While building and adding to your personal self-defense system, there are a few obvious things you think to carry; Your firearm, cell phone, pepper spray, and maybe a handheld self-defense tool. However, I find one of the best and most important items is often overlooked- the self-defense flashlight. Now obviously flashlights may not permanently neutralize an attacker as a firearm can. However, they are capable of a lot and should be carried by every woman- gun owner or not. An EDC flashlight should be in everyone’s self-defense tool-box and carried everywhere.
Flashlights are Easy to Use
First off, using a hand-held flashlight is easy and doesn’t require any form of high-level training to use (although taking a class or two wouldn’t hurt!). A very bright light is enough to debilitate someone who means you harm by simply shining a high lumen (300 at a minimum) flashlight beam into their eyes. Night or day, all they will be seeing for the next few minutes is a white-light. After the attacker is blinded, you can then make your escape or get in a position where you can protect yourself.
No Questions About Legality
Another of my favorite things about a flashlight is that they are legal no matter where you are or where you go. Some states place restrictions on firearms, pepper sprays, defensive key chains, and other self-defense tools. This extremely limits what you can buy and carry on you. If you carry a firearm, you know that there are Gun Free Zones everywhere, leaving you vulnerable to the unpredictable. However, a flashlight is something that is 100% legal everywhere in all states, and something that would easily fit in a pocket or bag without drawing any attention. This allows you to take it with you on a plane, into your child’s school, or a crowded nightclub. Anywhere that you go that you cannot have your gun on you.
Not only are they legal to carry, but there are no laws against using them. Perhaps someone is walking in your direction at night and you can’t determine if they are friend or foe. Pulling out your flashlight, turning it on and having it pointed towards them at the ground or at a lower-light setting is 100% legal and safe. This allows you to identify the person, and ready yourself for defense if they mean you harm. If they are an innocent passerby, no harm done. In most states, if you were to pull your firearm out in this situation, you would be facing charges, as you cannot draw your firearm unless you are directly threatened.
Use Your Flashlight from Far Away
Another great advantage is the range you can be to use them. After all, avoiding conflict is always the goal. With a flashlight, you can see what’s in front of you or potential threats well in advance to avoid them. For us, the greater the distance and the less contact we have with any attacker, the better. We want to remove ourselves from a bad situation before it escalates rather than need to fight our way out. If you are without a firearm, tools like pepper spray or batons require you to be within striking distance of 1-12ft to use them. However, with a strong high-lumen defensive flashlight you can temporarily blind an attacker from a few hundred feet.
Great for Daily Use
Flashlights are also just a useful tool to have at hand and around the house in general. While walking at night, a strong light will illuminate your path and allow you to see what lies ahead at great distances. If your relaxing at home and a bulb blows out or if there is ever a power outage, a nearby flashlight will be handy. Or if you accidentally drop something under your couch, a quick light will make it a breeze to find!
Bottom line is that a good defensive flashlight might just be the most important self-protection tool you own. Having the ability to legally carry it everywhere makes it an important tool to acquire in your quest to keep you and your family safe. You can read more about what to look for in a flashlight and the fundamentals on EDC flashlights here.