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Pepper Spray vs. Stun Guns - Which Is More Effective?

Pepper spray is a long-range self-defense spray (up to 15 feet). The defender holds the spray canister towards the attackerís face and empties the canister. It is messy, but effective.

The active ingredient (oleoresin capsicum) immediately dilates the attackerís optical capillaries, causing the eyes to slam shut; the OC also inflames the lining in the bronchial tubes, making it hard for the attacker to breathe. The effect can last several minutes -- plenty of time for the would-be victim to get away and call the police.

A stun gun does not shoot anything. It is about the size of a cell phone and has two metal prongs on one end. Much like a cattle prod, the two prongs are thrust into the attackerís body or clothes. A trigger is pulled. Immediately an electric shock courses through the attackerís body. The charge released can be anything from 50,000 to 625,000 volts at a rate of three milliamps. Thatís enough to cause the muscles to spasm involuntarily, and violently, so that the attacker loses all control of his body.

The longer the stun gun is pressed into the attacker, the more convincing the results will be. For full effect, you have to hold the stun gun to him for a good five seconds. During this time, the assailant will not be able to wrest the weapon away from you, because he is being electrocuted. And if your body touches his, the charge will not transfer to you. Ultimately, the shock will not kill him (it canít even affect a pacemaker) but it will allow you to incapacitate him and get away with your life.

The only problem with this is that it only works at very close range. If you know that someone is trying to hurt you, but they are still a few feet away, why wait? Thatís why itís the more popular self-defense weapon today.

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