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Thread: Flashlight For Self-Defense

  1. #1

    Default Flashlight For Self-Defense

    I always carry around a flashlight in my pocket (for paranoia reasons) yet I've never really needed to use it. Apparently a flashlight of 50 lumen or more can blind and disorient an assailant with night adapted vision. Is this true? Has anybody actually encountered a mugger, or something other, and escaped safely with the flick of their flashlight?

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* half-watt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flashlight For Self-Defense

    Quote Originally Posted by lightemittingharry View Post
    I always carry around a flashlight in my pocket (for paranoia reasons) yet I've never really needed to use it. Apparently a flashlight of 50 lumen or more can blind and disorient an assailant with night adapted vision. Is this true? Has anybody actually encountered a mugger, or something other, and escaped safely with the flick of their flashlight?

    would that be a slow-footed mugger without a gun that is being referred to?

    more seriously, no. haven't been in that situation while having a flashlight. i too would be interested in other's first-hand experiences.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Flashlight For Self-Defense

    Maybe somebody with slow wits and a short knife -- yeah... So anybody got any stories? No?

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    Flashaholic* ACMarina's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flashlight For Self-Defense

    I tried it with my brother and his wrestling team. They stood at about 10 yards, I blasted them in the eyes, and they tried to grab me. They were unarmed, and I'm glad - they all got close enough to grab me pretty easily.

    I tried with several types of light, and the only one that really messed with them was a mini-HID, and it wasn't one that instantly striked, so it would only be of limited use in a situation like that. Of course, the 4D Maglite to the stomach worked pretty well, too..
    I love my Al-PD

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    Default Re: Flashlight For Self-Defense

    I would guess that if you're to the point of blinding somebody with your flashlight for any length of time..one might as well hit 'em in the eyes again with the 'bear spray' in your other hand...and then run! (or)
    Last edited by Rzr800; 12-09-2007 at 08:03 PM.

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    Default Re: Flashlight For Self-Defense

    if you intend on carrying a light for self-defense, i advise you carry a small one, so it won't hurt as much when your attacker shoves it up your a**
    .
    "a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any particular individual citizen." -Warren vs District of Columbia, after three women were raped, beaten for 14 hours and police never came after numerous 911 calls were placed

  7. #7

    Default Re: Flashlight For Self-Defense

    Quote Originally Posted by 270winchester View Post
    if you intend on carrying a light for self-defense, i advise you carry a small one, so it won't hurt as much when your attacker shoves it up your a**
    .
    hahahaha sorry but this made me LMAO!

  8. #8

    Default Re: Flashlight For Self-Defense FORGET IT

    Do yourself a favor. If you are concerned about self defense get yourself a can of old fashioned spray mace in a can. Not the newer pepper spray but the old fashioned mace using CN powder. I am issued it and I don't even carry the new stuff. You need to fire it like a squirt gun and hit them in the eyes, SPELL THAT AMBUSH. Thats something you won't achieve with a mugger. The old type are an aerosol spray and get all over them which is what you want. Believe me on this its very true. Think of a squirt gun that is what you have with the pepper spray. Go with the old Mace its more foolproof which is what you want. OJT with this stuff is not what you want unless you carry a gun for a living like I do. You want to hose the guy and get out of there fast. Shining a light in his eyes won't do a thing except give him another excuse to give you a beating.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Flashlight For Self-Defense

    BUMP.
    How many lumens does it take to essentially blind him for a few seconds? If an EDC-able flashlight can be used for self defense, how much $$? Thanks

  10. #10
    *Flashaholic* Monocrom's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flashlight For Self-Defense

    Quote Originally Posted by kimjune01 View Post
    BUMP.
    How many lumens does it take to essentially blind him for a few seconds? If an EDC-able flashlight can be used for self defense, how much $$? Thanks
    Okay.... As someone with actual self-defense training, here's the deal:

    You can forget about blinding an attacker for a few seconds. That's not happening. That's way too much time. More like a second, perhaps two. If we're talking about a very poorly lit place, I wouldn't trust anything below 200 lumens out the front. (Not those over inflated emitter lumens that most companies quote).

