Ex-military officers: Every situation doesn't call for lethal force; Byrna is the right choice
A road rage incident earlier this year left Steve never wanting to be without a self-defense tool again.
“Typically, I usually carry concealed most of the time, but I didn’t that day, and the situation wouldn’t have warranted deadly force,” he said.
Steve said he believes it was a case of mistaken identity when a male driver stopped next to his vehicle at a stoplight and yelled at him. Steve and his wife, who was in the car with him, had no idea where the man came from or who he was. The man eventually left the pair alone, but Steve said they were shaken up after the incident.
“Like I said, that wouldn’t warrant deadly force anyway, so I started looking into non-lethal options,” he explained. “Of course, the tasers came up and then the pepper spray came up, but I wanted I wanted something that could separate myself a little bit more.”
Steve said his research for less-lethal options led him to Byrna and he was sold.
“The sheer fact that the CO2 isn’t punctured until you pull the trigger for the first time is what sold me on it,” Steve said. Excited about his discovery, he told his friend Glenn.
“All my years military, five years law enforcement, I never needed deadly force, whatsoever,” Glenn said.
Glenn recalled a device used during his law enforcement career with the tagline “take the close out of closeness” and said the Byrna reminded him of that.
“This felt right in line with that giving yourself another degree of separation to the aggressor and being able to get out of dodge and allow law enforcement to do their job,” Glenn said.
As Glenn and Steve discussed it more, they agreed that if a person had to use deadly force today, it would “ruin your life, at least for a couple of years, you’re going to have to go through hoops, you’re going to have to, you know, hire lawyers. Because basically, well, in today’s society you’re guilty until proven innocent, that’s the way I look at it.”
Glenn and Steve are both CCW holders and are military veterans, they admitted that one thing they questioned was the effectiveness of the Byrna at 60 feet.
“We went out into a building, and we measured out 60 feet, just to see if it lived up to the hype. And when we fired the first round and, and saw what it could do, and the punch that it put, I was like, ‘holy crap, okay, it is good at 60 feet, you know, this is living up to the hype,” Glenn said.
Glenn and Steve said after their first test, their curiosity continued for what else the Byrna could do including testing out conditions with layers of clothing because of the climate they live in, and they even tried out the pepper projectiles.
“It’s nasty,” Steve said.
“It’s game over,” Glenn exclaimed.
“It’s nasty. That stuff is not that – you’re not joking with that stuff,” Steve said.
Steve and Glenn discuss the use of force extensively, namely because of their military and law enforcement backgrounds. Both said they would only use a lethal weapon in a “life and death situation.”
“I always like to use the analogy of an old cartoon with a bank robber, you know, going out of a bank with a big bags of money, I could care less, you can run out of Target with a handful of, I don’t care, I’m not gonna pull my – ever brandish my weapon,” Steve said.
However, with their Byrna’s they each have peace of mind.
“If someone told me that they’re only going to carry a firearm, I would look at them, try and educate them first, you know, on what the Byrna is and why I made my choice,” Glenn said, as he explained he offers anyone who wants to fire it to give it a try.
“If you are going to carry a deadly weapon, you really have to be in a mindset that you really don’t ever want to pull it,” Steve continued.
For both Glenn and Steve, owning a Byrna has become a family affair.
“My three out of the five daughters have actually shot it. The other two live out of state. They haven’t had the opportunity,” Glenn said, but one has already ordered it and the others are in line. “They’re convinced this is going to replace their handgun.”
Glenn and Steve are both believers in less-lethal force.
“It’s a great peace of mind and it does exactly what it’s described to do. It won’t kill somebody, but it’ll get you out of that situation so that you can dial 9-1-1 and let the professionals handle it,” Glenn said.
Steve added, “So many incidents can be de-escalated, or don’t require lethal force.”