Thursday, October 26, 2006

Pepper Spray

For the sake of balance, I should write about how Eugene is not such a very safe city for everyone.

As it happens, this past week I've bought pepper spray for two young women. One is a student of mine who was dating a security guard but dumped him when she found out he was married; now the guy is being rude and troublesome. The other is someone I know on campus who is being bothered by a peeping tom with a habit of being only a few feet outside her apartment. In neither case is violence expected, but both cases involve creepy men who obviously lack normal social graces and therefore might become dangerous.

Because of liability, LCC policy forbids giving aspirin to students, let alone weapons. Both of the gifts happened off campus property, as a gift from one individual to another.

I worry most about my student, who will have a difficult choice if that guy decides to do some macho posturing with his truncheon or gun. Trying to spray him might introduce aggression into the situation to her detriment, or it might be necessary for safety as she sees his bravado transitioning into aggression.

So there are people for whom Eugene is currently not a very safe city. :-(

UPDATE: I've never bought pepper spray before, and have since found out I need not have done so. The LCC bookstore sells it, so I could have simply referred these students there.

UPDATE: Actually, the LCC bookstore sells The Club brand pepper spray. This does not contain any other chemical agent, so it not an advisable brand to use.

UPDATE: I eventually bought some pepper spray for at home. Read more here about how the larget "home unit" is infinitely better than the smaller, portable sizes.