    Main problem is that many places have too much ambient lighting. Street lights, interior lights in clubs, lobby lights in apartment complexes. You can forget about blinding your attacker with a blast of light from your EDC. Ironically, the only truly dark places you'll encounter in a city is on the express way.... Where the overhead lights are sometimes turned off because greedy city politicians who ride in limos have no clue that car headlights are sometimes not enough for drivers to be able to see!

    Want a defensive light? Get one that is made from aluminum and is long enough to take two CR123 cells. I recommend a model with a pocket-carry clip and no strike-bezel. (If the head is made of aluminum, you don't need a strike-bezel). With the head extending below the bottom of your fist, you now have an excellent hammer-fist enhancer. With a 3-cell light in a open-top holster, you have an excellent yawara stick.

    Don't know what those terms mean? Find out, get trained. A flashlight is not a magic wand that will protect you. Get training! Then get a good light.
    "The World is insane. With tiny spots of sanity, here and there... Not the other way around!" - John Cleese.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Flashlight For Self-Defense

    Okay here's the deal.... I work in a niteclub and have used the light in the eyes trick with great success. You gotta move though, blinding light in the eyes and like Mono said you might get a 2 second jump on someone. That's in the club though. On the street it's my G19. you wouldn't use a gun to light your way down a dark alley, don't use a flashlight to defend your life. Get trained,practice,practice,practice, remove yourself from any sitiuation if you can as soon as possible. As far as the light,the brighter the better for that purpose but if you try the light trick and it don't work what will you do then?

  12. #12

    Default Re: Flashlight For Self-Defense

    Thanks a lot guys for the advice. I appreciate that.
    The only reason that I want to use a flashlight above anything else is that light in their eyes doesn't hurt them. I don't like being hurt so I'm sure the attacker doesn't want to get hurt, either(my Christian pacifism comes with a big debate but let's not go there). Given that guns, maces, peppersprays and brass knuckles are illegal here in Canada along with self-defense knives, I just want a safer alternative. The attacker will not have a gun on them and if all they want is the cash in my pocket, then I'll try my best to avoid physical conflict. Having said that, I think the hammerfist thing is a good idea. If you have anything to recommend within my boundaries of self-defense, please tell me.
    So, how much does 200+ lumens edc cost? I'm willing to carry around anything near the size of the A2. thanks

  13. #13

    Default Re: Flashlight For Self-Defense

    I assume Tasers are illegal in Canada?

    My question is: What is your 100 yard sprint time?

    Do you have anybody you might want to protect, such as your wife or children?

    If you are a sprinter, by yourself, you may very well be able to simply run for it. Otherwise, I think you are best to give the robber what he demands--because you simply can't win a fight without the means to do so.

    I think anybody shining a flashlight at a bad guy, without other more effective action is requesting serious injury or death.

  14. #14
    *Flashaholic* Monocrom's Avatar
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    Sick2 Re: Flashlight For Self-Defense

    Quote Originally Posted by kimjune01 View Post
    Thanks a lot guys for the advice. I appreciate that.
    The only reason that I want to use a flashlight above anything else is that light in their eyes doesn't hurt them. I don't like being hurt so I'm sure the attacker doesn't want to get hurt, either(my Christian pacifism comes with a big debate but let's not go there). Given that guns, maces, peppersprays and brass knuckles are illegal here in Canada along with self-defense knives, I just want a safer alternative. The attacker will not have a gun on them and if all they want is the cash in my pocket, then I'll try my best to avoid physical conflict. Having said that, I think the hammerfist thing is a good idea. If you have anything to recommend within my boundaries of self-defense, please tell me.
    So, how much does 200+ lumens edc cost? I'm willing to carry around anything near the size of the A2. thanks
    Tell me you did not just post that!!



    Oh for God's sake.... Listen, if you end up remembering only one thing from my posts several years down the road, let it be the following; You have way the Hell the wrong mindset!

