Why Carry Non-Lethal Protection Products; Why Not Just Concealed Carry a Firearm?
When discussing personal safety and the benefits of non-lethal personal protection products, people often tell me that they carry a firearm for personal protection. The logic that usually follows is that since they carry "the ultimate" in self-defense, they don't need to concern themselves with other "lesser" options.
Before continuing, let me say right now that I am absolutely a supporter of the 2nd Amendment and believe in the right to carry a firearm for self-defense. I am not implying that people should not carry a firearm for self-defense or making an argument for lethal versus non-lethal forms of protection.
What I am saying is that when it comes to the issue of personal safety and protection that there isn't a "one size fits all" solution. The situation and circumstances will dictate what weapon or tool is best. Often times the best tool is being aware of the potential for danger or violence and avoiding it altogether.
Drawing a firearm when you perceive that there may be a potential threat has many consequences and ramifications. Draw the firearm in advance of an actual threat that rises to the level of deadly force and you potentially face criminal prosecution and civil liability. You may also escalate a nonviolent conflict into a deadly encounter by introducing a weapon into the scenario. However, being too slow to draw a firearm in a situation where it's needed could very well be the last mistake that you will ever make.
Imagine you accidentally rear-end the car in front of you at a stoplight. As you get out to check on the damage the driver of the other vehicle approaches you, furious that you wrecked his car. They get in your face and begin yelling obscenities. They get so close that they are actually leaning into you causing you to step backward. As you tell the driver to step back and calm down they ignore you and continue to invade your space and get even angrier at you.
Should you take action? I would say that you better do something because the confrontation could become physical in an instant. If the only weapon/tool that you have is a firearm, are you justified to draw the weapon? If you draw the weapon and the other driver fears that you are going to shoot him, is he justified to take action to stop you? At such a short distance can you draw your weapon and point it at your threat before they can reach and grab for the weapon?
Would having a non-lethal form of protection (possibly in addition to your firearm) be advantageous in this circumstance? The answer is ABSOLUTELY YES!! A violent confrontation does not always equal a deadly force encounter. Telling someone to back away and stop pushing into you and then using a non-lethal device such as pepper spray has far different consequences than doing the same thing with a firearm. This also means that you are not introducing a firearm into the situation needlessly. Remember, if you are armed then every encounter involves a gun because at a minimum yours is involved.
So, it's not always a choice between a gun or a non-lethal option. Sometimes, it's about giving yourself options to deal with different situations and threat levels. However, for some people that are not comfortable carrying or firing a gun than non-lethal protection products are an alternative.
Stay Safe and Stay Prepared,
Owner, Shield Protection Products LLC.