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  • The Truth About Statistics of Sexual Assault in College

    There’s been a great deal of debate around the statistics of the prevalence of sexual assault on college campuses, particularly the figure that 1 in 5 or more women are sexually assaulted while in college. Self-proclaimed experts, opinion writers, and even some professors have tried to cast doubt on these studies, claiming the science is flawed.
    The truth is that nearly all of this debate has been unnecessary and distracting, since the 1 in 5 statistic has been repeatedly established in dozens of national and local studies. In fact, since 1987, six national studies – including one released in early 2016 by the Department of Justice – show that as many as 1 in 4 college women are sexually assaulted in college.
    Koss, Gidycz, Wisniewski (1987)
    3,187 women in 32 institutions
    More than 25% of undergraduate women sexually victimized while in college
    Fisher, Cullen, Turner (2000)
    4,446 women in two and four year institutions
    16% of women sexually victimized during the current academic year
    Ford, Soto-Marquez (2015)
    2,345 women in 21 institutions
    25% of women sexually assaulted while in college
    Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation (2015)
    514 women in several hundred institutions
    20% of undergraduate women sexually assaulted while in college
    Association of American Universities (AAU) (2015)
    89,115 women in 27 institutions
    23% of undergraduate women sexually assaulted while in college
    National Institute of Justice (NIJ) (2016)
    15,000 women in 9 institutions
    25% of undergraduate women sexually assaulted while in college (2106)
    Another criticism that pundits like to put forward is that the category for sexual assault is too broad, and includes everything from forced kissing to rape. They claim by including these “lesser assaults” in the study results the statistics regarding the prevalence of sexual assault is inflated. What they neglect to say is that these “lesser assaults” are only a small portion of the total assaults. In fact, national studies show the majority of these assaults are for rape and attempted rape.
    Koss, Gidycz, Wisniewski (1987) – Rape 16%
    Fisher, Cullen, Turner (2000) – Rape or attempted rape 12%
    Kilpatrick, Resnick, Ruggiero, Conoscenti, McCauley (2007) – Rape or attempted rape 12%
    Association of American Universities (2015) – Rape 11%
    National Institute of Justice (2016) – Rape – 4% (in one academic year only)
    In other words, according to nearly every national study, an undergraduate woman has between a 1 in 10 and 1 in 6 chance that she will experience rape or attempted rape while in college.
    Some commentators respond by claiming that the lower response rate of some of the studies invalidates their findings. They argue, without evidence, that people who’ve been assaulted will be more likely to respond to a sexual assault survey than people who haven’t been assaulted. But an equally strong argument can be made that people who are assaulted would be less likely to take the survey because answering dozens of questions about sexually assault would be emotionally re-traumatizing for them.
    In fact, that the four national studies with very high response rates (Koss – 98.5%, Fisher – 86.5%, Ford 100%, and NIJ – 54%) show the highest rates of assault.
    Jennifer Freyd, a highly regarded researcher at the University of Oregon, confirmed this correlation again when she analyzed the 26-school AAU study and demonstrated that schools with higher response rates had slightly higher rates of sexual assault.
    There is one outlier study that opinion makers invariably point to – the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), which found a much lower rate of sexual assault. What they never disclose is that this study has been severely criticized by the National Academies of Sciences, which – in a 278-page report – unequivocally concludes that the NCVS sexual assault numbers are unreliable.
    The National Academies of Sciences report lists more than twelve ways in which the NCVS study fails to employ best practices, including:
    Not counting sexual assault while incapacitated, which in some surveys account for more than 50% of sexual assault on college campuses.
    Erroneously basing its calculations on an average student attending college for 3.5 years, when in fact the average student now takes nearly six years to graduate, resulting in a potential undercount up to 40%.
    Contacting students primarily using land lines and not cell phones, which are much more commonly used by college students.
    Conducting interviews in the home, often within earshot of family members, which discourages students responding to questions about sexual assault.
    Why has every opinion writer who has based their argument on the NCVS study failed to mention the critique by the National Academy of Sciences? Either they are unaware of the report, in which case they haven’t the most basic due diligence, or they are aware of it and have deliberately chosen not to inform their readership because it would undermine their argument. Either way, their omission discredits the conclusions of these writers.
    This cynical attempt to manipulate public opinion and convince the public that the problem is overblown is very reminiscent of the debate around global warming. For decades, scientists have shown that human activity is contributing to a rapid rise in the earth’s temperature, yet climate denying pundits continue to claim this untrue and that we have nothing to be concerned about. In fact, one of the most prominent of these rape-denying pundits, Emily Yoffe, is also a climate change denier. Writing in an article about “The Inconvenient Truth,” an Academy Award winning documentary about global warming, Yoffe writes that it is “hard to believe assertions that the science on the future of our climate is settled when climate scientists can’t agree about the present” and “just because something can be plotted on an X and Y axis does not make it the whole truth.”
    The truth is that we can, and must, rely on scientists to analyze human behavior on college campuses, and denying their expertise is a sure path to tragedy. Those who attempt to discredit the work of these scientists do much more than mislead the public; by encouraging our country to ignore this crisis, they contribute to the continuation of the problem. It’s time we come together to move beyond these harmful misinformation campaigns, acknowledge this problem, and create real and effective change for the sake of our nation’s college students.

