Even though we teach children, the subject of weapons comes up often. Here are some of the more common questions asked by parents and children:
What if my attacker has a gun or a knife? Criminals who use weapons use them because they assume that their victim will automatically be compliant. They are not necessarily skilled in the use of their weapon, they are using it as a tool of terror with an expectation that their victim will fear the weapon and, therefore, do whatever they command. Awareness, safe space and a quick response are very important in defending against a weapon. If you are keeping your safe space and your attacker has a knife, you should not fear the knife. If he is outside your safety circle, you should run as soon as you see the weapon; creating distance from the knife will render it useless to the attacker. If your attacker has a gun, you should respond in the same fashion. Handguns are quite difficult to aim and shoot, and a moving target is even more challenging. Assuming that most criminals are not firearms experts, as soon as you are moving and creating distance, you will be safer. It doesn't matter how you run (zig zag, angle, straight ahead), just RUN. Simply put, DO NOT respond in the way that your attacker expects and you will have the element of surprise and a much better chance of escaping the situation. As soon as you see the weapon, run as fast as you can to people and activity.
Should I carry a weapon for self-defense? There are many schools of thought regarding the use of personal weapons. Our advice to you is that you be very well trained in the use of any weapon that you elect to carry. In an attack situation, you will be overcome with terror and it will be challenging to effectively use any weapon. If you are not well-trained and if you haven't practiced a lot, you may find that your attacker overtakes you and uses your weapon on you. You should also be very well versed in the laws of the state where you are carrying the weapon (don't go on vacation to another state and take your weapon without researching the laws). Laws regarding personal weapons vary from state to state, as do laws about the use of lethal force for self-defense.
Pepper spray and personal stun guns are widely purchased by people for purposes of self-defense. There are pros and cons to each. Pepper spray is extremely effective when it's used correctly, but if you are downwind when you spray it, you could end up in a lot of pain. Personal stun guns cause temporary pain, but may not be enough to completely stop an attacker, and they require you to be in close contact with your attacker for several seconds which is never a good idea. We recommend you do your research and make your purchase with your eyes wide open. An interesting video about the use of stun guns can be found at this link.