Well I've been getting my ducks in a row to return to my old "day job" in order to go back to school and to go back to working as a Stage Manager. But, with driving a cab comes the concern of "solo" employment out on the streets. Most of the time it's awesome because I have almost no interference with how I run things, and you really DO get to meet some of the coolest people. But then there are the drunks, tweakers, deadbeat fares, carjackers and getto trash that come with it. So what to carry? For the longest time I carried the C9, and it still is in my mind the best bang for the buck (pardon the pun) when it comes to price and reliability, and will carry it still from time to time. But, a 9mm compact is not often the best choice. There are many other factors to consider such as: -range -capacity -price -environment (space of area shooting, lighting conditions, room for drawing, etc) -culture (how others perceive) -legalities -convienence -ease of use Lots of stuff! I thought about the Kel-Tec, the venerable Taurus and Smith and Wesson wheelguns in .357mag/.38 spcl, and the infamous Phoenix and Raven arms. But, while doing research I had an unusual experience the other week that left me thinking. I got to see a meth head at the local Circle K (a convience store in the Southwest) get tasered by a cop in person! Now, it seems stuff was already out of hand when I got there, but the cop came in right behind me before I could get out. So I decided to chill by the slurpee machine until they did their thing. Long story short: Tweaker didn't do what they said, the cops zapped him and he went down faster than I've ever seen anyone drop! And, contrary to the cheap chinese stuff you buy at a gun show for 20 bucks, he didn't just get right up. He was flying and then he was all sorts of twitching in the wrong ways. As they were tying things up and the cops were getting statements, I asked one of the other guys if he really thinks the Taser was a decent weapon for less than lethal use and explained to him what I did for a living. Without hesitation he said "Yes!" and explained that out of all assualt situations, the three times there was no question if the shooter was in the right was when it was involving a Taser corp device. This was about a week ago, and the research on my part has been insane! While nearly all "stun guns" are considered noisemakers at best, only Taser International's devices actually put a subject down. Are they better than a gun? No, but then again, they're NOT a slugthrower. The police in nearly every city in North America swear by them, and every media source may say nasty things about them, there are rarely events where someone simply "shrugs" off a shot from one of these weapons. So, after much deliberations and even going back a few years to when I considered the then-insanely priced $999 civilian-ized police models, I have put my credit card where my mouth is and ordered this: Price was a bit on the more steep side ($299, plus 2 extra cartriges at $25 each), but pound for pound it's been the highest reviewed weapon by police next to the Glock. It's ergonomic, surprisingly substantial, and the features truly impressed me. Pulse rates at 30 second intervals, 15 foot range, 50 "intervals" per full charge on a Lithium-ion power cell (which contributes to 70 percent of the weight), VERY durable construction, concealed probe port in order to keep the weapon clean and ready, full output at about .30 joules per pulse at an average pulse per second rate of 17pps (about 4x higher than nearly every highest powered chinese unit out there), and capable of drive stun even if the cartridge has been fired or not. Is it perfect for all around defence? Depends on the application. Yeah, each round is $25 EACH and it requires a reload after every shot. Also, it hardly has the intimidation factor of a slugthrower and will probably be mistaken for an Energizer single use flashlight. But then again, I'm not out to impress anyone when I pull a weapon. The few times that I've had to draw a firearm, neither myself nor the assailiant had time to contemplate the socio-economic impact of my weapon. It's been a matter of half a decade of my debating on whether or not to take the jump to carrying a "new" weapon, and I think I've made the best choice. The price has dropped 66% percent since the civilian model was made "affordable", and the design has been improved from the user's perspective. It's really been designed from the ground up outside of the gun industry as it's own weapon. And, after the research, on-hands examination and number crunching it seems perfect for my application. The police have a positive image of it since in Arizona there is not one documented use of a registered Taser being used in any crime, it's suited for equal output in either close range or distance firing, it can be used inside a car and out, and carries far less liability than a firearm. Also, it is NOT considered a concealed weapon in the state of Arizona (although I have a CCW, but this allows me to get around the cab company's ban on drivers carrying weapons) and can even be carried open with a custom holster option. I am, by no means, giving up my pistol. I am diversifying my arsenal. Not every situation can be solved by one device. I am confident this should perform well to the application of driving a cab in the culturally questionable, 5th largest city of Phoenix.