The Safety of Self-Defense Tools

By: Tamara Evans Email
By: Tamara Evans Email

"I have a couple of friends at home that carry them but I personally don't," WKU student Amy Tarter said.

But Tarter said she's considered carrying a self-defense tool.

"I wish I did because you hear all the time of things happening," she admitted.

She isn't the only one. Amanda Newman's parents suggested pepper spray.

"They just said it might be smart to carry it around--to get a little thing of pepper spray to put on a keychain when I walk around at night," said Newman, also a student at WKU.

But for people who carry self-defense items, like stun guns, tasers or pepper spray--there's one question.

"Would you know how to work it right now if you had one?" we asked.

" No...no," Newman answered.

It isn't illegal to have a self-defense tool, but if you don't know how to use it, it could be used against you.

For officers, training on any type of weapon is essential.

"Whether it be a firearm, or whether it be our pepper spray or a taser that police officers carry, we have to go through a lot of training," assured Barry Pruitt, an officer with the Bowling Green Police.

But for regular citizens with a self-defense item, sometimes you don't have this kind of training.

"I would seriously recommend you go out and at least practice with it or become proficient with it if a situation ever arose where you might have to use it," Pruitt said.

So that way, the safety defense tool isn't turned around on you.

"You have to be able to use it without thinking--just like that," Pruitt added.

Amanda said if she ends up getting pepper spray to carry with her, she'll know what to do.

"Have someone show me how to use it so I don't use it on myself," Newman admitted.

Officer Pruitt recommends that if you plan to give one of these
self-defense tools as a gift, for example, to someone going away to school or living alone, make sure the person receiving it knows how to use the item.


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