One of pepper spray’s developers is criticizing its use at recent Occupy Wall Street protests. An inventor can’t control his creation, but he can try.
The reaction to the pepper-spraying incident as UC Davis last week has been nearly uniformly one of horror (I say nearly because of the credulous acceptance of the police actions by certain Fox News anchors). But to those outside of the Fox News bubble, the pepper-spray attack demonstrated a disturbing combination of callousness and aggression.
Interesting, those people include Kamran Loghman, one of pepper spray’s developers. Loghman worked for the FBI in the 1980s and helped to make it into a weapons-grade material. He has also helped to write guidelines for police departments for using the spray. The New York Times found him and asked him what he made of the UC Davis incident. He told them, “I have never seen such an inappropriate and improper use of chemical agents.”
And that’s the thing about building weapons-grade technologies: You can’t control their use.