I’ll go on a limb and say you have people in your life who you love and who don’t want to be victimized, but they won’t carry a pistol (or pocket a flashlight, or Pepper Spray, or a knife, or Medical gear, etc). What do you do for these people? Explain their inevitable victimization in a WalMart parking lot and wish them luck? Write them off because they have a different moral compass, or because they’re lazy, or have a different lifestyle that precludes being inconvenienced by extra ‘stuff’? Would you write off your family if they wouldn’t follow this path exactly as you have?
I hope not. I hope you treat your friends, families, and clients as individuals and respect their lifestyle and moral decisions. I have several of these in my life (most of my people in meat-space in fact) who either can’t be bothered, lack the confidence in their skills, or are too lazy to carry a firearm or individual self defense tools. Even if I can get them to drop a light and OC in their purse, I know for a fact that they don’t have both of them out while they push their shopping cart through a dark parking lot.
I couldn’t write my people off because I was dealing with my mom, sister, and wife. They all understand and practice ‘mindset’ skills like avoiding task fixation in public, identifying alternate emergency exits, work M.U.C. skills in roll play to preserve space and get deselected, watch hands, and on and on. I only mention it to prevent someone saying, “No tool in an unwilling person’s hands will do a bit of good.” My girls have that.
I have two paths I can follow: Convince them to organize their life around cumbersome gear, or use clever gear to make it so they don’t have a choice. The first option requires that several things line up in a way that I’ve failed to do in 13 years or so. The latter only needs me to find the right gear that meets my needs of effective, reliable, and usable.
The Ideal Tactic (as I see it)
As you are about to push your cart out of the front doors, stop and:
- Get your keys out of your purse/pocket
- In your off-hand, palm your self defense light
- In your strong hand, palm your Sabre Red Pepper Spray (OC)
- Look out through the front glass to observe the space you’re about to enter
- walk out the doors, and do a 3-5 second halt to scan the parking lot and along the building to the corners
- Proceed to car, look into the car and around the car
- Load Groceries, taking a break every few bags to lift their head and do a quick scan to see who’s new, and where people are moving
- Return cart to corral
- Get in car, start car without delay, and get in drive (no instagram updates)
So that’s basically fantasy land for me. So I’ll use cunning to not give them a choice about having their tools at hand. Here’s my current best solution for my people:
- The NITECORE TINI 380 Lumens. Rechargeable, Bright, Keyfob light. A super floody light that is only just bigger than those little disposable pinch LEDs. It’s not combat grade, but it’s not cumbersome and puts out enough light to see hands and beltlines at WalMart parking lot distances. It’s also $30.
- The Sabre Red Gel key chain flip-top unit with inert trainer and target. This give you a robust and more leak-proof flip-top thumb activated unit in a key-chain size. It’s a bit bigger than those spitfire units that are now discontinued, but the spray quality is much higher on this unit. Sabre Red is HOT at 1.33% MCC (more on OC here). The Gel formulation has its advantage in semi-confined space like vehicles, or in buildings where you don’t want to flood an HVAC system with aerosol pepper spray. It takes a little longer to start burning, and can’t be aspirated as easily, but it still has a place. They also make stream configurations in this package, which I’m interested in.
PRoblem solved, problem staying solved
Now we’ve attached a seeing tool, with a force option, with the keys. We spent less than $50. If we can convince them to dig this mess out before they leave the store, there is no reason to be task fixated digging for keys in front of a locked car, there won’t be a panic at someone emerging from a dark corner to cause trouble, and there will be an option to take away an aggressor’s will to fight by impairing their vision and breathing. That’s enough to make the bad guys look for greener pastures. That’s a win.
The great thing about the Live/Inert combo pack I linked above, is that it gives you a paper target to practice with the inert spray. So take your loved one through some basic MUC exercises. Practice footwork, the fence hand posture, verbalization and their verbal tape-loop, up to painting the guy orange. They get a feel for realistic range and the need to aim and how to aim.
How to convince them to buy?
Sometimes you can’t. I’ve been slowly outfitting my family with useful self defense skills and items. When it’s my birthday, I often give my family a shopping list of useful items I want them to buy for themselves as my present. This is the only way I can get them to invest some money in this stuff. Otherwise I just buy gear for them when they’re in town.
Mother’s day is coming up and it might be worth outfitting your mom and/or wife with something other than a card and some chocolate.
PS: These are the same principles I use, but with a handheld light and key-chain OC. Gun folks should have intermediate force options as well.
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6 thoughts on “The Keychain Flashlight and OC Combo”
Actually, the gel formulation can take a LOT longer – not a “little” longer to start working. Like up to 30 sec – which is FOREVER in this context. Really precludes some of gels “advantages” most of the time. Other than that, good idea.
True! Thanks for your feedback!
As always another Excellent post from Growing Up Guns. About the gel, I’ve now been sprayed twice with the Sabre Red flip top keychain Gel and had involuntarily eye closure with severe eye burning in 2-3 seconds. That was from just a short 1/2 second burst directly to one eye. Effect was as intense as Stream. I could see it taking 30 seconds if the eyes were not contaminated but just as with Stream you have to hit the eyes for more immediate results. Sprayed too high it can take longer to run into the eyes. I like gel because it works a lot better in our wind. I’ve heard from some who’ve said gel took longer but I can say I’ve not had that experience when direct contact with the eye and brow area is made. I combine my unit with a SureFire sidekick. Keep the posts coming. Mark and I think a lot alike.
Thank you for being such a willing guinea pig! I appreciate you and your recommendations and suggestions. I have reconsidered gels because of your experiments!