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Yes, You Can! Self-Defense and Surviving New York City (Pt 2)

(Continued from Part 1…)

You’d be amazed the simple things that can save your life or create an opportunity to escape in the streets. 

A panic button on your car. (Criminals hate noise. They prefer to operate in stealth. A loud noise will most likely make them panic and flee the scene. However, you could also get shot, just saying.)

Roll under a car. (Depending on what’s happening this may give you an opportunity to escape or at least dial 911 or press a panic button, reach a weapon, etc. This is particularly useful for a smaller person, especially if the criminal is large.)

Deploy pepper spray. I have tested “the neutralizer” on myself, and it really hurt. It also contains a UV spray for identification by the police. I’m looking forward to getting some pepper gel and foam for myself and my wife as those appear to be more effective.

Use a bright light. This may sound silly, but give it a shot. Have someone hit you in the eyeballs with a Fenix tactical flashlight and let me know if that won’t buy a person the time to run or drop kick the criminal in the jaw? I have two of those, one for me, one for my wife. Look, I can light a window two blocks away from my balcony with it. Sooooo…


This one is riskier and should be an absolute last resort. The laws here are very dangerous for us as law-abiding citizens when it comes to knives, the same as guns. Legally, you CAN carry a knife, so long as it’s concealed (cannot be visible), under three inches, and fully locks requiring both hands to open it. It should be tight, not loose or easy to open. In a nutshell, those are the knife requirements.

Oh and you can’t be carrying it solely for self-defense, if they can prove you are carrying it for defense, well; you are done. So, how’s that work? I belong to an organization called “knife rights,” they are the equivalent of the NRA but for knives. I advise that you learn about “knife rights” if you intend to carry bladed or edged weapons at all. I won’t go into details here.

Take a self defense class. 

Learn the basics. It is not a bad idea to take a self-defense class. These will not make you a fighting expert, but let’s be real, who wants to fight in the types of scenarios I’m listing? The idea is to buy yourself enough time by disabling the attacker and then fleeing the scene. Simple techniques like eye gouging, throat strikes, throwing change at their face, biting, spitting, those can buy you the precious seconds needed to get away.

Are guns a good option for self defense? 

Not in NYC; unless you fit a very specific set of criteria, you CANNOT carry a gun of any sort in NYC. This is a major advantage to criminals because they know that unless you are a cop, or again, fit those very specific, nearly impossible guidelines, that you as a law-abiding citizen DO NOT have a gun on your person. So guns are irrelevant for this portion of the article.

What can you do if your home is being invaded in NYC? 

Legally, even in your own home in NYC you are supposed to attempt to retreat to safety. Other states have what’s called the “Castle Doctrine“, which is sort of like a “Stand your ground” law, but for the home and other authorized places. According to wiki, New York – Allows for the use of “reasonable force” in self-defense against Home Invasion. The laws on this one are very sketchy, and I’d advise you to read good and hard if you intend to defend yourself at home. Most of the methods I mentioned before can be used against a home invasion. You can have pepper spray, baseball bats, cooking knives, a 2 by 4, a chair, whatever it takes! You can hide in a safe room, set off alarms, and the option that is not available to us in the streets, owning a firearm!

So I can have a gun at home? 

Yes, with the proper permits, even in NYC you are (at least for now) allowed to own firearms. It’s a long tedious process, and even after you have the permit, the gun must be registered, brought in for inspection, and listed on your permit I.D card. A residence permit DOES NOT permit carrying the firearm outside. You may transport it to a range provided that it is properly secured. Read up on those laws here.

I hope that my tips have provided you with some ideas on how to stay safe in NYC. Good luck and always stay watchful, the worst enemy to a criminal is our being aware! One final note: NYC does not honor any gun permits from the other states. Except for law enforcement, I believe a Pennsylvania based police officer can carry in NYC and vice versa. However, don’t quote me on that one, find out the laws before ever introducing a firearm to NYC, or you could end up behind bars with Tiny.

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Angel Rodriguez

Angel is a blogger with appearances on The National Geographic Channel, MTV, HLN, FOX 5, HOT 97 FM, NY1, Bronxnet and many popular online sites. He is a U.S Air Force Veteran, Political Columnist, Musician, MMA Fighter, Foodie, and the Host of The Hidden Report Talk Show. Follow Angel on twitter and most social media via @AngelRdotMe

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