I will start with the one suggestion with which I do agree, to some extent. The Today Show’s “expert” suggested bringing your car keys upstairs and using the key fob to activate your car alarm. This will create a loud noise and attract lots of attention (which burglars do NOT want) – if your alarm goes off in the middle of the night. While a good idea, this concept does have many limitations. How many times do car alarms go off during the day and people just ignore them? Also, is your bedroom close enough for your key fob signal to reach the car? I suggest testing this idea to make sure it will work, but do not rely on it as the “be all to end all” defense to a home invasion.
Next, up using “wasp spray” instead of pepper spray. In short, NOT a good idea. I have seen way too many articles and experiments which indicate that the effectiveness of wasp spray (or other bug sprays) is no where near that of pepper spray. If you are looking for distance, just make sure the pepper spray you purchase has a range of 10-15 or more feet. Add to this the fact that wasp spray contains a warning against using the product indoors (which means it is just as likely to affect you and your family after your initial use) as well as a federal warning against using the product for other than its intended purpose – making Mr. Zeins’ suggestion illegal (kind of like Vice-President Biden’s advice to fire your shotgun into the air). If you think that the government will not prosecute you just because you used it in self-defense you simply have not been paying attention lately. You are much better off obtaining a high quality pepper spray and learning how to use it properly.
As far as the advice to cooperate with intruders, show them where all of your valuables are and to “treat them like royalty” – since when do we want to extend courtesies to the people robbing us?! This is part of the problem with this particular mindset. Yes, I understand Mr. Zeins’ intent is to “be nice to the bad guy so he doesn’t hurt you”. Once again, if you truly believe this approach will work out for you, you have not been paying attention. Understand that this is a choice you will need to make for yourself and your family – and it is one that you really should make well before you are forced to act on that decision. There are simply too many cases where victims complied with the bad guy and were still beaten, shot, raped - or all three. Bear in mind, there is a reason we call them “BAD GUYS”! Do you really want to trust the word of someone – who just broke into your house to steal from you – that they will not hurt you also?
Do you really want to show the bad guy all of your valuables? After all, you wouldn’t want him to miss any, would you? Treat him like royalty? Yeah, because that won’t raise any suspicions! If you are directing him to your valuables, do you really think that once you are done he will believe you don’t have anything else? Do you really think he will believe you are not “holding out” on him? Exactly what do you think the bad guy will do if he suspects you are holding out on him?
If you are caught in a situation where you truly have no way to defend yourself, the best thing may be try to get to a corner , turtle-up, make yourself as small as possible, and make yourself as unobtrusive as possible. Answer questions if you feel you must, but do not speak unless spoken to – but try to be observant.
I believe the absence of any mention of any substantive way to defend yourself, your family and your home is a deliberate one on the part of the Today Show. To them, you must be the “bad guy” if you want to defend yourself – after all, isn’t their advice to treat the home invader “like royalty”?