These cute kitty keychains are not toys, but are in fact a very serious defense weapon. Get em here!
I’ve seen this pop up a bunch from many different people, and I feel obligated to say something quickly regarding self-defense. First, my street cred: I’ve been studying martial arts since 1984, have several black belts, teach my own students, and continue to study with the most sophisticated and combative high-ranking black belts I can find as often I can afford to get on a plane. So I’m serious about what I do. I’m not the greatest martial artist in the world — I’m not saying any of the above to brag: I have lots and lots of flaws that I’ll be working on fixing for the rest of my life — but I do know my way around a fight and the martial arts have been my obsession for almost three decades now.
So, credentials out of the way, to the weapon. On the plus side, this actually looks like a nice way to carry a weapon without attracting notice. Also, it looks like a cat, which is awesome. I love cats. Some instant questions to ask yourself, however:
- Will you be wearing it like this at all times? Even if it’s in your hand, you won’t have time to slip it around your fingers before the second strike lands about 1/4 of a second after the first. Because a predator will probably attack from behind or in the dark, where you can’t see the first attack: you will have to feel it. So, at best, your first chance to respond will be after you have already been hit as hard as the predator can hit you and in the most vulnerable place the predator can find.
- Are you EVER going to keep your keys in your pocket or purse rather than carrying this item around your fingers at all times? If yes, there is no way in hell that you will be able to use this if attacked. If it’s ever in either of those places, it doesn’t exist in terms of your self-defense strategy.
- Are you prepared psychologically to shove this through someone’s eye? Really, think about it. It’s really easy to say you would when you’re sitting in front of your computer, but would you hesitate in the critical moment? Would you be ok with the blood and eye juice and mucus goo squirting all over your face and into your open and panting mouth? If so, you’re good to go. If you would hesitate, you need a different kind of weapon.
- From the look of this (I haven’t seen one in person or held one, so I’m making an educated guess based on the pictures) unless you go for the eyes this weapon will hurt people (who aren’t under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or even just adrenaline) but it won’t stop them. There are plenty of true stories about people who have been shot and kept coming. They die or go down eventually, but willpower is an amazing thing when coupled with, say, bath salts. What will this thing do to that kind of criminal? Maybe it would cut, but I think it would be a superficial wound. Also, because the design is thin, it will tend turn away upon impact unless the pressure and angle of your attack is perfect, which it won’t be under pressure. In other words, it may be more dangerous to your finger bones and knuckles than it would be to an attacker. It’s design does not promote success.
- Have you considered that when you draw a weapon YOU escalate the potential for violence? If you draw a weapon, the attacker will attack you harder and be more cautious. If you pull a weapon, make damned sure you can use it flawlessly. If things go wrong with a weapon involved, they go really, really wrong.
That said, I love weapons. I own guns. I carry a knife built for fighting with me everywhere I go: it’s clipped to the top of my pocket for easy access, always in exactly the same place for consistency, and I practice my draw and open all the time. That said, if someone blindsides me I know I won’t have a chance to wield it. When the fists are already flying, I don’t have time to draw it. So it’s a nice supplement to my defense repertoire, but I know I can’t count on being able to use it.
And I need to be very careful when I do draw it that I can legally justify my use of deadly force. If a 17-year-old girl breaks a bottle over my head from behind and I draw and turn without looking and slash her throat, I have committed a murder that I won’t be able to justify in court even though I was attacked first. So there is some serious legal responsibility involved in carrying a weapon. (The shorthand of the legalities in most places comes down to two questions: Were your actions necessary? and Were your actions reasonable?)
I’m not trying to knock this device. I am, however, knocking the idea that simply carrying this will improve your ability to protect yourself. It is more likely to make you more vulnerable because you will have a false sense of security. The untrained person makes a lot of the mistakes — physically, emotionally, and psychologically — that I have mentioned above. (Even trained people make those mistakes from time to time.) It’s probably closer to the truth to say the average untrained person makes ALL of the mistakes above, and often. These are potentially deadly errors.
So what do we do? Educate ourselves. The Mind is the true weapon. Guns and knives and clubs and pepper spray are simply the tools picked up by the body, controlled by the decisions of the mind. Adding a piece of plastic to your keychain won’t make you safer. Adding a new piece of knowledge (drilled repeatedly) to your understanding of self-defense WILL make you safer.