December 1, 2020
I'm often asked what “What tools should I buy if I want to be safer?”
The truth is that there's no one tool that addresses every potential threat. A danger may be within arm's reach or on the other side of a door or fence. So the best course is to have a set of tools that are appropriate for different situations, and to have as many layers as possible of defense between you and a potential criminal/attacker.
Tools that are useful up close include “stabby things” like a knife or tactical pen; striking tools like a kubuton or a bunch of coins tied in a sock; a stun gun.
A bit farther away (out of reach) you might want to have an impact weapon like a baseball bat or a walking stick; something that can cross the distance like pepper gel, or even bear spray.
Even further away (across a room) a tool like a Taser can be useful.
Some tools are effective at different ranges, for example a firearm and a protection dog can be used within a few feet and across a distance of 50 feet to 100 yards or more.
And of course some can provide lethal force (a firearm or knife) while others most likely are not lethal (pepper gel, Taser). Almost anything CAN be lethal depending on how it is used and what the environment is like (a strike to the head that knocks your assailant down may lead to a secondary impact on a curb or table, for example, that actually causes more (and potentially deadly) damage than your original blow.
And of course there may be improvised weapons in your environment that you can use if needed – a rock, water bottle, coffee pot, lamp etc to strike with or throw, a pool cue or broom to poke or strike with, etc.
So what should you do if you want to have tools to supplement your own natural abilities? I am a fan of having options. I recommend investing in tools that are appropriate for specific ranges (far away, across a room, out of arm's reach and in very close quarters). And I suggest you have backups and alternatives for those options, both formal tools and improvised weapons.