Letter Re: Information on Blinding Flashlights for Self Defense?

Do you have any information on a laser flashlight for self defence, designed to temporarily blind attackers? Thanks, – Dave S.

JWR Replies: When lasers blind, they do so permanently, by destruction of the human retina. The “dazzling” effect is quite different than blinding. Never use a “non-eye safe” (blinding) laser against an attacker, or you will very likely be sued for every asset that you have, as well as a portion of your earnings for the rest of your life.

There are indeed flashlights with a temporary “dazzling” effect designed for self defense, but I have not tested them. At least one publicized prototype uses pulsating LEDs, designed to induce dizziness and/or vertigo. I’ve never been one to trust my life and safety to high tech gadgets. Keep in mind that these “dazzling” effects might work well in controlled conditions, in a low-light situation, but they cannot be trusted to be effective in split-second real world confrontations, which can take place in all sorts of light conditions. I have my own ideas about appropriate technologies for self defense. If you want to effectively repel a violent attacker, expose their eyes to the sight of the gaping muzzle of a Glock Model 21 .45 ACP. This technique has been known to induce severe physiological effects including involuntary urination and defecation. If the visual stimulus proves insufficient to deter an attacker, then press the patented “on” button, in double taps, as needed.