The Introduction of Pepper Spray to Our Armed Forces is fairly recent. Pepper spray was first used as an alternative form of self defense in the mid 1990’s. It was introduced first by the NYPD to help our armed forces combat attackers and mobs using a fairly safe and nonlethal yet effective weapon. However, despite it’s harmlessness, the use of pepper spray is often considered cruel and unnecessary. For example, according to USA today, in 2011, the use of the substance on a group of protestors at Northern California University was declared calamitous.
Pepper spray was introduced by means of a more humane method of self control. Almost every one of the police officers you will encounter in life will be armed with pepper spray. The substance has been declared a nonlethal weapon that is legal to carry in all fifty states, with only restrictions on age per state.
However, what would happen if you were pepper sprayed?
According to the official, Mace website, which is the most commonly carried brand of pepper spray amongst our armed forces, stated that upon direct contact, your eyes would swell shut, you would begin violently coughing, and you would experience an external burning sensation. Effects will last up to 45 minutes to an hour.” Unless you were to have a pre-diagnosed respiratory illness, the effects of pepper spray would most likely not be long lasting beyond the stated forty-five minutes to an hour. So, the use of pepper spray by our armed forces in terms of how humane it is would really differ depending on your personal opinions and experiences.
The Use of Pepper Spray: Individual Instances
Other than the previously noted incident at University of California at Davis, pepper spray was notable used at Trump rally in Kansas City, Missouri to break up angry, potentially violent protestors. According to the New York Times, many bystanders claimed to have been sprayed without having anything to do with the protest. Later that evening, the Kansas City Police tweeted about the incident saying they had to spray the angry protestors twice. Another notable incident involves a security guard spraying a forty-one year old man. According to the Seattle PI police were called in to further investigate the incident. Whilst the guard claimed to feel threatened, the victim claimed total innocence, and stated that he tried to record the incident.