Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Why do you need pepper spray?

A preacher was caught in rising floodwaters and climbed up onto the roof of his house to wait for God to rescue him. A neighbor paddled a canoe by, calling out “Water is going to be over your roof soon, climb on in and let’s get!”

“No thanks” the preacher replied. “God will save me”

A short time later the police motored by in a boat. “Water’s rising. Hop in or you’ll drown.”
“No thanks” replied the preacher. “God will save me.”

A little time later a rescue services helicopter hovered overhead, let down a rope ladder and said. “Water’s getting pretty high. Climb on up and let’s get you safe.”

“No thanks” replied the preacher. “I’ve prayed to God and I’m sure he will save me”

The floodwaters kept rising, cresting the roof and the preacher was swept away and drowned.

On arriving, he demanded to see God about a complaint. Ushered before God’s he cried out, “Lord, why am I here in heaven? I prayed for you to save me, I trusted you to save me from that flood.”

“Yes, you did my child” replied the Lord. “And I sent you a canoe, a boat and a helicopter. But you never got in.”

Recently I've been getting back involved with the Methodist Church (NW Variant) that, at least around here, is a protestant faith of generally liberal leaning. Happily enough, my pastor is a delightful lesbian about ten years my senior and we enjoy talking about a wide variety of issues. I especially enjoy that we're able to discuss things openly we may not necessarily agree on.

I'd gone to a Lent study this evening, and she asked me what I'd been doing since we'd last gabbed and I mentioned that I was looking at buying an ASP Key Defender or two on the reccomendation of a trusted friend.

Now, she knows that I carry a gun and that I tend to buy more based as much on "SHINY" as on any practical need (at least at this point). So she replied, "WHAT do you need PEPPER SPRAY for?" with a strong hint of impending moral correction (and the implication that if I carried a gun, well, whatever did I need with pepper spray...).

That left me pondering a bit even as I answered her question, pointing out that pepper spray was a nice non-lethal tool that - situation allowing - might allow me to depart a situation leaving my assailants unperforated, a condition I strongly preferred.

I think that as people who have accepted the occasional need for justifiable force, even lethal force, we have ethical obligations - that just because we carry a gun, even when the law says that we are within our rights to ventilate a wrongdoer, doesn't necessarily mean that we *should*...

Until someone is silly enough to pay me enough to overcome my basic caution, I'm going to stick with the notion that one of the best self-defense strategies of all is to be where the trouble isn't. I mean, there are a whole bunch of places in the world that you just *know* are high-risk AND stupid.

Avoiding them usually doesn't cost me anything and lets me miss out on all kinds of drama. I'm pretty ok with that. If there is some kind of concrete "good reason" for me to meander through drama central, all well and good - but "hey! lookkit this" or its many variants just don't qualify.

If it still works for you, "Run Away! Run AWAY!" has an awful lot going for it in a lot of situations. Beats the heck out of dropping 20k on a funeral or 50k on an attorney. Pride's cheap - hospital bills and attorney fees, not so much. And if you can talk your way out of things going sideways, more power to you. In a lot of cases waving cheerfully at your fleeing SumDude has a lot going for it.

I'm still thinking about it, but probably will add the ASP Key Defender to my inventory. As an asthmatic I'm a tad twitchy about pepper spray, but I really like the idea of a non-lethal option - so I'll likely fret a bit and buy one for me and another for the Mom-unit. And inert practice cartridges.

I'm pretty ok with having options - particularly options that let everyone go home mostly the way they showed up.


Weer'd Beard said...

Personally I've abandoned pepper spray.

It isn't isn't always effective and you will ALWAYS get a wiff of it every time you use it.

Further while it isn't DEADLY force, it is use of force and has almost as many legal connotations attached to it.

My personal philosophy is I will avoid trouble whenever I can, and if trouble finds me I will WALK away (I will not run because if they run faster than me, I have just turned my back on a threat)

If I am unable to WALK away from a threat that is the definition of a lethal force scenario and I don't want the pepper spray not to work.

That is the time for the gun.

Right or wrong, that's how I see it.

Anonymous said...

Tam pointed me to you, and I do have some input about pepper spray if you're interested. We sell Sabre Red in my shop, and I had them certify us for their public safety academy instructor development. There are pros and cons to various types, strategies for deployment, etc.

I'm interested in finding ways to reach more at-risk folks to teach firearms and security strategies to. The LGBT community would seem about as 'at-risk' as anybody.