Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Don't Spit Into the Wind

Pepper spray is a less-than-lethal force option invented by someone who hates cops. I refuse to use it except in the most dire circumstances, and some guys I know don't even carry it anymore.

Pepper spray is more correctly called OC spray. OC stands for oleoresin Capsicum. Capsicum is a genus of hot peppers, including chilis, jalapenos, and habaneros. The active ingredient in OC is capsaicin. The effect of capsaicin is the spontaneous combustion of your face, and the incineration of your eyeballs, nasal passages, sinuses, throat, and anything attached to them. I've been sprayed numerous time in training, and it really, really sucks. Moreover, after you think it's finally worn off, often it will come back to visit hours later when exposed to water (e.g., in the shower), or if you don't wash you hands well and rub your eyes.

The OC we carry looks something like this:

Spray is a misnomer. OC actually travels in a narrow stream up to about 20 feet. Here is one poor unfortunate who didn't take well to getting sprayed:

Pepper spray can be aimed somewhat accurately under ideal conditions, which never exist. When you deploy pepper spray, you are guaranteed one of the following outcomes:

- guy is so close (e.g., in a headlock) stream splashes off him into your own face.
- guy is so far away he dodges the stream.
- wind blows stream away from guy's face.
- wind blows stream into your partner's face.
- wind blows stream back into your own face.
- stream misses guy and hits your partner who is correctly positioned on other side of guy.
- you get good hit, but wind up wrestling with guy and the fumes almost kill you.

In any event, you can be guaranteed that your use of pepper spray will always piss off at least one person other than the one you're trying to spray.


Anonymous said...

Well then, just aim it at your own face.

Oh wait...of course that will be the ONE TIME it discharges correctly.

Mad Jack said...

I always wondered about that. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I've accidentally washed these things a million times. I imagine that only Tide-scented water would discharge from it by now.

Officer "Smith" said...

There's also this...