DISCLAIMER: I review great (and not so great gear) on this blog with the purpose of helping people who don’t already have a lot of experience in nature realize that they can have a lot of fun out there with a minimal investment. This product I’m posting today is one that I actually sell myself, and therefore make a profit off of.
The whole purpose for this blog is because I was tired of hearing the same thing every time I set off on a mini-adventure with my kids: “Aren’t you afraid to be out there?” I couldn’t stomach the thought that people were ignoring the beauty of nature and denying their kids a great childhood in the outdoors because they were afraid of something.
So let’s talk about shark attacks:
*93% of shark attacks from 1580 to 2010 worldwide were on males.
*Most shark attacks occur less than 100 feet from the shore.
*On average, only 5 people die from shark attacks yearly.
*In 1996, toilets injured 43,000 Americans a year. Sharks injured 13.
*You have a 1 in 63 chance of dying from the flu and a 1 in 3,700,000 chance of being killed by a shark.
So why all the shark info? To illustrate a point. We tend to fear the wrong thing. What’s so scary about the beach? NOT. SHARKS.
Picking a random beach town (because it has BEACH in its name!), here’s some info:
*Long Beach, CA, saw a nearly 20 percent rise in violent crime and a 15.4 percent spike in property crime last year.
*Long Beach PD reported an 18.8% increase in violent crime
*The city had a 15.9% increase in murder, non-negligent homicide, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, motor vehicle theft, larceny-theft and arson.
Since the headlines and the crime dramas seem to focus on rape (ignoring all of the other violent crimes, for some reason), here’s some info from RAINN:
*There are about 293,000 REPORTED sexual assaults per year.
*68% of sexual assaults are not reported to the police (meaning the number above is actually about half the actual occurrence).
*Four out of five assaults are committed by someone the victim knows, NOT a stranger.
But we still fear sharks? We fear strangers in alleyways? We fear the outdoors because we all watched those bad horror movies in the ’80s with half-naked blondes running through the woods, being chased by axe murderers?
There are definitely things to be cautious of when you’re heading outdoors, just as there are things to be cautious of every single day. If people spent more time watching the road and less time watching their cell phone screens while they drive, for example, we’d all be a lot safer. Trust me, it isn’t a bear that’s gonna get ya, it’s a 16-year-old reading a breakup text from her boyfriend. But I digress.
Now for what you can do to protect yourself: besides arming yourself with lots and lots of knowledge and understanding what the ACTUAL, genuine dangers to you and your kids may be, you can carry protective gear. NO, I did not say you should arm yourself like a militia member, although if you’re comfortable AND TRAINED with a licensed gun, fine. I signed up as a sales rep for a company that sells self-defense gear (stun guns, pepper spray, auto kits, and more). The reason I went with stun guns instead of an actual gun? A) My kids, and b) a lot of the places we camp are state parks and national parks, and many of them have a ban on firearms. In order to protect myself, I’d have to break the law. But with some pepper spray within reach and a stun gun nearby, we’re safe from many common threats, both human and animal. If you’re interested in learning more about the stun guns, click HERE.
But again, the most important weapon any person can carry is information. Know what the actual threats are and stop wasting your time and energy on the things that are not statistically dangerous. Stop avoiding the ocean because of sharks while making yourself a target to the criminals standing on the beach behind you.