In 2014 my father went to be with the Lord. It wasn’t until after we laid him to rest that I realized that my mother was now a widow living alone! My wife and I graciously offered our home to her which she soundly rejected. She insisted that as a 64-year-old woman that she was still a spring chicken and wasn’t about to live under her son’s roof. There ain’t no house big enough for me and your wife is what she told me.
That being said I wanted her to have the ability to defend herself at home and when she was out. But wait this is an anti-mugging article? So why are we talking about at home then? Did you know that a large percentage of muggings occur on a person’s own property?! Usually a driveway. If you stop to think about it, it makes perfect sense. A mugger’s most potent weapon is the element of surprise. There’s no other place that most people let their guard down than their own homes.
That’s why when I began searching for self-defense tools for my mother I knew I needed one that would be most likely to be on her and could be implemented quickly. Upon researching, I discovered most devices that people have on them wouldn’t do anything for them in case of an attack, and here’s why:
Pepper Spray Canisters
Nearly every woman and her sister have one of those dinky cans in her purse. While pepper spray itself is a great way to deter a would-be attacker, those little canisters that most people buy are not. The reason being is it’s not going to do you any good in a surprise attack if it’s in that weird nook at the bottom of your purse. Plus you have to turn the nozzle around to dispense the spray.
When attacked you have a mere seconds to react. No mugger is going to wait for you to fiddle in your purse to find your pepper spray, turn the nozzle around, and then let you spray him in the face. Now you can get a keychain pepper spray canister, but most people don’t seem to favor those.
Unless you’ve had proper training tasers are probably the worst every day carry weapon I’ve seen being promoted out there. Why? First of all, how likely are you to have a taser on you in a ready position when you’re bringing your groceries into your house? Second, unless you’re trained on how to use a taser, you could end up severely injuring yourself or worse. Just like with the pepper spray scenario a thief is not going to wait for you to get out your taser, aim it, and then shoot him. What’s even worse about a taser is a would-be attacker could probably take it from you and use your own weapon against you!
Let me be clear that I am an avid supporter of the second amendment but that being said I cannot recommend a gun as a self-defense tool for the average city-dwelling American. The simple reason is that most people haven’t been trained on how to operate a firearm properly. Guns aren’t toys, period. Plus, states are making it harder and harder to get a concealed carry license. New York and California politicians even boast about how hard it is to get a concealed carry permit.
Cops undergo thousands of hours of training before they’re allowed to carry a gun around the street with most departments mandating refresher courses every few years. That means even if you take a class for a couple of weeks, it’s unlikely you’ll be both mentally and physically prepared to handle a firearm properly in an emergency situation. What’s worse, mishandling a gun could have tragic consequences for you or someone you love.
These seem to be a popular fad but as more and more people experience an emergency situation I think they will discover these aren’t the great everyday carry weapons they’re made out to be. While better than the pepper spray and the taser these still have a significant problem. How likely are you to have it with you when you need it? Many have a keychain attachment, but most people don’t want to carry those around on their keys. Then there’s the fact that these things are technically illegal in almost every state.
The Best Anti-Mugging Devices
The best devices to frustrate a mugger are actually some of the most simple. They’re not electronic, and they’re likely to be with you when you need them. Best of all they’re not expensive!
A Tactical Pen
I absolutely love tactical pens for self-defense! Why? Because they’re a multi-use tool that you’re likely to have with you. Most of us carry some sort of writing device on us. Just replace your Bic with a tactical pen. Because you’re likely to have it with you, it can actually be used to fend off an attack. A good tactical pen is not just a pen and a knife; it’s a multi-use tool which makes it even MORE likely that you’ll have it with you when you need it. What’s even better is you can get one for free just pay for shipping. I found a coupon offering this. Here’s a good video on how to use a tactical pen.
Yes, you read that right, I said a whistle. One of the most low tech devices out there can be the most effective. Why? Because it creates the element of surprise. Most muggers don’t want a lot of attention. A good loud whistle will bring a lot of unwanted attention to what is happening.
I watched a video of a convicted mugger who said a would-be victim blew a whistle which caused him to run away. I got one of these whistles for my mom. Reason being is because it’s thin, orange, and has a keyring. Therefore it also serves to ensure you can find your keys in the morning! Best of all it’s discreet. Unlike a baton or pepper spray, most people don’t associate a whistle with a weapon.