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Less than Lethal Weapons and How to defend yourself when threatened.

Title Image: UCSF.edu

Personal assault is not fun. Getting assaulted, mugged, robbed or just beaten up is something that happens from time to time in certain parts of every nation.

Protecting oneself from these situations is something we can all do without having to resort to death threatening measures!

Here are some self-defence options:

Pepper spray/mace.
Advantages – neat aerosol design, fits into a handbag but you should keep it in your pocket. Quick and easy to discharge. Just get it the right way round if you are in a dark space! Make sure you get a strong version with a jet spray, not a mist spray.

Disadvantages – can easily affect the person being assaulted/threatened. Once people see it they can self-protect effectively. Multiple assailants can overcome such a defence easily.

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There are many pepper/capsicum sprays but get a strong one which fires a jet for accurate deployment

Tasers.
There are many types of taser on the market. The police versions tend to use electrodes which are fired at the assailant. Watch this video:

A couple of reasons make this a poor option. It is big and fires just once! It is expensive.

Personal Tasers.
Small and very portable, discreet; similar dimensions to a pepper spray aerosol – looks like a torch (is a torch too!) so assailants do not catch on prior to use. Can be discharged many times before requiring a recharge.

Disadvatages – is more a deterrent than an effective defence weapon. Many assailants run just at the sound and sight of the taser being discharged but do not count on it!

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This is my Taser/Torch. It cost me US$20 and is rechargeable. I carry it in my pocket.

These are two innovations which are not really practical to carry about but you can see the future developments:

Coil Pistol.

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The coil pistol – not advanced in design yet but will be available soon

The Coil pistol fires aluminium rings at very high velocity, using LORENTZ force and magnetic energy. It can be modified to fire ball bearings rendering it very much a mortal weapon.

It is clearly in need of some design modification but you can see what it can do here:

Video demonstrating its power.

Ultrasonic guns.
One of the most exciting developments in non-lethal defence systems is ultra-sonic technology. Ultrasound can induce nausea, disorientation and incapacitation very quickly and effectively and can be directed such that the person using the device is not affected to a debilitating extent.

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Ultrasonic devices will be the way forward. Design modifications will make these weapons suitable for defense from multiple assailants and again, are non-lethal

Again, some design work is needed but the technology is already being used via larger scale devices by military, police and even some nightclubs to disperse crowds.

Here are some tips to keep you safe if you find yourself in a dangerous place:

  1. Do not carry a handbag, back-pack or other carrying item. They are targets and make you a target.
  2. Don’t get isolated. Stay with your friends in a group.
  3. If you are alone, stay where there are other people and in the light. Take a cab to where you need to get to no matter how short the journey.
  4. Always carry a torch with a strong beam.
  5. Never carry credit/debit/cash machine cards. Only carry enough cash for the time you are out.
  6. Never carry your passport. Always have a colour copy of the photo page of your passport and have it laminated for durability.
  7. A mobile phone can be a useful security device but use an old one which you can afford to lose, not your latest smart phone.
  8. When walking at night, walk down the middle of roads, when traffic allows. This gives you time to react.
  9. Maintain a 20m radius of awareness around you – 360 degrees! This gives you sufficient time to react to anyone who encroaches that space.
  10. Put some money in your sock/shoe in case you do get done over.
  11. Drinking. Have a drink or two but NEVER lower your capacity to observe your surroundings to the extent that might put you at risk.
  12. Remember that 9 out of 10 situations are avoidable. Follow the guidelines and stay safe.
  13. All Rights Reserved. No unauthorised reproduction of this post in whole or in part is permitted without the express written consent of the author

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