So about 7 years back, long before the damsel in defense blog was born, I came home to my college apartment with a huge case of pepper spray I’d gotten off of ebay. I planned to give one out to each of the girls in my complex. Then, because I’m a self defense weirdo, I decided that if I was going to give these to the girls, I should probably make sure it works. I went outside with it, and meant to spray it down into a corner, but the wind had other ideas. It hit me full in the face..
And you know what? I’m glad it did because knowing exactly how someone who is pepper sprayed would feel really gives me insight into how and whether to use it. It taught me respect for properly and conscientiously using and storing it.
Speaking of which, one of my brother’s friends left a keychain (disguised) pepper spray on my mom’s desk once. I was holding my niece and saw mom shoot out of the den coughing. As she passed me, she told me to get the phone. I assume she’d been having a coughing fit and didn’t think anything of going in. I had the baby turned into my shoulder, luckily, because what had happened is my mom had thought it was perfume and sprayed it, causing a cloud to rise around the phone. I immediately tucked the baby’s head into my shirt, and ran out coughing and bleary eyed. I knew exactly what had happened because it wasn’t the first time.
We all know about gun safety, and you wouldn’t leave a gun lying around for a stranger or infant to pick up. It’s the same with pepper spray or any other self defense tool. If you own it, you are responsible for it, for keeping it on your person and secure, away from little eyes or hands, and heaven forbid you leave it with a stranger.
It’s nice for some women that defense items have gotten a lot cuter, pink, and can be disguised as lipsticks or perfume. But on the other hand, they don’t have the same obvious weapon look to them and could harm other women (Especially the perfume ones) and children who might think they are toys.
Bottom line, no matter how cute it is, it’s a weapon and deserves respect. In fact, the less it looks like a weapon, the more careful you have to be to never let it out of your hands.
Disclaimer: I’m not suggesting you pepperspray yourself in the face. This is just my experience and opinion, and hopefully you can learn from my experience and never experience it yourself. I’m not responsible for anything you do or don’t do.