Tag Archives: Pepper Spray

It’s getting ugly out there

A woman used pepper spray on another Black Friday shoppers at a crowded Los Angeles Walmart on Thursday.

And thanks, Cynical, for the link. Meanwhile, Sharon sends this, a funny-as-all-get-out series of Amazon reviews of pepper spray. Get yours today! (See: “Accept no substitute when casually repressing students.”)

By all means, enjoy this meditation on the topic.

UPDATE: Uh-oh. There’s a report of pepper spraying at a North Carolina Walmart, as well.

AND YET ANOTHER: Uh-oh. Now they’re using tasers in Milford, Conn.

A little something about pepper spray

From Deborah Blum, at Scientific American. She writes:

…we’ve taken to calling it pepper spray, I think, because that makes it sound so much more benign than it really is, like something just a grade or so above what we might mix up in a home kitchen. The description hints maybe at that eye-stinging effect that the cook occasionally experiences when making something like a jalapeno-based salsa, a little burn, nothing too serious.

Until you look it up on the Scoville scale and remember, as toxicologists love to point out, that the dose makes the poison.  That we’re not talking about cookery but a potent blast of chemistry.  So that if OC spray is the U.S. police response of choice  – and certainly, it’s been used with dismaying enthusiasm during the Occupy protests nationwide, as documented in this excellent Atlantic roundup -  it may be time to demand a more serious look at the risks involved.

And thanks, JoAnne, for the link.