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Mark Baria from the Land of Lincoln shares his carry ensemble “My Usual EDC” with us, courtesy Everyday Carry.

First off, he doesn’t carry a firearm.  Instead, he carries a pepper spray dispenser that looks like a firearm.  Specifically, a Mace Brand Police Strength Pepper Spray Pepper Gun 2.0.

At first I thought he wasn’t old enough to carry, but then I saw he’s 31-years-old.  Then I see he works retail… which means lousy hours and most retail employers have little sense of humor about carrying while at work.

At the same time, I’m not sure they would cut him a lot of slack for carrying a pepper spray applicator that looks like a gat.

And then there’s the whole issue of the shortcomings of hot pepper seasoning for self-defense.  Personally, I have seen first-hand the limitations of pepper spray. Heck, it’s one of the drills we do if we have extra time in our Essential Carry class. Lack of effective range, blowback in the wind, incapacitation delay, inability to deploy, collateral damage…  and the list goes on and on.

And then there’s the whole, “it looks like a gun” downside to the applicator.  If someone sees Mr. Baria holding that Mace Brand Police Strength Pepper Spray Pepper Gun 2.0, they’re gonna think it’s a gun.  And react accordingly.

Other thoughts: He likes fire. He has three lighters: A Bic, a Zippo and a Vertigo. And multitools (two).

He writes this:

First part of my edc that I keep in my pockets, my truck, and edc bag.

Anyone else rely on pepper spray as their primary self-defense tool?


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  1. Never have been or will ever be into “catch and release”. If someone gives me a legal reason to sort them out, they will know good and well they’ve been sorted, at least until they reach room temperature. To truly be effective, non-lethal stuff needs to come with a crystal ball, a threat equivalent chart and a time machine. Did I notice a hint of arson in the air? Most self-defence sprays use non flammable propellent these days. If you do succeed in lighting up his fire, what’s your plan if his dying act is to give you a big old bear hug? This stupid is gonna keep it simple and just shoot him. F-K-A.

  2. I carried a Pepper Blaster for years before I ever carried a gun. But I never said(or thought!) I “carried”. I usually always have a knife and a SabreRed pepper gel thing with me gun or not. This guy is a doofus with his fake “gun”…this could get you shot.

  3. When I hike here in the Wind River area of Wy I usually carry two lighters, one of them water proof, but can’t imagine why you’d need three in an urban environment. Maybe he just likes lighters and multi-tools.

      • I’m well known in the ones that I frequent, never comes out of my jacket pocket, never goes in the tray of metal detector. Can’t rem if cannister has ever set metal detector off or not. not in last 5 years. Think it depends on machine calibration.

  4. Well…could be several reasons for a pepper gun and not a bullet gun.

    He may not believe he would shoot someone.

    May not have a permit.

    He may be listening to commentors on TTAG who say a bar of soap is better than any cartridge less than 9mm.

    Not a pepper spray or stun gun fan. I hope it all works out for him.

    I would get an LCP and a DeSantis pocket holster. A lot smaller than the pepper pusher.

      • A bar of soap in a sock is a devestating weapon. A good, solid hit anywhere from collar bones to kneecaps is pretty much a for sure one shot stop. If not, hit him again and as often as needed to gain his voluntary submission. The bad joes come out of gladiator school knowing things you would not believe until you’ve seen them successfully used. It’s very simple, put ’em down and put ’em out. There’s always someone, somewhere, who’s willing to make it more complicated than necessary. F-K-A.

        • I had guessed that you were making an innuendo for fun in that comment. Joking. Oops, sorry. My joke fell flat then.

        • In Fort Knox we received a short block of instructions in silent kill techniques. The bar of soap in a sock or rock or….. was taught. Essentially the same as a blcy Jack

  5. Any non-gun that appears to be real, especially in a high stress situation, well that is a bad idea.

    Only actual guns should look like actual guns. This was not always how I looked at toy guns, but with cases of kids shot dead over their realistic toys these days, I’d rather all toy guns look like toys even from a distance.

    Make AirSoft look like SuperSoakers.

  6. I have those big 16oz FOX pepper spray stream bottles in front of my driver’s seat if a road rager starts bashing my car and I cant drive away (and a bunch of pepper spray cleaning wipes in the glove compartment), but that’s about it.

    Not sure what the logic behind a pepper spray gun is. Seems like a really really bad idea.

  7. These continue to be hilariously stupid. First, his caption states he keeps some of these in his truck. So you’re not really carrying it if you leave it in your truck, you know?

    Then there’s no gun, which is understandable (because Illinois, or from the looks of the lighter, maybe a felon) although certainly a little silly on a gun website. Then there’s the multiple multi tools, multiple lighters, and it’s just a festival of cringe.

  8. A regular pepper spray canister is useful very rarely… but with one that looks like that you’re getting many of the disadvantages of a gun without the benefits. Not bright, but still better than a baton that I see some carry.

    Maybe he can’t legally carry a gun? If so, a taser would be a better choice, and the good news is that they’re being legalized by the courts all over.

  9. Well, I was hoping to find another “Unpopulated, New America” instead! So I could become another pilgrim in a free land !!! Anyway, enough daydreaming…(MACE pepper gum looks stupid. A feel good gimmick for liberal hand wringers who want to feel safe…)

  10. If ever possible, to reclaim unconditionally our 2nd Amendment right….I would recommend requiring every lawful US citizen to have at minimum…A Cold Steel Spartan, or Voyager Vaquero…Useful tools, and best last ditch tools for survival…

  11. A pipe lighter with on-board tools that, and I shit you not, the advertisement says right on the Amazon site “A cracking pipe lighter…”


    • That’s crackling , not crack. It’s a type of finish , and those tools on lighter are for tobacco pipe smokers.

      • No, that’s a direct copy+paste from Amazon. The whole line says “A cracking pipe lighter that offers an electronic lighter with a lifetime warranty”. Again, copy+paste.

        The finish is listed as black and chrome or orange and chrome.

        I’m quite well aware of what it’s designed for. I’m also aware that they’re referred to in slang as a “crack torch” or “crack lighter” by people who don’t use them for fine tobacco products where flavor is affected by something like a zippo.

  12. Any place that bans guns, bans pepper blasters. They are almost pointless unless you live in a (legally\nearly) gun free city. If you are going to get fired, it may as well for something that is more likely to help. That said, when in D.C., I can’t carry a gun, but pepper spray is ok-ish. I think one school shooter in a college or HS was stopped by pepper spray from a bystander, so something is better than nothing…

  13. Andrew Branca of law of self defense recommends having both pepper spray and a firearm.
    He states that you are not permitted to respond to a non deadly force attack with a deadly force response.
    A punch is considered a non deadly force attack (even tho if people have died from a single punch, legally it’s a non deadly force attack)
    Pepper spray/ Taser/ fists are the non lethal response
    I don’t know about you all, I’m too old and slow to engage in a boxing match
    Pepper blaster seems like a good idea in addition to a gun

    • Sorry.

      I dont intend to get a bloody nose or a black eye for no reason.

      I know several people with severe brain trauma from a single punch.

      I do not carry pepper spray. If an attacker has pepper spray or a stun gun, they are getting shot if they advance.


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