Less-than-Lethal options for civilians

Discussion in 'General Weapons Discussion' started by thardey, Aug 14, 2007.

  1. thardey

    thardey Master Black Belt

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    Does anyone have good ideas for a relatively convenient, legal option, for a less-than-lethal weapon in the US?

    I brought up the question of pepper spray a couple of weeks ago, and that pretty well failed the test. For LEO's, beanbag guns, tazers, and the like are appropriate, but what about the private citizen?

    It seems that our options are either empty-hand defense, or lethal weapons. Is there anything in-between, or is that specifically discouraged by law? (In the same vein as the legal aspects against shooting-to-wound) In Oregon, force is divided into "physical force" and "lethal force", with pretty much any weapon use defined as "lethal force".

    I guess another way to put this is: Other than carrying my gun (I do have a CCW), or a tactical knife, is there a weapon that I could carry that won't raise red flags for a Police Officer?
     
  2. LawDog

    LawDog Master Black Belt

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    Greetings,
    Any weapon can be lethal if used improperly.
    All weapons have their own strong points and their own weak points. You should find a "less than lethal" weapon which has a strong point that fits your personal needs.
    All weapons will draw any LEO's attention after they have observed it. The key is to have the correct answer to the question, "why do you have this weapon on you.
    Before you carry any "less than lethal" weapon you should conduct your own research on the weapon and this should include,
    1-your state's own laws governing your chosen type of weapon,
    2-does the weapon require advanced or basic skills in order to use it properly,
    3-is this "less than lethal" weapon really that effective?,
    Then you should decide if you really need it on not. What you carry on your person can be taken away and used against you.
    :ultracool
     
  3. Martial Tucker

    Martial Tucker Black Belt

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    My favorite non-lethal, but very effective weapon costs about $1, and no one would ever ask you why you were carrying it.

    It's a cheap, flexible/unbreakable comb that you can buy at any drugstore.
    I can pull it out of my pocket, and hold it with my index finger running along the spine, teeth facing away from me.....and using the thicker, sharp, end-point area, I could easily lash out with it and rip a nice slice out of your face....I could rake it across your eyes or across your forehead, causing profuse bleeding into your eyes.....If you grab me I can dig a chunk of flesh out of the back of your hand or from your forearm using it, and takes very little effort on my part.

    Women with longer hair have the advantage of being able to carry a comb with a "rat-tail" spike on one end, giving you even more options. Depending on local laws, a man may be questioned about carrying that type of comb.

    When I go to a risky area, I carry a comb, and a small, powerful tactical flashlight.
     
  4. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

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    For a civilian, OC may be a semi-reasonable deterrent to carry, but it's not 100% reliable. Stun guns are often prohibited -- and I don't think they're ideal for self defense; they aren't true "stun guns"; they're just pain providers. A stick or baton is a reasonable option...

    But, really, I'd say that for civilian self defense, you don't want to play games with less lethal options. Why? Because, the only time you should be bringing a weapon into play in self defense is when you fear for your life; at that point, you don't want to deter or stun -- you want the threat STOPPED. You're job isn't to contain, control, and arrest; it's to stop an immediate threat to your life in such a way that you can get away.

    Now, I realize some people are philosophically opposed to killing; for them, sticks, canes, and other weapons are reasonable alternatives.
     
  5. thardey

    thardey Master Black Belt

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    Yeah, that's kind of what I was wondering. You guys in Law enforcement need to carry LTL weapons for specific reasons, most of which aren't appropriate for a private citizen.

    Right, there's kind of three situations that I can imagine myself in.
    A.) Attacked by somebody who I'm not afraid of. --- Response: walk away, or if they're persistent in attacking, use a controlled throw or joint lock until they realize they're not going to win.
    B.) Attacked by someone who I'm scared to death of. -- Response: BANG!
    C.) Attacked by someone who can seriously hurt me, but not likely to cause permanent damage. (Sort of a "determined, but not particularly dangerous attacker.")-- Response: Run if I can, but if they persist, I'm not sure yet. Some kind of deterrent would be nice, but I'm of the opinion that brandishing a deterrent is as likely to invite an attack as deter it. Besides, if I need a "force equalizer", I want it to be a surprise.

    I used to need a cane, and it was great for self-defense situations, (besides, I couldn't run away, I was a cripple so I needed to be able to defend), but it's a hassle to keep with you, and now that I don't need one, I don't want to be reminded of the days when I did need one.

    Any other kind of a stick that would be convenient to carry (telescoping baton, etc), is illegal to carry concealed here. Oregon only issues Concealed Firearms Permits - no other weapons are allowed. And it's just not worth risking my permit to try to get away with hiding a LTL weapon.

    I just can't think of a reasonable alternative to carrying a gun or a knife. And I just don't think that my Karate training will fill the gap of the third scenario. (Sort of by default - If I believed I could take them empty handed, then I'm not afraid of them, am I?)

    As far as the comb idea, wouldn't that just escalate most situations? I can see where it would hurt, but that seems to have the same problems as the "stun gun" -- it's a "Pain Provider", not a disabler.

    If pepper spray worked the way it's advertised, that would be perfect, but it doesn't, so it's not.