  • Dog Attacks And Pepper Spray.

    Dog Attacks and Pepper Spray
    The news is full of bad and even horrific incidents where “man’s best friend”, the dog, has turned on people and bit or mauled them.
    Just the other day two pit bulls in Charlotte, North Carolina mauled a 9-year old boy so severely that he will be in the hospital for about six months. He has already undergone multiple surgeries.
    A family member reported, "Both of his arms are messed up. His face is messed up. His ear from there to there has been messed up. His legs are messed up. He wants to get up and walk, but he can't right now.”
    And in Columbia, Tennessee a 5-year old girl had to receive 40 stiches in her face because of an attack from a neighbor’s dog. The neighbor said it was probably an “attempt to play” from the dog.
    Children are not the only ones vulnerable to a dog attack. Also in Charlotte an 85-year old woman was attacked and killed last month by a pit bull. A few nights ago, a heavily pregnant woman was attacked by a dog in Christchurch and hospitalized.
    While dogs can come out of seemingly nowhere to attack by surprise most often there is some initial interaction between a human and dog. If the dog is rigid appearing, with their head, body and tail are all straight line like an arrow it is a sign of an imminent attack.
    Dogs are, at heart, wild animals. They can quickly revert back in a moment to behavior that more properly is useful in the wild against other animals. If the dog considers you a challenge to it by your staring it directly in the eyes it may attack you out of what it considers self-defense. If you run from it the instinct to run down and kill its prey just may kick in. Move slowly, try to keep something between you and the animal, and try not to show fear.
    Of course, carrying pepper-spray is always an option in most places. You generally do not need the larger, bear-sized pepper spray while in your own neighborhood, unless your neighborhood is in Alaska or the Rockies. Even a smaller pepper spray dispenser is effective against dogs. The best pepper spray against dogs is also the best pepper spray against humans. The pepper spray will not hurt the dog permanently but will give you time to safely get away.
    I have fire extinguishers by our fire-place, the kitchen, and my workroom. I don’t expect any fires, and I am not paranoid about them. But I do want to be protected “just in case.” I would much rather have one and not need it than need it desperately and not have one.
    Having a WildFire 1lb Pepper Spray 18% Fire Master canister handy by your front and back door is not a sign of paranoia either. It is just being prepared like a Boy Scout. Carrying one easily accessible when out walking or jogging is also being prepared. It is not so much the “risk” that is involved, it is what is at stake. For a few dollars, you can have “peace of mind” while enjoying life.

  • Three Pit Bulls Attack Elderly Lady.

