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1W Laser for Self Defense in an Active Shooter Situation

Razako

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I think the OP is talking about carrying a laser as a possible defense against active shooters. In that case "war crimes" and "negative laser press" are the least of your problems. The main concern is escaping or stopping the shooter from massacring everybody like sheep.

In any event, you need a green laser for use as a dazzler. RedCowboy explained why very well. Green produces the flash blinding effect much more effectively than blue. You could probably carry around a ~500mw 532 NM laser with the output moderately unfocused to use as a dazzler, but there's no guarantee of effectiveness. It might just draw the shooters attention to you.

I'd recommend just getting a CCW permit and carrying a gun, but a lot of places are gun free zones(AKA free target practice for nutjobs).
 
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Lildutchboy7

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In my opinion, lasers are not and probably never will be weapons. At least not our little handheld ones. You're probably just gonna get the attention of the shooter focused on you. I don't know why you wouldn't be able to carry a firearm but that's seriously one of the few ways to have a good self defense nowadays. Either way I hope you find what you are looking for. :)
 

Razako

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In my opinion, lasers are not and probably never will be weapons. At least not our little handheld ones. You're probably just gonna get the attention of the shooter focused on you. I don't know why you wouldn't be able to carry a firearm but that's seriously one of the few ways to have a good self defense nowadays. Either way I hope you find what you are looking for. :)
IDK, Styropyro probable has a few that could be:crackup::crackup::crackup:
 

Nyquist

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Thanks for all the replies you guys, especially Red Cowboy.
Yeah I'm in los angeles and it's virtually impossible to get a CCW unless you're in law enforcement.

Guess I'll leave the 1W 445 at home and focus on running away quickly if something ever happens near me :eek:
 

Benm

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As for the blinding effect: It actually works quickly when you get a good direct hit to the eyes. The flash blindness is instant, any remaining blindness remains to be seen. In most cases the acute effect is at least as bad as the (life)lasting effect*.

But wether it is effective is doubtful. The 445's have such a bad beam pattern that they are unlikely to blind anyone 100 meters away unless you use very good optics. A 1 watt single mode 532 will do the trick though.

One issue is that it only works fully when someone is looking in your general direction. If you shine a laser at someone that's looking at something else they will see that in their periferal vision but that will not result in immediate blinding. It will still give away your position and may encourage someone to empty a clip in your general direction.

* this would exclude partial retinal detachment where someone has eyesight left and could save that by seeking medical treatment quickly.
 

Encap

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If you could effectively aim and intentionally blind someone with a 445nm laser it would be permanently blinding and a criminal act. In addition, you would be subject to civil suit for whatever you are worth and then some. 2 wrongs do make a right--the right to be worng.

445nm is no good/useless for flashblinding because the the flashblind distance is about the same or even less than permanent occular damage distance--so when you are talking about 445nm you are talking about actually eye damage blinding someone not flashblinding someone

532nm has a flashingblinding range about 4X the occular damage range which is why it is utilized and 445nm is not.

See: http://www.lasersafetyfacts.com/resources/Laser-hazard-distance-chart.pdf

and scroll down to "Comparing NOHD and visual interference distances" here: Laser Pointer Safety - Laser safety calculations 800mw 445nm vs. 800mW 532
"Notice that for the blue laser, the flashblindness hazard (385 ft) is shorter than the NOHD (437 ft). This is due to the deep blue light not being sensed well by the eye’s retina. All of the laser power is going onto the retina -- that’s why both the green and blue lasers have the same NOHD of 437 ft. But the blue light is not seen well, so it can only flashblind up to 385 ft. In this case, the NOHD is more important. A person getting the direct beam in their eye should be farther than 437 ft, if possible."
 
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steve001

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Hey all,

Coming here look for an opinion from the experts. Lately there have been numerous terrorist attacks all over the country, with many of them being people who take firearms into public places and go on shooting sprees. I see in videos of these attacks that nobody has any means of defending themselves and subduing the shooter, so they either run or get shot down.

I live in the US, but not in a state or city where I can legally carry a firearm on me, so I got to thinking...what would be legal to carry, yet extremely effective in subduing someone who started open firing at me and everyone nearby?

I keep coming back to my 1W blue laser. I feel like if I got to cover and was within a hundred feet or so of the shooter, than I'd be able to hit them in the face with it and (hopefully) stop them, at least long enough for more people to get away.

Is there any validity to this thinking? Would 1W of blue directly to the face/eyes from about 100-200ft be enough to stop someone like this? Very curious to hear your guys' feedback.

I want to clarify that I would never use my laser to harm anyone unless it was a life or death situation.

Thanks!
Faced with no choice other than to defend yourself it is an option. There is a device called a laser dazzler operating at 532nm and it strobes about 20 times per second. Strobing is the key. Other devices called laser dazzlers are really laser dissuaders and are used by the military. They are intended to be used as long range devices more than 200 feet. Google laser dazzlers and notice what you find. The device should have a wide beam.
 
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Benm

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Faced with no alternative anything is an option, including throwing the laser pointer at someone's head in an attempt to knock them out (works very well with high power argon lasers, or rather their power supplies).

Dazzlers are interesting but afaik not reliable. The strobing might startle or confuse someone, but it doesn't damage the eye at advertised range. It would be quite similar to rapidly flashing a photo flash into someones face (some cameras flash a burst of low power flashes to assist with focus/exposure etc).

