There are a lot of views on self-defense out there. Most of us follow the way of the gun, for one simple reason. The gun is the most efficient and effective self-defense tool one can carry and use.
There are, though, differing opinions on the morals of taking another life. It’s not necessarily an anti-gun or pro-gun standpoint; there are people who simply do not feel they can take another life even in defense of their own life. Others may not have a moral dilemma but have live in states that are preventing them from utilizing their constitutional, natural and God-given right to self-defense. Still others may want options before they turn to their firearm.
All of these people, though, can still have the option of defending themselves. A gun is the best, but not the only self-defense tool.
Here are three alternatives:
1. The Baton
The extendable baton is one great weapon, even though it’s overlooked as a good self-defense weapon. A lot of people really don’t realize how hard these things strike and just how easy you can incapacitate an attacker. The baton is a weapon that has found its way into the duty belts of the vast majority of police officers across the country. The United States Marine Corps trains their troops to use the batons effectively for a non-lethal  crowd control option. The baton is not a weapon to be trifled with.
Batons come in a wide variety of different sizes and quality. There are a ton of junk batons out there. The quickest way to tell if your baton is crap is first by price; an $8 baton at a gun show shouldn’t be trusted to save your life. Like guns, a baton needs to be tailored to the user. Batons range in size from 16 all the way up to 26 inches full extended. Some batons, like this one,  double as a flashlight, which can be useful to carry in a car.
Smaller folks, or those looking to totally conceal a baton, should look for a shorter length. These shorter batons will be easier to carry and easier to conceal. A short baton is not a handicap, and since most close range fights take place in a tight space the baton will be easier to manipulate and use.
To carry a gun most people have to spend at least a few hundred for the gun, and another hundred for the license to carry. Your jurisdiction may require a concealed carry permit to conceal a baton. Keep this in mind. You should also try to attend a self-defense course to learn how to use the baton. Batons are simple, though, and a good hit from one will change most minds.
2. Pepper spray
Another weapon that police tend to carry is a nonlethal OC agent that is supposed to shut down an attacker’s vision. The pain caused from the pepper spray is intense and the loss of vision makes attacking nearly impossible. Pepper spray is also a weapon that rarely requires any kind of permit to carry.
Pepper spray doesn’t require much training, but it requires a defensive mindset. The operator must be prepared to use the weapon and keep it accessible. The spray buried in a purse or lost somewhere in the car is useless. Most pepper sprays are small canister with a limited range, and most are potent enough to change minds. They are also cheap and small enough to pocket carry. If you choose to use one of the little canisters then you should be prepared to carry at least two of them.
Kimber, maker of high quality 1911s , has produced their own brand of pepper blasters. They make two high quality models. Both pepper blasters fire a stream over 13 feet and at 90 miles per hour. The pepper blaster is about the same size as a smart phone and is quite ergonomic. The trigger is in the middle, and a barrel is located above and below the trigger.
The Pepper Blaster 2 is shaped more like an actual handgun, but is a translucent bright red to make sure the Pepper Blaster 2 isn’t confused for an actual firearm. This version is easier to aim and draw, and has sights on the top of the weapon to make aiming easier.
These are premium pepper sprays that are capable of putting pepper spray behind glasses and even behind masks. The best part is that these are less than $50, and each contain two blasts of potent spray. This is what I’d choose if I carried pepper spray.
3. Stun guns
Stun guns are awesome weapons, they are capable of instantly stopping a threat and creating immense pain. Stun guns are easy to use and come in a wide variety of categories. Most states don’t have restrictions on stun guns, or carrying them, but it’s always important to check your local and state laws before you decide to carry one.
Stun guns emit a jilt of high electricity and keep shocking your opponent until you choose to let them go. Most but not all of these weapons take direct contact to use.
The Taser C2 is designed as the civilian variant of the classic police model Taser. This model is capable of firing a cartridge 15 feet and allowing the user to provide a continuous jolt of electricity into an attacker. The C2 can be used without the cartridge as an on contact stun gun. The C2 is designed to be concealable and easy to carry. The weapon also comes in a variety of colors and is very simple to use. The C2 is usually less than $100 dollars and is probably the best stun gun for civilian use out there.
Now if you live in a state where all of the above are illegal and difficult to get, you still have options. Believe it or not there are places that have laws in place to keep a young woman from carrying something as simple as pepper spray, and a young man from carrying a stun gun to defend his family.
So what else can someone carry? For one, the classic Mag light. Mag lights are heavy aluminum flashlights that are packed full with heavy D batteries. These are not made to be anything other than heavy flashlights, and are not usually recognized as weapons.
In fact, an outlaw motorcycle gang even carried Mag lights openly on their waists. For you and me these are a last ditch baton. People have recognized this for some time now and the heavy flashlight has become a favorite for discreet defense.
There are even “flashlights” that look like baseball bats and small batons.  These are popular and are still considered flashlights. These are incredibly effective as weapons and are as tough as nails.
The same goes for the pocket sized self-defense pens. As long as they have an alternative use, like a flashlight or an actual pen, they are unlikely to be banned. Companies like Smith and Wesson produce self-defense pens that are both flashlights and glass breakers.
No matter what you decide to carry as a non-lethal option you should be comfortable and proficient with its use. Whether that’s simply practicing activating it in the dark over and over, or even buying two pepper blasters to learn their limitations, or taking a serious self-defense class with a baton. Be proficient with the weapon and be able to use it.