James Shaw sells self defense products on his website ResistAttack.org. On Sunday, he and his wife ventured to Waterloo Records in Downtown Austin, the former workplace of Barrera, and handed out free canisters of pepper spray.
It’s something that he’s done for months now. The idea to arm young women first sparked in Shaw’s mind when his 17-year-old daughter first started making college visits.
“We’re just trying to spread the mission as far as we can,” Shaw said. “We want to try to give every woman in America pepper spray.”
Since August 1, he says he’s handed out more than 800 free canisters of pepper spray. This week, he’s been hitting the streets in Central Austin, making sure everyone in the Heritage Neighborhood, where Barrera lived and was killed, has protection.
“It is generally a safe town but when things like this happen people really start to focus, ‘Should I be walking on my own at dark?’,” Shaw said. “People really need to be walking together and staying with their friends.”
Very cool. Go check out his website, ResistAttack.org.
There’s a lot more to self-defense than just carrying pepper spray, but it’s a good start. If a woman realizes she needs to carry it, if she carries it all the time, maybe that also means she’s got some awareness that the world isn’t 100% safe. The world is generally good, generally good people, generally safe, but it only takes one bad apple to spoil the bunch — and such statistics are of little comfort when you are the anomaly. So yes, if it gets people thinking more about their personal protection, if it gets people to change their habits like not walking alone, being mindful of the dark, of not putting yourself into potentially dangerous situations in the first place, but then if you wind up in it to be able to do something about it… all this is a good step in the right direction.