Pepper spray/personal alarm

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-25-2006
Pepper spray/personal alarm
10
Tue, 12-11-2012 - 2:25pm

Yay!  The workaround worked.  Thanks, Elle.  (The "see all threads" is at the end of the "College years and more" section, before the "beyond" section.)

So, this is what I wanted to start a discussion on yesterday.   Do any of your college students carry pepper spray or any other type of self-defense gadget?  When I read the reviews online, often they say that it can take 2-3 tries before the pepper spray actually comes out.  Mabye a loud alarm would be better.  What do you think?

When we saw DS23 over Thanksgiving he mentioned that there had recently been three armed robberies on/near campus.  He said he thought he might start carrying a knife, and I told him I didn't like the idea; too often the weapon gets in the hands of the criminal and makes the situation worse.  Personally, I like the defense my BIL used as a teen 40 yrs ago, growing up in the Bronx--a $20 bill to throw at the attacker.  (Now, he continues to do martial arts at age 65 and could probably quickly get the guy to the ground and knock him out.)  Discreet use of any electronics is always wise.  And no Helly Hansen, or other big-name jackets for which some crazies kill.  Unfortunately, DS doesn't have time to take a self-defense class now, and hardly has time to work out which doesn't help either.

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http://www.pnhp.org/news/2009/october/meet_the_new_health_.php

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DQTBYQlQ7yM

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2009
Tue, 12-11-2012 - 2:55pm

Pepper spray & self-defense gadgets are concealed weapons and therefore against the law. Carrying a knife and a gun are also against the law here.

Avatar for suzyk2118
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-30-1997
Tue, 12-11-2012 - 5:09pm
No self-defense gadgets here. At work here we can't bring any weapons in even though MO is ok to concealed carry. Thankfully ds's new U is much safer than his previous one, and the Ys he works at are also both in very safe areas.
Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Tue, 12-11-2012 - 9:38pm

Neither of them carries any self defense devices like that, as far as I know. I don't know what either would do if faced with a situation in which they wished they had something. Dd lives in NYC and walks around alone at all hours....she told me once that the only "sketchy" part was passing the sex workers...she has since moved and changed jobs so I don't think she has to pass through that area any more. We were with her on the subway and she definitely put on a "don't mess with me" demeanor as she went underground!

Ds lives in San Francisco and reports that iPhone snatchings are a popular crime. It used to be just grab it from the hand of a distracted user in the street but more recently people have been held up for their phones. I think that ds tends to keep his electronics tucked into his bag while on the street, but he uses his tablet while commuting on the subway and that seems to be safe, for now. Ds studied Aikido for a few years so he might be able to protect himself if necessary.

I would probably recommend an alarm over pepper spray. I would be concerned about the spray malfunctioning, or blowing back onto the person spraying it, or the attacker grabbing it from the victim.

Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
Wed, 12-12-2012 - 1:50pm

DS has a black belt in karate.  However, he knows from experience that large people can subdue even black belts, so he wouldn't rely on it (he's only 5'7" and skinny though strong).  He goes to school in an upstate town where thefts are most likely to occur among college students themselves.

I spent my young adult years working in NYC in the early 80s, during which time NYC was a nightmare of crime (crack epidemic).  Simple common sense was always my defense:  be aware of your surroundings, keep your valuables out of sight, HOLD ON to your stuff, don't walk down dark alleys, don't walk alone, don't take the subway after a certain hour, etc etc.  Even though NYC is much safer now, I still never let my bag out of my sight (and usually not out of my grip).  I was never mugged, assaulted or raped in NYC - other places, yes, but not NYC.

BTW I agree with the old idea of "mugger money."  Keep $20 handy to just give to someone so they don't pull weapons on you and you can get away with no further loss or complication.  And no flashing possessions either (not that my kids have any to flash - they tend to look neat but low-key).  Also, always look like you know what you're doing and where you are, even if you don't.  If you think someone is following you, turn around so they know you know they're there, and if you can pop into a well-lit or busy place, do it.  And so on and so forth.  I started working in NYC as a 5'4", 110-lb, 20yo girl, so my parents (who grew up in Brooklyn) made sure I knew all about keeping people at arm's length.  I probably didn't stop scowling and looking angry until I was 40, LOL.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-23-2003
Sun, 12-16-2012 - 6:37pm

This has definitely gotten me to thinking about DD's safety.  Her school just had a lockdown a couple of weeks ago due to an armed robbery on campus.  I will definitely lookup state laws and university policy regarding pepper sprays and such.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-25-2006
Sun, 12-16-2012 - 8:46pm
It seems like the mugger money and personal alarm are the safest, quick defense measures. I sure wish all the violence in our society would just stop; not just the real-life acts, including war, but the stuff in books and movies and music lyrics, and everywhere! It's no fun living in constant fear. I hope Obama signs some exec orders re gun laws if the do-nothing House STILL refuses to acknowledge that our permissive gun laws are at least partially to blame for the holy innocents' deaths. We also need to raise taxes to pay for the mental health care for those who cannot afford it. As we've seen over and over again, it IS our problem as a society, not just an individual's or a family's problem.

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http://www.pnhp.org/news/2009/october/meet_the_new_health_.php

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DQTBYQlQ7yM

Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
Mon, 12-17-2012 - 1:00pm

Amen to that.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-23-2003
Wed, 12-19-2012 - 2:40pm
I second that emotion on the violence in movies, books, music AND those stupid video games. It seems to be making our society tolerant of aggression and violence.
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-06-2009
Thu, 12-20-2012 - 10:53am
My first thought Jean, is on campus housing. Then again My father was mugged at a university homecoming game. The buddy system is my next suggestion. As to our society and violence. I think we force the insurance to finally do som good for the majority. I think if you have more than one gun or an assault weapon in your home=no home owners insurance. My insurance increases because I have a pool where some one could die. Open all registrations to the insurance industry. All purchases must be made with a credit card=open to industry. Owners will have to stash their guns somewhere away from their property. When a young male increases your auto insurance so should gun owning home owners. Money wil change everything!
Community Leader
Registered: 12-16-2003
Fri, 12-28-2012 - 11:11pm
My dd does carry pepper spray. It is not considered a weapon in Illinois, though we have no conceal carry law here, yet. She also has several martial arts she has trained for before she left.

Ramona  Mom to 2 great kids and wife to one wonderful hubby since 1990!