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  1. unarmedinDC is offline

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    Posted On:
    7/10/2013 3:10pm

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    Pepper Spray in DC??

    Hi,

    I own a firearm for the home. But, concealed carry is not legal in DC.

    Batons/Tasers are also not legal in DC.

    To own pepper spray in DC you have to register it. They allow some chemicals, but don't allow others. I called the office and the guy literally did not know or would not tell me which chemicals/pepper sprays are legal in DC.

    1) Does anyone happen to know which pepper sprays are legal in DC?

    2) What is the best pepper spray in general for urban self defense?

    3) Is there some other self defense tool that I'm not thinking of that might be useful to have?
  2. Permalost is offline
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    Posted On:
    7/10/2013 4:57pm

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    Hey, I started writing an answer but it turned into an essay, so bear with me:
    Quote Originally Posted by unarmedinDC View Post
    1) Does anyone happen to know which pepper sprays are legal in DC?
    Here's what I found with some cursory Googling:
    " “Self-defense spray” means a mixture of a lacrimator including chloroacetophenone, alphachloracetophenone, phenylchloromethylketone, orthochlorobenazalm-alononitrile, or oleoresin capsicum."
    Phenacylchloride is CN gas. Chloro is CS gas. Oleoresin capsicum is OC spray. Pretty much all civilian defense sprays' active ingredients are one or more of those. In fact, I'd say it would be harder to find one that wasn't one of those.

    I've heard that OC is better than the tear gas varieties. This is because while all of them are eye irritants that cause pain, OC is an inflammatory agent, meaning that it will cause the eyes and throat to swell, which is useful even if the person isn't made compliant by pain. (source: Doug Lamb's Pepper Sprays book)

    2) What is the best pepper spray in general for urban self defense?
    As noted above, OC is said to be better because its an inflammatory agent. Aside from the chemical agent differences, there's differences in spray patterns and the vessel itself.

    Pattern: The wider the spray, the less margin of error but lesser range, but since you'll probably be close, a cone seems like a good pattern. You can find cone, fan and stream patterns. They also say that the finer the droplets, the more fast acting and effective, since there's greater surface area I guess.

    Vessel: there's all sorts of spraying devices from rings and pens to small fire-extinguisher type units (for home defense or bears). The trade-off here is that a smaller one is probably harder to index/deploy under stress, but you're more likely to actually carry it around with you. Things that aid in grip retention, like a wrist strap or contoured handle, are most likely a good thing.

    Another consideration is that better sprayers can accomodate practice/test canisters, so you can actually practice with them and make sure your thing is in working order. I test fired a can of mace from a cop and it had 0% pressure.

    I think the pepper gun is a cool one:

    Small, allows dummy canisters, good grip, easy to aim, has a laser sight, and looks like a gun. A bad guy mistaking it for a firearm is probably a good thing.

    3) Is there some other self defense tool that I'm not thinking of that might be useful to have?
    Someone submitted this idea to me a while back: if you're gonna carry self defense gadgets around in anticipation of violence, a cheap mouthpiece is one of the lightest and most useful thing you could carry. I'm not sure if I agree with him but its an interesting point that I never see mentioned. But good luck looking like the lowly nonagressor after a fight where you put in a mouthpiece.

    Can you carry a knife? If so, do you think you could get past the mental aversion to cutting/puncturing through another human being? You mentioned you have a firearm for home defense so you've probably considered this before. Mostly though, you'll find that its a useful thing and its good being the Knife Guy when someone needs something cut. I recommend a decent sized locking knife that looks and functions as a utility knife- you don't want to have to justify carrying around your Special Forces Ambush Carotid Slicer to a coworker or judge. Spyderco is good about making great ergonomic utility knives that look innocent but would make gnarly weapons.