    Three Pit Bulls Attack Elderly Lady.
    An elderly woman was rushed to the hospital after being attacked by three dogs, Hernando County deputies say.
    A call was received just after 7:30 a.m. Monday that an elderly woman had just been attacked by dogs. Hernando County Fire Rescue, a patrol deputy and an animal enforcement officer were sent to the scene.
    The woman was suffering from severe dog bites on both legs and the caller performed basic first aid.
    The woman who was attacked was treated on scene by HCFR and then airlifted to a trauma center.
    Deputies say she had been walking on Spring Lake Highway when the dogs attacked. When deputies and animal enforcement arrived and tried to get the dogs, at least one of them attempted to attack the officers.
    “I see her walking everyday," said neighbor Yvonne Woods. "Now, that really hurts me to know that she got attacked like that. But I will be praying for her for a speedy recovery because it could have been me or some of my family.”
    Owner Ralph Hughes was cited for public nuisance animal (second offense) and unrestrained animal, three counts each.
    "I couldn't believe it because they were so good with people," said Hughes. "I love my babies."
    Hughes tells ABC Action News, he's raised the three pit bulls since they were pups. He says one of the dogs chewed a hole through a door, allowing all three to escape Monday morning.
    Hughes surrendered all three dogs for euthanasia, as he believes they are too aggressive and does not want them back. Deputies say all three dogs are licensed and current on all shots.

  • Dealing With Bears 101

    For hikers, Montana is close to heaven. Thousands of miles of trails lead to scenic mountain lakes, wildflower-covered meadows, and dramatic viewpoints. All winter long (and our winters are really long) Montanans eagerly await the snowmelt when we can once again head for our beloved backcountry. But the melting snows also signal the time when our state’s famous bruins awaken, looking to replenish the fat layer lost during their winter sleep. We humans typically have the opposite seasonal timing on fat layers – another excellent reason to hit the trails.
    While few other states have the grizzly bears commonly found in western Montana, pretty much all forested mountains in North America have black bears – smaller and usually less dangerous, but still not to be taken lightly. Statistically, attacks are rare, so the presence of bears should never dissuade you from enjoying a hike. Still, it’s always wise to respect bears and to take reasonable precautions. Here are a few tips from a Big Sky resident who has been charged by grizzly bears (twice!) and dealt with hundreds of black bears on the trail and in camp.
    Avoidance is Best
    It’s better when problems never occur, so try to avoid negative bear encounters entirely. If you see a bear or discover fresh bear scat, diggings, or carrion, DO NOT camp nearby (you’d be surprised how often people ignore this advice). In addition, although night hiking can be great fun, in grizzly country it’s dangerous and a definite no-no. Solo hiking in griz territory ain’t such a hot idea either.
    Odor Control
    All bears have terrific senses of smell – think of them as really large, muscular, and always-hungry bloodhounds – so leave the smelly tuna, jerky, and whatnot at home. Also, cook and properly store (hang at least 10 feet up on a tree limb or use a bear canister) all food and other attractants 100 or more yards downwind from your campsite.
    The Grizzly Seat Belt
    Driving without wearing a seat belt is unsafe and, frankly, just plain stupid. Well, hiking in grizzly country without bear spray falls under the same category. So in the northern Rockies or Alaska, ALWAYS carry bear spray outside your pack and available for immediate use. If you’re charged, try to control your bowels (no easy feat, believe me) and spray toward the animal’s face starting when they are 25 to 30 feet away.
    Avoid them Young’uns
    Few things in Nature are cuter than a bear cub. But hyper-protective sows don’t appreciate your “awww” factor and fiercely guard their offspring against any perceived threat. Stay well away from any cute little Teddy and, of course, never get between mom and the kids.
    Rover Rules
    I love my dog, so I’m not going to risk his (or my own) safety by taking him hiking into grizzly country. Bears really dislike canines (of any sort) and Fido’s never going to win this fight. In black bear territory, I frequently hike with dogs, but they are always in control and well trained to recall on command.
    There are many other good tips for hiking in bear country, but the basics are pretty simple – leave them alone and try not to attract ‘em in the first place. With that in mind, remember that where bears live is often remote and beautiful – just the kind of place you’d want to hike. So, go ahead, just respect the local residents and their rules on trespassing.

