No matter what time of year it is, college campuses can be difficult to navigate. With just a simple glance at the headlines, it’s obvious that college students are facing uncertainty and some unsafe situations. If you’re wondering what options you or your child have for self-defense on campus, you’ve come to the right place. These are the possible secondary defensive measures college students might be able to use on campus.
Does Pepper Spray Work?
Although the right pepper spray can be a legitimate secondary self-defense tool, it needs to be used correctly (and effective products must be utilized). A big mistake many parents make is handing their child – usually their daughter – a canister of pepper spray with the advice to “be safe.” There’s more to pepper spray than a spicy version of spray-and-pray, though.
Two quality brands currently on the market are SABRE Red and POM. All pepper spray is not the same, and these are simply two of the brands seeing common use in professional fields at this time. Pepper sprays like SABRE Redare derived from Oleoresin Capsicum (OC, as in “OC Spray”). Countless members of law enforcement and experienced self-defense instructors recommend SABRE Red, specifically. There are companies on the market that will claim their higher percentage of OC means their spray is a more effective self-defense tool, but in reality, it’s not the percentage of OC it’s the consistency of heat produced by the formula.
From the Sabre Red website:
“Major capsaicinoids are the true heat measure and can only be guaranteed through High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) testing – and, again, we’re the only brand that does. The only pepper sprays that are government regulated (by the EPA and Health Canada) are animal pepper sprays. Dog sprays range from 0.25% to 1.0% major capsaicinoids and bear sprays range from 1.0% to 2.0% major capsaicinoids. WARNING: Do not purchase pepper spray without checking its content of major capsaicinoids.”
It’s a good idea to use a canister of practice spray first to familiarize yourself with the feel and operation of the canister and so you know the effective distance of the spray.
Do Martial Arts Work?
Being in good shape is certainly a boost to your ability to defend yourself. However, the idea that martial arts training makes you fully capable of defending yourself against a violent attack is inaccurate. Although it can help, it’s no guarantee you’ll be able to act in time or within the space available with no notice. Also, sports like boxing, as fun as they are and as well as they contribute to overall fitness, are not necessarily useful when your child is fighting for their life. If all you train in is boxing, it can be hard to orient yourself if and when you’re taken off your feet.
Bottom line is that a background and current work in martial arts will give your college student a boost in the self-defense arena, but it should not be the only skill they depend upon for their protection.
Can College Students Carry Guns?
Generally, firearms are not allowed on college campuses. There are some states that allow them, but they are few and far between. Other local laws regarding age and carry method must be followed as well.