Over the weekend, someone sent me a video from a self-defense expert who was recommending wasp spray to stop a home invasion.
I’m sure the gentleman was well-meaning (or had a spouse who didn’t like guns), but here are seven reasons I would avoid sprays for self-defense purposes… whether it’s pepper spray, wasp spray or bear spray.
1. Not everyone is affected by sprays.
When I was pepper-sprayed in the police academy, it definitely affected me. But, there were plenty of others who weren’t affected at all and acted as nothing had happened.
If you run into a criminal who is immune to pepper spray, it will likely not be a good day for you.
2. Wind and misdirection.
If you accidentally have the nozzle pointed in the wrong direction or if it’s a windy day and you get blowback in your face, then you may incapacitate yourself, thereby making yourself an easier victim for the criminal.
If a criminal is wearing sunglasses while they try and attack you, then the spray won’t get in their eyes, and it won’t stop them.
4. Use a Gun Instead?
If someone attacks you in a parking lot and tries to drag you into the woods to rape and murder you, do you really want to use a spray on them and hope it works, instead of using a gun?
5. Pepper Spray for Home Invasion?
If someone kicks in your front door at 3:00 am and it looks like a deadly home invasion is about to take place, do you want to bet your life on a bottle of pepper spray (or bear spray or wasp spray)?
Most people I know who carry pepper spray, carry it on a keychain that is buried at the bottom of a purse.
Since you have only seconds to react to an attack it’s better to have a gun on your hip or in your pocket, or a knife or tactical pen in your pocket that you can draw more quickly and without having to worry about fumbling to push the right button to deploy the spray.
7. Pepper Spray Malfunctions Too
I realize that you can pull the trigger, and a gun might not fire, which is why you have to learn how to “tap and rack” to clear malfunctions. But, I’ve seen nozzles on pepper sprays that were clogged and all “gunked” up so they wouldn’t fire, and no amount of tapping and racking would save the day for those people.
The bottom line is, I’ve researched an untold amount of personal protection tools, and the three that work best for me are still a gun (right now a Sig P250), a knife (Benchmade 9100 Auto Stryker), and a tactical pen.