Pass the Salt …and Pepper Spray Please!

No, this isn’t another Black Friday massacre story!  However, the lengths to which certain people go for the latest consumable good are totally unfathomable to this writer!  Let’s leave it at that… and not reward the crazies of the world with more undeserved attention.

Ladyjustice sought to get one of those little devices as a stocking stuffer of sorts for women in the family and others…  What an adventure in shopping!  LJ asked about ten people, “Where do you buy it?  How do you get it?  Are certain kinds illegal?”  NO ONE knew.  They suggested CVS, Wal-Mart (Oh please, not them again….)

[LJ Never shops there, as there are so many lowlifes that come out of the woodwork to wander around; there is no room for the rest of us!].

She asked her neighbor and the staff attorney at work. She asked other women.  Do they hide them behind the counter as they did in the old days with condoms?? No, No, No…  Finally the office security guard came through and suggested two places in Greater Hartford.  One place is a local gun superstore a few miles from LJ’s home.  The parking lot is always crammed full!  Ladyjustice cringes at the sight and thought of that store, as she passes it daily on the way home.  Guns and homicide survivors generally don’t mix, although there are exceptions.

However, LJ recently had second thoughts as she charges through life with her physical disability, the fact that she is alone most of the time outside of work and… what if her titanium crutches failed as a weapon?   The other place mentioned was the national chain Cabella’s, a kind of sporting, hunting, fishing superstore with lots of other things too!  Although Cabella’s has been around these environs for about a year or two, Ladyjustice has not had a need for camouflage outfits yet…  So, she settled for the local store.

The female sales clerk was at a loss for specific details, when a retired cop took over and gave an impromptu tutorial for Ladyjustice. There were no handouts.  There are no formal in-service trainings by the police.  So, how are smart women of all ages and abilities supposed to learn this stuff?   LJ could ask an expert she knows – a cop’s daughter…. but she’s kind of tied up with other things lately.

There are a few major dealers and many varieties, shapes and sizes.   (See photos below).  Prices range from $7.00 to $45.00 depending upon the device purchased. There’s the dainty pretend lip stick version. There’s also the “Mace Triple Action Personal,” with a belt clip and Velcro attachment.  The Mace brand makes an indestructible baton on a key ring that releases a cone-shaped cloud of pepper spray from the opposite end of the key ring…  It contains six short bursts and has a range of five feet.  The baton can also be used for jabbing and hitting pressure points.  For women who feel they need something more lethal, there’s the Kimber Pepper Blaster II.  This product looks like something from Star Trek but claims to be the ultimate protection your $29 to 45.00. Its product description goes on to say that…

“Using patented technology to deliver multiple shots of exceptionally potent OC solution at extremely high speed, this revolutionary non-aerosol pyrotechnic delivery system is capable of accurate fire with enough force to wrap around glasses or even penetrate a face mask. A superior ingredient formulation combines a powerful solution of 10% OC with Benzyl alcohol for increases viscosity. 90 MPH speed of delivery keeps blasts on target, reducing the risk of blow-back or drift. Unlike conventional sprays, Pepper Blaster will not lose pressure over time. When it comes to less-lethal protection, there is simply no more effective pepper product to have in your hand than a Kimber Pepper Blaster II.  Features:

  • Disposable and Economical
  • Shoots up to 13 feet in a fraction of a second
  • Conforms to either right or left hand for a perfect fit.
  • Can be discharged from any angle

The Wisconsin Approved Pepper Gard Leather Plus is described as: The Leather Plus model features a glow in the dark locking safety cap, key ring, and attractive leather-like pouch. Compact design fits comfortably in a woman’s hand making this a top choice for women and emergency use. This 11 gram stream unit sprays up to 10 feet. Contains 5 -one second bursts. UV dye meets Wisconsin state regulations. “

Pepper spray or a combination of chemicals irritates –burns the eyes, respiratory system, mucous membranes and cause intense burning of the skin.The above are but a few examples of the variety of items. 

Things you should know before purchasing:

Effects may lessen in 45 minutes; Store in a cool dry place;

Shelf life is approximately four years;

A 2003 National Institute of Justice report on the Effectiveness and Safety of Pepper spray ( stated that death occurred in only 2 of 63 in–custody cases where the two people had asthma.  Pepper spray was cited as a contributing factor. 

***Pepper spray cannot be shipped via the US Postal Service or any air services. States prohibiting shipping/delivery include: New York; Massachusetts, Alaska, Hawaii and Wisconsin.

