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Discussion Starter #1
Soro and I are moving to North Carolina in a few weeks! We'll be right off my college campus, but the neighborhood has a very bad reputation. I think we get monthly updates about people being mugged... It's usually just muggings, but recently two prospective students were shot.
Deeply disturbing. But hey, a few days ago some guy in our current neighborhood got stabbed a few times. My current neighborhood can be labeled as fairly quiet and safe, but anything is liable to happen anywhere.

All this said, I'm a big night time dog walker. Like 10 pm-12 am. The streets around my soon-to-be neighborhood are just houses so that's not very exciting. But campus is just 10 minutes away and there is a LOT of open green space there. Despite the short distance, I've been told not to venture out alone at night.

I'm not planning on letting this stop me. On one hand, having a 75 lb black dog DOES have its merits. On the other, if a psycho has a gun it doesn't matter if you have a bear on the other end of the leash.

Though, I do think I would feel safer if I carried some sort of defense. I'm thinking pepper spray, rape alarms (or whatever they're called), taser.... Hmm... I need to check if those items are allowed.

So yeah, that's my situation. Any advice? :)
 

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What school? I live on campus and go to school in NC.

I guess my advice would be to bring the things you suggested, and if you ever get a real bad scare look into getting a gun yourself. If it really is that much of an issue after a while maybe drive into a friendlier neighborhood or see if there's a better place within walking distance.
 

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My advice would be to listen to the advice of the people who know the area. They're telling you it's not safe at night. I'd believe them at least for a little while until I got to know the area myself.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
What school? I live on campus and go to school in NC.

I guess my advice would be to bring the things you suggested, and if you ever get a real bad scare look into getting a gun yourself. If it really is that much of an issue after a while maybe drive into a friendlier neighborhood or see if there's a better place within walking distance.
Duke University! What school do you go to?

I just did a search for NC and this came up:

"NORTH CAROLINA: Legal with restrictions. Possession and use is lawful for non felons so long as the device does not exceed (150cc) "

" Legal -
•Unlawful to carry stun gun in a concealed manner punishable as a Class 2 misdemeanor (14-269)

•Stun guns allowed openly on educational property (14-269.2)

•Stun guns allowed to be carried openly by felons (14-415.1)"


The car idea is a good one! I forget I'll have that. The only problem with me is I don't like driving when I don't have to :D


My advice would be to listen to the advice of the people who know the area. They're telling you it's not safe at night. I'd believe them at least for a little while until I got to know the area myself.
Good advice. I've heard a mixbag of stories so far but I'll definitely have to get to know my specific area better!

I would definitely consider getting a Concealed weapon permit. Although, having a dog does help. :)
I'd like to avoid getting a gun... But it's good to know the option is there.
 

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Durham can be a bit of a scary place! I have heard they have a really nice dog park there though. I go to UNCG in Greensboro about an hour and a half away, my roommate is from the Duke area. I would test it out a little, just maybe avoid long walks past 9, but now that it's going to get darker earlier it will be a pain. You will get to know your neighborhood and see what the neighbors say. It's such a packed area there is a lot of good and bad that are close together.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Durham can be a bit of a scary place! I have heard they have a really nice dog park there though. I go to UNCG in Greensboro about an hour and a half away, my roommate is from the Duke area. I would test it out a little, just maybe avoid long walks past 9, but now that it's going to get darker earlier it will be a pain. You will get to know your neighborhood and see what the neighbors say. It's such a packed area there is a lot of good and bad that are close together.
I've heard about the dog park as well! But Soro isn't a dog park sort of dog :D And Duke's campus is obnoxiously huge and green; lots of faculty and people in the area jog their dogs on the trail and everything.
What you say is absolutely true. Durham has such rich culture if you know where to look. But the area around Duke is an example of how the area is literally divided (by a very low wall), rich and poor. Mind, I'm not one of those 'pay my way in' students. -thanks financial aid every single day-
 

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My advice would be to listen to the advice of the people who know the area. They're telling you it's not safe at night. I'd believe them at least for a little while until I got to know the area myself.
I agree. If they're saying it's not safe, take their word for it.
When my daughter moved up north for school, to a large city, I flagged down a cop and talked to him about the area. He told me what parts of town were safe and what parts to avoid.
 

