A firearm will get the job done but in certain situations using one can cause significant backlash and even criminal charges that could have been avoided or mitigated by the application of non-lethal force.
Involving a gun in an altercation immediately takes things to a deadly level. Once a gun has been deployed you shouldn’t be thinking about simply wounding or incapacitating your attacker. It becomes a kill or be killed situation.
This is when having a non-lethal defense option, such as pepper spray or a taser/stun gun on your person can come in handy. What if a blindly drunk bar patron has followed you out the door and is weaving down the sidewalk? They may be bumping into fire hydrants, yet they are still a threat.
Does something like this warrant a bullet? Only you can know for sure in that moment, but if you choose a non lethal option read what Scott W. Wagner, in his article, “Why Should You Own a Taser,” at USConcealedCarry.com says about getting hit by a taser:
The experience of being Tased is akin to having a Tyrannosaurus Rex grab you by spinal column and shake you for the longest five seconds of your life! I had no ability to move voluntarily; I was totally incapacitated. Once the current stopped, I think I was also happier than I had ever been in my life! I instantly recovered and felt nothing but relief. Afterward, I made a resolution: I would never work the road as an officer again without a Taser on my belt. I purchased my own X26. (Read more about non-lethal weapons and excessive force here)
This essentially comes down to choosing the right “tool” for the job. No two self defense situations are alike. You may never feel pressured to draw your gun, but still want something at your disposal that can do the job without a bang.
With these types of dilemmas law enforcement professionals can often provide valuable insight for civilians. These men and women don’t carry guns exclusively. Most police today carry not only a gun but pepper spray and often a taser, with good reason.
At the end of the day, if you can prevent harm to yourself while concluding the altercation in a non-lethal manner you are almost certain to come out ahead in more ways than one.