Shopping for Stun Guns

Damsel in Defense Personal Protection Products

Wednesday, October 9, 2013
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I was 12 years old, riding home from school on an L.A. city bus, when I noticed the middle-aged man staring at me. When I got off the bus, he did, too. As I walked, he followed 30 feet behind me. When I turned a corner, he turned, too. I picked up my pace. So did he.

I didn’t know what he wanted. But I knew, like an animal knows it’s being hunted, that I was in danger.

Starshine Roshell

Unarmed in an era before cell phones, I considered my options. Break into a run, try to beat him to my house, lock the door, and call the police? No — he’d know where I lived. Bolt to a stranger’s front door and start banging, hoping someone was home? Dive through the hedges up ahead and hide? Or start screaming “HELP!” and crying like the little girl I was trying really hard not to be?

When I think back on that day, I get angry. What enrages me most is that I can’t even remember how I made it home safely. All I remember is being terrified, humiliated, certain that I couldn’t overpower him, uncertain if I could outsmart him — and filled with a resentment that’s never really gone away.

It’s been a long time since I’ve felt threatened by a middle-aged man. But last week, I was invited to a party billed as “a girls’ night that could save your life.” It was a casual sales presentation for Damsel in Defense personal protection products — think Pampered Chef but with pink weapons that pack a wallop: the Tiny Takedown stun gun. The Pouch O’ Pepper spray. And a very pretty, palm-sized, keychain-ready martial arts weapon used to “jab soft tissue or break bones.”

The tools are supposed make women feel safer walking through the world — or at least through a dark parking lot late at night. But to learn about them is to acknowledge all the infuriating ways we’re vulnerable to attack.

The sprays promise to incapacitate even drunk or drugged-out assailants and will stain a bad guy’s face with UV die so cops can identify him for up to a week. But you shouldn’t use them in close quarters, like in an elevator or during a car-jacking — and as Kathy, our Damsel distributor, reminded us, “We don’t get to dictate the terms of our attack.” For up-close encounters, you need a stun gun, which requires direct skin contact with your enemy and comes with a wrist strap attached to a disable pin so he can’t grab your weapon and use it against you.

“It’s all less than lethal,” Kathy said. “We don’t want you to kill anyone; we don’t want you to go to jail. We just want them to release you.”

You don’t need a license to own this stuff, but I’m not convinced I want it. Would I have felt safer as a 12-year-old with 4.5 million volts in my backpack? Maybe. Would I have been safer? Hard to say.

More than 600 women are sexually assaulted every day in the U.S. And Kathy said her product parties often become confessionals with guests sharing personal stories of domestic abuse and random assaults.

All of this does little to allay my anger. I’m pissed off that when I’m hiking and pass a guy on the trail who appears to be meditating, I have to yank out my iPod earbuds and check back over my shoulder for several uneasy minutes. I’m frustrated that the things I say to comfort myself — my neighborhood is safe, I’m smart, my dog would bark, I’m tall, I’m loud, I’m not afraid — are nonsense.

But I didn’t buy a weapon at the party that night, for several reasons. The good reason: I’m afraid my kids would mess with it. The bad reason: I don’t like to think about needing one. The real reason: I may not be packing any personal protection in my purse, but I’m carrying some anger with me everywhere I go. And the only thing worse than an angry woman is an angry woman who’s armed.

Starshine Roshell is the author of Wife on the Edge.


Independent Discussion Guidelines

Anger achieves nothing, empowerment does.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
October 9, 2013 at 4:05 a.m. (Suggest removal)

It is really a disgusting state of affairs when women have to live in fear and cannot walk around without looking over their shoulders. This sucks!

geeber (anonymous profile)
October 9, 2013 at 4:24 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I had a friend that was kidnapped and murdered by a psychopath who currently sits on death row. Her crime was leaving her automobile unlocked as she dashed in to a Pet Store for bird seed. She left a beautiful 4 year-old child behind.

If you buy the stun gun make sure you know how to use it, practice and more practice, it won't work without developing muscle memory. Empowerment is the key and without getting paranoid, situational awareness.

Bad guys like to hide under your car and cut your Achilles Tendon as you open your car door, you become helpless, look under your car as you approach. Use a two button unlock on your car. One press to open the drivers door, when you are alone and a second press to open the other doors when you are not. Get in your automobile and drive away, don't fuss around in the car for several minutes, you become a target.