  • Personal Safety Tips For Women

    Some 1.9 million women are physically assaulted annually in the United States, and 15 percent to 25 percent of all American women will report a sexual attack or rape at some time in their lives, according to studies conducted by the Justice Department and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    And experts say that because the majority of sexual assaults go unreported, the numbers from these studies may represent only a fraction of the violent of crimes against women.

    But while these numbers may seem frighteningly high, safety authorities are quick to point out that women need not view themselves as helpless victims. ABCNEWS' Healthy Woman asked crime and safety specialists the most effective precautions a woman can take when walking alone to keep herself from becoming a statistic:
    Dress to Kill. Clogs, high heels, and tight skirts are hard to run and fight in, while scarves and long necklaces are easy to grab. If possible, modify your fashion style or wear comfortable clothing when walking alone. You can always change into dress-up clothes later. Or, think through how you would fight in your dress-up clothes. Would you kick off your high heels or hike your skirt up around your hips to run or kick?
    Make Eye Contact. It may be your first instinct to lower your gaze as you walk to your destination. But looking straight into the face of potential enemies is the better option. "Eye contact may scare off attackers because they fear you will be able to identify them," says Mary Ellen Burns, a spokesperson for the Boston Police Department.
    Keep Eyes and Ears Open, Hands Free. It is important to be alert to who and what is around you. Talking on a cell phone or listening to headphones makes you easy prey for a predator. The only reason you should be using your mobile phone is notify a friend of your whereabouts or to call for help. Also, limit the number of bundles you have to carry by using a backpack or bag with a shoulder strap. This will ensure that your hands are free to defend.
    Be Lazy, Take the Elevator Over the Stairs. And when in the elevator, stand in front of the doors, then if someone you feel uneasy about gets on with you, you can step off immediately.
    Fight Your Inner Woman. Experts say that women tend to be sympathetic — don't be! History has shown that serial killers and other criminals often play on the sympathies of unsuspecting women to lure them into dangerous situations. If someone asks for the time, directions, or help in or around their car, be as courteous as possible but keep moving. You can always assist the stranger by making a phone call to police from a safe location, or by finding others to go back and help with you.
    Change It Up. Regularly change your walking routine. Plan out a few different routes that you can take and mark out "safe houses" in your mind at intervals along the way. In the event of attacks, you can stop at these shops or homes where you know you will be safe. Try to incorporate these houses every time you vary your route
    Be Paranoid and Suspicious. It is always better to be safe than sorry. When in a parking lot, look at the cars parked on either side of your vehicle. If a male in a vehicle is sitting alone in the seat nearest your car, or if you are parked next to a van, always enter your car from the side opposite the strange vehicle. If the parking lot is particularly dark or deserted, it may be wise to go back and find a friend or guard who can walk you to your car.
    If you have gotten yourself into a violent situation, the most important thing is to react immediately.
    Run, Run, Run. If the predator has a gun but you are not under his control, take off. Experts say the predator will only hit you, a running target, four out of every 100 shots. And even then, it most likely will not be a vital organ.
    Stay Put. Do not let your attacker take you to an abandoned area. If he does, the likelihood that you will be seriously injured increases tenfold, says Burns. You do not want to get to "crime scene number two" so do whatever it takes and never give up.
    Hit the Attacker Where It Counts. The eyes, knees, throat and groin are very vulnerable, good places to gouge and kick. But listen to your instincts and try to determine if a counter attack by you is the best approach. If you do decide to fight, make sure your first move is as forceful as possible. It may be your only hope.
    Try Anything and Everything. Additional approaches are offering your wallet, jumping out at a stoplight, doing something to cause an accident, or signaling to other drivers. If you are thrown into the trunk of a car, experts advise you to kick out the back tail lights, stick your arm out the hole, and start waving wildly. The driver won't see you but everyone else will. This trick is said to have saved lives.