    I'm not talking about your religion, I mean your mindset. One of the best ways to tell if a self-defense instructor is "for real" or just a con-man is to listen to what he says. If he only tells you $#^% you want to hear, don't waste your money taking his classes. If he tells you he's going to show you how to defend yourself without hurting your attacker, then he's a f**king con-man! Effectively defending yourself against an attacker, without hurting him.... That's like two gay men trying get each other pregnant. Not gonna happen!

    We're talking about someone who is trying to murder you. Do you understand that part? We're talking about someone who doesn't give a damn about you in any way, shape, or form. He doesn't care if you have a family. He doesn't care if you have children. He doesn't care if you're the only one taking care of your elderly mom or dad. He doesn't care that he's about to make your wife a widow. He doesn't care that your children will never see daddy again.

    All he cares about is perhaps that nice watch that you're wearing on your wrist. And while it's unlikely that an attacker will have a gun, in Canada, I'm willing to bet there are no restrictions on buying large kitchen cutlery up where you live. Hell, even a small steak knife will do the job. All you need is two pieces of cardboard and some tape for an improvised sheath. And if you're a bit too slow in handing over your nice watch, your attacker will have no problem at all in stabbing you and taking it off your wrist. That's reality! That's what your life is worth to him.

    Here's another scenario, you hand over your wallet with your credit cards in it, and he still kills you! Why? If he leaves you alive, first thing you'll do is cancel those cards. If you're dead, he can sell your credit cards for about $200 more on the Blackmarket because it will take several hours before anyone realizes that your cards are being used by someone other than you. That's what your Life is worth to an attacker.... an extra $200.

    Yes, sometimes you're just dealing with a mugger. Sometimes, all they want is your money. But if they pull any sort of weapon on you, you still have no clue if they'll use it. Sometimes you have to trust your gut. If it's only about money, give it to him. A good idea is to carry your money in a cheap moneyclip. You get mugged, pull out the clip, tell him that's all the money you have, then toss the clip in one direction while you run screaming like a lunatic in the other. Now; if you're a mugger, what would you do? Go after the screaming lunatic who has no money on him? Or walk over to the nice, quiet, moneyclip that's just laying a few feet away, waiting to be picked up.

    The good thing is, you're not a woman. So, you don't have to worry about getting raped. But what if you're out with your wife or girlfriend, or having lunch with your daughter or mom. And two or three attackers come along.... and they're less interested in you.... You really going to care whether or not you hurt them?

    Least expensive light that's capable of putting out about 200 lumens out the front is a Fenix T1. The clip is less than great, but it's functional and allows instant access to the light. Surefire will soon be coming out with their new and improved U2 models. The Optimus can produce 200 lumens on high, the Invictus does 400 lumens on high. I will be purchasing an Invictus soon after it comes out.

    But like I said earlier, using your light to actually strike an attacker is going to be far more useful than how many lumens it puts out. Based on that, the A2 is a very good choice. It's long enough, the clip allows instant access to the light without fumbling with a holster or trying to dig the light out of the bottom of a pocket.

    Don't misinterpret my post. I'm not saying you're stupid. I am saying that your mindset of not hurting an attacker who's trying to murder you, that's stupid. But that can be changed.
    Last edited by Monocrom; 03-09-2008 at 06:48 PM. Reason: Typo.
    "The World is insane. With tiny spots of sanity, here and there... Not the other way around!" - John Cleese.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Flashlight For Self-Defense

    Whoa....
    Best flashlight self defense post i've seen on CPF in a while

    Another tip i've seen in travel guides is that of a decoy wallet,
    you stuff the wallet full of zimbabwe dollars (or other cheap currency), old/cancelled credit cards and you keep it on yourself, and when a mugger comes for you, you drop it and run, much like monocrom's money clip suggestion.
    Semper Paratus

  16. #16

    Default Re: Flashlight For Self-Defense

    Quote Originally Posted by kimjune01 View Post
    but let's not go there
    you might not have understood that clearly. Anyhow, there are good (well-studied and well-practiced) self-defense methods to counter inexperienced knife-attackers(Be aware that I don't fantasize about the 27 ninjas) or fend them off until i have time to get away. Aikido, for example.
    I choose to think that an overwhelming majority of muggers do not kill for a single score of a few thousand dollars.
    Having said that, I really do appreciate your lengthy yet wordy input onto this subject - especially for a newb like me. I will look more into those flashlights that you've mentioned earlier. Thanks again.

