by Gila Hayes

I’m always surprised when members respond to one of my editorial rants, especially when I’m simply expressing my frustration with those who ignore the seriousness of going armed. Last month when I opined that questions about shooting to stop intentional exposure to the coronavirus were terribly short sighted, I was surprised to receive several opinions in response.

An attorney friend from Pennsylvania was first to express his parallel thoughts, explaining that he didn’t think the attorney question of the month about shooting to stop intentional exposure was sufficiently realistic to merit submitting a response.

Basic social skills and training in “less-than-deadly force options” is the better choice if faced with a threat of intentional infection, he stressed. Get some different kinds of training other than the gun, he suggested, because while, in his words, ““What can I do?’ is a very good question. ‘Can I shoot?’ is just crazy.”

Another member, Illinois concealed carry instructor Bruce Edensen (, took the non-lethal response idea in a different direction:

“I’m writing as a hopefully-helpful follow-up to the May journal in connection with coronavirus-related threats and responses. Especially in the wake of COVID-19, I have been recommending to clients, friends, and family that they routinely carry a small but powerful “tactical” flashlight as a potent, legal, nonlethal, self-defense device. Such products can project blinding light (>1000 lumens), especially in strobe mode. Even in daylight they’re very likely to temporarily blind, mentally disorient, and thwart an assault from at least 15 feet away, allowing the user sufficient time to evade/escape the assailant(s). The blinding effect is even likely to repel persons under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the violently mentally-impaired, and vicious dogs.

“Many of the flashlights are compact and lightweight; easily carried in one hand, a pocket or purse. The maximum brightness/strobe mode offers the best self-defense capacity. But with other illumination settings the flashlights have myriad useful capabilities. To the best of my knowledge they’re completely legal in most jurisdictions, including in government buildings, on public transportation, airplane carry-on, etc. Even for a concealed carry licensee or other gun owner, the flashlights are an excellent nonlethal supplement or deadly weapon substitute. They offer greater utility–and probably defensive effectiveness–compared to most pepper sprays. I strongly encourage people to learn the flashlight’s features and operation, always carry it when away from home, and keep it on a nightstand when in bed.”

He concluded by suggesting the Olight M2R Pro and expressing his hope that adding flashlights to the discussion would be helpful.

The ideas these gentlemen added underscore the truth that self defense encompasses a very wide spectrum of defensive strategies that begin far, far in advance of the point at which introducing deadly force should even be considered.

To read more of this month's journal, please click here.