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Old July 12, 2009, 09:37 PM   #1
Dr_2_B
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More practical than a bug, pepper spray/mace

Was just reading a post about carrying a bug. It occurred to me that mace or OC spray would be a more practical choice. I'd guess a person would be about 10 times more likely to draw the spray than to draw a gun in the first place. And maybe 100 times more likely than to draw a bug. Yes, I know there are legalities involved with the spray too.

Actually, I don't carry the spray but it wouldn't be a bad idea. Certainly not saying one couldn't carry both a bug and the spray - but we have to make compromises. Any thoughts?
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Old July 12, 2009, 10:00 PM   #2
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My first thought is one that has been brought up here before that REALLY made me think the first time I heard it...

If you get involved in a self-defense shooting (and win) and you end up on trial, there's going to be a lot of finger pointing as to why you didn't simply pepper spray your attacker rather then shooting him full of holes.
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Old July 13, 2009, 12:00 AM   #3
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How about this scenario.

Plaintiff's Attorney: Mr. Dude who shot my client's poor innocent baby. We found posts by you on the internet in which you poo pooed the idea of carrying a less lethal weapon as part of your defensive arsenal. Isn't it true that lethal force encounter are rare as hen's teeth and that you are much more likely to need a less lethal force option? Isn't it true that you consciously and willfully and callously decided that you would rather carry only lethal weapons? In fact, Isn't it true that you get a kick out of the very idea of shooting people? Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I submit to you that this cowboy, this violent man, this murderer refused to carry a simple, cheap and effective tool that he might have used to save my poor client's innocent and misunderstood now dead baby.

No matter what you do you are going to answer some hard and mean questions if you cap someone. If the prosecutor don't go after you, you can bet that the shootee's survivors will.

It's not hard to show why you didn't choose a less lethal option before going to guns if it was a good shoot. What's hard is justifying why you shot that dog or that scary but non-lethal guy when pepper could have done the trick.

If you are gonna carry you lose nothing and gain much by having a less lethal option at hand.
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Old July 13, 2009, 12:45 AM   #4
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Spray isn't deadly force and, when used as designed, can be used to keep things from escalating to that level.

The gun is for when things reach or are already at the deadly force level. They aren't two different things that handle problems at the same level.

BUG means back-up gun. For use when your primary weapon, for some reason, didn't solve the problm and you're in deep doo doo. Rather reach for your spray or your BUG?

Last edited by Nnobby45; July 13, 2009 at 01:16 AM.
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Old July 13, 2009, 01:26 AM   #5
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This argument reminds me of a car search several years back. I was trying to decide which was more important - airbags or anti-lock brakes. I learned that on average, a person uses anti-lock brakes once a year. On average a person uses airbags once every 50 years.

I feel it's a similar argument with respect to the spray vs back up gun (granted, they aren't mutually exclusive). Both have their purpose, but one is more likely to be needed. I always carry a gun, but I'm probably more likely to need to employ the spray one day - just like LEOs.
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Old July 13, 2009, 09:12 AM   #6
IZZY
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If you are that worried you need 2 guns why not have a small can of pepper-spray as well??? It's lighter than an extra mag.

My experaince is it is easy to miss with spray, and wind is a factor for those types that release a spray vs. a stream.
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Old July 13, 2009, 10:07 AM   #7
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Real world experience with pepper spray is that it works on some, not so much on others. It also relies heavily on having time to react with the target's nervous system.

Now don't misunderstand me it can be a great tool but you don't use it and stand there like you've sprayed a "force field" in front of you. I've seen a charging individual get well sprayed and still finish their dash to body slam the "sprayer" into the ground because the "sprayer" didn't move to evade.

Best use? Lay down a fog behind you as you haul a## our of the area!
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Old July 13, 2009, 10:12 AM   #8
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
Was just reading a post about carrying a bug. It occurred to me that mace or OC spray would be a more practical choice. I'd guess a person would be about 10 times more likely to draw the spray than to draw a gun in the first place. And maybe 100 times more likely than to draw a bug. Yes, I know there are legalities involved with the spray too.
What you're missing is that the people who carry BUGs on this forum, not all but most (at least the vocal ones), will tell you that they don't care what the odds are. It happened to somebody, somewhere, or they can envision a scenario wherein it COULD happen so that's odds enough.


