Letter to the editor: Maine inventor’s car-mounted pepper spray will cause problems, not solve them

I was appalled by the May 18 Press Herald article about a south Portland company’s vehicle-mounted pepper spray gun, containing more than 30 times the amount of a typical hand-held canister and marketed to the General public. What is “Mad Max”?

I am appalled by the support of the Maine Center for Entrepreneurs and that F3 Defense, who developed it, won this year’s “Innovator of the Year” award from the Manufacturers Association of Maine. Surely there are innovations that would be more beneficial to society.

I was part of a group that was pepper sprayed by the police with excessive force, and it was mostly white college kids. This group included a student in a wheelchair, who couldn’t get out of the way. F3 owner downplays harm from pepper spray. A report by the International Network of Civil Liberties Organizations and Physicians for Human Rights notes that “inhalation of large doses…can produce adverse cardiac, respiratory and neurological effects, including arrhythmias and death. sudden”, not to mention the intense pain.

Vans in Portland revved engines and threatened peaceful and legal protesters exercising their right to free speech (intimidating, given that “between the death of (George) Floyd on May 25, 2020 and September 30, 2021 , vehicles have led to protests at least 139 times, according to an analysis by The Boston Globe.”)

It is a technology that justifies the use of deterrent violence. This system is designed to perpetrate the aggression of citizens rightly protesting against real violence and oppression; it should be regulated and inaccessible to the general public.

Emilie Dahlin

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