Lets see, telling people you have pepper spray and know how to use it and telling people you have a gun and know how to use it. Which one would make people more afraid of you?
Ill tell you what will make people afraid of you - rub habanero peppers on the palms of your hands and then rub it on someones face - they wont mess with you again.
I do not recommend trying this at home, as your likely to rub it on your own face - and a note, even the less spicy Hungarian peppers stay on your hands even after washing...
I can imagine it now: "Stay back - I have habanero hands!"