A Look at Non-Lethal Self-Defense Weapons

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Written by Scott Huntington

Protecting yourself is a priority. However, it can be frightening to think of the impact you could have on someone’s life if you use a lethal self-defense weapon like a gun against them. For those who prefer to seek a less lethal solution, technology has brought some great alternatives to the market.

This article takes a quick look at some ways to make yourself feel safer at home and abroad. Many are quite affordable and don’t carry the stigma or aggressive appearance of wielding a gun.

Home Security Systems

Over half of all gun owners are not outdoorsmen or tactical aficionados, but regular people interested in the safety of their family. A home security system is a great deterrent to thieves and would-be assailants, and modern systems offer a host of features you probably didn’t know they had. You can monitor multiple parts of your home on camera and receive notifications about movement spotted during quiet hours, and some systems can even recognize suspicious noises.

Tactical Flashlights

Flashlights have always been a trusty tool around the house and on the trail. However, with the new bulbs and lens technology we have available, you can use a very compact flashlight to blind an attacker these days. There are many varieties available with different run times and multiple modes. Some even have handles or fascia designed to be used in self-defense capacities. Hopefully, that isn’t necessary for you.

Pepper Spray

Pepper spray has been around for many years and remains a great form of non-lethal self-defense. It’s easily carried in a purse or bag and gives you a fast, easy-to-use alternative form of protection that is enough to convince all but the most spirited attackers to cease and desist. For those who aren’t familiar, the spray causes irritation of the eyes and respiratory system immediately on contact.


Here’s a creative one. You might be familiar with the sword-canes carried by noblemen of the 18th century. The long, staff-like shape of an umbrella makes it an effective weapon if the construction is stout enough. Now, you can purchase just such a thing, with items like the unbreakable umbrella being offered as a low profile way to keep yourself out of harm’s waylow profile way to keep yourself out of harm’s way. You may, however, want to take a few classes in self-defense and learn how to use the thing.

Stun Guns and Tasers

These two electrically charged non-lethal weapons are small in size but pack a serious punch. Compared to a taser, which shoots an electrical contact through which the debilitating charge is passed, a stun gun must be used at extreme close-range. This makes tasers more popular in many instances — however, they are slightly larger. The compact stun gun can be as small as a tube of lipstick and lacks the hooked barbs that will remain in your target after delivering a charge with a taser.

Self-Defense Classes

You can always find a local martial arts gym to get some experience grappling and practicing self-defense techniques. If your focus is specifically for practical purposes, make sure your gym reflects that and doesn’t train for tournament-style combat that may not accurately reflect a real-world scenario.

Training will help make you feel confident in self-defense situations and allow you to react in a clear-headed way regardless of which of these weapons you’re carrying, and even if you’re not carrying any at all. So it’s a great thing to consider if you are nervous about your own safety. We hope you’ve found this helpful and that you’ll continue to invest in the safety of yourself and your loved ones.

About the Author

Scott is a writer and blogger who lives in Vermont and loves the great outdoors.
Follow him on Twitter @SMHuntington or check out his blog, Off The Grid

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  1. Because I have damaged knees I use a cane to help me walk. (I was an ironworker and fell). I have a good solid wood cane and a “Cold Steel” plastic walking stick. Both of these can be very effective shelf defense tools with some traning. Remember that in the 1800’s and 1900’s Gentlemen always had a good solid wood walking stick with a large brass head. This was their EDC self defense tool. Also when the English lords did not let the peasantry have any weapons they carried and used “quarter staff” that were quite effective weapon’s. A good solid hard wood staff 5 to 6 feet long and 1 1/2 to 2 inches diameter is still a very effective weapon with some training.

    As for spray’s I have some “wasp kill” spray that reaches out 10 to 12 feet in a dense stream and this is not restricted like pepper spray is.

    Do not over look dry chemical fire extinguishers a face full of that powder will stop most people in their tracks. This also works with CO2 extinguisher’s as well. I watch a Foreman stop a fight in a shop I worked at by spraying the 2 jackasses were fighting with a CO2 extinguisher.

    1. Hi Geo, I agree, walking sticks can be effective for self-defense in the hands of one with some training. It is also widely available. Wasp spray and fire extinguishers can also be used for defense if they are available within reach in a threatening situation. Thanks for the comment!

  2. The biggest disadvantage with using non-lethal force against an assailant is that that you have no way of knowing if they are prepared to use lethal force against you in order to achieve their objective. So to effectively protect yourself and/or your family against an aggressor it would be my contention that you must always assume the perpetrator is ultimately prepared to use lethal force against you and this belief should properly focus your mind. Regards

    1. Hi Max Stotto, Definitely something to keep in mind – what the aggressor intends may be different from what you believe. Thanks for the comment.

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