tactical folding knife placed on top of nylon gear

Self-Defense Gadgets to Help You Stay Safe

Get the self-defense gadgets you need to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your property at Pennsylvania’s Largest Gun Show. Your local Eagle Shows gun show doesn’t just bring in gun sellers from miles around, but vendors from a wide range of industries that all want the opportunity to show you what they have to offer. That includes self-defense accessories that are meant to help you regain control of dangerous situations or get the space you need to find help and safety. With a little planning and practice, you can be better prepared to react decisively when called to action.

The Most Powerful Self-Defense Tool

Before you start your research, it’s important to understand that the number one tool for self-defense is between your ears. Good decision-making helps you avoid violent situations when possible, limiting your risk of injury. When dangerous situations do occur, the right decision may be to diffuse or escape the situation if a tall possible. When it’s not possible, that’s when self-defense gadgets come in handy. Unfortunately, you can do everything right and still cross paths with someone intent on doing everything wrong. That’s when it’s most important to have already put in the preparation and planning for protection that can save the day.

Start by understanding your individual abilities and skills. If your name is John Wick and you look like Keanu, you can stop reading now. For everyone else, there are likely some deficiencies in training, tools, or tactics you’re working with. As you consider which self-defense accessories are right for you, you want to consider options that maximize your strengths while shoring up your weaknesses. Leave the action movie scripts to the pros and be as honest with yourself as possible about your self-defense capabilities.

Popular Self-Defense Gadgets

We couldn’t possibly cover every self-defense accessory that vendors offer at our gun show in a single blog, and even if we could, the information would be outdated in a week as they add new products. Instead, we’re going to talk about some favorite pieces of equipment that have proven themselves time and again when their owners needed them the most. While you’re browsing, however, be on the lookout for other options that may suit your needs even better. Take the time to consider the drawbacks and strengths of each of them and how they work with your own abilities.

  • Pepper Spray/Mace – One of the most popular self-defense gadgets widely available, pepper spray is formulated to be an immediate deterrent to an aggressor. Packed with chemical irritants, pepper spray assaults the mucous membranes of the target, causing eyes to run, phlegm to build up, and breathing to become difficult. There’s also pain–lots of pain. This is usually delivered from an aerosol can that shoots a stream of a liquid spray or a thick gel that clings, sometimes with a special UV dye to help law enforcement identify an attacker. Sizes range from small keychain or purse-sized canisters to large sprayers that rival fire extinguishers.
can of self defense pepper spray on a wooden table

There are a few downsides to pepper spray. Canisters can leak, soaking your pocket or purse in irritant and robbing it of its charge when it’s needed most. Some pepper sprays are weaker than others, and some attackers have trained themselves to fight through the pain, leaving you to deal with a violent individual in your face and angrier. Finally, you will almost certainly spray yourself. Even if not directly, shifting wind or splashback could leave you fighting through the same symptoms just as you’re trying to escape.

  • Alarms/Whistles – Personal alarms are a popular self-defense gadget for joggers and anyone who may find themselves alone and away from others when danger strikes. When used, a loud, audible tone with a high pitch is meant to draw attention while disorienting your attacker. This is meant to startle them enough to allow you to get to safety while also alerting good samaritans that someone is in trouble so they can intervene or call the police.

    Unless these devices are engineered to direct the sound away from you, the same piercing shriek will hit your ears, with your only advantage being that you are expecting it. Electronic alarms can be broken or tossed away, while whistles can be knocked from your hand or become a choking hazard. Finally, we’ve all heard car alarms going off n a mall parking lot while dozens of shoppers go about their business, never looking up from their phones. 
  • Stun Guns/TASERs – Stun Guns and tasers are designed to deliver an electric shock to the target, overriding their nervous system and incapacitating them or rendering them unconscious. Stun guns come in a range of styles, from small devices that are similar to a TV remote in dimensions to fake cell phones, or modified gloves with probes on the knuckles to add a little spark to a punch. TASERs are similar but add the safety of distance, using compressed air to shoot two prongs a short distance to lodge in the attacker’s flesh and deliver a jolt. Anyone who enjoys police shows is familiar with the click-click-click of a taser as the bad guy drops to the floor.

    Stun guns and TASERs only work if they deliver enough power, and that is determined by the charge delivered, not by the absurdly high voltage numbers some makers advertise. In order to be effective, you need enough current to pass into the target in a given timeframe. For stun guns, that means being up close and personal while you contact them with the self-defense gadget’s terminal, potentially putting you further in harm’s way. TASERs require you to aim well enough to project both prongs into the target and that they penetrate their clothing (and ideally skin) deep enough to deliver their charge. 
  • Batons/Blackjacks/Sappers – One of the oldest self-defense gadgets known to man is finding something solid to thump an attacker with. Based on this age-old principle, these devices are meant to serve as force multipliers, using their length or weight to help generate the force needed to knock out or otherwise incapacitate someone. Collapsible batons are fairly common, and unique baton-like implements frequently trend as self-defense accessories, such as self-defense canes and shillelaghs. Blackjacks and sappers are a smaller, more personal version featuring weights or slappers of powdered lead or another heavy substance to add heft.

    All of these options require you to allow your attacker to get close to you if you want to use it for anything more than a deterrent. Depending on your skill level and physical prowess or the attacker’s, this could end very badly, with you being assaulted with your own self-defense accessories. In addition, many of these items may be covered under antiquated “offensive weapons” laws that are still on the books but haven’t been updated since violent gangsters would smack a patsy around for disrespecting their moll. 
  • Knives – Another popular self-defense choice is a good tactical knife. There are plenty of styles, sizes, and designs available, many with the added legal protection of being perfectly acceptable EDC items as a utility tool. The blades on these tools can be fixed or folding, have a single or double edge, and many specialty designs can be incorporated into various martial styles.
black tactical knife on a camouflage background

Unless you’ve trained to fight with a knife, there may be more effective options. They have an extremely limited range, and some “aggressive” styles can be so clumsy as to make them a danger to their user. The sight of a knife can definitely be a deterrent, but these common self-defense gadgets could easily have found a home in your attacker’s pocket as well, resulting in an escalation that could turn deadly. 

  • Firearms – You will find plenty of guns at our shows, along with the self-defense gadgets, accessories, and upgrades that help you tailor your weapon to meet real-world threats. As more and more states expand the rights of gun owners in the wake of recent Supreme Court decisions supporting our freedoms, gun owners are enjoying a renaissance in self-sufficient self-defense options.

    Firearms give you range and power, but take practice for full proficiency. That takes time and money that some people just aren’t willing to put in. That being said, purchasing and learning how to get the most from a firearm can be a rewarding experience and offers you a powerful self-defense tool at home, while traveling, and on your person where and when allowed by law. 

Put in the Work

Whatever self-defense gadget you use, take the time to get familiar with its use and maintenance. Remember that self-defense situations are stressful and often don’t offer ideal circumstances for “learning as you go.” In many cases, training is available–either formally from local instructors or informally from trained and experienced community members–to help you advance your skills. Remember, the more dangerous or powerful the self-defense accessories you choose, the greater your responsibility to use them safely and effectively.

Find the Tools You Need For Personal Protection

At your next local gun show, you’ll find the guns, accessories, and equipment you need to preserve your security and protect those who matter the most. Held in a comfortable, modern convention facility with paid on-site security professionals, it’s a great place to browse our vendors’ goods, find unique gifts for the whole family, and make connections with neighbors and community members who care as much about self-defense as you do. Start planning your visit today. Buy your tickets online to the next Eagle Shows gun show in your city today.

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