Thursday, December 01, 2011

New at Reason: Greg Beato on Pepper Spray’s Progressive Origins

via Hit & Run on 12/1/11

Pepper spray is in the air. In late September, a New York cop started spritzing Occupy Wall Street protestors with the predatory zeal of a Macy's fragrance demonstrator dispensing free samples of Kim Kardashian's latest perfume. Then, Seattle's finest chemically neutralized an 84-year-old grannie. Next there was Lt. John Pike in central California, quelling a very quiet riot on the campus of UC Davis.
Now, perhaps, may not seem like the most auspicious time to champion pepper spray as a populist triumph, the eye-searing embodiment of some of America's most cherished ideals. But as Greg Beato reminds us, the government's favorite air freshener is also a tool of individual empowerment.
View this article.

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