Even so.... I wouldn't really compare spray and a BUG. Spray is where you might start the force continuum, if you're at BUG stage then you are VERY deep down that road, not a place for spray anymore.

Having said all that, I do think that an argument could be made that it is irresponsible to carry a gun without carrying some less lethal option.
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Last edited by Brian Pfleuger; July 13, 2009 at 11:17 AM.
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Old July 13, 2009, 03:58 PM   #9
Dr_2_B
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Quote:
I do think that an argument could be made that it is irresponsible to carry a gun without carrying some less lethal option.
I like this statement. While I might not use the term 'irresponsible,' I'd certainly say it's more responsible (or indicative of better preparation) to carry the less lethal spray.

And I couldn't agree more with Spectre. Spray and jet! Let the bg try to catch me with both his eyes slammed shut and me doing my Roadrunner imitation.
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Old July 13, 2009, 04:15 PM   #10
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What you're missing is that the people who carry BUGs on this forum, not all but most (at least the vocal ones), will tell you that they don't care what the odds are. It happened to somebody, somewhere, or they can envision a scenario wherein it COULD happen so that's odds enough.........................

Having said all that, I do think that an argument could be made that it is irresponsible to carry a gun without carrying some less lethal option.
A bug fits nicely in my vest and can go with me to the gym, doctor and dentist, or anywhere else where I need to take my vest off and would expose my primary weapon. Vest is always next to me and I'm still armed in the parking garage, lot, daylight or dark.

It's also true that some 'ol geezers like me--- and some younger fella's as well, feel that when things go wrong, they can go real wrong.

Paranoid? No, I only get paranoid when I don't have a BUG, and to a lesser extent, spare ammo for both my BUG and primary.

Hey, PK, why would a fellow shooter who doesn't believe in spare ammo or BUGs want to ease the door open a little for justifying criminal prosecution of those "irresponsible" enough not to carry a BUG?

The other folks would want to put us in jail for being "too heavily armed and bloodthirsty".

Instead of arguing that you're irresponsible, why not argue that proper mindset, with regards to training in tactical withdrawal and avoidance, would meet the criteria for less lethal option?

Last edited by Nnobby45; July 13, 2009 at 04:22 PM.
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Old July 13, 2009, 04:32 PM   #11
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Instead of arguing that you're irresponsible, why not argue that proper mindset, with regards to training in tactical withdrawal and avoidance, would meet the criteria for less lethal option?
As for me, I wasn't arguing anything.

"An argument could be made...." I'm not sure whether I agree with that argument or not.


I've also never called those who carry a BUG "bloodthirsty" or anything else for that matter. As stated above, those that carry a BUG have, almost to a man, said in effect that they don't care what the odds are, they carry it regardless. To which I have repeatedly replied that they should go right ahead and do so, this is America after all.

I have also noted before that the argument from the "Pro-BUG" side generally turns to either name calling or accusations of name calling, which is once again the case.


But once again, to the point of the OP, I consider a BUG and pepper spray, or any other less lethal option, to be on opposite ends of the force spectrum and in no way interchangeable. It can be "both/and" but I don't see how it could be "either/or".
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Old July 13, 2009, 05:07 PM   #12
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I've also never called those who carry a BUG "bloodthirsty" or anything else for that matter.
I didn't say you did.

What you said was that not carrying a BUG might be considered irresponsible.

What I said was that the folks on THE OTHER SIDE (anti-gunners) might consider carrying two guns as bloodthirsty and too heavily armed.

Point being that getting shot at by antis from the front is bad enough without worrying about the folks who are standing behind me.





Quote:
As stated above, those that carry a BUG have, almost to a man, said in effect that they don't care what the odds are, they carry it regardless. To which I have repeatedly replied that they should go right ahead and do so, this is America after all.
Yes, I guess in America you can do all kinds of foolish things, like carry a BUG or spare ammo.
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Old July 13, 2009, 05:19 PM   #13
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I imagine that the level of threat each of us faces is quite different, too. I'm no expert, but my gut suggests that a police officer on the street, or soldier in a combat zone, probably should have a BUG for safety. The same might be true for a civilian who lives or works (or both) in an extremely dangerous or crime-ridden neighborhood.

