Monday, July 30, 2012
What Would You Do?
My daughter, Ashinator, is nineteen, living on her own and working in a place I don't necessarily like - a smoke shop.
I stopped in today to see her and it was the first time I've ever stepped into a smoke/head shop. I didn't like it. I didn't like that they had the majority of the windows covered; I didn't like that my 100# baby girl is working alone, often times open to close; and I didn't like the clientele I saw coming and going.
Being nineteen and on her own, she can work wherever she damn well pleases, but I don't like it. I know I've worked jobs that I *had* to just to make ends meet, but I'd rather she not work there. I would almost feel better if she worked in a strip club. Why? Because there they have bouncers - big ones - and there are always people around. I like the thought of people being around should anything happen.
She and her brothers have reassured me that stoners aren't usually motivated to do a whole lot (which is true) and that she's got protection in the form of knives stashed around the store. There's literally no place in the store that she doesn't have a knife or weapon of some sort within arm's reach. I asked her what she would do if she couldn't get to a knife and she said, "Mom, I'm surrounded by glass hookahs, I'll hit them with one."
I like that she's thinking outside the box and I *love* that I know without a doubt she won't go down without a fight.
What I'd really, really love to do is arm her. Unfortunately, she's not eligible for a CCW because she's not 21. "Emergency" permits can be issued if the person is over 18, but just because she works in a head shop does not mean she is eligible for an emergency permit.
It is legal in Colorado for someone under 21 to own a handgun, but they may not purchase it. Typically, kids under 21 who own handguns have had them "gifted" to them by a relative, so I'm not opposed to buying her a pocket pistol. So now the problem is - even if I buy her a handgun she can't obtain a CCW to carry it. That leaves the option of open carry, which is a whole other can of worms.
She is old enough to purchase her own long gun, but how much trouble would she be inviting to carry a shotgun to work with her every day? Sometimes it's best to not advertise that you're well-armed. I think with her clientele, if they saw her carrying in a shotgun, they'd start thinking that maybe there was something worth stealing in her shop, and I don't want to invite that kind of trouble.
I'm insisting that she take Double Tap's knife fighting class with me in September, but other than that, I'm not sure what else I can do.
I'm open to ideas. Other than make her quit her job and start supporting her myself, that's not an option.
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If she can have a cell phone at work, perhaps a pre-arranged telephone checkin schedule when she's working early or late by herself? I recognize that's not of much help, but it might be good for peace of mind. Otherwise, I'm not sure there's much else you can do. Are TASERs legal in Colorado?
I struggle with this same issue with my almost-17-year-old daughter. She's going to be launching into the world on her own in just a bit more than a year, and I know only too well how many monsters she shares that world with. As a mother, this is what keeps me awake at night, and it's what motivates me to study, write about and (soon) teach about firearms and self-defense.
Maybe some sort of "panic button"
alarm. A real ear splitter. And maybe a pocket sized stun gun. And maybe a class in self defense. And maybe a BRAIN so she wouldn't work in a shop like that. And maybe....
This is a tough call. Have you consider Tony Blauer's SPEAR program, or a Personal Defense Readiness program? They teach using the bodies reflexes and fending off an attacker, buying time to get away or to your second line of defense. I took some training and it was awesome.
The other suggestion is a personal alarm, about the size of a pager. When you pull the pin it lets out a horribly loud siren. It can attract attention and scare of an attacker.
Have you clarified that employees of such locations can carry or have firearms in possession? I'm guessing yes, but you know the MM people can't possess a firearm - still a federal controlled substance. My second choice behind a side arm would be a big can of Bear Spray, with a realy big quality sticker in reserve. spray in the face, slash if needed. Colapsable baton? but I don't know if they are covered under CCW laws.
I know MM users can't own a firearm, as far as I know there's no restriction for working in a head shop, as long as you're not using.
To clarify - she's got good street smarts and her "creeper" radar is excellent; she's also had self-defense and, of course, knows how to shoot. Best ever is that she's got the right mindset to take care of herself.
But that doesn't mean I don't worry.
for Double Tap, it is a violation of Federal Law to use Bear Spray on a human...tempting, but it can get you in a lot of trouble. Same thing for Wasp Spray and most household chemicals.
Ugh, being a parent is tough isn't it? And it doesn't get any easier when they head out on their own.
I think if she isn't willing to leave that job(and I wish she was) then what you and she are doing is about all that you can do, just more of it. Get her as much training in all the the other areas like hand to hand and knife fighting and continue to hone her SA.
A friend told me recently that a can of wasp spray is better than a taser or pepper spray because with those you have to get close to the perp, but with wasp spray you don't have to be near. It sprays far and burns badly.
Pepper spray has the same ingredient that bear spray has,so maybe she can keep that on her key chain.
I can understand your worry. I'm sure there is some shady clientele coming in and out. It seems like your Ashinator is very street smart and knows how to protect herself.
Does anyone ever come back to the shop to help her close or stay with her until she closes? That might not be a bad idea. When I was 13 and worked at the beach, my boss never let us walk to our cars alone. Day or night, we had to have an escort, usually one of the guys.
Other than that, I think you already have some great ideas. :) Just trust that your daughter is smart enough to handle herself.
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