  • What Is Pepper Spray, And Is It Dangerous?

    Pepper spray is commonly used by law enforcement and corrections agencies across the United States. It is an aerosol spray that assists in subduing and arresting people whose behavior is violent or uncooperative.
    Individuals may also use it to defend themselves against attacks by other people or animals.
    Its use is sometimes controversial and has led to a number of deaths in custody after a policeman has applied the spray to apprehend suspects.
    However, a 2003 study of North Carolina jurisdictions from the National Institute of Justice showed that the number of police officers injured on duty decreased after the introduction of pepper spray.
    This article examines what is in pepper spray, whether it is dangerous, and how to treat exposure to pepper spray.

    What Is It?
    Pepper spray is a lachrymatory agent, meaning that it stimulates the eyes to produce tears.
    An oil known as oleoresin capsicum is the main component in pepper spray.
    Capsaicin is an inflammatory agent in the oil. This is the same chemical that adds the characteristic heat to chili peppers. However, capsaicin is present in pepper spray at a much higher concentration.

    The heat of a bell pepper measures 0 on the Scoville Heat Units scale, which is used to measure the "heat" of peppers. A jalapeño pepper scores 2,500 to 5,000 on the same scale.

    The heat of pepper spray, however, ranges from 2 million units in commercial pepper sprays, marketed for use in self-defense, to 5.3 million Scoville units for police-issue spray.
    This same ingredient also forms the basis of bear spray, which reduces attacks during human encounters with bears.
    However, the concentration of capsaicin in bear spray is only 1 to 2 percent. Pepper sprays used in law enforcement reportedly have a capsaicin content of between 10 and 30 percent.
    As a result, its deployment has often been controversial, particularly when civilian protestors experience pepper spray use, such as during the Occupy Wall Street protests of 2011.
    Authorities classify pepper spray as a riot-control agent. Article I.5 of the Chemical Weapons Convention bans its use in war.

    Physical effects
    When a person comes into contact with pepper spray, their eyes will close immediately.
    They will experience a "bubbling" or "boiling" sensation, followed by temporary blindness and eye pain. The effects last from 30 to 45 minutes, depending on how strong the spray solution is.

    Pepper spray can also cause:

    burning in the throat
    dry cough
    shortness of breath
    the inability to breathe or speak

    In rare cases, it can cause cyanosis, a bluish discoloration of the skin that indicates a lack of blood flow and oxygen. Apnea and respiratory arrest may also occur.
    A 1999 study from the North Carolina Medical Journal found that people who breathe in pepper spray could experience acute hypertension, or a sudden increase in blood pressure. This increases the risk of stroke or heart attack.

    Emergency medical technicians carry wipes and solutions that treat the symptoms of pepper spray.
    People who come into contact with pepper spray should take the following steps to alleviate the burning symptoms:
    Since the spray is oil-based, people who have it on their skin are advised not to touch the affected area. Touching the solution can easily spread it to other areas of the body.
    If pepper spray enters the eyes, blinking rapidly might help to flush it out.
    Washing with hand soap, shampoo, or dish soap can break up the oil. After that, the area should be rinsed with water. Baby shampoos can be useful for washing spray from the eye area.
    People who have been sprayed may instinctively want to douse themselves in water. This can provide instant but short-lived relief. Oil does not mix with water on a molecular level, so washing the skin with water alone will not remove the solution.

    Since the 1980s, the police have often used pepper spray to subdue violent or uncooperative behavior.
    When pepper spray hits the face, it temporarily blinds the subject. This makes it easier for police officers to remove suspects from the scene and arrest them.
    During the Occupy protests in 2011, the media began to scrutinize the use of pepper spray by police. Videos emerged showing police officers repeatedly spraying peaceful protestors for prolonged periods, although guidelines state that the spray should be used for no more than one second on any person.