    Like LawDog said, by the time it's Less than Lethal, is it really that effective?
     
  6. bushidomartialarts

    bushidomartialarts Senior Master

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    I've become recently enamored of the tactical flashlights like Surefire puts out. Most attacks happen in twilight or dark conditions. These lights are so bright they'll blind and sometimes stun an attacker for upwards of 30 seconds.

    Anybody can run away in 30 seconds. And there's no lasting damage. Far as I'm concerned it's the best non-lethal weapon for civilians to come out yet.
     
  7. thardey

    thardey Master Black Belt

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    do you have a website for those?
     
  8. bushidomartialarts

    bushidomartialarts Senior Master

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  9. Andy Moynihan

    Andy Moynihan Senior Master

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  10. Andy Moynihan

    Andy Moynihan Senior Master

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    I don't know of any sane cop in any sane country who would charge you with possession of a deadly if they patted you down and found a pen in your pocket:

    http://www.policelink.com/products/products/85-mil-tac-tactical-defense-pen

    If you like you can even do with the pen like I strongly suggest you *should* do with folding knives and use the pocket clip so the clip is visible outside the pocket( I.E. the clip/top of the object is visible, I.E. nobody can claim it's "concealed").

    (I live in one of those crazy states too--I can carry a concealed sidearm, but not most types of knives--I'm STILL trying to figure THAT out).

    Or if you're terribly concerned that, being an LEO, he'll be clued into the appearance/"additional benefits" of that particular pen, any metal or hard plastic pen would do a similar job. So would a flashlight, closed multitool or friggin' frozen carrot for that matter.
     
  11. thardey

    thardey Master Black Belt

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    I don't suppose there's a metal pen light that's bright enough? Then I can have the best of both worlds!
     
  12. Andy Moynihan

    Andy Moynihan Senior Master

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  13. aplonis

    aplonis Orange Belt

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    I am extremely fond of my Canemaster's cane. I carry it about 70% of the time: into banks; past cops; just about anywhere I go by car. Not when I go by motorcycle because I've yet to devise a convenient means.

    Done that for about two years, now. And no one has ever batted an eyelash at it except for the pizza joint, where upon occasion they insist on carrying my pizza to the car for me. I've long since given up on explaining and just allow it.

    One thing I never do is flourish it like a sabre or any such nonsense. I neither fake a limp nor swagger, just walk plainly. Nobody pays it the least attention.
     
  14. Andy Moynihan

    Andy Moynihan Senior Master

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    Another choice is the Pro-Tek Key( picked one up last weekend at the M&G, some people might laugh at it( until it's demonstrated on them), but its effective in its range *AND* legal in all 50 states( indeed a rarity!) :

    http://www.pps-selfdefense.com/
     
  15. thardey

    thardey Master Black Belt

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    Hmmm, I do some amateur metalwork, I bet I could make one that is slightly modified to fit my lifestyle.
     
  16. Touch Of Death

    Touch Of Death Sr. Grandmaster

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    Carry a whole screw driver set; utility knives, wrenches, et cetera. These are trade tools that also work on people, but amoung other tools appear to be common tools.:ultracool
    Sean
     
  17. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

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    And several of the suggestions made bring up another of my pet peeves...

    Gimmickry.

    There's lots of it out there, with some silly justifications. Or dumb arguments for why they're legal... Like the brass knuckles "that have a whole for a belt buckle" or the "cat keychain" which is brass knuckles.

    Any gadget or gimmick requires practice and training, or it'll be useless under pressure. Lots of the gadgets out there (I'm not singling any one out) only work in scripted scenarios, with reasonably compliant "aggressors."

    Again -- I fall back on the defintion of civilian self defense: dealing with imminent or present attack in such a way that you can escape. If you need a weapon, you almost certainly should be justified in lethal force. If you don't or can't carry a gun -- sticks are my next choice. Canes are, as noted, virtually invisible. Umbrellas are ubiquitious. Subject to state law, expanding batons are available in various sizes, some of which are very concealable. (Many states prohibit an automatic/sprung stick, not a manually telescoping one, like an ASP or Monadnock Autolock. But check your state laws.) And there are almost always stick-like objects around...

    There's also a vital terminology difference that's not being picked up on. THERE ARE NO LESS-THAN-LETHAL WEAPONS. There's a reason that phrase is no longer in favor in law enforcement training; the current term of art is "less lethal." Any weapon can do lethal harm (serious bodily harm or injury, up to and including death). Some are less likely to do so than others, especially used correctly.
     
  18. Andy Moynihan

    Andy Moynihan Senior Master

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    My (UN)favorite was the pop-off shuriken belt buckle. (at the very least I know shuriken are illegal in MY state, and besides, a shuriken just isn't as effective as a .45 hollowpoint these days).


    That's why I've tried to keep any suggestions I made as uncomplicated as I could( a pen, a "key", a SureFire).

    But once again I have to give a resounding "Ditto" to your last point concerning the phrase "less than lethal".
     
  19. billybybose

    billybybose Yellow Belt

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    what jks said!
     
  20. Boomer

    Boomer Blue Belt

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    You tube has an interesting video of a non lethal home made weapon...
    not for the squeamish...or humorless.

    123
     
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