Non-lethal protection can be defined this way: Any item manufactured for the purpose of being utilized as a weapon, which when used in the prescribed manner, is not expressly designed to cause death or serious bodily injury. It's a calculated means to deter, intimidate, or stop a threat without deadly force.
I care about non-lethal protection because lethal force is often unnecessary or less effective than non-lethal alternatives. Justification for use of lethal force can be difficult to determine, during intense adrenaline responses. Effective non-lethal protection can replicate the effects of lethal force, without taking one’s life or causing additional stress and injury.
Different legal jurisdictions and counties have restrictions on whether you can carry lethal force protection. These restrictions could cause you to plan for an effective non-lethal alternative, and therefore having non-lethal options is important.
Then there is the issue of actually being effective with lethal force, or any force for that matter. It takes rigorous and ongoing training to get confidence in effectively using lethal force during an intense adrenaline response. Even with such training, statistics show that police departments with near 90 percent hit rates in annual firearms re-qualifications on the range (Anderson and Plecas, 2000) see those rates decline to 14 to 38 percent in real world experiences (Morrison and Vila, 1998; Morrison and Garner, 2011; Donner and Popovich, 2018.)
Ask yourself: “Do I have the confidence in my training to respond to a threat with lethal force and be effective?” If the answer is no, then non-lethal protection could be a better fit for you.
Deterrence is another reason why non-lethal protection is very effective. When we carry non-lethal protection, it’s understood that death upon deployment is extremely unlikely. This allows for a powerful confidence response that will help in the face of a violent situation.
Often an attacker has similar thoughts, and they are well aware that non-lethal protection is likely to be used. In other words, you won’t hesitate to defend yourself. So an attacker who isn’t fully committed to his or her crime is more likely to follow direction from someone holding a self-defense spray or taser.
Again, it’s always important to be educated and understand your local state laws regarding use of non-lethal protection. This coupled with awareness and training will give you the tools to properly defend yourself. One of our professional trainers here at Reflex Protect frequently stresses the importance of “having a plan, practicing your plan, being prepared to alter your plan, and survive no matter what.”
- Evan Dean leads Retail and Consumer Sales at Reflex Protect® maker of America’s only “hospital safe” active self-defense solution