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obx hiker
(obxcola) - MLife

Locale: Outer Banks of North Carolina
pepper spray on 11/22/2011 17:27:27 MST Print View

Is certainly making the news. I recently read an article showing the spray used by law enforcement is several times more powerful than the product available to the public; presumably for self-defense.

Does anyone know if that is also true about the spray used to repel bears? Is it less powerful than the product used by police?

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Re pepper spray on 11/22/2011 18:03:44 MST Print View

There is some chemical difference that may have more to do with use on animals than people. Either one will cause humans a lot of discomfort but pepper spray may not work as well on animals. Also "police" spray may have a dye in it so they can ID suspects later etc.
How hot it is is measured in Scoville heat units which is something you can look up on the product information. In some cases bear spray is actually hotter than police spray.
I don't know much about the pepper spraying incidents so I dont' have a super strong opinion one way or the other. For the record if I was going to be arrested I much rather them pepper spray me than get dog piled and possibly injured by a bunch of cops. Spray hurts sure but so does a clubbing or a rough tackling.

Edited by Cameron on 11/22/2011 18:04:21 MST.

obx hiker
(obxcola) - MLife

Locale: Outer Banks of North Carolina
pepper spray on 11/22/2011 18:16:31 MST Print View

I did some research and there's some sort of rumor that this brand was used.


Defense Technology 56825 MK-2 Stream, 1.3% Red Band/1.3% Blue Band Pepper Spray which is evidently 1.3% Major Capsaicinoids

though remembering the video maybe it was the weaker orange brand which is .7%

The bear spray sold by REI is 2% Capsaicin

Google: Defense Technology 56825 MK-2 Stream, 1.3% Red Band/1.3% Blue Band Pepper Spray

and read the current reviews of the Defense Technology product on Amazon.

Sean Staplin
(mtnrat) - MLife

Locale: Southern Cdn Rockies
all on 11/24/2011 01:53:37 MST Print View

All I know is that the bear spray I use must be far more powerful than that used on the OWS people. Every year when I spray my old canister even if i get a little in my face or eyes I am running full speed away and cannot see and react far more than the OWS people. That stuff that was used there must have been very weak. I guarantee everyone in the vicinity would have been running.

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: all on 11/24/2011 05:06:02 MST Print View

If you believe what you hear on Fox News, the police issue pepper spray 'is a food product, essentially', I recommend putting it on your hash browns and eggs. Even if it's a bit spicier than you'd like, you'll basically wake up feeling fine the next day.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Re Re All on 11/24/2011 07:03:33 MST Print View

Fox News
It really shouldn't be about politics just whether police acted appropriately. It could just as easily be Tea Party members who get sprayed in the feature so no one benefits by draggin politics into the debate.

Spray Potency
Regardless of how strong or weak the pepper spray is I don't know of a pepper spray available in this country that is so potent it could not be safely used on people without permanant damage. In other words whatever they used would have been fine IF the situation justified pepper spray usage.

My Question
Ultimately I don't care who was sprayed or what they were sprayed with. I just want to know WHY they were sprayed. If it was unjustified than weak or strong spray, left or right wing protestors it was a bad thing. On the other hand if the police were justified than the potency of the spray or the political orientation of the protesters doesn't matter. Like I said earlier I don't know the details so I'm not going to make a judgement based on my view of the police or the protestors.

Jane Freeman
(Janefree) - F

Locale: Paauilo
Pepper spray on 12/10/2011 04:08:13 MST Print View

Researching available products, some pepper sprays are advertised as maximum and police strength at 17% oleoresin capsicum. When it comes to using on especially peaceful protestors, a Voltaire-esque approach would be the most appropriate response. When it comes to faux news, if it had been tea party demonstrators the strength of the pepper spray would have been reported quite differently. Then again it is difficult to trust most all news reporting.

Edited by Janefree on 02/02/2012 10:39:18 MST.

Jane Freeman
(Janefree) - F

Locale: Paauilo
Re: Re: all on 12/21/2011 16:52:38 MST Print View

Hmmm. Even the mild spice or heat I enjoy on eggs would be painful in the eyes. It's a matter of civility and to minimize it is imo questionable. Pepper spray really should be reserved for a charging bear or used defensively. I wouldn't have fox news in the woods with me, but I would have incisiveness appropriate to a threatening situation, and not used on say somebody camped in the wrong place.

Edited by Janefree on 02/04/2012 21:59:05 MST.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: pepper spray on 12/21/2011 18:01:16 MST Print View

It varies by brand and by state as well (in what is allowed). I buy the highest I am allowed - I carry it for dogs mostly. I do carry the dye type. The type of stream should also be paid to.

I see my pepper spray as a first line defense over anything else and would not hesitate to use it. Better it than my other method of self defense which isn't non-lethal.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: pepper spray on 12/21/2011 18:10:35 MST Print View

As far the OP's original Q:

". . .true about the spray used to repel bears?"

