Products For Self Defense

Written by Nicholas Kamuda
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In modern times, self-defense is an issue that is under constant media scrutiny, and both active and passive government regulation. Active regulations that dictate the legality of self-defense tools vary widely from state to state, and in some cases, from city to city. Some self-defense items, such as pepper spray, are legal in many places in the U.S., but cannot be transported on aircraft--a regulation that limits their uses passively.

The web of laws that control self defense tools have given rise to polarized viewpoints about products for self-defense. Some people view them as necessary for protection, while others have an image of brutality that they associate with even simple tools such as the kubotan, a small, key chain-based tool that can be used to augment self-defense techniques.

Popular Civilian Self Defense Products

The most popular self-defense products are non-lethal instruments that both deter would-be attackers and give the owners a heightened sense of personal security. Many of these objects, such as pepper spray dispensers, are key chain-mounted products that can be easily stowed in a purse, bag, or coat. Personal alarms, which are approximately the same size as a beeper, are also popular items.

Kubotan are another key chain-based weapon, and are legal everywhere in the U.S. With a little training, a kubotan may be the only self-defense tool that a person needs. Books and training videos are available, and various martial arts styles, such as Jujitsu, also teach techniques that can be easily applied to the kubotan.

The kubotan is a contact weapon, which means it is only effective at close range. Some people may find more security in deterrents that work at a distance, such as pepper spray canisters. Key chain pepper spray dispensers can operate from up to 10 feet away, and larger models can spray even further.

Police-Grade Self Defense Tools

Self-defense for law enforcement agents and police often requires increased power and protection. For example, police-grade pepper spray units are not only housed in spray cans that are more powerful than civilian grade pepper spray cans, but the formula of the spray itself is usually much more potent than civilian-grade units. While civilian-grade pepper spray is often around 2,000,000 SHUs (Scoville Heat Units), police-grade is generally closer to 5,300,000 SHUs.

Other police-grade self defense tools have great tactical value as well as functional value. Expandable batons, which are increasingly popular among law enforcement agencies, are lightweight, easy-to-use tools that fit easily into small, belt-mounted sheaths. Besides being strong and effective, the batons, which remain out of sight until drawn, help improve public image with their low profile and lack of sharp edges.

Stun guns are also popular with some police jurisdictions. Current taser models are capable of deterring subjects, without permanent damage, at an average distance of 15 feet. Air tasers can deliver a low amperage, high voltage charge to a perpetrator through two inches of clothing from anywhere on the body, making them an incredibly effective way of incapacitating a subject.

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