Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Pepper Spray Saturates National Debate

At New York Times, "Pepper Spray's Fallout, From Crowd Control to Mocking Images":

Some women carry it in their purses in a pink, lipstick-shaped container. Hikers use it to deter bears. People in most states can buy a small canister of it on a quick-release key ring on for $7.07.

As pepper spray has become ubiquitous in this country over the last two decades, it has not raised many eyebrows. But now, after images of the campus police at the University of California, Davis, spraying the Kool-Aid-colored orange compound on docile protesters on Friday, pepper spray is a topic of national debate.

It has become the crowd-control measure of choice lately by police departments from New York to Denver to Portland, Ore., as they counter protests by the Occupy Wall Street movement.

To some, pepper spray is a mild, temporary irritant and its use has been justified as cities and universities have sought to regain control of their streets, parks and campuses. After the video at Davis went viral, Megyn Kelly on Fox News dismissed pepper spray as “a food product, essentially.”
Continue reading.


Bartender Cabbie said...

I carried it when I owned cabs. It was "illegal" according to city code but no cop (that I ran across) ever would bother a cabbie about it. Of course a lot of cabbies carried a bit more than pepper spray in an ankle holster. That would get you in hot water but then again, better to have your cab license revoked a pay a fine than the possible alternative.