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Laser For Self Defense?

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by BruiseLee, Jan 17, 2004.

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  1. BruiseLee

    BruiseLee Member

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    Yes I'm serious. And no, I'm not talking about zapping someone with a high powered laser like in Star Wars or Star Trek.

    Many people are carrying "tactical" flashlights from companies like Surefire or Streamlight these days as a weapon of deterence. The idea here is to shine the light into your assailant's eyes, temporarily blinding him, or at least dazzling him and making him uncomfortable.

    I saw a show about non-lethal self defense devices on cable t.v. awhile ago. One thing the police used was a laser which the would illuminate the subject with. It would apparently make him uncomfortable and disorientated - much more likely to surrender without a fight.

    I was thinking, with all the hand held laser pointers and aiming deives out there now, is there one available to the public that could be used in this respect? I would think if an ordinary flashlight beam is a viable defensive option, the coherent light beam from a laser would be much better.

    Of course, you wouldn't want to permanently blind or cause someone permanent optical damage. Although blinding an attacker would be preferably to stopping him with a handgun or shotgun, I'm sure there is many a lawyer out there who would be too happy to sue you over his client's loss of vision, which would not be a good thing for him or you.

    I'm pretty sure a laser is not a practical self defense weapon for us yet. Although I'm pretty sure shining one into an attackers eyes would have a pretty good chance of stopping an attack, I'm sure legally you would be on pretty shakey ground unless the guy was popping rounds off at you or charging you with a butcher knife.

    I'm just curious about what you guys think. Comments?

    Bruise
     
  2. Gray_Fallen

    Gray_Fallen Member

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    Just try keeping a laser focused on the eye of an attacker, while you are under stress and he is moving around.
    He'll close that eye, and using the other one to see out of, make you eat it.

    A light covers the entire face and is easy to move with the movements of an attacker. This also takes out two eyes at once - if you dont completely take their vision, you are doing any good.
    Modern tactical lights offer a lot more grip than the laser pointers I have seen - this means more control over where the light goes.
    A laser pointer flashed across the eyes is annoying, as I recall, but definately not enough to stop me from beating the heck out of someone, if I were an attacker.
    Now, the beam from a SureFire in the eyes, especially when your eyes are adjusted to low light and much more receptive to light, that *can* stop you. Its a very dominating thing. And if in serious low-light it is applied suddenly then taken away, it leaves you in total blackness for a few seconds - enough time for the defender to close and hit or cut, or to draw and fire. Especially if they used the light with the off-hand, and lit up the attacker at the same time as they started their draw and step off center line, or draw and close.

    The laser for police control tactics, IIRC, is a bit different than your average laser pointer - if I remember correctly it is a strobing device, and may have a bit more spread than your average laser pointer. It disorients a subject and can make them feel nauseated, IIRC. Or it could cause an epyleptic to sieze too - like any strobe light.
    Definately not a laser pointer - works differently, and applies different principles.

    Use a tactical flashlight.
    Or dont... your call - but my advice is, unless you want to be eaten, use proper and proven tools, and leave the theories for the theorists and the lab-rats with their gizmos.
     
  3. Don Gwinn

    Don Gwinn Moderator Emeritus

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    Those disorientation devices are not, as I understand it, used for officer defense per se. They're used to break up crowds that become threatening but have not yet broken into open violence. You wouldn't want to use one on an attacker, as I believe the effects are much less severe than pepper spray.
     
  4. Navy joe

    Navy joe Member

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    Happened several times, every time some punk-looking, punk-acting, punk lights me up with a laser I think gun and behave accordingly. I think it'd be terminally stupid to shine a laser at a BG unless there was a .45 behind it.
     
  5. La Pistoletta

    La Pistoletta Member

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    I don't like it. It's far too dangerous to the eyes and as the first reply says, keeping aim would be very hard.
     
  6. Harry Tuttle

    Harry Tuttle Member

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    I saw on TV, a segment that showed LEOs using a red laser dot as a method to subdue bad guys.
    The wrong doers were quite able to concieve of a hole replacing the red dot on their chest.
     
  7. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    Not. This would be similar to "shooting to maim", a deliberate crippling. It is illegal in most states to deliberately shoot an attacker in a limb. By extrapolation, it would be illegal to deliberately blind, unless perhaps that were the only weapon available to you. As well, it would be wise to understand that the typical laser is a very focused weapon. Yes, damage to the eye can be inflicted, but it will only be a very small section of the eye, and not enough to stop an attacker from even using the eye being lased, much less stop the attack in full.

    I have long considered some type of strobe, combined with a focused sonic attack, to repulse less determined attackers. If it ever goes to market, you'll be the first to know.
    John
     
  8. Car Knocker

    Car Knocker Member

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    I believe that some states, in response to juvenile stupidity, have enacted laws forbidding the use of lasers to "light someone up". This is distinct from lasers used as aiming devices on firearms.
     
  9. MarkScottShow.US

    MarkScottShow.US Member

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    The Chinese have been using "Eye Poppers" :what: since the late 70's during the Sino-Chinese border clashes. Recently, in the former Yugoslav, US pilots have been lasered and have experience partial (temp) eye blindness. The US has been working on Sapphire lasers for LE to cause temp (?) blindness for mobs and road blocks, but over a certain levels and size you have enough to shoot down a missile, aircraft, etc …….
     
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