Many people I know carry a firearm nearly everyday-everywhere they go; including myself. A few days ago I was talking with a group of friends concerning the 'Zimmerman-Martin' case and how it could have been handled differently. First, I'd like restate here what I first said during that discussion, "No one knows the unadulterated details of the encounter and many will never know (whether from loss of interest or sticking their fingers in their ears and yelling) and anyone that says they do know should be listened too with your bullshit meter on high."
One person had suggested that a less lethal response would have been more appropriate. I don't think anyone would disagree with that statement, but it is all dependant on the situation. If you are aware of your assailants intentions and have the time to offer a less than lethal defense; then by all means do so. More often than not, many people have lost control of a situation or were not aware of their surroundings to begin with and are 'ambushed' with deadly force and now must react.
I smiled a bit when my buddy brought up that idea of a less lethal paired with a firearm as I have carried such a combination for about a year. I have been carrying a Ruger LCP and the Kimber Pepper Blaster II. I typically carry the LCP in a pocket holster and the Pepper Blaster in a cargo pocket. I like options... If I am confronted with an aggressor I'd prefer the option of presenting a less lethal (if the situation allows) before I must present deadly force. If I can stop/deter a threat without drawing my firearm; I consider that a win.
I often carry the following items that I consider 'must haves' for self defense:
- Phone (communication, video/audio/text)
- Light (identification/deterrence)
- Less Lethal
- Firearm (+1 reload, at least)
Can a less lethal tool be useful? Absolutely, with the proper employment and situation. I am not claiming to be an expert on the subject and would be interested to hear some of your thoughts.