A flashlight is a powerful tool. We use them for work. We use them for play. Flashlights help calm fears (as I wrote about in my recent camping post) and make our lives easier. But one of the best ways to use a flashlight, especially here in Illinois, is for self defense. We’re not allowed to carry concealed firearms in Illinois, and while the state is overall quite safe, there are some rough neighborhoods in Chicago that I wouldn’t mind having a bit of protection. A flashlight is the perfect way to go, and two of my favorite options just became available on OpticsPlanet: the Novatac OPMOD STRM120 Flashlight and Novatac OPMOD SO120 Flashlight.
How can a Flashlight be used for Self Defense?
Flashlights are a brilliant non-lethal self defense tool. First, you need to be able to identify an attacker. If you’re laying in bed at night and hear a glass break, you need to be able to see there’s an attacker and it wasn’t simply your dog bumping into a table. If it is an intruder, you need to see the level of threat you’re facing. A hockey mask-wearing, butcher’s knife-weilding maniac requires a very different level of force than a stupid neighbor kid playing a prank.
If you’re walking home one night and take a shortcut through an alley when someone approaches, you need to identify the level of threat. Someone armed with a handgun is going to be a lot harder to evade than someone with a knife. If someone with a knife is coming after you and you see them coming from a distance you can probably run away and avoid confrontation all-together.
So identification is first, and being able to identify at a distance is key. Both Novatac OPMOD Flashlights give you plenty of light to identify potential threats. Both lights have three power settings: 120 lumens, 50 lumens and 5 lumens. For self defense, you definitely want the 120 lumens. The low setting of 5 lumens is great for taking a quick look at a map or reading in bed without disturbing/alerting anyone else, but for a good view you want the full power. 50 lumens isn’t bad, and the extended battery life from medium power gives you enough light to find your way without draining the battery too quickly.
While self defense begins with knowing you’re in trouble, sometimes you actually have to take offensive action to defend yourself. Fortunately, a flashlight is good for this as well! If you’re at home and have your firearm, like a shotgun or AR15, mounting a flashlight on your weapon helps you take the right shot and hitting an attacker, not a friend or someone/something else you don’t expect to see in your home (like a dog or a drunk neighbor). Having the weaponlight attached also lets an intruder know you mean business. Much like a laser sight can tell someone you have them in your crosshairs, a flashlight lets them know you can see them and are potentially ready to stop them if the situation escalates. Both of our new Novatac OPMOD Flashlights have the option of coming as a kit with weapon mount. The mount also includes a remote switch that you can place where it’s easy to turn on and off without changing your grip.
But let’s say you’re here in Illinois, walking along the street one night and an attacker steps from the shadows to mug you. You don’t have a firearm because concealed carry isn’t permitted. Sure, you could carry a can of pepper spray, but even if you aim that cannister correctly you’ll likely suffer some effects from the spray floating in the air. Plus, if you need to hit your attacker with the cannister it might break open, flooding the entire area with pepper spray. You may not end up mugged, but I bet you’ll be in the hospital because your eyes are burning. Knives are another option, but if used incorrectly your attacker may end up with the knife and you’ll be hoist by your own petard. Not a good thing.
A flashlight is a better option. You can use the high setting of 120 lumens to blind an attacker, at which point you sidestep while keeping the light in the same place. If you attacker is armed he’ll think you’re in one place while you’re really a foot or two to the side, at which point you can launch a quick attack before making your escape. The Novatac OPMODs are great for this because they use super strong LED lights and have nearly unbreakable aluminum bodies and polycarbonate lenses. If need be you can use the light itself as a weapon. Your opponent will be momentarily blinded and you’ll have a clear shot to remove any threat.
There are a lot of great reasons to use a Novatac OPMOD Flashlight as a self defense tool, but my favorite reason is that it’s non-lethal. Even the best of us makes mistakes. Non-lethal force means your mistakes don’t have lethal consequences. When you can pick up a great light like the SO120 or STRM120, which are really like 2 lights in one, as you can use them handheld or weapon-mounted, there’s no reason NOT to have one. If you’re wondering what the difference between the two lights is, it’s size. The STRM120 is 1.3 inches longer than the SO120. This is because it holds 2 CR123 Lithium batteries instead of just one. The STRM120 is a little heavier and bigger than the SO120, but the extended battery life is worth it. If you need a bit more compact option for a pocket or purse, the SO120 is just right.
These new OPMOD products are only available at OpticsPlanet, so stop by and we’ll help you defend yourself.