Absolutely. Researchers have reviewed all the North American bear attacks from past decades and pepper spray correlates to slightly better outcomes for humans (and therefore for bears). Guns don't correlate to better outcomes and I can think of a number of reasons why.

But party size is a much more dominant factor. Certain activities are also very risky: hunters tend to travel quietly, in ones or twos, on game trails, heading upwind - all of which are bad practices.

I know a few people up here who have been attacked and one of my wife's patients was widowed when her husband was killed by one.

Every time I see them on the trail, they look, turn, and leave. That's never happened when I'm making noise. My wife is much better at noticing when there are berries, water noise, and poor sight lines (a bad combination) and starts calling out. Twice one week, they were already running away when we crested the rise.

I observe that while Alaskans have the highest per capita rate of bear fatalities of any state, we're still 86 times more likely to die from (or as) a drunken driver. So the risky part of the trip is BEFORE getting to the trailhead.

Don't bring a .44 - bring a breathalyzer.

Ty Ty
(TylerD)

Locale: SE US
Re: Re: pepper spray on 12/22/2011 08:51:16 MST Print View

"Don't bring a .44 - bring a breathalyzer."

I know this was tongue in cheek, and I don't want to start a WWIII gun thread, and I agree with your point that driving to the trail is more dangerous than hiking on the trail...but you cannot breathalyze your fellow drivers on the road. You can use a .44 to kill a bear if it is attacking you.

I am all for pepper spray on bears. The more I read, the more I am convinced that it is more effective but at the same time if you feel a .44 is a better choice, by all means bring it.

As far as pepper spray on protesters...I think you have to follow the lawful orders of the Police. If you believe the laws are wrong you have to effect that change through the legislative branch...or subject yourself to being pepper sprayed in protest of the law. If the Police acted UNlawfully then I trust the legal system to punish them accordingly and restitution to be made to anyone harmed by a Police officer acting unlawfully.

As far as the potency of Police pepper spray versus bear spray...I think you cannot make that call. I'm sure each State/municipality/police jurisdiction makes their own decisions on what type and potency of pepper spray they will buy and use. I don't think there is any way to peg the exact pepper spray "the police" are using because I bet it varies from police station to police station.

Edited by TylerD on 12/22/2011 08:54:03 MST.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Re: Re: pepper spray on 12/22/2011 10:51:42 MST Print View

Ty Ty:

"if you feel a .44 is a better choice, by all means bring it."

I know (assume) you were speaking generically about firearms for bear protection. But for completeness, I'll point out that none of the outdoors people whose experience and judgement I respect rely on a handgun for bear defense - there's just not enough foot-pound in even a .454 much less a .44 to stop a bear quickly. Even the biggest long guns require a quick acting and accurate shooter and a bit of luck.

The State of Alaska recommends that if you're carrying a gun for bear protection, it be a minimum of .300 Winchester Magnum or 12-gauge with rifled slug. Those are, ballpark, 3,000 foot pounds of energy versus 1000 or less for large handguns. Most commonly, in my area, people hunt moose and even deer with a .338 not because they need that firepower for the ungulates but because then it doubles (Gear Multiuse!) as bear protection. (And a .375 or .458 just hurts so much to shoot that you don't practice a lot, so you're not as good with it).

All of these thoughts pertain to large brown bears. YMMV. Although we have 8 times more black bears than salmon-eating brown bears in this area, blackies are not the concern. Perhaps it's their being a prey animal that causes them to lay low. I see far more browns than black each year.

Me, I can't see carrying 7 or 8 pounds that I can't eat or wear. So I'll keep calling out and otherwise making noise - statistically the safer approach anyway.

It is striking how emotional the arguments about bear guns gets ("My Daddy always told me . . . ") but such a wide range of guns are used on large halibut and no one argues their choice is the only possible right choice.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: pepper spray on 12/22/2011 10:55:45 MST Print View

"As far as pepper spray on protesters...I think you have to follow the lawful orders of the Police. If you believe the laws are wrong you have to effect that change through the legislative branch...or subject yourself to being pepper sprayed in protest of the law"

Police didn't follow rules for use of pepper spray. Can't use it on people that are just sitting there holding hands. It's to pacify someone that's out of control.

Constitution guarantees "the right of the people peacably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievences". That's what makes the three branches of government do the right thing.

Ty Ty
(TylerD)

Locale: SE US
Re: Re: Re: Re: pepper spray on 12/22/2011 16:36:03 MST Print View

.357, dead bear, no attack
http://www.blackbearheaven.com/forest-ranger-attacked-grizzly-bear.htm

.45 ACP, dead bear, no attack
http://www.nationalparkstraveler.com/2010/05/grizzly-bear-shot-and-killed-hikers-denali-national-park-and-preserve5943

large caliber pistol, scared away bear, no attack
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMbnmLLnsfw

two large game hunting rifles, hunter is attacked
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0CNgwZgoKFc

Edited by TylerD on 12/22/2011 16:51:00 MST.

