...may seem like two things that have no connection, but a camera flash can be a very effective home defense tool and I am not talking about taking a bad guys picture for evidence.
What I am talking about is the use of a camera flash to virtually blind an intruder even if only momentarily so as to give you the edge you need to get away, or to defend yourself in another manner. Please note, before I go on, the technique of which I am about to write is not an end all self defense tactic, nor is it guaranteed to save your life, but it is something you may want to consider as a possible advantage giver in a life or death situation, before you use deadly force. Therefore what I am about to write should be understood to be geared toward the person who is already familiar with, and ready to use, some form of deadly force to protect his or her own life, or the lives of family members within their own home from a potentially deadly intruder. Again I am not saying it will work or not, the decision to use this technique is totally up to you as a responsible adult.
The technique itself is simple, and the list of items required to carry it out also fairly simple. Go out an buy yourself a fairly inexpensive camera flash for a 35mm camera. You can probably get a decent new one for under $50, maybe even under $25. Make sure the flash can be fired while off camera, they usually have a button on the back that can be pushed to fire the flash. Then put in some fresh alkaline (or fully charged rechargeable batteries) . Familiarize yourself with how to use it, to make it go flash, wile pointing it away from you. Practice over and over again, picking it up, turning it on, counting until it is ready to fire (usually takes a couple to a few seconds), then close your eyes and fire it in the direction of your threat (imaginary threat while practicing). Then leave the flash gun where ever you usually sleep at night, right close to your self defense weapon.
If you are ever awakened, and you believe an unlawful intruder is inside your home, or trying to gain entry, turn on the flash gun so it will be ready. Do whatever else you would do to be ready to defend yourself and loved ones. Arm yourself if you reasonably believe it to be necessary, and remember to exercise safe weapons handling. Call 911 if at all possible while remaining safe. If you actually see an intruder, fire the flash directly at him, making sure to close your eyes as you do so, but as soon as it has been fired open your eyes, drop the flash, pick up a flashlight and illuminate the person, then take appropriate action. The flash will in all likelihood effectively ruin the night vision of someone for a split second, giving you that much of an advantage. If dark enough, and if the flash is strong enough, it will effect the bad guy's vision for up to a few seconds. Of course if the bad guy blinked just as you fired the flash gun, well then no to very little advantage to you.
In the time of your advantage, you can take appropriate action dependent upon the situation before you. Turning on your flashlight, after firing the camera flash, may illuminate a bad guy with a gun, or it may illuminate your 16 year old daughter who just sneaked into the house at 0400 (4AM) because she had sneaked out earlier to be out late with a boyfriend, or you may see a policeman in full uniform coming up you hallway searching for a burglar. Whomever it is is very likely not going to be able to see you very well at that moment. The advantage is yours.
Of course, in some cases there may be no time to pick up a camera flash, turn it on, and set it off, before you need to take other appropriate action to defend yourself. You need to take action based on the situation as it unfolds, and those decisions are up to you. I recommend taking a good home defense course.
All the best,
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