Wed. Jun 3rd, 2020

The Blue & Gray Press

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Pepper spray, mace necessity on college campus, need policy change now

3 min read
By RIPKEN SMITH I think that if the university allows pepper spray and mace in residence halls that sexual assaults on our campus will greatly diminish.



I think that if the university allows pepper spray and mace in residence halls that sexual assaults on our campus will greatly diminish.

Pepper spray is a good option because it is more effective in slowing down an attacker due to the immediate inflammation of the respiratory system. Mace is considered to be less effective because it relies heavily on pain compliance, and if an attacker is under the influence of drugs or alcohol they may feel the effects less.

University of California Police Department said that, pepper spray will still cause inflammatory effects to an attacker even if they are, “mentally disturbed or under the influence of intoxicants.”

Since pepper spray can cause inflammation of the respiratory system to nearly every individual, it should be used more because it can help stop the aggressor from assaulting.

It surprises me as to why people wouldn’t want to use the most effective tool they can, especially when it comes to their personal safety.

The physical side effects of pepper spray include; skin irritation, eye tearing, burning and involuntary closing, immediate inflammation of the respiratory system, uncontrollable coughing and gasping for air and a loss of balance may occur due to reduced vision.

These side effects will help give you time to get away from an attacker, which is better than nothing.

As many know, sexual assault happens on our campus and campuses across the United States and in most cases the victims are females.

According to the National Sexual Violence Resource, 91 percent of the victims of rape and sexual assault are female, and 9 percent are male.

A key determinant in what could help stop a sexual assault or rape is having time to separate oneself from the attacker. If the aggressor has been pepper sprayed, it is hard to them to run due to inflammation of the respiratory system and they can barely see anything due to the involuntary closing of the eyelids in response to the spray.

Pepper spray doesn’t just harm the attacker, it can also harm others that are nearby, because of the effects the spray has on people’s breathing.

Despite the breathing discomfort of nearby individuals, everyone should be allowed to carry pepper spray with them at all times on campus, and especially in the residence halls.

In order to safely have pepper spray in residence halls you must have to go through a self defense class or seminar that teaches how to properly use pepper spray. This class would require the person taking it to sign a pledge to not misuse the pepper spray.

To help deter individuals from misusing pepper spray, consequences should entail fines and possible jail time.

Even though the University is making efforts into helping limit the amount of sexual assaults here on campus, the best thing to do is to start a program that would make it possible for everyone to carry pepper spray with them at all places here on campus.

This program should not be mandatory, but it should be highly encouraged. Implementing a program like this has a high potential to help decrease the number of sexual assaults here on our campus.

2 thoughts on “Pepper spray, mace necessity on college campus, need policy change now

  1. While I understand the overall sentiment here and think it is worth debating, I just can’t escape all the grammar mistakes and lack of issue development (research, argument, examples, thoughts from fellow students). Editorial board, what are you doing?? Do you guys just publish whatever you get? Where are the standards?

  2. Students in ENGL380 send in their stories to the editorial team and from there edits should be made before publishing.

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