  17. #17
    *Flashaholic* Monocrom's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flashlight For Self-Defense

    Quote Originally Posted by kimjune01 View Post
    you might not have understood that clearly. Anyhow, there are good (well-studied and well-practiced) self-defense methods to counter inexperienced knife-attackers(Be aware that I don't fantasize about the 27 ninjas) or fend them off until i have time to get away. Aikido, for example.
    I choose to think that an overwhelming majority of muggers do not kill for a single score of a few thousand dollars.
    Having said that, I really do appreciate your lengthy yet wordy input onto this subject - especially for a newb like me. I will look more into those flashlights that you've mentioned earlier. Thanks again.
    I have studied traditional martial arts, and I have studied R.B.S.D.

    I know what you mean about the 27 ninjas scenario. Thing is, my knowledge of knife combatives is far beyond what I've studied in traditional martial arts and even R.B.S.D.

    I specialize in knife combatives. And I'm fully aware of those so-called well-studied, well-practiced, and well-known (at least in the martial arts community) counters to a knifer.... Sorry, but this subject is too important for me to pull any punches.... A real knifer isn't going to cooperate with you the way an instructor's student, pretending to be a knifer, will.

    Here are things that a real knifer will do:

    1 - Hit you with his free hand. Never seen that demonstrated in those well-known counters.

    2 - Bend his elbow. It's great to see someone flipped on their back. Funny how it's only done when the student-knifer uses an unrealistic stiff-arm, half-hearted technique. Or in combination with being several feet away, and then lunging forward, while being horribly off balance.... And then freezing for a second or two while the instructor makes himself look good.

    That's what I've learned. I saw students who made half-hearted efforts in their knife attacks against their instructors or Masters. (Some of it may have been on a subconscious level, and not intentional). But that's what I saw, and it was far from realistic.

    You can think what you want about muggers.... I know of people who were murdered for a dollar. Homeless man attacked a woman on a subway platform. She wouldn't let go of her purse; so he intentionally pushed her in front of an oncoming train. And I never posted anything about a few thousand dollars. I said a couple of hundred dollars.... Your outlook on life is horribly optimistic.

    I'll admit my previous post was lengthy. (Guess this one is too). All I can do is wish you good luck. Honestly, I sincerely believe you're going to need it.
    "The World is insane. With tiny spots of sanity, here and there... Not the other way around!" - John Cleese.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Flashlight For Self-Defense

    Quote Originally Posted by Monocrom View Post
    Your outlook on life is horribly optimistic.
    thanks!

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    *Flashaholic* Monocrom's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flashlight For Self-Defense

    Quote Originally Posted by kimjune01 View Post
    thanks!
    You're Welcome.
    Last edited by Monocrom; 03-09-2008 at 08:43 PM. Reason: Typo.
    "The World is insane. With tiny spots of sanity, here and there... Not the other way around!" - John Cleese.

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    Default Re: Flashlight For Self-Defense

    to Monocrom --


    Thank you for your words of wisdom in this thread.


    Straight-talk. Pure and simple.


    No sugar-coated, "feel-good" nonsense.



    Real advice, for the Real World.


    _

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    Default Re: Flashlight For Self-Defense

    Interesting thread here and some good tips.

    Quote Originally Posted by 270winchester View Post
    if you intend on carrying a light for self-defense, i advise you carry a small one, so it won't hurt as much when your attacker shoves it up your a**.
    I must admit, that was hilarious.

    Maybe I should order a Wee.

    Regards,
    Mark

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  22. #22
    *Flashaholic* Monocrom's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flashlight For Self-Defense

    Quote Originally Posted by Burgess View Post
    to Monocrom --


    Thank you for your words of wisdom in this thread.


