About 15 years ago the Los Angeles Police Department was banned from equipping policemen with the trusty Maglite flashlight, because its weight and durability made it excessively useful in bashing suspects. Eventually, the LAPD and its overseers settled upon an extremely bright lithium battery powered Pelican flashlight that only weighs about 10 ounces. You can temporarily blind people with it, but you can’t beat them.
In recent months when I go for a walk at night, I’ve taken to carrying a Maglite-style flashlight. I’m less likely to trip on all the sidewalk segments uplifted by tree roots, the pool of light bobbing around my feet makes me less likely to be run over by motorists, and so far I haven’t been accosted by any homeless crazy guys since I started carry a big club-like flashlight.