July 14, 2017 5 min read

What to do if your D.A.D.® user's assailant has a gun?

A question emailed to TigerLight today by a purchaser and responded to by TigerLight, Inc. President and CEO, Michael Teig. We thought others may have the same question. 


In a TigerLight video, the assailants don't appear to be armed. What would you advise a D.A.D.® user to do if the assailant has a gun? 


That is a very good question, but also a very complicated question. It depends on many variables and there is not an answer that you can put in a user's manual.

We have had incidents with police officers when the subject had a gun and tried to kill the officer.  If not for the split-second response the TigerLight® afforded the officers in those situations, the officer would likely have been shot, according to their personal accounts of those attempted murders.

On the other hand, there may be situations wherein an individual has a gun and is too far away for the spray to reach him or her. Maybe it’s a situation in which the subject can be talked out of pursuing a deadly force action as has also been the case in police encounters.

Probably the most important thing to keep in mind is that all TigerLights, especially the D.A.D.® (Defense Alert Device) provide a stealth, rapid response to a close proximity act of aggression in situations in which you would not likely have had the time or opportunity for any other response. In these situations, TigerLights have proven to be incredibly effective.

The D.A.D.® and now the D.A.D.® 2, impairs the attacker’s visual acuity, causes respiratory distress and is extremely painful. TigerLights® do this much more effectively than a canister of pepper spray, due to all the reasons explained in the What Does The Defense Alert Device Do? Video and in the 5 reasons

If I were close to someone and I saw them reach for a gun that I thought they intended to use on me and I could spray and move quickly out of their line of fire, I would. However, there are many possible variables that could change what I would do in any given situation.

Are there situations where it would be better to use a gun?  Of course. Are their situations where it might be best not to use anything, including the D.A.D.?  I’m sure there are. However, a large percentage of assaults we hear of on a daily basis, could be stopped with a D.A.D.®.

We see reports of incidents nearly every day in law enforcement in which officers are assaulted, or situations escalate to a level they did not need to and I ask, “Why didn’t that officer have a TigerLight® instead of a flashlight?” To me, it is patently ridiculous to think of any officer carrying a flashlight when they could have a TigerLight®. The same goes for civilians.

However, I can just about guarantee that anytime I make a statement saying that, “If this or that officer would have had a TigerLight® in hand, it would have been different,” there is someone who will criticize that observation saying I don’t know the exact circumstances. In some cases, that criticism would be true. 

An officer was shot and killed here in Utah when approaching a subject during a car stop. The occupant was suspected of being involved in a drug transaction. The subject shot and killed the officer as she approached the vehicle. She was found dead on the freeway with her flashlight in her hand. That is the danger officers face every time they approach a vehicle.

Now, in other “similar” (None are exactly the same) situations in which an officer approached a vehicle and the occupant tried to shoot the officer,  as in the case of Officer Richard Braskett, the TigerLight® has afforded the officer a split-second response, unanticipated by the assailant, that saved the officer’s lives, according to their reports.

My first thought when I heard of this officer being shot on a car stop was, “I wonder if the TigerLight® could have saved her?”  I spoke with a training officer I know who is an avid TigerLight® user and huge fan of the product. He explained that the officer was shot with an assault rifle at a distance from the subject that would have been too far for a TigerLight® response, even if she would have had one in her hand.

We’ve all heard the cliche, “Don’t take a knife (or a club, or a stun device, or a can of pepper spray) to a gun fight.”  Well, that is about as ridiculous a statement as saying the TigerLight® is the best device for every possible situation.

The D.A.D.® is an exceptionally practical, safe and uniquely effective non-lethal means of personal protection that has the capability, if used properly, to save many lives, prevent many rapes and stop many assaults. TigerLights have proven, in law enforcement studies, to do it more effectively than any other non-lethal weapon.

It is something that most people will carry in their hand at times when they simply would not have any other self defense device or weapon in their hand.  So, even though, ideally, there might be a situation in which a person might say, “I’d rather have a gun,” if that person does not have the gun in hand, ready to fire when attacked, it does not matter what might be better.

The woman who was attacked at 4:30 PM in the afternoon in a wide open parking lot in downtown Salt Lake City, was a probation officer and had a gun on her at the time she was attacked. But the situation was one in which the likelihood that someone would be that brazen as to attack and rape someone right out in the open with thousands of people around, was practically nil, so the weapon was not in her hand.

The difference is that a person is more likely to be willing to hold a D.A.D.® in their hand when walking to their car than they would a gun, knife or even can of pepper spray, because the D.A.D. does not appear to be a self defense device or weapon. The D.A.D. also has the added advantage of a sophisticated Bluetooth/GPS Crowd Alert capability to summon help much more quickly when in distress.

I know that any answer I give to the question above will be criticized by someone who knows of some exception to about any position one could take, but we just have to use common sense and be practical.  When anyone tries to minimize the significance of the D.A.D.®, for whatever reason, I just have to say, look at the past results of other TigerLights. Five hundred officers used the Series II, with spray just over half as potent, on 147 violent subjects.  It had an unprecedented 96% stop rate on 2.6 subjects at a time, with no significant injuries to officers or subjects.

I could go on, but I hope this helps somewhat. The key is to have the D.A.D.® in hand, thumb in the right position, should an attack occur.  We are not saying that the D.A.D.® is the replacement for all other self defense tactics,self defense devices and weapons.

However, even if you have a concealed carry permit and have a gun on you, there may be many situations in which use of force is required and justified, but lethal force is neither required, nor justified.  That is when a D.A.D® or any TigerLight, is likely the best option there is.

Have a great day!  Stay safe.  


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