I'm buying a female friend of mine a "Defense Keychain"? Which should I get?
There was a robbery on campus earlier this week, and my female friend is getting freaked out because she occasionally walks alone across campus. So I'm going to buy her one of those keychains that can be used for defense. Please check them out and tell me which one is best for her to use. Don't judge by looks, I want to get her the best defense weapon that is also a keychain.
1) Heart Attack Keychain
2) Cat Keychain
3) Stinger Keychain
5) Ninja Keychain
I'd steer clear of all of these, honestly.
These keychains all require the wielder to either swing and strike, or attempt small joint manipulation. Given the adrenaline rush and pure fear that's created in an attack situation, she's already going to be behind the 8 ball in losing fine motor skill. The attacker is probably nowhere near as afraid as she will be, and is definitely not surprised by the situation. These weapons can be nullified as simply as her bare fist would be and, if the attacker is on the ball, or a reasonably-decent fighter, then she's got a useless weapon.
I'd opt for two things for her. One is a good quality pepper spray, as it extends her striking range and allows her to deliver a distracting and / or incapacitating surprise, before she's within striking range. This also continues to keep the attacker off-balance, partially-blinded, and possibly choking, while she runs away, where the keychain weapons do not serve either purpose. Train her, though, that if she feels she needs to deploy her OC spray, to pull it and spray it. Pointing and warning the attacker simply serves as an opportunity for them to relieve her of it.
Go for something that disperses a fog, rather than a stream. Though the stream has a longer range, the fog type sprays provide a much larger impact area, and commonly inflame the mucous membranes in the nose and throat. This is critical. I've sprayed, and been sprayed by, both and I can say with certainty that if I've got hold of you, or am close enough to sense you, I can still fight blind. I can NOT fight, while I'm gasping for breath. It makes a bigger difference than you know. The two best OC sprays that I know of are Cap-Stun by Zarc Int'l, and Punch II, by Aerko Int'l. Both make keychain-sized units, though you'll probably be turned away by Zarc if you're not law enforcement.
Make sure and check your State laws for OC spray, as some define a maximum canister size for civilian use, generally between 1/2 and 3/4 ounces.
Get her a keychain unit, but also a quick detatch, so she can use her keys separately if she wants. The second thing I would get her is two good, strong, steel keyrings, about the size of quarters, and a short (maybe 9" long) steel chain, similar to those on a biker wallet. This allows her to stick a finger through one ring and wield the entire set of keys like a flail, which will give her a reach advantage as well as an advantage in striking force, while not being long enough to allow the keys to smack her in the face at arm's length.
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