    The deployment of pepper spray by law enforcement officers can be controversial for other reasons.
    A 2016 study by Harvard University researchers, for instance, found that, in the U.S., police are 25 percent more likely to pepper-spray African-American people than white people.

    Pepper spray is known as a "nonlethal weapon," or a weapon that cannot kill people.
    However, deaths have occurred following the use of pepper spray. People with asthma have a higher chance of complications.
    In 2003, a Department of Justice report found that pepper spray directly contributed to the deaths of 2 people out of 63 cases, where suspects held in custody died after pepper spray was used in their arrest.
    The report attributed the cause of two deaths to pepper spray, citing pre-existing asthma as a contributing factor.
    The other causes of death were found to be drug use, disease, positional asphyxia, or a combination.
    However, the same report concluded the following:
    "Pepper spray inhalation alone does not pose a significant risk for respiratory compromise or asphyxiation, even when combined with positional restraint."
    The commercially available pepper sprays can also serve as an effective deterrent during street attacks and assaults.

    Pepper spray is an effective deterrent that can be dangerous when used in excess.
    Its main ingredient is capsaicin, an inflammatory agent that gives pepper its spicy flavor. Pepper spray is available commercially for self-defense, but the police-issue sprays are far more powerful. They are designed to respond to riots.
    People have died from pepper-spray-related complications, and its use remains controversial. However, studies have shown that inhaling the spray directly does not cause respiratory damage or strangling effect.

