I seriously laughed SO hard at that, dunno why... xD
Really couldn't agree more with this. In my opinion carrying any firearm is a very bad idea unless you are REALLY comfortable with the weapon in question... That is my opinion no matter in how bad a neighborhood you live, chances are that if you are in a situation where you couldn't do with less than a firearm the one attacking you won't care wether he harms or maybe even kills you or not, while you most likely would hesitate at least a little to even harm the guy, and that hesitation could easily end with the attacker having your gun or firing his / hers at you first. So really as the good Sir zomgroflman pointed out, if you aren't ready to seriously harm another person in the blink of an eye, for heavens sake don't carry a gun! I really would recommend 5% or stronger OC gas (if anyone doubts how powerful that stuff is, try it), it's insanely quick and easy to use and VERY effective! Plus I promise you won't hesitate much to use that since it's just a "little cloud of gas", assuming of course you get the stuff that comes out of the can like a sort of mist/cloud (forgive me I only really know the proper terms in Finnish and Swedish..). It's I'd say 99.9% non-lethal, some people are allergic to it, but at least they'll make friends with the EpiPen when the ambulance arrives, but it will give you time to escape from pretty much anyone, or stay there and call the police and laugh at the guy for being stupid enough to try and rob you! As Valkyrie also said, it really is awful to get sprayed with it, you can't describe it and you can't imagine how it feels until you've tried it yourself.
A taser ain't too bad an idea either, but they MIGHT not work if the target gets too close and they sure as heck don't work if the guy's too far away, and with a weapon like the Taser C2 you pretty much have one chance to hit the guy whereas you have maybe even 4 chances with the gas (that's with the size MK-3.5 that I carry at work). A stun gun however is a really bad idea in my opinion since you have to get so close to your target. If he's further away than your arms length it obviously won't work unless you throw the stun gun at him, which probably isn't the best idea... ;D For you I really wouldn't recommend a telescopic baton either, in fact I wouldn't recommend anyone carry that around with them. It's by far the most dangerous of all the weapons I've mentioned here (except for a firearm obviously), especially if the person using it is drunk.
I myself trust my skills in hand to hand combat enough to only have Hatch SGX11 Street Guard cut resistant gloves on when I'm out at night to be able to disarm someone with a knife by grabbing the blade if other techniques to get it fail. Most people that try to rob you aren't that good fighters anyway and there aren't THAT many guns on the streets here so I don't really worry about that, but even so I've still had to run a few times...
This is all experience talking so if anyone has any opinions or own experiences with any of the things I've talked about I'd love to hear it, either here or on xfire/msn since this is pretty much the stuff that I work with.
But really, for self defense I'd strongly recommend you get some form of OC gas spray! As I said it's easy and fast to use, VERY effective, it's reliable and it's not a big or heavy thing to carry around. Also it is the second to last thing I'd give up if I'd have to give away one thing at a time from the equipment belt I carry, the gun and telescopic baton going long before the gas and the last thing to go would be the latex gloves... To anyone that doesn't know why it will sound strange but it really makes perfect sense... ;D And holy f*ck I just realized what time it is, 0503 and I've written a serious goddamn book on the subject... Medals, hugs and cookies with milk will be awarded for anyone that actually reads all of that... Time to grab a few Zs!