I recently saw a video online of another “tool” to be used in self defense.
It seems that everyone is now trying to capitalize on the perceived growing trend of violent crime. This latest one is a cell phone app. This just falls into a line of other apps that are equally useless.
(I don’t have an iPhone but I’m sure there are just as many of these stupid apps in iTunes as well.)
All of these apps have the same features, and all of them have the same fatal flaw; none of them will stop a threat. Not a single one. They are as useful as a rape whistle when it comes to protecting you. This latest one has one new feature in that it announces to the bad guy that “I’m a useless app that is recording the streetlamp, city bus, and brick wall that the woman holding the phone is aiming at while she desperately tries to get away from you.”
In addition to all of these apps, there are other “tools” that are out there for personal protection, like this one, Sabre Personal Alarm KeyRing.
I understand that the makers of these apps and devices are well intentioned, but the naive notion that any of these devices provides protection is ridiculous. Words are not going to deter an attacker. Cameras are not going to deter an attacker. If they thought rationally then perhaps the threat of police or video evidence would be a deterrent. These individuals have already proven that they are not rational thinkers by their decision to attack someone. At that point there are two things they understand; pain, and the possibility of death. Mostly pain. None of these devices or apps supply a sufficient amount of pain to an attacker to prevent an attack.
Pepper Spray, OC Spray, and Mace are a little bit better. There are some instances where they may not be enough, and depending on the environment using one of these could affect you as well as your attacker. If there are multiple attackers, or any of a number of other possible variables, then this doesn’t work.
Tasers and stun guns are a little bit better than the sprays, but each one has a benefit and drawback. Tasers give you a little bit of distance, which is good. They are also a one time offer, which is not good. If you miss, if the contacts don’t have good separation or don’t penetrate clothes to make good skin contact, that’s it, you don’t get a do over. Stun guns you can use more than once, which is good. The downside is that you sacrifice range in order to get that and you must be within contact distance, which is not good.
Knives have slight edge on the stun gun, but are still contact distance tools. If you can touch them, they can touch you.
So where does that leave us? Guns. Pistols give you range so that you don’t have to be at contact distance in order to apply force and inflict pain. Guns can be used more than once, so you don’t need to bring a taser for everyone attacking you.
If you are ever in a situation where you have to play a game of Rock, Scissors, Dumbass with some idiot intent on doing you harm, please pull something out that is more effective than a phone to protect yourself.