  • A Short History of Pepper Spray

    Dating back at least to ancient China, we can find the fiery lil' red chili pepper's stinging bite used not only as a zesty spice to a meal, but also as a weapon. The Chinese put ground cayenne in rice paper and flung it in the face of their opponents, and Japanese ninjas used ground pepper to disable opponents as well. During Japan's Tukagawa Empire, police used the "metsubishi," a box used to blow pepper into the eyes, as an instrument of political torture against the dispossessed.
    Chemical agents, from primitive to complex, have been sparking pain, revenge, or riot for ages now. Mustard gas, an oily volatile liquid, has long been used in warfare as a gaseous blistering agent. Tear gas, a.k.a. CN (Chloroacetophenone) gas, was first created in 1870 in Germany. In World War 1, CN gas was used against the Germans. CS came out in the 1950s, and was named for the two scientists that created it, Corson and Stoughton. Orthochlorobenzamalononitrile is the actual compound name. Like CN, CS is a white crystalline powder that is heated and exploded as gas. The end of 1999 saw a modernized CN, along with pepper spray, used by the Seattle Police during the epic WTO (World Trade Organization) protests.
    Today in the United States, chiles are processed, mixed with DuPont emulsifier, and sprayed at people of all sorts, but particularly folks that usually get the brunt of America's police state: youth, people of color, those lacking capital, mental institution patients, elderly people in "homes," and political dissidents. Basically, anyone who gets in the way of business as usual.
    Pain as a corporate/governmental tool of repression is obviously not a new thing, but the modern chemical concoctions we now find launched, sprayed, and swabbed on us are dangerous not only for the painful pepper, but also for the distilling solutions, toxic additives, and propellants used. Little, if any, real research has been done on the long-term effects of chemical agents, and there is essentially no regulation. Like genetically-engineered foods, toxic waste, and other abominable industrial civilization schemes, chemical weapons are an unknown and we, and the Earth, are the experiment.
    Pepper spray in particular stands out as the newest and least-researched of the bunch. Also known as oleoresin of capsicum (OC) spray, pepper spray was originally introduced in the U.S. in the 1980s by the Postal Service as a dog repellent. It was also used on bears and other animals. The FBI endorsed it as an "official chemical agent" in 1987 but it wasn't until 1991 that more than 3,000 local law enforcement agencies added it to their arsenals. This surge of interest hinged on a widely-circulated and influential study by FBI special agent Thomas Ward. As the FBI's chief expert on OC, Ward peddled the painful stuff like he was in a state of police-state-hallelujah.
    On February 12, 1996, we find Thomas Ward pleading guilty to a single count felony for accepting a $57,500 "kickback" from the manufacturers of Cap-Stun brand pepper spray. The second-largest company in the growing pepper spray industry, Cap-Stun also happened to be owned by Ward's very own wife, and, coincidentally, was the exact brand recommended by Ward as far back as the mid-'80s. Initially facing a $250,000 fine and five years in prison, Ward got off with two months in prison and three years probation. The FBI responded to his conviction by proclaiming it would continue using Cap-Stun since it was "unaware of any basis for finding that pepper spray is not...safe and effective." Ward's corrupt study is still cited today as justification for use of OC. Yet in Ottawa, Ontario; Berkeley, California; and Tucson, Arizona; police departments have chosen to stop using pepper spray due to the controversy (and costly lawsuits) it brings with it.
    Pepper spray use continues to be debated, and the skepticism about this unpredictable weapon is growing. As we enter into the 21st century, chemical weapons are used more and more by the police as yet another tool to protect corporate profit and the status quo. There have been an increasing number of pepper spray incidents at protests, often with nonviolent demonstrators being doused in the caustic chemical. In countless, outrageous circumstances, OC spray is used in discriminatory ways on low-income people of color.
    Since the early '90s, over 100 people have died nationwide after being pepper-sprayed by police officers. Especially when restrained, people have suffocated or their hearts have stopped beating. In regard to long-term risk, the U.S. Army has reported in internal documents that pepper gases and sprays are carcinogenic and mutagenic. Pepper spray incidents have also shown it to be fairly ineffective at subduing combative people, instead making the recipients more angry.
    On top of all this, OC falls through the cracks of FDA (Food and Drug Administration) regulation by not being a "food" or a "drug." The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, which oversees household products like toys and toasters, requires pepper spray to carry the same kind of warning label used for all possibly hazardous products, but that's the extent of its regulation. This required warning label ironically reads "Warning irritant, avoid contact with eyes." [For those who want to know what's in these chemical agents, "material safety data sheets" can sometimes be obtained (this is where you'll find things listed like DuPont emulsifier).]
    However, OC is finally starting to be looked at with a critical eye and many groups are working to have it banned. Convicted FBI agent Ward's promise was that it is "100% effective". A late-1997 Berkeley Police Review Commission study found OC to not only be a "serious" health risk, but also ineffective at stopping an attack 53%-63% of the time. This study, amidst the larger political climate, led to Berkeley banning it. In May 2000, a pivotal appeals court decision was won by activists sprayed and Q-Tip-swabbed with pepper liquid while protesting the logging of ancient redwood trees. The win gets the activists another jury trial (the first was split 4-4) and holds the top officers personally liable.
    Additionally, and this is more important than any study or verdict, people are hanging together and staying strong despite ever-increasing police brutality. With civil rights suits, demonstrations, sneaky antics and sass, and through the act of community itself, we are nurturing self-survival and a healthy distrust of the cops.

  • Stun Gun VS. Taser - The Difference.