I would not suggest using lasers as weapons really, chance are they are not effective and put you in danger.

One thing they seem to be good at here is getting street scum to disperse a bit. We sometimes have bunches of immigrants hanging around the street here, and they tend to budge when fired upon with a laser (say 200 mW from the 15th floor, defocussed enough to be within MPE on the ground).

I'm sure they arent affraid of the laser beam itself, but don't like being noticed/filmed/etc, or perhaps even suspect it's a gun mounted laser for aiming - they might be from areas where laser dots are a prelude to gunfire, who knows ;)
 

steve001

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Faced with no alternative anything is an option, including throwing the laser pointer at someone's head in an attempt to knock them out (works very well with high power argon lasers, or rather their power supplies).

Dazzlers are interesting but afaik not reliable. The strobing might startle or confuse someone, but it doesn't damage the eye at advertised range. It would be quite similar to rapidly flashing a photo flash into someones face (some cameras flash a burst of low power flashes to assist with focus/exposure etc).

I would not suggest using lasers as weapons really, chance are they are not effective and put you in danger.

One thing they seem to be good at here is getting street scum to disperse a bit. We sometimes have bunches of immigrants hanging around the street here, and they tend to budge when fired upon with a laser (say 200 mW from the 15th floor, defocussed enough to be within MPE on the ground).

I'm sure they arent affraid of the laser beam itself, but don't like being noticed/filmed/etc, or perhaps even suspect it's a gun mounted laser for aiming - they might be from areas where laser dots are a prelude to gunfire, who knows ;)
It's most likely a bad situation will happen at night and that's were a bright light source is most effective. Flashing a bright light into someones eyes when they are fully dilated will cause temporary flash blindness and the strobing will be at the least very annoying I know from experience if not disorienting. This just might give one the chance to run. Throwing a laser isn't a good tactic because all the aggressor has to do is dodge or one could miss entirely with their throw. If one throws it their aim better hit the aggressor directly in one eye to have any chance of being effective. I feel certain when all other options fail temporary flash blinding is the better option to throwing.
 
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TheDukeAnumber1

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You know what stops a bad guy with a gun, a good guy with a gun. Get a CCW or fight for legislation that allows you to.
 

Benm

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@steve, please consider the jokes... though getting hit in the head with a argon laser power supply would probably knock someone out quite easily.

As for the effect on street scum: I think pointing a laser at them makes them aware someone is watching, potentially filming, them. This seems enough to make them move somewhere else just in case. The small red usually is enough to make that happen, although a watt of 445 tends to motivate them a bit more (as in run instead of walk).
 

Rivem

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I might be a little late, but I'd say it's not going to be worth the risk. If you shine a laser and miss, your target generally knows where you are, and he either avoids you again or shoots you. You'll have to be able to hit him in the eyes immediately and with enough intensity and time to cause flash blindness and keep the laser aimed. Any dazzling is therefore going to have to be done at fairly close range.

If you're going to be that close, tasers or pepper spray are going to be much more effective at incapacitation. Even if you permanently blind a madman with a gun, he's not going to be in much pain and could simply start spraying bullets around.

The handgun option isn't great since you'll have to be pretty skilled to shoot an attacker in a crowded and/or dark space as most of these attacks happen. Tasers aren't much better, but they at least probably won't kill anybody if you miss.
 

Skans

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Personally, I think it would work. But, so would a gun. Less liability shooting the murderer dead than with blinding him. But, if all I had was a 1W laser, I'd whip it out and start blinding the murderer! I'd worry about taking my lumps later.
 
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Nyquist

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Thanks for the continued responses! Really interesting to see what everyone thinks about this.
Yeah I'm not as much interested in dazzlers as I am in a way of permanently blinding the pos. Usually what happens is they kill as many people as possible, and then are shot dead once police arrive. I'd rather blind them permanently so less innocent people die, and so that police can then question them and get information etc upon arriving.

I agree it's completely bogus how strict Los Angeles is with giving out CCW's, like I said earlier you literally need to be friends with or work for LAPD or the Sheriffs to receive one. You'll never see a non-leo with one unless they have received multiple death threats or something. I'm a great shot with my glock as well so it would be the obvious solution.

After reading initial responses I was tempted to buy a 532, but after looking at the Wicked Laser comparison that Encap linked, it seems like both wavelengths have the same "eye damage hazard" distances?

I guess at the end of the day I just want to feel able to defend myself in a life-or-death situation, and since I'm not legally allowed to carry my firearm on me where I live, it'd be nice to have something else that would somehow work in it's place. Not as interested in the "dazzling" effect, unless the blindness lasted 30+ seconds.

Maybe I'll do some digging this weekend for any studies that have been done regarding concentrated (laser) wavelengths and instant eye damage. Would be nice to know which, if any wavelengths will incapacitate the quickest (and I mean really incapacitate, to where they are useless. Not 'hopefully' incapacitate, like mace or a taser gun). Seems like 532 is the answer, but it seems logical that it would be used by the military because it doesn't permanently blind, but rather has the flash-blind effect? I'd prefer instant blindness to someone trying to gun down innocent civilians.

Sorry again for the violent-themed thread, not trying to conjure up a weapon-like tone for laser pointers, just trying to find any possible way to defend innocent people in case of a terrorist attack or another mass shooter scenario.
 




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