    If you're a dapper gent with a sense of style you might consider a cane. Cold Steel makes nice ones for all types- Monopoly guys, Teddy Roosevelt wannabes, or old African guys.
  3. DarkPhoenix is offline
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    Posted On:
    7/11/2013 9:43am

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    As Permalost said, look into what the knife laws are for DC. I am assuming they may be pretty stringent. As he stated, Spyderco makes some civilian friends knives, but also look into the Benchmade Griptilian or Mini Griptilian. They are great knives for every day care, and will work great in a pinch, should you need to defend yourself.
    Quote Originally Posted by Holy Moment View Post
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  4. Cassius is online now
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    Posted On:
    7/11/2013 7:10pm

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    Last time I checked it was 3 inches or less:

    Title 22-4514(b)
    "No person shall within the District of Columbia possess, with intent to use unlawfully against another, an imitation pistol, or a dagger, dirk, razor, stiletto, or knife with a blade longer than 3 inches, or other dangerous weapon"

    I carry a benchmade mini griptillian when I go into the city.
    "No. Listen to me because I know what I'm talking about here." -- Hannibal
  5. unarmedinDC is offline

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    Posted On:
    7/12/2013 10:30am

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cassius View Post
    Last time I checked it was 3 inches or less:

    Title 22-4514(b)
    "No person shall within the District of Columbia possess, with intent to use unlawfully against another, an imitation pistol, or a dagger, dirk, razor, stiletto, or knife with a blade longer than 3 inches, or other dangerous weapon"

    I carry a benchmade mini griptillian when I go into the city.
    The only thing I am worried about with a knife is you can't pull it unless the other person is armed too. So if Gunman X pulls his strap on me, I would be hesitant to pull my knife on him. And if all he's doing is beating me with his fists (which I doubt would happen since I'm bad ass lol) I can't pull the knife because that would put the onus of the results (murder/attempted murder) on me.

    I almost got arrested once in DC for carrying a switchblade... cops pulled me over for no reason (other than me being in the projects)... asked to search the car... I said no. They said get out we're searching the car. They found a switchblade and we're about to lock me up when no joke some guy robbed the foodmart/liquor store about a block away and the owner and perp both came running out the police said DONT EVER LET US SEE U AROUND HERE AGAIN (my mom lives two blocks away so yeah kinda improbable) and then went after the store robber (taking my knife with them.)

    The only situation I could see me stabbing somebody is those daggone hipster bike riders... who move here from their pretty burbs gentrifying the city and think it's cute to bike around town holding up traffic... one time one was trying to cut through traffic (between two cars) and didn't like how close we were. He cussed at my dad and brandished a some kind of bike tool (I guess to say he's here he's queer and he's not going to take it). I begged my dad to follow him so I could curb stomp him, but he wouldn't. I have pretty bad rage issues.

    That's another reason I'm concerned about carrying a knife. I would pretty much be wishing someone would give me a reason to use it. and yes that's a terrible thing to say. But when someone gives my dad/mom the finger or cusses them (they're elderly) or pulls some bullshit when I'm with my kid I lose it completely.

    Maybe I just need to learn to control myself and get both a <3" knife and pepper spray to be most adequately prepared as possible.
  6. unarmedinDC is offline

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    Posted On:
    7/12/2013 10:33am

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    Permalost thanks for the great response you lost me at the chemistry lol But I did take away that OC is the best stuff. Thanks!
  7. Permalost is offline
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    Posted On:
    7/12/2013 11:25am

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    Quote Originally Posted by unarmedinDC View Post
    That's another reason I'm concerned about carrying a knife. I would pretty much be wishing someone would give me a reason to use it. and yes that's a terrible thing to say. But when someone gives my dad/mom the finger or cusses them (they're elderly) or pulls some bullshit when I'm with my kid I lose it completely.
    That really is something to consider. You could easily ruin your life like that. But consider this: the higher up the force ladder you go, the more hesitant you will be to use it, but it works the other way too: you might not want to shoot someone for pissing you off, but would you be willing to pepper spray the **** out of them? The answer for a good number of people is "probably". Just like there's less of a psychological gap between punching someone and stabbing them.

    On a related note: this is why pepper spray has become attractive to criminals as a weapon (that, and its not likely to lead to assault with a deadly weapon, like a knife or gun or bat). When I was in college, a guy looked down from his dorm and saw a guy breaking into his car. He went down with a friend to confront the thief. The thief pulls out pepper spray and gets them both with it before running off.
  8. unarmedinDC is offline

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    Posted On:
    7/12/2013 1:08pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by Permalost View Post
    That really is something to consider. You could easily ruin your life like that. But consider this: the higher up the force ladder you go, the more hesitant you will be to use it, but it works the other way too: you might not want to shoot someone for pissing you off, but would you be willing to pepper spray the **** out of them? The answer for a good number of people is "probably". Just like there's less of a psychological gap between punching someone and stabbing them.

