There are always stories about people using something designed for good, but using them for something bad. Guns, tasers, pepper sprays and any like instrument can be used for either good or evil intentions, all depending on the wielder. It is unfortunate, but as I have said many times, it is not the object at fault, it is the individual. These guys will go to any length to find something to do harm with, be it a firearm, a self-defense tool, a 2×4, a lead pipe… just about any object could be used as a weapon.

This story is sad for several reasons. Apparently this guy in Council Bluffs, Nebraska went into a store, brandished a handgun, demanded cash and was given a sum of money out of the register. Bad situation, but it should have ended with the criminal leaving the store.

This robber, not yet satisfied with the take, forced the already compliant 20-year-old female college student into a back office looking for more cash. The report didn’t say if there was in fact more money in the back, or if the guy got any more anyways.

The story continues, and as the guy walks out of the office, he pulled out a canister of pepper spray to douse the girl. As much as I do not understand why this was necessary, I am at a greater loss for what actually transpired.

“He pulled out pepper spray and pushed the button. But the nozzle was pointed the wrong direction. The spray hit him in the face.

The robber turned the Mace around and sprayed it at the clerk, who was able to duck. She was sprayed in the side of the face and shoulder.”

How is that even possible?

Pepper spray does not come in aerosol cans like spray paint or cooking spray. They come equipped with a safety mechanism that forces you to hold the dispenser properly and slide and push the trigger to engage the spray. I can not even picture the awkwardness needed to maneuver your hand the wrong way, force the trigger to go off and spray backwards into your own face.

???

I have always been a strong proponent for extensive practice using any self-defense device to ensure the proper use and efficient deployment in a stressful situation. Always carry it in the same place, practice retrieving the device quickly and effortlessly, make sure you can confidently deploy the weapon as required for use…

But I would never have thought it would be necessary to note that you must make sure you point the nozzle in the correct direction, one because of the common sense aspect, and second, because it is virtually impossible to uncomfortably twist your hand into the awkward position required to spray yourself in the face with mace. Or so I thought.

So now I’d like to formally issue a warning for carrying pepper spray:

MAKE SURE YOU DO NOT POINT PEPPER SPRAY TOWARDS YOUR OWN FACE AND PRESS THE TRIGGER.

I suppose I can refrain from adding a resounding DUH! to the end of that statement.

Now I can understand the possibility of wind blowing pepper spray back towards yourself, if you were to spray into a strong wind (Don’t do that either) or perhaps if you were in a closed-in area and deployed pepper spray, there is a chance it may affect you too, but I am still challenged to figure out actually how someone would actually spray themselves in the face.

Dude, perhaps the pepper spray was a bad idea. Leave it for the adults to use.

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