David Olsen
(oware)

Locale: Steptoe Butte
Re: Re: Re: Re: pepper spray on 12/22/2011 16:56:49 MST Print View

"The State of Alaska recommends that if you're carrying a gun for bear protection, it be a minimum of .300 Winchester Magnum or 12-gauge with rifled slug. "

Here is the USFS study much of that was based on.

William R. Meehan and John F. Thilenius - US Forest Service
www.fs.fed.us/pnw/pubs/gtr152

This shows 44 mag loads to have equivalent energy and close to the same penetration as the 12 gauge slug load. And that it has deeper penetration than the 300 win Mag.

So much of this is speculation.

However, I would still want pepper spray as a first option. Wouldn't want to turn a
false charge into a real one by injuring a bear.

Ty Ty
(TylerD)

Locale: SE US
Re: Re: Re: Re: pepper spray on 12/22/2011 16:59:09 MST Print View

"Police didn't follow rules for use of pepper spray. Can't use it on people that are just sitting there holding hands. It's to pacify someone that's out of control.

Constitution guarantees "the right of the people peacably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievences". That's what makes the three branches of government do the right thing."

If the police officers gave a lawful order to the protesters and they did not comply after repeated requests, the officer then tells the person they are under arrest and to stand up put their hands behind their back. Sitting and holding hands at that point is failing to comply with the lawful order of a police officer and therefore you are resisting arrest. No different than if you fight the officer to prevent them from putting hand cuffs on.

Just because I have the right to bear arms does not mean my right trumps all. I can't take an AK-47 and walk up to the white house and demand to speak with the President. If I do I suspect I will get pepper sprayed, tazed, possibly shot, and beaten prior to being arrested and spending time in jail.

If the officers were giving unlawful orders you can deal with that in the judicial or legislative system without daring them into pepper spraying you.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: pepper spray on 12/22/2011 17:03:58 MST Print View

The forest ranger in Olympic National Park told me the only bear attacks on a human were after the human (a hunter) shot the bear.

That might lead one to not worry about bears if you're hiking, and to think that carrying a gun and shooting bear could actually make things worse.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: pepper spray on 12/22/2011 17:13:47 MST Print View

"If the police officers gave a lawful order to the protesters and they did not comply after repeated requests, the officer then tells the person they are under arrest and to stand up put their hands behind their back. Sitting and holding hands at that point is failing to comply with the lawful order of a police officer and therefore you are resisting arrest. No different than if you fight the officer to prevent them from putting hand cuffs on."

You and I are going to have to disagree on that one.

In similar "Occupy" situations, the police have taken the demonstrators one at a time, handcuffed them, and taken them off to jail. No reason to pepper spray them.

The only thing "good" about it is the ikonic image that might galvanize public opinion, sort of like that lady after the Kent State shootings.

Neither should police use fire hoses against civil rights demonstrators in Martin Luther King Jr. era, or whatever they did to Ghandi or Nelson Mandella demonstrators.

What's great about Nelson Mandella, is while he spent decades in jail, rather than plotting revenge, he learned the language of the white people, became a futball fan,...

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: pepper spray on 12/22/2011 17:49:23 MST Print View

DavidO: Thanks for the URL - I'll forward it to several well-armed friends around here (I joke that I'm the only unarmed, truckless man in Alaska).

It makes me wonder if there could be a plastic-bodied, low-velocity "gun" very similar to a flare gun that shot a cloud of pepper solution. It could deal with much of the wind issues better than a spray can does, could be practiced with rounds with dye only and maybe feels more natural to aim into the distance than a aeresol can.

And just to take this even further afield: the State of Alaska recently clarified that citizens can NOT use stun guns on game animals. Some state and federal workers have been getting trained on stun guns as one option in dealing with wildlife and they wanted to get ahead of people attempting to "catch (photograph) and release" moose or worse, bears.

Ty Ty
(TylerD)

Locale: SE US
Re: Re: pepper spray on 12/23/2011 07:05:52 MST Print View

"You and I are going to have to disagree on that one.

In similar "Occupy" situations, the police have taken the demonstrators one at a time, handcuffed them, and taken them off to jail. No reason to pepper spray them."


Jerry - I see your point, I hadn't thought of it that way so I agree with you, that would have been a better response by the police.

I would be willing to bet thought that it is a procedural difference among jurisdictions and the police were following their protocol. I don't like the idea of protesters daring the police to harm them to make a statement. I tend to believe (for the most part) police are just trying to do their job, get their paycheck and get home safe. At the point of being pepper sprayed the protesters were probably being arrested for not having a permit or something silly (I do not know the actual charge) in which case they are really no longer protesting about the 1%/99% thing they are being pepper sprayed for lack of proper paperwork.

I went to several Tea Party protests last year and there was a lot of protesting going on but nobody was arrested, nobody was injured, and the point was made. In fact now the Tea Party is so ingrained in the Republican Party that they are practically running the show. So far the Tea Party has been much more effective while operating within the political process. I think a big part of why the 99% thing seems to be dying out is it became more about camping out, disobeying simple rules, and getting arrested without making a point.

Edited by TylerD on 12/23/2011 07:16:52 MST.