Does the Law Let You Stab Someone to Defend Yourself?
Generally, yes, you can stab someone if forced to do so in defense against a threat to protect your life, but it may not be a good idea if you have any other option available to you. A legal claim of self-defense can be made no matter what the defender uses to protect themselves. However, there are other factors to consider if you’re carrying a knife for personal protection.
The first thing to consider is what the law says about carrying a knife where you live. Many states with some form of permitting process for carrying a handgun have very stringent restrictions on carrying the type of knife that might actually be useful in a defensive encounter. If you get into an encounter and use a weapon that is illegal to have on your person, it won’t automatically invalidate your claim of self-defense, but a prosecutor could use it as evidence that you acted maliciously, and it may weaken your self-defense claim in other ways. Familiarize yourself with the law in your area.
Another factor to consider is that a defense that involves stabbing someone requires you to be in close physical proximity to them. The closer your attacker is to you, the greater the likelihood that you may be severely injured during the attack. It’s almost always better to have as much distance as possible between you and your attacker. Relying on a tool for defense that requires you to be at close range with your attacker could have a very bad outcome.
Are Self-Defense Keychains Legal?
The legality of a tactical keychain for defense is going to depend on what kind of tool is attached to the keychain and the local law governing those tools. For instance, a cat self-defense keychain is likely to be illegal anywhere that bans brass knuckles or similar items. However, pepper spray attached to a keychain may be perfectly legal in the same state where a cat self-defense keychain is illegal. The only way to know for certain is to check your local law that governs which weapons you can legally carry. The law will vary by location, so take the time to check the law not only where you live, but any place you intend to travel.
Self Defense 101
Can I Use Wasp Spray Instead of Pepper Spray?
No, you shouldn’t use wasp spray for defensive purposes. One of the most common bad pieces of advice related to defense against threats that well-meaning people give is the suggestion that you can use wasp spray as some form of less-lethal force. There are multiple issues with attempting to use wasp spray in this manner, but probably the biggest one is that it’s simply not very effective at doing any of the things that less-lethal spray should do. In addition to being regarded as relatively ineffective by anyone who studies defensive encounters, you could potentially run into legal issues if you’re in a situation where using a less-lethal option would be justified but instead spray a neurotoxin in someone’s face. If you’re interested in carrying a less-lethal spray, stick with pepper spray. As you can see, knowing and understanding the law is a must.
What Is the Best Handgun to Carry for Self-Defense?
Selecting any firearm is a highly personal choice, and there are many factors to consider when selecting one for defense against threats. A person who intends to carry a handgun every day may be looking for different features and options than the person who wants a firearm primarily to keep in the home. If your primary interest is carrying a firearm on your person every day, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Uncommon handguns are uncommon for a reason. Make sure to check the aftermarket support available for any pistol you’re considering purchasing. This can include anything from the holsters and sights that are available to the simple things like magazines or replacement parts on the market. It’s difficult to carry a gun that doesn’t have any quality holsters available for it due to its obscurity.
A handgun needs to fit your hand. A common mistake people make when they talk about fitting a pistol to their hand is thinking of “fit” in terms of “comfort.” To be clear, you don’t want a handgun to be uncomfortable in the hand. It’s important to remember, though, that a handgun can be comfortable in the hand but still be sized in such a way that you won’t be able to reach the trigger fully.
A general rule of thumb when checking fit is that you need to at least be able to place the first joint of your index finger on the face of the trigger when you hold the handgun in a normal firing grip, whether or not that’s the part of your finger you would actually use when shooting. If you find you have to rotate your hand around the handgun to get to the trigger, it probably doesn’t fit you.
Keep in mind when selecting a handgun that shot placement will be what wins most defensive encounters. Being able to place a “less effective” round exactly where you intend it is always better than a near miss with a “more effective” round. While it’s nice to have a handgun that’s chambered in a popular service caliber loaded with quality defensive ammo, it’s more important to worry about how you can perform with your chosen handgun than what caliber you’re carrying.
The last thing to keep in mind when selecting a handgun for self-defense is that if you intend to carry it, the handgun you select must be one that you can comfortably carry with you wherever it’s legal for you to do so.
While it’s true that the first rule of a gunfight is “Don’t get into a gunfight,” the second rule is equally important: “Have a gun.” Make sure that if you’re selecting a gun with the intention of carrying it as part of your everyday life, you select one that you’ll be able to comfortably conceal in a wide range of environments and activities. While many people conceal a full-size handgun on a regular basis, not everyone will have the necessary physical real estate on their body to be able to do that.
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