So I have received this question quite a few times and have seen it pop up around the internet on multiple occasions. The first thing that comes to my mind everytime I see this is “why not”. Many argue that a person does not need to carry pepper spray because people lose it in their purse. People forget it is a tool that you must familiarize yourself with and ensure that you know how to access and use in a time of need. Due to many people not using it properly these statements are used as generalizations.
So I’ll just start by saying that pepper spray is not the end all be all solution of self defense, but it is another tool you can add to the tool box. Pepper spray is an inflammatory agent which when sprayed to the face of an attacker will cause inflammation and watering of the eyes of the would be attacker while causing them trouble breathing. This is what makes pepper spray effective and is why it should be considered as something to add to your defense kit.
The reality of what happens and what many people do with their pepper spray daily that has made the generalizations possible is something we are hoping to help change. People buy a pepper spray and then let it get shuffled around in their purse until it is at the bottom and they forget about it, or they have the same spray on a keychain for five years because they never needed it and did not realize it should be replaced. The problem with this mentality is that just because people do not care for it like they should does not mean that people should stop carrying them. We need to do a better job of getting people to understand how to care for this product and to make sure they are in a position where they can use it if need be.
We here at SPG look at pepper spray like car insurance. We pay for it when necessary, but in reality hope that we never have to use it. Unlike car insurance good pepper spray is inexpensive making it easy to test the product out and ensure that you know how to effectively use it. Do not worry about your friends thinking you are crazy because you took your pepper spray out of your purse before you walked into that dark parking lot, or disconnected it from your keychain as you left the downtown bar to walk to your car. The reality is these are the steps that help you implement more situational awareness into your daily life and to make sure you are in a position to better defend yourself if necessary.
We hear people say all the time that they do not need pepper spray because they carry a firearm, or they would never let anyone that close to them in a situation to use pepper spray, but in doing so they all overlook the reality, which is everyone is different and every situation is different. In today’s society there are many establishments that do not allow firearms in their facilities, and people are not going to quit their job over these policies, or risk heavy penalties for breaking the law such as carrying into a government facility.
There are also situations where even those of us that train at a high level regularly can end up in where things do not go as planned. Unless someone chooses to live under a rock the rest of their lives and not spend any time being social then all we can do is plan and implement ways that we can reduce the risk in our everyday lives. Pepper spray can come in sizes as small as a pepper spray keychain or one that can also fit easily in your pocket making it a very convenient add on. By carrying pepper spray and taking time to learn how to use it if necessary and making sure that it is replaced when necessary then you are on the right track.