There are a lot of options if you want to defend yourself with out getting a gun. One option is pepper Spray. I have a co-worker who recently bough some pepper spray to defend her self. I would much rather her carry that to defend herself with a gun. She would shoot me through the cubical wall.
You may ask yourself, Is it legal to carry Pepper Spray? Yes, in all 50 states it is legal to carry pepper spray. Some states allow a concealed weapon permit, but all 50 states allow you to carry pepper spray.
I was in the military and every year we had to go though chemical training and would get a dose of the pepper spray. It was not a fun experience. Believe me it is a real deterrent and will at the very least give you the time you need to make an escape.