As the Seattle-area homicide rate continues to rise and riots keep erupting in the streets, the question of how to protect yourself has become increasingly more important. While personal defense firearms offer some serious stopping power, having a non-lethal option can provide another layer of protection.
10 Reasons You Should Carry Pepper Spray
1. Pepper Spray Can Help Fend Off Multiple Attackers
A personal assault doesn’t always come from just one person. Cone and fog pepper sprays are designed to disperse the agent in a wide spray pattern. In the event you’re facing multiple assailants, this wide spray pattern can help you fend them off rather than spray an individual attacker at a time.
2. It’s an Economical Self-Defense Weapon
Many personal protection weapons, like a handgun, can be a hefty investment. Most pepper spray costs $40 or less, making it a very economical choice.
3. Pepper Spray Can Be Easy to Carry
Sprays come in a wide variety of dispersal methods, several of which are extremely small and easy to carry. Smaller bottles of pepper spray and pepper spray guns can be carried in a small handbag, such as a lady’s purse; clipped on a belt; or attached to the strap of a backpack. Mace keychain attachments are also a travel-friendly solution.
4. Pepper Spray is Legal in Washington State (and most areas of the country)
In most areas of the country, including Washington State, it is legal to purchase and carry pepper spray. Bear spray is a good alternative in states that don’t allow you to carry pepper spray. The dispersal of bear spray is both forceful and intense, helping to stop an attacker just like it’s designed to stop a bear.
5. Pepper Spray Doesn’t Cause Any Permanent Physical Damage
Personal defense weapons can range the gamut. It’s common knowledge that guns are a lethal option. But it’s also important to consider the permanent damage that weapons like a striking baton and Guarded Ring (a heavy-duty plastic serrated-edge weapon that is worn on any finger) can cause.
While pepper spray will undoubtedly hurt and slow down an attacker, the effects are not permanent.
6. It’s Incredibly Easy to Use
Most pepper spray devices are as easy as pushing a button or pulling a lever.
7. It Can Be Sprayed Through a Small Opening
What happens when your car is surrounded by a mob? Simply driving over folks might cause you some legal ramifications you don’t want to incur. If you have pepper spray in your car, you can roll down the window just slightly and quickly ‘encourage’ those nearby to back away.
8. It Can Be Carried Without a License
In order to legally carry a firearm in Washington state, you must have a Concealed Pistol License. Pepper spray requires no such license.
9. Pepper Spray Can Be Dispersed from a Distance
While pepper spray can definitely be used effectively in close quarters, it can also be dispersed from a reasonable distance. For instance, the Pepper Gun 2.0 can spray at a range of up to 20 feet.
10. It Can Be Used in Combination with Other Defense Weapons
Pepper spray doesn’t have to be used independently. It can be paired with anything. You may want to carry it, your personal firearm, and a striking baton for a full battery of options.
Pepper Spray FAQ
What’s the Difference Between Pepper Spray and Mace?
Like Kleenex, Mace is technically a brand name. However, the name is so popular it’s often used to describe all personal defense spraying agents. Yet, Mace and pepper spray were historically made with different active ingredients.
The original Mace recipe used phenacyl chloride. Also known as CN tear gas, it causes serious pain to the eyes, nose, skin, and throat. Unfortunately, tear gas has shown to be ineffective against those under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Additionally, it was found to be toxic to the user.
Other pepper spray alternatives include oleoresin capsicum (aka OC). An inflammatory agent, OC is more effective on people under the influence and less likely to be toxic to the user.
Are all Pepper Spray Products the Same?
No. You can still buy sprays with just CN and OC. But the most effective sprays use a combination of CN, OC, and UV dye. UV dye is an invisible marking dye that may help the police identify your attacker using ultraviolet light.
What Should You Do if You Accidentally Spray Yourself or Someone Else?
Immediately remove contact lenses and any clothing that’s been sprayed. Flush all contaminated areas with a diluted solution of cool water and baking soda. Then expose the area to fresh air.
Avoid applying salves, creams, oils, and lotions. These thick agents can trap the irritant, causing the exposed areas to keep burning.
Do You Need to Replace Your Pepper Spray?
Pepper spray expires over time, as the pressurization diminishes to the point where it can no longer be properly dispersed. While you can buy pepper spray online, buying it in the store allows you to get a sense of which dispersal method would best fit your lifestyle.