Self defense has always been a topic concluded with “just remember not to be out at night and avoid alleyways” but it’s about time that this generation is given better options.
Things like pepper spray and whistles are more common among people as self defense weapons and can be purchased at almost any sporting store or online. Other techniques like sharp keychains have been also introduced and websites like Amazon and Wickedclothes have started selling cat keychains that are used as self defense weapon. They come in colors like blue, pink and purple and appear to look like normal keychains but can be prove to be helpful in the moment of an attack.
“I feel like they should advertise that more, keychains like that sound cute and effective,” junior Shaleen Chand said. “Things like this should be made more of a priority in advertising for women’s safety.”
While efforts are being made to improve what one can use for self defense, it’s also important to have a good understanding of when these weapons are supposed to be used.
“It’s when you can’t avoid the attack,” School Resource Officer Erica Gonzalez said. “When you have no other way to guarantee your safety, then you have the right to defend yourself.”
An understanding of what self defense is also includes knowing when it’s absolutely necessary.
“Rules for carrying around weapons for self defense are different on campus; there are policies restricting having weapons on you even if it’s for self defense,” Gonzalez said. “It’s different because you have security guards, principals, and teachers who get involved, and even me here for your safety.”
A lack of successful marketing of self defense options has led women to get more creative when it comes to self defense. News websites and blogs have highlighted a trend of using bug and hornet spray in place of pepper spray, and many question if these products are a safer alternative.
“I’ve heard of women using hornet pray and honestly thought it was a great idea,” sophomore Julie Vasquez said. “If someone tries to attack you then you should treat them like every other pest you come across.”
But is hornet spray really safer than pepper spray? Val Glinka, teacher at Sylvania Southview High School in Ohio, teaches self defense to his students and for decades has suggested using hornet spray as self defense. Its spray can reach farther and is more accurate than mace and pepper spray.
“It’s better than anything I can teach them,” Glinka said in an interview with writer David Emery on his self defense classes.
For the price of a $5 keychain, and a $5 can of wasp killer, self defense can and should be a safety option available for everyone.
Along with inexpensive accessories one can also buy a Yellow Jacket brand stun gun to use as an iPhone case. Available for the iPhone 4s, 5s and 5c, it was created by U.S. inventor Seth Froom after he was robbed at gunpoint in his own home. It can be bought online for $99.
Even with the help of self-defense items, people still must be cognizant of basic safety rules: always be aware of one’s surroundings, park in well-lit spaces, do not become distracted by cell phones or other electronic devices while walking and try not to travel alone at night.