With the mid-term elections looming on the horizon, political adds are popping up everywhere. Some of the candidates are willing to go to great lengths to prove their points. Levi Tillemann is running for the House. His latest commercial is making waves after he took a face full of pepper spray to prove just how effective it would be at stopping a school shooting.
Tillemann is running in Colorado’s sixth congressional district. His commercial makes it clear that he’s no friend of the Second Amendment.
He also has no interest in arming teachers. Instead, he would rather have canisters of pepper spray in every classroom. His thought is that teachers could access the gas in an emergency and take down an assailant with a quick dose of pepper spray.
“I’m calling on Congress to stop talking past each other and try something new,” he says. “Empower schools and teachers with non-lethal self-defense tools, like this can of pepper spray.”
His video, called “This Will Save Lives,” doesn’t present all sides of the argument. At just two minutes, it couldn’t. Yet some of what is left out has struck many as crucial.
While Tillemann is willing to get sprayed with pepper spray, he sits politely while it is applied. The person spraying him is close enough for him to touch.
Most people school shooters, the people Tillemann suggests might be sprayed, won’t sit quite as still as he did for the application. And they have guns. That seems to be a unifying factor in school shootings. The shooters have guns.
“You’ve got to love out-of-the-box thinkers like Levi Tillemann,” The Smoke Room writes. “Just an earnest, stand-up guy with big hopes and dreams to solve gun violence with a gallon of pepper spray and a pinch of good luck.”
That is about as polite as his critics will be when dismantling his logic. When facing a lethal threat, lethal force may be required. If it is, a non-lethal approach may be inadequate. In order for a teacher or another student to make an effective use of pepper spray, they will have to close the distance to the person with a gun.
In a fight or flight situation, Tilleman suggests that you fight. Only he wants you to fight with a vastly inferior weapon.
If you need more information on this, look beyond political commercials. A quick search will provide you with actual footage of pepper spray in action. Some of the uses are effective. Others, though, are not.