    On a related note: this is why pepper spray has become attractive to criminals as a weapon (that, and its not likely to lead to assault with a deadly weapon, like a knife or gun or bat). When I was in college, a guy looked down from his dorm and saw a guy breaking into his car. He went down with a friend to confront the thief. The thief pulls out pepper spray and gets them both with it before running off.
    Yeah that was pretty smart on the thief's part.

    I was in cuffs once for allegedly shooting a gun when I shouldn't have but no shells were found and there were other factors involved where I was released where I could have just as easily not been. But I was morally the situation felt THAT dangerous.

    I also scared off kids who were breaking into my car once with a gun. I had learned by then not to fire (the whole defense of property being illegal and all). Still had to pay for the window. Good times.

    I don't want to ruin my life with a knife. But the knife might be necessary. We were generally armed in the club in case a Drake/Chris Brown situation broke out. There were always killings outside the club but I've been in clubs when there were killings inside as well and the doors were locked and we were all detained until they found whoever they were looking for.

    I've pulled a knife and didn't have to use it because the bad guy was swayed to go away.

    I'm super off topic with a lot of this stuff but I also agree strongly with the whole force ladder thing you put forth.

    I think I'd rather stick to the spray for the reasons you mentioned. I don't really trust myself with a knife. If we had followed the biker and he had brandished his wrench or whatever I would have done my best to stab him and I'd be in jail because we followed him.

    I just hate how these bikers act so tough with the elderly and citizens downtown/in safe areas but are always crying about getting their asses kicked/robbed on the back trails in neighborhoods they shouldn't be biking in. Maybe it's not the same bikers. And that's probably not a cool thing to say. But I doubt the kid who cursed/gestured at my elderly father in broad daylight downtown would have done any such thing to a pack of teens in the hood. But that's a whole nother conversation that's probably just pent up rage of not having been able to do anything in that situation. Pretty pathetic on my end lol.

    I also prayed for the day one of those punk thugs on the subway would try me but as wild as they were it never happened. Again tremendously immature perhaps. But they act like wild animals. It was awful getting on that train everyday I felt like Michael Douglas in "Falling Down." I felt like if it could have kicked off and somebody would have pulled out their phone and taped it, it would have been a lesson to school aged punks and "gangsters" not to **** with hard working people on their way home.

    At the end of the day, I feel like fists are the best. The whole live to fight another day thing and all, staying out of prison and all. I've trained with/sparred with pros and fought amateur around the country. I also have held CC in other states, I've carried knives.

    I think with my anger issues the best case scenario is pepper spray.

    Even if a guy did pull a knife on me (which he'd have to do for me to legally pull my knife) I'd just give him my credit/debit cards etc. rather than pull out a knife on my own and get in a knife fight. (Never been in one) I can cancel the cards vs. getting stabbed.

    Batons and all that other **** are illegal where I live.

    My thinking with the pepper spray is I could use it if I had to and then decide to continue the attack or run from that point.

    Also in re-reading this post I'm pretty ashamed of myself but I wrote it, so I guess I'll post it anyway.
  9. It is Fake is offline
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    Posted On:
    7/12/2013 2:55pm

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    Seriously dude, you need to go get anger management classes and a psyche evaluation. No, this isn't meant as an insult. To be in fear of taking someone's life and going to jail over a "flipped bird" or other inane **** is ridiculous.

    No, I don't care if your parents are elderly, mine are as well, and people are just stupid. You need to take care of that before spending money on anything else IMO.
    Quote Originally Posted by Permalost View Post
    t. But consider this: the higher up the force ladder you go, the more hesitant you will be to use it,
    I disagree wholeheartedly, especially in this situation.
  10. Permalost is offline
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    pro nonsense self defense

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    Posted On:
    7/12/2013 3:06pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by It is Fake View Post
    I disagree wholeheartedly, especially in this situation.
    How so?
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