In The Alternate American Universe, Pepper Spray Joins Pizza as a Vegetable
Bill O'Reilly doesn't want to Monday morning quarterback, but even Megyn Kelly says that Lt John Pike didn't exactly look "surrounded and threatened" before he started dousing protesters in pepper spray. She did, however, call pepper spray "a derivative of actual pepper ... a food product, essentially." Or as they put it at Grist, " after all the cop just lightly seasoned these students with a delicious food mist."
Or as one wag of a commenter at Gawker noted,
Megyn Kelly on fire hoses: "It’s a sports beverage, essentially!"
Megyn Kelly on police dogs: "It’s a family pet, essentially!"
Megyn Kelly on tasers: "It’s static cling, essentially!"
Megyn Kelly on rubber bullets: "It’s a pencil eraser, essentially!"
Megyn Kelly on hand grenades: "It’s a Fourth of July firework, essentially! God bless America."
Megyn may be interested in the recipe for pepper spray, found at Discovery News:
To make the spray used by law enforcement officers and police to control crowds, manufacturers take a concentrated oil made from chili peppers and combine it with water, glycol (a chemical used in shaving creams and liquid soaps) and a propellent such as nitrogen.
The article continues:
As for its hazardous effects, a 1999 study, "Health Hazards of Pepper Spray," by Dr. Gregory Smith of the University North Carolina, found that in the 1990s, 70 deaths of suspects in custody of police were associated with the use of pepper spray. The deaths were blamed on asphyxia or choking by the victims who had been hog-tied by police, who were intoxicated or under the influence of drugs or had pre-existing medical conditions and whose death could not be blamed on the spray itself.
Yup, that sounds benign, almost like a food product. Really: Pizza is not a vegetable, and pepper spray is not a condiment.