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Main blog page » Archives » September 2014 » This ain't the movies

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09/07/2014: "This ain't the movies"


Do not rely on your (pepper spray, taser, handgun, long weapon, own body) to immediately stop the threat. That's movie stuff, for the most part. Yes, there are a couple of things that will immediately stop him or shut him down, but...

If you have something that leaves a big enough hole in someone, that'll probably take care of it pretty quickly - but not many people roll around armed with a tank round... Failing that, you need to hit the brainstem to shut somebody down immediately.

Potential problems with pepper spray include:
- you use it in an enclosed room, where you also inhale it
- you use it where the wind is against you (ditto)
- you use it on somebody who doesn't feel the effects very quickly, or much at all (yes, there are such aliens out there)
- you somehow manage to point it at yourself
- you have no idea how to use it, and haven't practiced with an inert version
- you can't find it in your backpack, purse etc. in order to use it
- the threat gets hold of it and uses it on you

Pepper spray may be regulated or illegal where you live. Check on that!

Potential problems with a taser include:
- you don't know how to use it
- you manage to tase yourself
- you have no idea how to use it, and haven't practiced with a dummy one
- you have one of the less-expensive ones, which requires you to be in immediate contact with the attacker (you can buy ones with leads if you want to spend a few hundred dollars). If you're that close, you have more immediate problems.
- you can't find it in your backpack, purse etc. in order to use it
- the threat gets hold of it and uses it on you

Tasers may be regulated or illegal where you live. Check on that!

Potential problems with firearms:
- you miss, even at close range
- you don't hit center of mass
- you don't hit anything vital in center of mass
- you hit something vital in center of mass, but the attacker doesn't stop, and in fact is still moving around quite well (by the way, did you see any exploding body parts or even blood?)
- you hit with multiple rounds at close range, but the attacker doesn't stop, and in fact is still moving around quite well
- the threat gets hold of it and uses it on you

See also our first aid video on gunshot wounds. Notice that even if there's a direct (lucky) hit to the aorta, the threat can still have a few seconds to continue the attack. (How many shots could he squeeze off in that time?) Listen to the stories that the speaker tells of some of the wounds inflicted which people survived, and of what may or may not happen to a threat even with heavy-caliber rounds (see particularly at 8:30).


Don't count on anything to immediately stop a threat. If it does, good. If it doesn't - and it may not - you need to be prepared to go farther. Prepare yourself mentally NOW. We can't emphasize this enough. This ain't the movies.


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