I get this question all the time, and with the current anti-gun movement in motion I have not changed my answer… I feel the best overall self defense weapon the average person can legally carry is pepper spray. I am not talking about going to war, or doing a tactical entry on on a drug compound, I am talking about self defense. If you put yourself in harms way every day like a law enforcement officer does, then I understand a gun being an option, but for most other people I think a pepper spray is the best choice.
For most people, the deadly force of a handgun is too much, so they seek a nonlethal alternative such as a pepper spray or a stun device. Many people have a hard time dealing with the requirements to make a stun gun completely effective, i.e., that it has to be physically applied to an assailant for 3 to 5 seconds to make it work.
Women have more opportunities to use a self-defense weapon because they are assaulted nine times more often than men.
The ability to defend themselves from a distance is very appealing. Most pepper sprays have a range of at least 8 feet some as high as 20 feet depending on canister size. DPS Defense Spray keychain units fire 15' and the duty sprays fire 17-20 feet. This gives you the range to safety advantage.
If you need more convincing, consider this; Most law enforcement officers in the country carry a pepper spray on his or her duty belt. It is a great less-lethal weapon and the best part is if you accidentally cross-contaminate your partner, they will be ok after they decon. They might be a little angry with you, but at least they are alive.
Additionally, all letter carriers with the U.S. Postal Service are issued, pepper sprays as a first line of defense against dog attacks.
So in conclusion, it is my professional opinion that pepper spray is the the best overall self defense weapon that the average person can carry. It is legal to carry almost anywhere and simple enough to use that a child could fire it effectively if properly trained.
On our site we offer DPS… the worlds meanest pepper spray. This is the exact defense spray being used by over 500 law enforcement and correctional agencies in the USA.