Never leave a drink unattended in a public place, never go to the bathroom alone.

Buddy up in public.

It may anger you to have to do this, you need to get over it and develop awareness without getting paranoid about it. Earbuds are fine but developing a sense of nature would be better, many birds and other creatures and natural sounds that could fill your trail adventures.

Listen more and trust your gut.

howgreenwasmyvalley (anonymous profile)
October 9, 2013 at 8:53 a.m. (Suggest removal)

like greenvalley said unless you have consistent and regular hand to hand combat training these "tools" are a false sense of security, including hand guns. if you're going to carry a firearm you need regular live fire or simulated live fire training too. according to the statistics assaults will occur when you are within 7 meters of your attacker, it takes the average grown man less than 1.5 seconds to cover that distance, the same amount of time it takes to present and ready a concealed firearm. chew on that for a bit.

StockiestCastle (anonymous profile)
October 9, 2013 at 12:21 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Starshine, I'm right along with you. I stand 6'2", weigh in at over 200 lbs, can bench press 350 with ease and am armed with at least a Government Issued pen. When I worked graveyards at Federal buildings I was armed with a 15 round, 9mm Beretta, semi-auto pistol, a 30 round, 5.56 mm Assault rifle M-4 or a Semi-Auto 9 round,12 gauge Tactical shotgun, Pepper spray, and Tactical combat knife, wore a level 4A Body armor with Steel rifle plates and a PASGT helmet w/ bullet resistant face shield, day in and day out, right after 9-11-01. I am now armored against pistol attacks and at a moments notice rifle attacks. I have witnessed a jet liner smash into the Pentagon, a pair of crazies take pot-shots at people filling up their cars gas tanks (Beltway Snipers), and recently was housed inside my workplace due to a crazy man with a shotgun kill several Government workers at a Military installation (Navy Yard Shooter). I am always carrying a Weapon, practicing Situation Awareness, watching everyone's hands, and being mentally prepared to take a life in defense of my own. We do live in a most hostile world no matter what gender you are, your always viewed as a victim first until you fight back.

dou4now (anonymous profile)
October 9, 2013 at 1:45 p.m. (Suggest removal)
Video Mandated by the Federal Government for all Employees whether Contractor or Government to watch and run drills with.

dou4now (anonymous profile)
October 9, 2013 at 1:49 p.m. (Suggest removal)

What's really disgusting here is that feminist women never seem to be willing to grow beyond the damsel in distress stage and grow up. Vigilance is essential for all human animals to survive in what will always be a wild woolly world. Women do not have some speshul right to be protected from men more than men do from women. (This particularly holds for feminist gender bigots who constantly attack the human rights of all men as a Sex.) It's also important that women not to display their sexual assets like baboons in heat or become drunk as obviously dangerous settings...since rape is a crime of sex not power.
Besides, men suffer many times more violence from both women and men than do damsels in distress but, unlike feminist bigots, we are not permitted to whine about our victimhood ad nauseam...thanks to shame from the Coddled Sex. For instance, a college football player was recently false accused of rape simply because he refused to have a LTR with the vile woman who planned to destroy his life using female vice/state proxy violence/social violence. His response was that going through that hell made him a better person. Imagine that kind of heroic maturity coming from our lovely local damsels. And imagine Starshine reporting on the huge number of men in SB who have been falsely accused by women, who have suffered serious DV committed by women and who have endured the bigoted feminist Age of Misandry without blaming all women for the thought crimes of the minority of filthy feminist fascists....who spread poisonous anti-male hatred in the name of 'equality' or 'justice". For those who really want to know what it's like to be hunted (in large part thanks to hateful feminist rape culture hysteria) go see The Hunt...a fine Danish film...but in the meantime enough with the endless whining about nothing or next to nothing, pretty please.

