Audio Podcast: In Self Defense Podcast Episode 86 - OC Spray with Chuck Haggard Pt. 1
I recently listened to OC Spray With Chuck Haggard Pt. 1 from the In Self Defense Podcast. This podcast channel is hosted by Don West and Shawn Vincent of CCW Safe. Chuck Haggard teaches both civilians and law enforcement the use of OC spray. Chuck describes OC as, "Weaponized food condiment." This is pretty fitting in that OC is a mix of peppers.
Chuck Haggard worked in the Topeka P.D for over 30 years. He was also in their SWAT unit. He has been practicing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu the last few years. As a kid, he wrestled and practiced Muay Thai.
He believes OC spray doesn't get the respect it deserves in the civilian world. He talks about one self defense shooting where a female used her firearm in self defense in a parking garage. Later, when she was interviewed she said, "There are two types of people. Those that use pepper spray and those that use self defense to stop the threat." Chuck then goes on to say that oc spray doesn't get the respect that he believes it should get in the civilian word and this story is an example of this. I agree with this idea. One shouldn't choose either oc spray as their only means to self defense tools and also should even consider adding it to their carry gear if they haven't yet. It can be a great less lethal option to try to deescalate the situation with low risk and low consequences if wrongfully used. The negative consequences of wrongfully using a firearm likely will result in felony conviction and time spent in prison. Even if you wrongfully point your firearm at someone possibly from misreading the situation then you will likely be charged with a felony of aggravated assault. On the other hand, if you wrongfully pepper spray someone, then you will likely be charged with a misdemeanor of simple battery. This is the same charge you would probably receive from wrongfully punching someone in the face.
If you are keeping your situational awareness up, then you have a better chance of spotting pre-assault cues. When you see these cues it should set off a bell in your head that says to practice avoidance if possible and get away from the situation. If that is not possible then use your less lethal means of deescalating the situation. Just being more aware buys you more time to hopefully prevent the situation from escalating to deadly force and reduces your liability of going to criminal court over claims of wrongful use of force and helps prevent you from having to defend yourself against higher claims of wrongful use of force that would result in a felony.
Allergic reactions to OC Sprays are extremely rare. It is essentially just a mix of peppers in a solution. He also mentions there are no known toxic level of pepper spray where it would kill someone. People with breathing conditions such as COPD generally aren't running around mugging people so they shouldn't have to worry about getting sprayed with OC Spray.
Chuck says it is important to practice using inert sprays especially on uncompliant threats in a force on force role in order to get more proficient at using these sprays. He talks about a class that he put on where he was teaching many certified firearms instructors about OC Sprays and certifying them in instructing the use of OC Sprays so they can incorporate them into the classes they teach. Well, many of the firearms instructors were actually very surprised at how hard it was to hit their target with OC Sprays during force on force training.
I thought this was a very informative podcast and am looking forward to Pt. 2 when it comes out.