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 Guns or Spray-Things to Consider:

Despite the deadly potential of guns, they are actually a poor option for personal protection for most people.  Guns are unnecessary in most situations and their use in any situation can have serious consequences. 

Some important factors to consider:

1.  Carrying a concealed gun without a special permit is illegal in virtually all jurisdictions in this country.  Only special federal law enforcement agency permits allow a person to carry a concealed weapon from one state to another.  Some states allow permit holders to travel in any part of the state, while others restrict carry only to the jurisdiction that issued the permit.  The laws vary widely from state to state.  In some states obtaining a concealed weapons permit is fairly easy, while in others it’s virtually impossible.

2.  The whole purpose of personal protection products is to distract and disable the attacker and escape to get help.  The use of a gun in an assault could be considered “excessive force” unless the victim could prove a life-threatening situation caused the use of the firearm.  Keep in mind that 80% of all assaults in this country are committed without a weapon of any kind.  Using a gun on an unarmed person can get a victim in serious trouble.  Even if he/she is not charged or found guilty of a crime he/she can find himself/herself on the losing end of a lawsuit.

3.  Most people don’t know when to shoot and when not to shoot.  Police officers go through intensive training in “shoot/no shoot” scenarios and even they sometimes get entangled in legal problems.

4.  Using a handgun may actually be less effective at stopping an attacker than a good OC defense spray (Pepper Spray).  The choice of firearms and calibers is beyond the scope of most individuals; even security experts and law enforcement professionals don’t agree which is best, particularly in the area of “stopping power.” Assailants have been known to kill or seriously injure someone minutes, even hours after being shot with so-called “man stopper” ammunition.

5.  A handgun can be taken away from the intended victim and used against them.  While this also true of other protective devices, the consequence aren’t as potentially deadly.

6.  The psychological effects and emotional trauma of shooting another person can be devastating.  Even hardened police officers are sometimes affected, particularly if the other person is killed.  Most people whose only objective is to protect themselves are not ready or able to handle the intense emotional aftermath of killing someone, and that’s always a very real possibility when guns are used.

7.  Due to the serious and deadly nature of shooting someone, most people tend to hesitate before shooting.  In many instances that hesitation can and is used against the victim.  All self defense trainers stress that focused, swift action is essential for successful self defense during an assault.

8.  The presence of a gun almost always dramatically escalates the potential for serious injury or death.  An assailant who did not plan to physically harm a victim may be forced into striking quickly and viciously when threatened with a gun.  Once a gun is produced by the victim, its use is the only action left.  A gun is an all or nothing device.

9.  Any time a firearm is used, there is the possibility that an innocent person may be injured or killed.  The person discharging the firearm, justified or not, is almost held liable for the consequences of a shooting regardless of how “accidental” it might be.  Again, no formal charges may be filed, but a civil suit can be just as damaging to a person’s life.

10.  There is always the possibility a child or juvenile could get his/her hands on a firearm with tragic results.

Firearms have a legitimate, useful role in self protection and home defense, but only if a person is fully trained and completely understands the responsibility and consequences of using a gun for that purpose.  Most people simply do not need that level of firepower, especially considering the effectiveness of modern self defense devices available.  Nor do most people have the training or psychological toughness to use a gun for self protection properly.  Many experts agree that when the average citizen arms himself/herself with a gun, it is a tragic situation and resulting court case waiting to happen.

Written by Doug Lamb, Director of the American Security Institute.
The American Security Institute was founded to teach personal and residential security to law-abiding citizens and security professionals.  ASI is dedicated to providing the best training possible, and believes knowledge is the key to insuring the safety and well-being of our citizens and our children.  Our goal is simply to leave those that follow a better, safer world in which to live.

Doug Lamb is one of the country’s leading personal security consultants.  He is a former officer with the U.S.  Treasury Department, industrial security specialist, legal investigator, and teacher.  As Director of ASI, Mr.  Lamb writes and lectures on personal security.  He originally developed his “Surviving the Mean Streets” classes as part of an accredited 26-week professional development program for security specialists and investigators.

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