Modern Living: The Best Defense

Purse-size electric cattle prods. Lipstick cases that are really tear-gas guns. Canes that double as daggers. As muggers across the nation are discovering, these are the latest additions to a growing James Bond arsenal of protective devices used by city dwellers to fend off would-be assailants.

Demand for such hardware seems greatest in New York City, where scores of muggings occur each day. "The number of people looking for a good defensive weapon has really exploded lately," claims Norman Simon, who owns three Manhattan umbrella stores. Catering primarily to law-abiding citizens who are...

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