Personal protection can mean different things to different people and can involve many different tools — from creating an emergency escape plan for your family to training regularly with a firearm (and just about everything in between). Many families and individuals like to consider non-lethal means for staying safe. ThePepperBall LifeLite is one innovative and effective solution for non-lethal self-defense.

A Flashlight … and More

This heavy-duty LED flashlight doesn’t look like a weapon. In most cases, it can be openly carried, used just about anywhere or stored for easy access. But this durable tool is more than just a light source. This clever launching device uses CO2 canisters (and a handy red laser guide) to accurately launch small, plastic projectiles up to 60 feet at 270 feet per second.

On impact, the OC projectiles (paint-ball-sized orbs filled with pepper powder) burst open to create a cloud of potent irritant. The powder is designed to “painfully disrupt normal function of the eyes, nose, lungs and central nervous system, halting the immediate assault but without causing permanent bodily damage.” The pepper balls don’t even need to hit a person to be effective; the projectiles can strike in close proximity (such as the ground in front of a person or a structure next to his/her body) and still overwhelm the attacker.

Where It’s Used

The launching device, which holds five projectiles, weighs less than 2 pounds and is a little more than 11 inches in length. (Yeah … it’s a bit large. I suppose you could use it as a striking object as well!) The LifeLite is definitely not a tool you would conceal (although you can purchase a holster for it). But it could be useful on camping, boating or hiking trips. You could possibly take it to sporting events, or store one at school, work, church or home. Folks who are on the road a lot, such as truck drivers or RV owners, may appreciate the sense of peace offered when a firearm can’t be utilized. It’s definitely a great alternative for some people, and an additional tool for others who regularly conceal carry.

How It’s Used

I would mention that there is a bit of a learning curve to the PepperBall LifeLite. This includes setting it up, changing the cartridges, loading the projectiles, getting familiar with the operational details, practicing with the inert projectiles, and safely and effectively carrying it around. But that’s really no different from the planning and preparation that goes into a variety of self-defense tools — from knives to pepper spray to firearms.

The LifeLite is easy, fun and accurate to use, and it certainly doesn’t draw attention to itself as a weapon. It’s a decent flashlight and, when necessary, you can disengage the safety, aim the red dot at your target and press the red trigger straight down to launch a pepper ball. For me, it’s been a good tool to use while taking the dog out at night! I believe it will be a great option for my parents to have at home and even in the car as they travel or run errands. (By the way: Please keep safety rules in mind when the launcher is loaded. And be sure to test it out with inert projectiles on inanimate objects before using it for self-defense.)

For a non-lethal option, I suggest checking out the PepperBall LifeLite — whether you are a gun owner or not. It’s not a replacement, but it is a possible enhancement to your self-defense plans.

What defensive tools and methods do you use in addition to your gun?