Roughly 80% of assaults each year are not deemed “lethal” assaults. I have written about this before but I will say it again here: due to the legal concept of disparity of force I believe strong, trained, male defenders should carry a less-lethal option when armed with their handgun even more religiously than a female or older person who carries a handgun. Why? Because the majority of assaults that happen do not justify a lethal response, especially if the individual being assaulted is a capable and strong male defender. If you need to defend yourself but are facing an attacker who is not a legitimate lethal threat then you are confined to using your hands unless you have an appropriate tool.
I like to carry pepper spray, not because it gives me a better weapon than my hands, but because it is actually less force than hands. When men get into fist fights bad things can happen. An individual who sustains a traumatic blow to the head can end up dead. A less-lethal tool like pepper spray can sometimes de-escalate a situation before it gets that far. Not always, and sometimes spray may actually enrage a determined attacker, but armed citizens should have a good plan B on their body most of the time. For less-lethal assaults, however, spray is often a good option.
I carry the ASP Key Defender. I like this unit because it holds my keys very efficiently when it is tucked in the waistband. This has proven more secure for me than any kind of belt clip I have tried for holding keys. Because it functions as a kubaton it gives me the ability to escalate force to focused impact if needed. This unit is, obviously, not as efficient for actual spray as is a larger unit, but the large cans tend to not get carried due to bulk. The Key Defender, for me, is a good solution. I like the option of going directly to impact with the unit itself if an aggressor presses the attack after being sprayed. I have a small but fairly powerful light attached to the unit along with the keys.
I also recommend the Sabre Red Spitfire if you want a small key chain unit that is more conventional. I like the kubaton aspect of the Key Defender, however, and this unit is two defensive tools in one, plus a great device for carrying keys in its own right as it does not fall out when tucked in the waistband. Pepper spray is not just for women who don’t want to carry guns, it is a good tool to have as a male or female who is already carrying a gun because a firearm is not a universal solution. Get a good pepper spray tool, train with it, and carry it on a daily basis. It may prove well worth the effort.