On the other hand, I'd probably be wasting a few hundred dollars if I bought a spare gun because it is likely that I will never need the one I have for any purpose but target shooting. I simply don't live or work in places where crime is frequent, and rarely go to dangerous areas after dark or do anything that would put me at risk. I'd rather use the space for a less-lethal option like a can of pepper spray (and often do).

I don't think that there's one right answer to the question of back-up guns or second options. It all depends on your circumstances.
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Old July 13, 2009, 05:43 PM   #14
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Peetza: I've read the BUG thread. You are irresponsibly 'misquoting' and generalizing about those who have decided to carry a BUG, and who posted their reasons.

Did we participate in the same thread?

Because if you'd read it, with the intent of learning something, you would have discovered some of the reasons, as I did, e.g.,

(1) mag-related failures
(2) CQ-concerns (slide-jam, firing at contact)
(3) capacity, and
(4) not that much of an inconvenience to carry an extra mag/loader in light of the fact that one ALREADY has made the decision to pack at least a half-pound of steel/polymer.

Those reasons, most assuredly, are NOT because 'they don't care what the odds are' or that 'they will carry regardless'.

In any event, I look at the content of a member's posts and decide for myself. And it's a good thing the other forum members have the option to do so as well.

Back to topic .... "More practical than a BUG?"

I don't think OC is 'more anything' than a BUG.

(Where are some of you guys coming up with these scenarios where someone is seriously deciding to carry OC INSTEAD of a BUG?)
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Old July 13, 2009, 05:44 PM   #15
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I simply don't live or work in places where crime is frequent, and rarely go to dangerous areas after dark or do anything that would put me at risk. I'd rather use the space for a less-lethal option like a can of pepper spray (and often do).
As long as you realize that the pepper spray isn't a substitute for lethal force, and that you'll be effectively unarmed if the need for lethal force arises, then I have no trouble respecting your choice. Pepper spray MAY give you time to get out of there. I carry it, along with my primary and BUG. Hope I'll neve need any of them.

I can respect, but don't agree with, the philosophy that we arm ourselves or not based on stuff like "I live in a good neighborhood", or "I don't go to places where I think I'll need a gun".

People who disagree with my choices are fine. I just have less patience for those who need to lecture and admonish, or condescendingly acknowledge my right to do as I wish. Not saying I'm perfect and haven't done the aforementioned at one time or another.
Anyway, there are more important things to worry about.
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Old July 13, 2009, 08:28 PM   #16
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nnobby45
What you said was that not carrying a BUG might be considered irresponsible.
No, I said
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peetzakilla
I do think that an argument could be made that it is irresponsible to carry a gun without carrying some less lethal option.

Unless a BUG is a "less lethal option", I don't think I was talking about a bug.


Quote:
Originally Posted by thesecond
Because if you'd read it, with the intent of learning something, you would have discovered some of the reasons, as I did, e.g.,
All the reasons you listed are extremely unlikely, when I have challenged those assertions the responses have been that it's doesn't matter what the odds are. Possibly less so in the "BUG thread" of which you speak, but it is only the latest of half a dozen or more such discussions.
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Old July 13, 2009, 09:13 PM   #17
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I think I misled you, Nnobby45. I have a gun: a perfectly functional S&W Model 60 .357 that is kept loaded and that I practice with regularly. I carry it with me. I've already come to the same conclusion as you about relying on situational awareness and staying out of known trouble spots -- those are good things to do and my first line of defense, but I don't want to count on them alone to keep me safe forever. (Although so far they've worked.)

The issue I was talking about was a back-up gun (BUG), in other words, Gun #2 carried by the same person at the same time as Gun #1. *That* is what I don't think I need, but do think other people might need -- especially people whose job it is to go into harms way deliberately instead of avoiding it wherever possible.
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Old July 13, 2009, 09:17 PM   #18
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Where do you come up with the figures for 'extremely unlikely', Peetzakilla?

Anyway, I'm done in this thread, I'll be looking around the rest of the forum, from other members, for better advice, which, in the past, fortunately, I have found ....

Civilians are NOT obligated (as police officers may be) to follow the force continuum doctrine, to do what police officers do. period. It even may be more dangerous for them to do so .... e.g., drawing pepper spray when an assailant, who approaches, may have a knife or blunt instrument, is an example that comes to mind.

