More on the Pepper Spray Issue

This has been a long running blog conversation, but it’s been a good one. follows up with one more post about the importance of pepper spray, and how it fills a role in potential self-defense scenarios.

There isn’t a “non-deadly force niche”, there are several. Pepper spray fills the niche right before we start striking people because if we can solve the problem at that level we will not have any need to escalate further. […]

Keeping in mind that pepper spray is basically a step above strong language, it is not a suitable handgun replacement. Pepper spray fills an entirely different role than firearms do. The perfect role for pepper spray is reinforcing a verbal command. We can pepper spray belligerents for continuing to approach when told to stop, it would be very hard to justify shooting them.

This makes sense to me, because there’s an entire realm of confrontation up until we have to start thinking about deadly force where pepper spray could come in handy.  Think, for instance, about the proverbial asshole who won’t let it go that you took his parking spot.  He may be aggressive, he may be beligerent, he may not leave you alone despite repeated demands that you do not wish to engage in this conversation.  Even if it comes to blows, if you pull out a deadly weapon, and threaten him with it, and God forbid, use it on him, you’re going to find yourself in a police station explaining to them why your use or threat of deadly force was justified, in which case, you better be able to claim a force disparity.

I don’t think Brillianter is claiming you ought to pepper spray someone who is actually presenting a credible threat to life and limb.  Pepper spray isn’t reliable enough for that.  But there’s plenty of room between force and deadly force, that it could come in handy under many situations you might be able to think up.