VI – Self-Defense

Why Use and How to Choose Pepper Spray

If you carry a gun for self-defense, you should also carry pepper spray. Even if you don’t carry a gun, you should carry pepper spray, also known as oleoresin capsicum (“OC”).

Using a firearm for self-defense is always the very last option in a lethal attack situation. But you shouldn’t rely solely on a gun as your only means of self-defense. FBI/DOJ crime statistics tell us we’re 5 times more likely to be faced with a non-deadly threat, against which only non-deadly defensive force is legally appropriate, than we are a deadly threat.

[ Read the SemperVerus article, The 5 Elements of Self-Defense Law ]

Under what circumstances is the use of pepper spray as a defensive tool lawful and advisable? What conditions have to be met before you can use pepper spray in self-defense? Pepper spray is a non-deadly form of self-defense and can be used to stop any reasonably perceived threat of non-deadly harm, which means almost any degree of harm. So long as you use it defensively and not offensively, generally speaking you should be within your rights.

[ Read the SemperVerus article, Checklist: Categories and Their Items for Every Day Carry (EDC) ]

In the following video, Chris Baker of Lucky Gunner says, “OC gives you a force option that’s somewhere between harsh language and shooting somebody. We all know that statistically, we are very unlikely to end up in a situation where we need to use our firearm to defend our life. Much more common are situations that call for some kind of intervention that’s less than deadly force. Maybe someone is behaving in a threatening way, but they don’t have a weapon and they have not done anything yet that would warrant using deadly force. That might be a good time to deploy some OC.

15 Truths About Defensive Gun Use

While Gun Murders Are Unlawful, Gun Homicides Are Not Necessarily Unlawful.
Don’t be fooled into misreading homicide statistics reported in the media. Not all homicides are social ills. Some homicides are justified lawful killings in self-defense or defense of others. For example, the intended rape victim who manages to kill her rapist in the act has committed a homicide. Would we prefer that she had been raped? The potential homicide victim who kills their attacker, rather than get killed themselves, has committed a homicide: lawful self-defense. Would we prefer that the victim of the attack have been killed?

According to attorney Andrew Branca, author of The Law of Self Defense, “a homicide (the killing of one person by another) can be

  • unlawful and intentional—what is traditionally referred to as murder—or
  • unlawful and unintentional—what is traditionally referred to as manslaughter or criminally reckless homicide—or
  • lawful and intentional—usually self-defense or defense of others—or
  • lawful and unintentional—accident or misadventure.”

Don’t be deceived when people talk in generalities that the number of gun deaths or homicides have increased and therefore more laws are needed to infringe on the civil right to keep and bear arms. Maybe the homicides being reported are of criminal aggressors attempting to murder and maim and rape innocent people, and they were killed by their victims or by people stepping up to defend those victims.

A murder is a homicide that’s unlawful; a self-defense killing is a homicide that’s lawful.

[ Read the SemperVerus article, The 5 Elements of Self-Defense Law ]

Here are 14 more points everyone should understand about guns. Read about them in depth at TheFederalist.com:

Defending Yourself Against Mobs and Riots

What would your immediate reactions be if you found yourself suddenly surrounded by a large crowd of people who are disorderly, loud, angry, and intent on causing trouble and violence? Mobs and riots happen; sometimes with planning and sometimes without warning. As SemperVerus believes, it’s best to be ready in such situations.

What follows is a bullet point compilation of key ideas taken from several self-defense sources. Click the source links to read the articles in full.

[ Read the SemperVerus article, Why Use and How to Choose Pepper Spray ]

■   Active Response Training: Surviving the Mob

  • Be aware of your surroundings and have a plan to stay one step ahead of possible mob formation.
  • Resist the urge to stand around and watch the mob’s display.
  • Always have an evacuation plan for every location you visit.
  • Make sure your children know how to escape crowd violence.
  • Wear shoes (and other clothing) that facilitate the ability to run if necessary.
  • When attending any large public event, you and all of your family members should establish at least two emergency meeting locations: one within the event perimeter and one outside the event.
  • Equip your children with spare car keys, even if they can’t drive. A natural meeting place is the family car and you’ll want your children to be able to seek shelter inside the car if you haven’t yet arrived.
  • Consider carrying and using small impact weapons or pepper spray (OC) for most threats.

Read many more excellent articles on how to survive a mob written by retired police officer Greg Ellifritz of Active Response Training.

Biblical Lessons to Learn De-Escalating Skills

You’ll always prevail against a threat if you’re able to avoid the threat. Proper execution of situational awareness positions you to be aware of warning signs in advance of perilous occurrences, which in turn allows you to maintain enough physical distance as much as possible to stay in control of the outcomes. In his ancient book, The Art of War, late 6th century BC Chinese general, military strategist, writer, and philosopher Sun Tzu wrote, “The greatest victory is that which requires no battle.”

[ Read SemperVerus articles on the topic of being Aware ]

Practicing situational awareness applies to the verbal confrontations you might face as much as to the physical surroundings you encounter every day. The oral skill-set required to keep a heated argument from becoming a deadly altercation is known as de-escalation. It involves knowing what to say and not say, when to say it, and how to say it. That means the coordinated use of our brains and tongues can be just as important in our self-defense strategy as performing defensive shooting drills at the range. An excellent article on the subject is “The Truth About De-Escalation” by John Bostain, president of Command Presence Training, published in Michigan Police Chiefs.

[ Read SemperVerus articles on the topic of spiritual fitness ]

The world’s most influential book, the Bible, has plenty to say about the words that come out of our mouths. Consider the following Scripture verses as a framework to help you in building your de-escalation mindset.

  ▶  Death and life are in the power of the tongue…. Proverbs 18:21

  ▶  Let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger. James 1:19

  ▶  Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him. Proverbs 29:20

  ▶  Whoever restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding. Proverbs 17:27

  ▶  Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin. Proverbs 13:3

[ Read the SemperVerus article, on Concealed Carry Daily Prayer ]