***Ladyjustice recommends that you seek advice from a qualified person such as a police officer or self defense expert versus a store clerk before purchasing and/or using pepper spray. 

What Happens When You Have Been Sprayed with Pepper or Defense Spray (From

Unlike tear gas, which wears off fairly quickly and can be (to some extent) washed off, pepper spray’s main ingredient hangs in there, causing serious discomfort for more than a half hour after exposure and even after attempts at washing away. Capsicum creates heat and minor nerve irritation, actually reducing other signals sent from nerves to the brain. The debilitating effects last for more than 30 minutes, and lessen over several hours.

When you spray an attacker with pepper spray, the body’s reaction is immediate. The eyes shut automatically, causing temporary blindness, and the sprayed person, unable to see, often panics. The mucus membranes of the mouth, nose, eyes and respiratory airways react defensively to the capsicum burn, producing tears, a running nose, saliva and coughing as the irritated cells in the airways and lungs try to rid themselves of the chemical. The sprayed person may try to rub his eyes, but rubbing pepper spray tends to spread it around a bit more and can make the burning worse as it further penetrates the skin. As well as irritating the face, pepper spray causes the same burning sensation you get when you bite into a hot pepper masquerading as a green bean in that innocent-looking Thai dish. It hurts everything it touches, and yet it doesn’t kill you, or even leave you maimed.

 Ladyjustice says: Here’s hoping that you never have to be on the receiving end of Pepper Spray!   (Stay away from Wal-Mart for awhile…) For antidotes, refer to:

Be Safe, Be Legal and Be Smart About Your Purchases this Holiday Season!







  1. If you’re going to use OC spray, you need to have some idea of what it’s like to take a hit. Not a lot, but a taste. You have to know what to expect, and you have to be ready to fight your way out of a jam even after you use it. Spray it in the air downwind a bit and move into the cloud. It won’t be pleasant, but you’ll live.

    Also, the pepper isn’t dissolved in the liquid carrier, it’s suspended. Think of it as you would a salad dressing in a sealed container. When you need to use it, give it a bit of a shake to make sure the active ingredients are dispersed throughout the liquid. Otherwise, you’re just spraying a cloud of liquid at the bad guy. Also, the people who sell it won’t likely tell you, but it doesn’t work on everyone. A small percentage of people, five to fifteen percent, I’ve heard, do not react to pepper spray. Keep that it mind.

    When you shop for it, look for the max percentage you can get. When you have to spray some idiot, you want it to hurt. You want to be sure to get the kind with the UV indicator so that the bad guy is marked and likely to remain so for a while. Also, there are fog and stream sprayers. Fog makes a fog, a wide cloud of gas, while stream puts out a line of gas. If you use the fog kind, you will taste it when you use it. With the stream, you put the stuff where you point the sprayer. If the bad guy has a weapon and drops it when you spray him, pick it up and take it with you. Put it in a bag so you don’t smear the prints or commingle your DNA If he’s caught, it’s evidence because it has his DNA and fingerprints. If he isn’t caught, it’s a souvenir or a gift for someone sometime down the road. If you like, it’s a weapon you can keep and use your own self.

    It’s NOT a weapon, although it is sold as one. Certainly, it’s a less than lethal weapon. It is very unlikely to be fatal or cause permanent harm. When you spray someone with it, LEAVE THE AREA IMMEDIATELY. The bad guy is going to be in pain and he is going to be angry. If you hang around, you may get hurt worse than you might have otherwise. Call 9-1-1 from a good distance away. Blocks are good, miles are better.

  2. Dan: Thanks so much for your commentary… Obviously you have “real life “experience! I hope you disabled your perpetrator, whatever the circumstances…. This stuff is not public knowledge and needs to be more in the public eye! Thanks for adding to my blog! Hope you’ll keep reading!


    Donna -“Ladyjustice”

  3. Donna, I was a correctional officer for several years. We had to taste pepper now and then as part of our training. It’s not bad, but it’s certainly not pleasant. I never had to use it in an official capacity, but I’ve bought it for the women in my life.

  4. Hi Dan: Thanks for the clarification… and for caring about protecting the women in your life!
    Maybe you’d be interested in The Final Chapter” post too! I’m so honored to have Bill Petit as a friend . His burdens are so great…. I only lost one family member to homicide. He lost three!


  5. I tried to find pepper spray for my daughter when she was in college. I went to WalMart and they told me that they didn’t sell products that were hazardous to humans. I pointed out to them that they sold cigarettes, guns and knives….Finally found it at the counter at a local shoe store. My daughter did have an occasion when she had to use it to protect herself and it worked.

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