    Straight-talk. Pure and simple.


    No sugar-coated, "feel-good" nonsense.



    Real advice, for the Real World.


    _
    Thanks for the kind words.

    I try not to take myself too seriously. And I sometimes joke around when posting on CPF. But I always take the subject of self-defense very seriously. My training and experience forces me to do that. It's not fun, this topic. But definitely too important to sugar-coat what happens out in the real world. Being a family-friendly forum, I can't go into too many gruesome details. But I hope I got my point across to anyone curious about this subject.
    "The World is insane. With tiny spots of sanity, here and there... Not the other way around!" - John Cleese.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Flashlight For Self-Defense

    One day, I may figure out the origins of the flashlight (beam)-for-self-defense concept. Nobody I know of is teaching to flash a threat.

    The problem with violence is that it IS violent. Chances are, if it doesn't hurt, it won't work.

    People (and law enforcement agencies) want a weapon that is legal, effective and harmless. Unfortunately, no such weapon exists.

    I have talked to dozens of law enforcement coworkers who have been attacked and had to fight--often for their lives. I read weekly reports on fights throughout my agency. Consistently, what has been effective is .40 caliber bullets. Also, the ASP baton against the head and hands, but not legs or torso. Note the possibilities with a C cell Mag lite or Ultrastinger.

    Non lethals such as pepper spray, pepperballs, Stingballs, FN-303s, Tasers sometimes work, other times not. If anybody has subdued a threat with a light beam, I haven't heard of it in a dozen years of arresting criminals of various flavors. In fact, I ambushed a suspect in near total darkness with a Surefire M6 with 500 lumen lamp and he took off running like I fired a starting gun. So much for blinding, stunning or disorienting. I didn't even get 2 good seconds! But I eventually found him.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Flashlight For Self-Defense

    lol this is funny,my advice is to carry a suppository with in built 300 lumen out front.At least that way,if he wrestles the light "thing" from you,what comes next will not be such a harsh surprise!!! when he sticks your A** think safe..Always instead, I would suggest try carrying physiological weapons i.e think like a attacker"do you look like a "likely" target" and above all be totally intune with what is going on around you

    Be safe and do not carry a 6D maglite is my best advice
    Last edited by TITAN1833; 03-10-2008 at 12:30 PM. Reason: edit
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  25. #25
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    Default Re: Flashlight For Self-Defense

    Whoah, monocrom, those are great tips you got there! I actually learned something new the money clip thing. It's sad to see that some underestimate the evil capabilities of a person, and those that did usually ended up dead or hurt.

    I had a personal experience with flash light that changed my view on it as self defense weapon. I go to work at 3 am in a shady part of town. Before this incident I don't carry knife, I occasionally bring pepper spray and a flashlight with me though. While I was about to park my car one time, I saw a figure coming towards my direction in my rear view mirror. I immediately got my flashlight and went out of the car, and shone the light towards the person. It was a female person high on drugs at the time. She stopped on her tracks for a while when I shine the light in her face, she squinted her eyes and kinda looked away but then she continues to approach me blabbering words I don't understand. Now I was using a Surefire 6P with a high output 120 lumen lamp. Supposed to be tactically blinding. She kept on walking towards me and asking for my name and offering sex, so I kept on backing up asking her to stop. (LOL) I noticed though that she kept on looking at the other side of the parking lot, so I shifted my postion so that I can lit up that area and have the lady in my sight at the same time. Then I saw someone hiding in the bush, thats when I really got alerted, what amazed me was this lady was still walking towards me and asking to see my face, she seems to be not affected by the light. She only stopped when my coworker arrived at the parking lot too. Then she ran towards the person on the bush and they left immediately.

    So after my incident this really got me thinking if the lady was an aggressive male criminal with a knife he could still easily have lounged at me and stab me no matter how bright the light I shine on him, sure I can bash his head with the light's bezel and get a circular wound on his head, but thats nothing compared to the bloody faucet he left on my abdomen. If I had been carrying a knife (which I do now) then that would have been a different story.
    Sure it helped me asses the surrounding and delay the perpetrator's plan, but I realized that relying solely on a flashlight to defend your life is a bad idea.