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While a dog really does deter your average a-hole/ opportunistic mugger, anyone really bent on hurting you will shoot the dog and then turn the gun on you.
I've worked in and lived in some very very bad areas, and I have professional training for both armed and unarmed defense. And if all the locals told me not to walk in an area after dark, I would NOT walk in the area after dark. By locals, I mean people who actually live/work there, not people in the larger vicinity that know it by reputation.

Pepper spray can be good if it is legal but you have to really be aware that if you use it in a wind, it can blow back on you (and your dog) and incapacitate you more than an attacker. While extremely unpleasant, it is quite possible to fight through being sprayed directly in the eyes, while you could easily have difficulty getting the spray even into someone's face (distance, direction, etc). Basically, it can just piss off the bad guy and he can still act. It tears you up, makes you wanna puke, and burns like hell but it doesn't actually STOP you (you=one, a person). It is not a cure-all to a dangerous area.

Stun guns are a little better in the sense that the wind does not affect them. However, like any weapon, they can be turned against you by a stronger or better armed opponent. You also have to be very close to a person to use them (versus taser which shoot barbs out on a wire).

Guns, with training, also are a useful tool. But I recommend extensive training (beyond a concealed carry 8 hour class or whatever is generally required). Know that a generally accepted rule is that a person with a knife who is within 21 feet of you, can get to you before you can draw a weapon and fire it. Realize the legal consequences of shooting someone and that mistakes are permanent. A friend of mine was walking home from a late night food service shift and turned a corner and ran into a girl, the girl panicked and pepper sprayed him. Had she pulled a gun instead of spray, it would be have been tragic and irreversible.

Okay, all that said.... find a self-defense class that teaches REAL skills like Krav Maga for example and sign up, don't walk your dog after the streets are empty of people, find a walking partner if you MUST walk late at night in a bad area, and always carry a cell phone and be aware of your surroundings.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Okay, all that said.... find a self-defense class that teaches REAL skills like Krav Maga for example and sign up, don't walk your dog after the streets are empty of people, find a walking partner if you MUST walk late at night in a bad area, and always carry a cell phone and be aware of your surroundings.

All good points Shell. The bolded bits of your message are what I'm particularly bad about doing. The last bit I do ALWAYS.
Thanks for the advice!
 

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A thought or two to add-

Go to your local police substation and talk to them. There may be a few cops that are too busy to talk or are just jerks, but I would bet you'll find someone that can give you some words of advice. Far easier to give some advice than to clean up a body later. Ask about your area, ask for their suggestions on legal methods of self-defense, and ask what clothing or colors you should avoid wearing (gang related problems). They may ask for your ID to make sure you are just a concerned citizen and not a gang member or such trying to get inside info; no big, I'd show my ID without complaint.

Look up the state/federal registry of meth labs online- areas that have frequent meth lab busts tend to have other problems. Crime draws crime.

Carry a non-weapon weapon... walking sticks, the large maglights etc make good weapons. A heavy metal flashlight especially serves a dual purpose of light at night (see your surroundings) and essentially, a nightstick (thunk!).

In some areas, a scream may not be answered, but a call of "fire" will draw attention.
 

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Your dog is your pal...
He may deter attacks ..just because he is a dog .

However..
If your dog actually protected you by biting some degenerate...You would probably be sued and your dog would be PTS.
and carrying any kind of weapon would only make things worst.

Thats just the way it is...here in the USA

Perhaps not living in a shitty neighborhood could be an alternative solution?
 