Sealion (anonymous profile)
October 10, 2013 at 11:42 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Another thing that would enlightening to talk about here is that women tend feel far more fear more than do men...given the same levels of risk. It's a sexed (read biological) characteristic or so says Laura Kipnis in The Female Thing. The important thing for men to learn is to let women feel their fear without jumping in to play hero as chivalrous but foolish unpaid Disposable Sex bodyguards. That way women will begin to understand genuine equality at a visceral level...and will be less inclined to play poor little victim saint...since it won't work. And as soon as traitorous gender bigots like Biden or Obama get schooled on genuine parity between the Sexes, maybe we can keep Uncle Sam from protecting the Coddled 'Gender' and ignoring the Disposable Sex as well. Imagine a ViolenceAgainstPeopleAct that acknowledges female domestic violence predators (like Jodi Arias), imposes equal justice for DV perps without regard to sex or gender...and is free from poisonous feminist VAWomanA propaganda.

Sealion (anonymous profile)
October 10, 2013 at 12:02 p.m. (Suggest removal)

We'd all be really upset if anything ever happened to you. Please get a stun gun or something like it and take a course so you are really adept at using it. Half a century ago as a pre teen me and my friends would wander Times Square and other seedy parts of Manhattan and the subways without any fear ( all of us boys). I would be loathe to let any 12 year old wander alone or in a small group in those same places nowadays. Times have changed and in many ways for the worse.

Noletaman (anonymous profile)
October 11, 2013 at 10:38 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Pepper spray is a fairly portable, safe and effective option as well.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
October 11, 2013 at 1:11 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I recommend knife training as an alternative.

"But to learn about them is to acknowledge all the infuriating ways we’re vulnerable to attack."

Starshine, there's no need to feel that way because you're a woman. I mean, I get that women are the physically weaker sex, normally, but ANYONE can be attacked for cash, items to pawn/sell, or just because the attacker is (literally) crazy.

per dou4now: "...mentally prepared to take a life in defense of my own."

It may be easier for some to modify that thought to "mentally prepared to defend your body", in considering it's not necessary to consider the use of (potentially) "lethal force" as lethal. For example, I've known of police trained to shoot "to stop", not "to kill". On the surface that may seem semantic, but I think some will see it as a significant difference. [Also, if it came to a court appearance, the desire "to stop" is probably favorable to say in front of a judge/jury, regardless of who the predator and defender were in the situation.]

Overall, however, I'm in accordance with HGWMV and dou4now regarding "situational awareness". And despite all of his axe-griding, Sealion also poetically said, "Vigilance is essential for all human animals to survive in what will always be a wild woolly world."

equus_posteriori (anonymous profile)
October 17, 2013 at 12:55 p.m. (Suggest removal)

dou4now: You've destroyed any credibility by claiming you "witnessed a jet liner hit the Pentagon and a crazy man with a shotgun kill several Government workers at a Military installation". The missile attack on the Penta was broadcast live by a long-term Montecito resident and retired military commander and attorney who was working in the Pentagon on 9/11. He witnessed the missile strike, called LA AM radio station KNX 1070, and his phone call was patched through to broadcast. I heard the Twin Towers and Pentagon attacks and his KNX broadcast live. He later had a huge blow-up with G. Bush over the false flag, and basically walked off the job, but is still alive, unlike some other whistle-blowers, including the FBI Special Agent in Charge of the Miami, Houston, and LA FBI field offices (in sequence), Ted Gunderson, There are also many videos online showing no aircraft, and a video from a Pentagon security camera released in 2006 showing no aircraft.
The Navy Yard shootings were a false flag response to Navy JAG (judge advocate general) intentions to arrest Obama for attacks on Syria w/no congressional approval. Video broadcast by major networks showed a victim of an unrelated incident in addition to the Navy Yard victims. The low-frequency psy-ops the shooter referred to are described in Bioeffects of Selected Non-Lethal Weapons, declassified Dec 2006, and many other military documents.
Many military and intelligence personnel have refused to fire on unarmed US civilians, increasing the numbers of UN and other non-US troops constituting FEMA.
The US government's murder of US citizens in the process of conducting false-flag operations with the intent to "brainwash" (Eric Holder, 1995; US citizens against guns, and the lack of any moral or ethical principles concerning the value of human life that's apparent in US government employees, is an excellent reason to resist any attempt by the government to disarm US citizens.
The real danger we're facing isn't guns or an authoritarian government, it's fear of speaking the truth.

14noscams (anonymous profile)
October 19, 2013 at 11:46 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I used a stun gun on myself on one occasion. I shocked when felt how powerful the jolt was.

dolphinpod14 (anonymous profile)
October 20, 2013 at 7:07 a.m. (Suggest removal)

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