Be it pepper spray or mace; we have all heard of it. Some of us may even use it or admire it from a distance. For one, I have had the childhood fantasy of whipping out a packet of chili powder at a potential assailant numerous times.
Jokes aside, it's essential to have something with you to protect yourself whenever you venture into the outside world. Even a flashlight could work—but the sprays work better. The goal of this nonlethal weapon is to blind your attacker by inflaming their mucus membranes. It forces their eyes to close and gives you enough time to escape from the sticky situation—whatever it may be.
Although pepper spray is convenient, easy to conceal, and affects people with alcohol, there are regulations on its use. It is legal in all of the 50 states in the USA, but the container's size, the concentration of the spray, and the age of the user differ from state to state. In most places, if you are a teenager, you can use it under parental consent. However, you can get punished if you spray an innocent or person for verbal assault/ their looks. It is justified to use it if you are physically attacked, but make sure you spray in close proximity, and somewhere that is safe (Do not do it near the stairs, road, etc. where the attacker could fall). Ultimately, if you plan to carry it, make sure to look up the laws specific to your region and act accordingly.
Understand the implications of your nonlethal weapon and use it with care. In dangerous areas, keep it at hand, literally. If it is at the bottom of a purse, you will not be able to reach it in time.
Using pepper spray is a smart decision, but use it wisely. Know the laws in your area, make sure that you are old enough to use it, and watch out for the wind—don't spray your face in the process.