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Like others, I'd recommend not walking at night. It simply isn't worth the risk.

I have a CPL (concealed pistol license) and I DO carry whenever I leave my house. I still don't feel like tempting fate by walking in a bad neighborhood at night, even if I have my 9mm in my waistband. It's not worth the trouble you can get into. Who's to say an attacker will approach you from the front, instead of from behind or the side or by jumping out of an alley? Who's to say there won't be more than one "bad guy"?

I'd very much recommend changing your walking habits to late evening when there are still people out and about to assist you if a threat appeared.
 

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Your dog is your pal...
He may deter attacks ..just because he is a dog .

However..
If your dog actually protected you by biting some degenerate...You would probably be sued and your dog would be PTS.
and carrying any kind of weapon would only make things worst.

Thats just the way it is...here in the USA

Perhaps not living in a shitty neighborhood could be an alternative solution?
MOST jurisdictions allow for personal defense, both using weapons (some including firearms, others restricted to less-than-lethal items like pepper spray) and if your dog bites someone. My city specifically outlines that a dog who bites in defense of its owner is NOT a dangerous dog. While anyone can sue anyone for any BS reason, having a city or state law similar to this is a strong support. If you have homeowner's or renter's insurance, your personal liability protection should cover civil suits such as a dog bite suit.

Know your local laws!!

And as for living in a better area... well, I've seen people murdered behind million dollar+ homes. Sometimes we live where we can afford or where we gotta live for work or school.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for your concerns and advice everyone! I'm taking these suggestions to heart.
You're right; even if I'm in a bad situation in which I'm able to get out of, there might be a lot of follow up problems after that.
I'll talk to people once I get in the area (moving in 5 days ahead of my class schedule so that I can get used to everything) and see what I can do about changing MY habits and walk my dog earlier.

And Roloni, with regards to moving... I had to jump through so many hoops to find a place near campus that would allow dogs (specifically large dogs). Ironically, everything about where I'll be living is as good as it gets :D
 

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Thanks for your concerns and advice everyone! I'm taking these suggestions to heart.
You're right; even if I'm in a bad situation in which I'm able to get out of, there might be a lot of follow up problems after that.
I'll talk to people once I get in the area (moving in 5 days ahead of my class schedule so that I can get used to everything) and see what I can do about changing MY habits and walk my dog earlier.
Good luck and I hope you guys stay safe. Having a big black dog can be a deterent to possible thieves or attackers, for sure :)

What are you going to school for?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Good luck and I hope you guys stay safe. Having a big black dog can be a deterent to possible thieves or attackers, for sure :)

What are you going to school for?
I'm just completing my undergraduate degree! And then I'll have to 'be a real person' and figure out what I want to do after that. Oh futures.
 

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9th street and the surrounding areas are cool. the parts of town you need to worry about are NOWHERE near Duke. i used to sleep on 9th street outside the gelato place when i was a crazy teenage delinquent.

if you wanna talk about the area...im a native. i can tell you where most things are, things to do etc.
 

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Nice! Congratulations!

You don't necessarily HAVE to be a real person... I went on to get my MA to avoid growing up for a few more years ;)
I know :D I'm going to do what's best for me. And as one of my zany professors put it, I "might never really find out what I want to DO with my life but I can still be happy!"


9th street and the surrounding areas are cool. the parts of town you need to worry about are NOWHERE near Duke. i used to sleep on 9th street outside the gelato place when i was a crazy teenage delinquent.

if you wanna talk about the area...im a native. i can tell you where most things are, things to do etc.
SWEET. I'm on my last year, so I'm *fairly* familiar with the area as well. Definitely not as much as you are! I'm planning on exercising my dog mainly on Duke's campus (East, lots of green), but do you have any other suggestions (minus dog parks)?
And I know sketchier places exist downtown and watnot, but there definitely are incidents right off campus. Mostly due to dumb college students drinking too much, too late, and wandering on their own.
 
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