Reasonable fear of imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury doesn't work from the perspective of 20/20 hindsight. To advise someone to use OC, when a potential felony-assailant is moving on you with his hands 'unaccounted for', is dangerously irresponsible advice.
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Old July 13, 2009, 09:25 PM   #19
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No one suggested that pepper spray was or should be the first option in every scenario. I can think of any number of scenarios wherein having nothing but a gun would severely limit your options, possibly leading to a situation that requires lethal force when it could have been avoided if some lesser force option was available. The currently running thread about the man with the restraining order is a good example. Using pepper spray against an unarmed but possibly dangerous person would be quite preferable to putting a bullet in them.

If you would like a gun to be your first and only option, well, have at it. This is America afterall.
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Old July 13, 2009, 09:28 PM   #20
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Pepper spray

Has its place.

As I haven't had any hands on training in its use, I don't know that I'd be too comfortable relying on it, though.

Obviously, I'd want to be aware of wind direction....

But without a chance to try the stuff out, see how it patterns, what the range would be from the type cannister I might carry, etc, I don't know that I'd carry it.

Where would one train to use pepper spray?
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Old July 13, 2009, 09:41 PM   #21
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I had a policeman I know demonstrate what to do, but you have a good point. I should consider asking if the people I'll be taking my handgun classes from know of somewhere to get training for this. His main point is that you can't just spray away and hope to disable an attacker -- you have to go for eyes, nose, open mouth. He recommended spraying forehead and eyebrows if your attacker is wearing glasses because it will drip down into his eyes.

But I could definitely use some more pointers.
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Old July 13, 2009, 11:05 PM   #22
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*That* is what I don't think I need, but do think other people might need -- especially people whose job it is to go into harms way deliberately instead of avoiding it wherever possible.
Perhaps, but most lethal force encounters involve people who never had an intent to go deliberatly into harm's way, but found themselves there anyway. Obviously, one assumes more risk if it's a deliberate habit.
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Old July 14, 2009, 10:36 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MLeake
But without a chance to try the stuff out, see how it patterns, what the range would be from the type cannister I might carry, etc, I don't know that I'd carry it.

Where would one train to use pepper spray?
That's an excellent question, and worth a thread of its own (that's a hint ).

Most good pepper spray companies offer inert "trainers" for their spray -- that will typically be a vegetable dye driven by the same propellants as their pepper sprays, in the same size cans etc -- so that you can ask and answer those types of questions without necessarily getting exposed to the spray yourself.

A lot of firearms schools also offer pepper spray classes, and I'd really recommend taking one if you're going to carry the stuff. Also check out your local cop shop; chances are good that you can find a police department which either offers OC classes through a "citizen's academy", or which will allow you to sit in on that portion of their training. Such classes typically offer students the opportunity to get sprayed with OC themselves, to see how they react -- and I'd highly recommend doing that if you're going to carry it. If you do not know how your body responds to the stuff, you'll be at a significant personal disadvantage if you ever need to use it, since it's pretty much a given that you'll be exposed to it when you use it. Best to know what to expect and how to cope with it.

More here: www.corneredcat.com/Gear/pepperspray.aspx Hope it helps.

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Old July 14, 2009, 11:34 AM   #24
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Such classes typically offer students the opportunity to get sprayed with OC themselves, to see how they react -- and I'd highly recommend doing that if you're going to carry it.
Excellent advice. However I'd also like to post an IMPORTANT SAFETY NOTE

DO NOT try spraying yourself at home to see what it's like. Odds are you'll have an unpleasant event and that will be all, but there is a small chance that you could be one of those "highly reactive" folks so for your own safety you absolutely should not spray yourself or be exposed without proper medical personnel available on site.
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Old July 14, 2009, 12:59 PM   #25
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Haven't been exposed to pepper spray, per se...

... but did get locked in a CS gas chamber during one portion of training, years ago...

Picture a bunch of guys, afterward, in the back of a 2.5 ton truck, hanging heads over the rails to get our faces in the breeze, trying to flush our eyes, as lines of tears and snot flew back behind us.

Picture, too, the laughter of the gunny and the staff sergeant from the cab of the truck...

It wasn't really that bad, in the sense that breathing and vision returned to normal within ten minutes or so. While it was never truly disabling, I am pretty sure I could not have chased anybody down during that timeframe.

Not sure how the new stuff is, but if I ever do try it out, I'll wear something I don't mind getting quite dirty.
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