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Debunking the pepper spray paradox

Pepper spray is on my mind, and in my eye, as I taught the basics to a friend this weekend and am preparing to teach a few seminars on it next month. Keep an eye here for the announcement and sign-ups; I’m finalizing details but save the date of September 17, in Epping, NH. In

I am Iron Man

We’ve spent a lot of time lately talking about the kinds of self-defense training and mindset that can and can’t keep you safe. The skills you have and the ways you think are not the only factors in what I like to call full-spectrum self-defense or full-spectrum personal safety, though. Tools can have a part

Talisman or tool against danger: how do you tell?

Everyday carry, EDC, is exactly what it sounds like: the things you bring with you wherever you go, whenever you go. It’s not exclusive to the gun world but includes at least one tool that’s intended for self-defense. The photos are often presented without context, as an artfully arranged collection of items laid out on

Is something better than nothing for self-defense?

Hey y’all – Apparently, wasp spray is a passionate topic for many of you, based on the response to Wednesday’s post. If you’re new around here because of it, welcome and I hope you stick around! There’s a particular point I mentioned in that post that I want to dig into a little bit more

Don’t use wasp spray for self-defense [updated June 2022]

Using wasp spray for self-defense is a persistent idea and one that has been recommended by all sorts of people, even purported experts. They’re wrong. Wasp spray should not be used for any purpose other than killing annoying, flying, stinging insects like wasps, hornets, or yellow jackets. I’m not saying that because of some idea

Subway active shooter: what you can do

The news cycle moves fast, but one of the big ones this week was the mass shooting in the NYC subway system a few days ago. It was a worst-case scenario in many ways: a busy commute time, a crowded subway car en route between stations, smoke bombs affecting visibility, and a gunman spraying bullets

“But it works for me!”

You’ve all seen at least one person who dismisses criticism of a technique or a piece of equipment because “it works for me.” Some of you, even me, have been that person. In an age when lived experience is an important part of truth, it’s not surprising to run into the position that the individual

The best gun to buy for the woman in your life

On a fairly regular basis, I am asked by various folks for recommendations on what gun to buy for their partner or adult child to use for concealed carry or home defense. Sometimes, it’s because the recipient isn’t terribly interested but the giver wants to get them a gun anyway. Other times, it’s because the

How to learn what you need to learn: Tac-Con 2022 edition

Tomorrow, I leave for the Rangemaster Tactical Conference, also known as Tac-Con. It’s an annual event with a huge variety of classes all related to personal safety and self-defense. For many of us, it’s an opportunity to get a taste of what’s being offered by a number of top instructors in the field, as well

Personal alarms: will they make you safer?

Personal alarms are perennially popular and have been making a comeback as a personal safety device. The idea is that by using a device to make very loud noises, the attacker will be scared off. Perhaps they will want to get away from the disorienting and painful sounds, or they will want to avoid the

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