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DISCLAIMER - This is a non-political site that is geared to help writers write it right. I am presenting information to help develop fictional characters and fictional scenes. In no way am I advocating any position or personal decision.
I was alone on a moonless night, driving down the highway and rubbing sleep from my eyes. Horrifically, my pepper canister, dangling from my key-chain, had leaked. I had wiped blinding fire across my eyes and spun off the road...
Because of this incident, pepper spray and mace are not part of my EDC. But for a writer, these products in a plot line can be awesome, indeed.
Pepper spray and Mace come in canisters of varying sizes. What is Mace? Mace is a name brand for defensive sprays. The Mace canister can contain pepper spray, tear gas or both. Mace and pepper spray affect mucus membranes causing inflammation and burning sensations. The affect lasts 20-30 minutes unless washed away. Milk is effective at removing the sting of the pepper spray. Water and mild soap are also helpful.
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Writers who use this self-defense weapon in their writing can either use it to help or thwart a character's plight.
USE - Aim for the eyes and spray left to right. If you missed, spray back from right to left.
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your story location's laws for accuracy).
* It is inexpensive, easy to obtain, needs little in the
way of training.
* It is effective at 8 feet - 20 feet depending on your
brand/container size, so there is physical distance.
* It can be used against more than one attacker at a
time. Also, it is effective against animals, including
werewolves. (Though double blind experiments
shows these products to be ineffectual against
* Portable and easily carried on a daily basis.
CONS (Poor character, never gets a break!)
* The stream is visible and can be averted.
* Wind is not your friend. It can make the shot
ineffectual. It can also blow the stream back on you. It
can blow the stream towards your friends/helpers/pets.
* You can quickly run out of product - esp. when using
key-chain sized canisters
* The attacker might be high, drunk, or impervious.
* It must hit mucus to be effective - eyes, nose, mouth,
lungs. A hat, hoody, or other clothing often prevent
this with a mere duck of the head.
* Aim is key - and this is often difficult in a high-
adrenaline situation. Especially if the character is
* Most people buy the canisters and never test them out
or practice (which is why I recommend buying 2).
* Some canisters have a protective clip - and this can
get stuck or be difficult to manipulate when in danger.
* The spray needs to be in hand - bottom of the purse is
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* Not legal in some places - like courthouses.
Video 1 (3:05) Basics -
Video 2 (3:10 start at 1:30 mark) Watch pharmacist use bear spray against robber.
Video 3 (1:50) Police pepper spraying a crowd.
Video 4 (2:36) Shows various sizes and uses. Also, gives considerations for choosing the proper weapon
or your character.
Video 5 (3:12) Getting sprayed.