When someone defends the Second Amendment and cites self-defense as part of the reason they defend it, someone will usually suggest alternatives. They’ll sometimes claim that guns aren’t great for self-defense and suggest people arm themselves with things like pepper spray instead.

A case in California kind of proves how bad an idea that one really is. This one features a pepper spray-wielding attacker who ran into an armed citizen.

It didn’t work out well for the bad guy.

A smash-and-grab crew busted into a jewelry store armed with hammers and pepper spray but what they didn’t know is the owner had a gun.

The attempted smash-and-grab at Dana Kathryn Jewelry in Studio City took place on May 25th.

Security video shows one man unloading a canister of pepper spray on the owner and two customers. Then, a guy with a hat pulls out a hammer and starts to bash the display cases.

Police say the store owner stayed calm even though the guy with the shaved head swung a hammer at her while she was out of camera view.

“That changed the game there. Turned basically from a smash and grab burglary into a robbery,” said LAPD Det. Jennifer Hammer.

When the bad guy turned his attention to the door he had to be buzzed out of, the store owner was able to grab her firearm and take a shot before the robbers escaped.

They got away with nothing, though, because their hammers were insufficient to break the glass.

However, for me, the takeaway was how even with pepper spray supposedly so thick the police needed protective suits when they arrived on the scene, the store owner was still able to grab a weapon and open fire on the suspects.

Just how do people think a blast of pepper spray would take out armed attackers?

Don’t get me wrong. I know pepper spray can be an effective alternative for self-defense. However, it’s limited, and that’s the problem. This instance illustrates just how limited it could be. If it didn’t stop a store owner, how will it stop a determined attacker? Especially if it’s someone who has a vested interest in ending your existence.

The truth is, when you play the self-defense version of “Rock-Paper-Scissor,” gun beats everything. It is, hands down, the most effective self-defense tool available. It’s why I fight so damn hard to keep things so we can access these tools of self-defense and would even if the Second Amendment didn’t exist.

While there are alternatives out there, none are as all-around effective as a firearm and unless something major happens in technology, that status quo will continue for a long, long time. This instance illustrates that beautifully, in my opinion. Gun beats hammer and pepper spray, even if the bad guys got away.

They got away empty handed and the innocent didn’t get hurt. That’s a win in my book, and since they already took a swing at the store owner, that wasn’t guaranteed by any stretch.