5 Reasons To Carry A Nonlethal Option

Most people reading this blog likely carry a firearm. At the very least, it’s something you are considering. That’s great. Carrying a weapon and being trained in its operation makes you a prepared citizen. However, have you ever considered a nonlethal option? If not, you should, and I’ll give you five reasons why.

1. A Gun Isn’t Always the Best Weapon

There are situations where you could fall within the legal limits to use your firearm, but it might not be the best option out there. There are situations where a firearm can’t be utilized safely, and you still need to be able to react to a threat. Something like pepper spray can be used to disable an attacker without putting others at risk.

Imagine being involved in a violent confrontation in an extremely crowded environment. Using a firearm puts others at significant risk in that environment if your shot misses or over-penetrates. You could be engaged in a hand-to-hand encounter, and you cannot guarantee the backstop before you shoot, whereas a stun gun can be used to disable your attacker and allow you to gain some distance and potentially utilize your firearm. Nonlethal becomes quite handy in a variety of cases.

2. Of Dogs

Dog attacks aren’t exactly rare these days, and you certainly have to be ready to defend yourself from animals. Dogs can be tough to shoot; they move fast, and they don’t always present an easy shot due to their anatomy. A can of pepper spray can be used really easily to engage a moving threat, like a dog, especially at downward angles.

I live in a rural environment, and sadly, irresponsible dog owners often drop dogs off in the middle of nowhere and disappear. These dogs become feral and rarely become violent. Rarely. When I go for a walk or run, a can of Pom always comes with me just in case I have to deal with an aggressive dog.

3. Legal Reasons

There are plenty of situations where you might be in a situation where carrying a gun is prohibited or impossible, but a nonlethal option is completely viable. I’m not talking about ever breaking the law, but sometimes the law banning guns doesn’t ban other options. For example, in my state, you can carry a nonlethal, nonprojectile weapon in universities.

If you fly into a state where you might not be legally allowed to carry a firearm, it’s less likely that nonlethal tools will be banned. Flying with a gun can always be a hassle, but you can swing by any Walmart in the country (or nearly) and pick up a can of pepper spray. There are often a number of exceptions to nonlethal tools that might not apply to a firearm.

4. A Bird In the Hand

One of the biggest benefits of pepper spray is that you can just have it in your hand while walking around. You don’t need to conceal it in most cases, and you can very easily keep it in your hand and have it within a half second of being deployed. If you did the same with a gun, you’d be getting into major trouble. That would be called brandishing.

Let’s say your walking in a parking garage and feel a little unsafe. It’s dark and while no threat has shown up you want to be ready. Thus you remove your pepper spray from wherever you have it stashed and just have it in your hand. If something pops off boom, hit them with the pepper spray.

Pepper spray is a nonlethal option that’s like a bird in the hand. It’s always ready, and you won’t be brandishing a gun.

5. Cheap and Easy

Pepper spray and stun guns are the main options for nonlethal self-defense. In most cases, these weapons are very affordable. They are affordable and easy to carry. Obviously, you shouldn’t rely on a flea market special stun gun or the cheapest can of pepper spray. However, options from reputable manufacturers like Pom and Sabre provide affordable and powerful options for self-defense.

Going Nonlethal

Nonlethal options are a must-have to me. I think you should carry at least one on yourself with your gun. They tend to be extremely handy, and in a pinch, they might be the best option. That’s the thing. It’s an option. Having options means you have choices, and when you have multiple choices, you have a better chance of making the right choice.

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Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine gunner who served with 2nd Bn 2nd Marines for 5 years. He deployed in 2009 to Afghanistan and again in 2011 with the 22nd MEU(SOC) during a record-setting 11 months at sea. Travis has trained with the Romanian Army, the Spanish Marines, the Emirate Marines, and the Afghan National Army.

He serves as an NRA-certified pistol instructor and pursues a variety of firearms-based hobbies.


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