    Stun gun vs Taser - The Difference.
    For many stun guns and tasers are the same thing, but there is a difference. Taser is a trademarked product produced by Taser International. Stun guns are manufactured by several different companies such as Stun Master, ZAP, Z-Force, RUNT, Pretender just to name a few. Tasers are used by law enforcement across the country because they can be fired at an assailant from up to to 15 feet away. Whereas a stun gun must be directly applied to the assailant. Stun guns also come in a variety of volts, size, and colors.
    The stun gun is designed to key into the nervous system. By placing the metal prongs onto assailant the electrical current is released into the muscles. It then releases its energy into the muscles at a high pulse frequency that makes the muscles work very rapidly, but not efficiently. This rapid work cycle depletes blood sugar by converting it to lactic acid all in just seconds. The resulting energy loss makes it difficult to move and function. At the same time, the tiny neurological impulses that travel throughout the body to direct muscle movement are interrupted. This causes disorientation and loss of balance and leaves the attacker in a passive and confused condition for several minutes. Still, there is no significant effect on the heart and other organs. The best areas to target are those that have a high concentration of nerves such as the stomach, hips, and neck. Just One-half second contact will repel and startle an attacker giving some pain and muscle contraction. One to two seconds will cause muscle spasms and a dazed mental state. Over 3 seconds will cause loss of balance and muscle control, mental confusion and disorientation. There is no permanent damage to the attacker. The unit only affects the person it comes in contact with and will not shock its user even if they were standing in water or wet.
    Tasers contain two pronged electrodes that are joined at the end of conductive wires. Pulling the trigger releases the compressed nitrogen gas cartridge causing the probes to shoot out of the end of it up to 15 feet to hit an assailant. Once these probes attach themselves to an assailant an electrical current is emitted into the assailant stunning him/her. Tasers attack the motor nervous system which lies inside the muscles and underneath the muscle tissue. Tasers use an NMI (Neuro-Muscular Incapacitation) which shocks and disables the nervous system and motor nerves. The disadvantage of a Taser is that you only get one shot before having to recoil the wires and replacing the gas cartridge.
    The Difference between Stun guns and tasers are:
    1. Stun Guns have to come in contact with an attacker VS Taser that can be shot up to 15 feet away.
    2. Stun guns come in different sizes, models, voltage, colors VS Taser comes in 2 different styles and same voltage.
    3. Stun guns and tasers are both very effective for self defense.
    4. Stun Guns come in as little as 300,000 volts to 20 million volts.
    5. Tasers can be used in two different ways: One to fire up to 15 feet away or in close proximity as a stun gun and apply directly to an assailant.
    Stun Guns and Tasers are legal in most states. The only states to refuse sales or possession are Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, and Rhode Island.

  • Student Releasing Pepper Spray Inside School.

    A student at Park City High School in Park City, Utah, has admitted to releasing pepper spray inside a lecture hall last month in an attempt to prevent the school’s Turning Point USA student group from hosting an event. The student said that he released the dangerous chemicals because he did not feel that the TPUSA event would be a “safe thing” to have at the school.
    An 18-year-old Park City student, whose name has not been released due to having been a minor at the time of the incident, admitted to Judge Elizabeth Knight on Friday that he released pepper spray inside the school’s lecture hall last month to “disrupt” a Turning Point USA event expected to be held in the room later that day, according to The Park Record.
    “I didn’t feel as though [the TPUSA event] was a very safe thing for a lot of our students to really have in our school, so I decided I wanted to disrupt it,” said the student during his hearing in 3rd District Juvenile Court on Friday, elaborating on his reasons for releasing the dangerous chemicals inside the lecture hall.
    Following the student’s release of the pepper spray, the school was evacuated after students and staff members reported feeling ill, resulting in medical professionals arriving on the scene to treat those who had been exposed to the chemicals, which left one person hospitalized.
    The TPUSA event, which had featured Prager University’s Will Witt, was relocated to Ecker Hill Middle School.
    Judge Knight reportedly told the student that he had been shutting down speech because he did not agree with it, and suggested that he find less harmful means for protesting, if he chooses to do so again in the future.
    The student, who had been facing 18 criminal charges, admitted in court to four class B misdemeanors, which included one count of criminal mischief, a third-degree felony, two counts of assault and one count of disrupting a meeting.
    Judge Knight dismissed the remaining 14 charges and sentenced the student to 100 hours of community service.
    Additionally, the student was ordered to write an essay about civility, write a letter of apology to the school’s resource officer who entered the school seeking to identify the substance, pay restitution to the school for clean-up costs, and pay the co-pay of the individual who was hospitalized as a result of the incident, according to The Park Record.
    The student apologized for his actions in a statement during the hearing.

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