    By the way, some lights that advertise 230+ lumens is not really 230+ lumens. They measure their lumens at the emitter so it's really like 150 lumens out the front. And with first hand experimentation, my eye hurts more woth incan that LED.
    Last edited by stitch_paradox; 06-09-2008 at 06:14 PM.
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  26. #26

    Default Re: Flashlight For Self-Defense

    Hold the phone!

    Shining a flashlight at a woman will cause her to approach you offering sex? Now I'm learning something!

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    Default Re: Flashlight For Self-Defense

    Quote Originally Posted by Lightraven View Post
    Hold the phone!

    Shining a flashlight at a woman will cause her to approach you offering sex? Now I'm learning something!
    LOL having a BIG flashlight does have it's benefits. Kidding aside... yep, even though I'm blasting her with 120+ lumens in her face, she still kept on approaching me and offering.. should I say.. yum yum. Its amazes me on what can people high on glue can do.
    Last edited by stitch_paradox; 06-09-2008 at 06:12 PM.
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    Default Re: Flashlight For Self-Defense

    to Stitch_Paradox --


    That was a very interesting story, and situation.


    Lots of info, and "food for thought", for discussion there.


    Thank you for sharing that with us.



    I, too, have seen "high" people who are quite irrational and unpredictable in their behavior.


    And that's withOUT an evil accomplice, hiding in the bushes.



    _

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Flashlight For Self-Defense

    People high on drugs and other illegal substances, have very formidable behavior, heck some of them don't even feel pain when high.

    Sex + mugging is quite a common modus operandi among these people. The girl will offer you some "relief", then while your at it in secluded place a guy accomplice will mug you from behind. If I didn't know any better I would have been a victim, the lady was actually pretty cute. Just kidding!

    After this incident I made a little experiment. I asked my brother to walk in the park with the flashlight I used that night, and I will try to "mug" him. Given the fact that my brother already knew he was going to be "attacked" ( same that night, I already saw in the rear view mirror a figure coming towards my vehicle) he was ready and anticipating for me, so the element of surprise is gone. To make the long story short, I found out that:
    1. My eyes are more affected with incans than LED, that is a SFp91 versus a Malkoff M60.
    2. I was quickly blinded by the sudden burst of lumen in my face, but I was also able to quickly adapt my eyes to the bright light. And by focusing my eyesight maybe a couple of feet under the lights source I was able to see the body outline of my brother. I was able to outline his stance, and somewhat I can see what his other hand was doing.
    3. When I lounged and tackled my brother I was able to "stab" my bother atleast twice before he can even wack my head with the light.
    4. The tactical strobe is useless, (its mesmerizing though when you stare at it for some time) I didn't get dizzy, I didn't get confused, but I did get agitated. Before you can even get to the strobe mode the attacker could have just attacked you already. It took as some retake before my brother got the strobe mode right, now in a real life situation you cannot have a retake. It did get the attention of some guys playing basketball some yards away.
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  30. #30
    *Flashaholic* Monocrom's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flashlight For Self-Defense

    Quote Originally Posted by TITAN1833 View Post
    lol this is funny,my advice is to carry a suppository with in built 300 lumen out front.At least that way,if he wrestles the light "thing" from you,what comes next will not be such a harsh surprise!!! when he sticks your A** think safe..Always instead, I would suggest try carrying physiological weapons i.e think like a attacker"do you look like a "likely" target" and above all be totally intune with what is going on around you

    Be safe and do not carry a 6D maglite is my best advice
    Ironically, your joking post highlights too very important Self-defense concepts.

    1 - In this world, there are predators; and they're looking for food. Don't act like "food."

    2 - Advanced Awareness & Avoidence techniques can cause a mugger or attacker to choose someone more oblivious to victimize.
    "The World is insane. With tiny spots of sanity, here and there... Not the other way around!" - John Cleese.

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