Capstun is the updated version of Mace commonly known as pepper spray. The version you can sometimes get in local retailers is 5% - useful but you’d better run like hell. The kind cops used when I was working was 10% – twice as strong. You can find the 10% version in gun shops and such like if you look for it a bit.
One concern I always have with “personal defense” weapons is the ease with which they can be taken away from the untrained. Capstun avoids that problem altogether. If it gets taken away from you and used on you it will make you extremely miserable but also EXTREMELY unpopular. Your assailant will want nothing but to get away from you. It also has the advantage of “marking” the perpetrator. Police will be able to tell who he or she is until they get a good shower and fresh clothes.
Capstun will not do any permanent damage to a normal person however, properly used, it will incapacitate them and make them extremely miserable. DO NOT threaten anyone with it - very few people will be afraid of it and if they know it's in your hand they'll close their eyes when you bring it up and it will lose a lot of its effectiveness. Don’t let them know you have it until you use it.
It’s useless in your purse or pocket – get in the habit of holding it in your hand in any worrisome situation. If you find yourself confronted and it’s in your purse or pocket try “Here – take my money” while you reach in your purse and then hose your assailant down. Know how to grab it quick in your purse or pocket – don’t have it floating around in the bottom somewhere – clip it in some fixed spot.
Rather obviously if your assailant has a weapon you'd want to be VERY hesitant to use it. He probably wouldn't be able to see well but he could still pull a trigger or slash with a knife.
Ideally you want to surprise them - get them in the eyes and when they yell get them in the mouth and empty the whole canister. After you use it yell and run - it they have enough drugs in them on rare occasion its effectiveness is limited. If all you can do is spray their face or upper clothes it’ll work well.
It mists and blows in the wind so if you are using it outside or even if you are using it inside to some extent figure on getting some on yourself. If the wind is blowing your direction it could be quite a bit. Even a little might make it hard to see so make sure you know a clear direction to run before you use it.
If you’ve been grabbed and your assailant holding you just try to hit them with it however if you just spray on both of you they will want to get away. Again – yell and run.
If your assailant has a grip on you and doesn't let go knee him in the crotch, punch him/her in the throat or go for his/her eyes. Be sure you absolutely have to defend yourself before you start and then do it like you life depends on it.
If you get ANY in your eyes and have contacts in get them out ASAP regardless of how much it hurts. Rinse with lots of water ASAP. If you have to just rinse the contacts out.
A little introspection is in order here. If you are not aggressive enough to defend yourself (and a lot of people aren’t) you don’t want this around because it won’t do you any good and it’ll wind up being taken away and used on you. If you are it’s VERY effective. I have used the 10% version dozens of times and have always been impressed with the results.
If you use it make a police report ASAP – for you own protection if nothing else. Be careful not to take additional chances depending on this – that defeats the purpose.
A person capable of protecting themselves has that advantage plus they carry themselves with more confidence – confidence predators instinctively avoid.
Had a friend of mine call me concerned about his daughter working late evenings in a local mini-mart. She'd been assured that she would never be working by herself except when it was impossible to avoid. It was turning out that "impossible to avoid" was happening quite frequently. He was realistic - didn't want her to quit her first job and realized that there is no such such thing as complete security however the place had been robbed recently and he was justifiably concerned.
I suggested capstun PROVIDED her assailant was UNARMED - cooperation if he was armed. Additionally I'd suggested if someone walked in who made her at all nervous or if people were hanging around outside or some such that she phone Dad. I was sure he wouldn't mind the call and the odds of a problem drop off to almost zero if the potential victim is on the phone. Any potential perpetrator will realize he's depending on a lag time in police notification and the victim on the phone eliminates this. Someone else will know instantly there is a problem and the nearest squad, which could be a block away, might be there literally in less than a minute. This would be an untenable situation to any nogoodnic who gave it half a thought - he'd go elsewhere.
This same principal applies to a lot of other circumstances. Gal walking across a dark parking lot late a night is MUCH less likely to be accosted if she's on the phone. If you are not at home and you have some specific reason to worry about trouble at your house a speaker phone call to where you are for the duration of the visit lets you sound monitor the house. Something happens on the road that makes you nervous call the police for the duration.
I stopped one night when I was by myself for an apparently broke down car full of slightly disreputable looking young males. I don't like to just drive past but I was outnumbered and it made me a bit nervous. As I walked up to the car I was on the phone with the "police department" (actually my answering machine) describing the car and occupants and I continued to talk until I was satisfied I was safe. Thinking back there would have been nothing wrong with actually calling the police.
You're by your self home and you hear a noise outside. If you decide to go check on it how about talking on the cordless phone while you do.
Phones actually have a lot more security applications than you might imagine if you just think about them a bit. Pretty much any situation where you feel or actually are threatened is going to be mitigated by the "presence" of another person on the other end of the phone.
Last, but certainly not least, don't let the phone give you a false sense of security - if you wouldn't do it without the phone you probably shouldn't do it just because you're on the phone.
To be written soon
Absent information sources
Hiding things - gun behind paper
To be written soon