to carry one around very often, this classic can be kept virtually anywhere in your home. And it can cause serious damage to any intruder foolish enough to break into your home.
Of all the items on this list, martial arts require the most time, practice, and discipline to learn. But they can also provide a rewarding hobby and a great way to keep in shape for life. Best of all, having these skills makes you prepared in every situation, even when you’re caught off guard.
Remember, it’s always a good idea to get comfortable with a weapon by practicing with it before you ever think about using it on someone. Because most of the items on this list require you to be in close proximity to your attacker, you don’t want to miss when you strike. The attacker is going to be mad –and in such tight quarters, you might endanger yourself more if you miss, than if you hadn’t used the weapon at all. So train responsibly…
And walk confidently knowing that even without a gun, you’re ready for whatever comes your way.