The Fluorescent Yellow Hand Of Justice
Self-defense devices

The statistics tell us that people who carry handguns for personal protection are actually more likely to get killed than people who walk around with no protection at all. Plus, what if you do shotgun that would-be mugger into an undifferentiated pile of blood and bone quivering on the sidewalk? Hope you've got a few years to spare for an involuntary manslaughter charge, pal, when it turns out that .44 Magnum the crook was threatening you with was actually a squirt gun painted black.

See also...
... by Thomas S. Roche
... in the Scope section
... from August 18, 1999

For these reasons and many others, non-lethal weapons are the wave of the future -- and as with all weaponry, deterrence is the goal, right? Right.

The Yellow Jacket Crime Deterrent System is a spray can that you discharge at a would-be assailant, coating the sumbitch with fluorescent yellow paint at a range of up to 20 feet. The paint is extremely difficult to remove, but dries slowly -- hopefully leaving obvious footprints and/or fingerprints at the crime scene. The coolest part is that each canister has its own chemical fingerprint, which Tracking Technologies Inc. keeps in a database -- legally-admissible proof that the guy who tried to mug you is the same guy the cops pick up three hours later trying to scrub yellow paint off his face.

The system also comes with big bright stickers you can put on everything you own, from your clothes to your car to your attaché case, proudly proclaiming: "Yellow Jacket Protected!" "I'm a total spudnut" is the other thing it proclaims -- put a sticker on your kid's jacket and see how long it takes him to get his ass kicked on the playground. Loads of fun for the entire family.

Yellow Jacket Crime Deterrent System: $29.95. The look on the tough-guy's face when you blast him with luminous yellow spooge: Priceless.

Thomas S. Roche is a GettingIt staff writer.