One former border agent believes nachos topped with pepper spray is a perfectly fine dinner option.
But critics are burning up over the suggestion, arguing that the use of such force, especially on children, is completely unwarranted – and that if it’s so safe, perhaps a live TV demonstration should be arranged.
Ron Colburn, a former Border Patrol deputy chief, defended border officials’ use of pepper spray to deter migrant crowds at the Tijuana border by touting the spray’s all-natural makeup.
“Absolutely (it’s warranted),” he said on “Fox & Friends” Monday. “To clarify, the type of deterrent they used is OC (Oleoresin capsicum) Pepper Spray. It’s literally water, pepper, with a small amount of alcohol for evaporation purposes. It’s natural. You could actually put it on your nachos and eat it. So it’s a good way of deterring people without long-term harm.”
Social media users were quick to pounce on Colburn’s claim, with many offering to serve him up a steaming hot plate of pepper-sprayed nachos so he could back his argument.
“Dear Ron Colburn, would you be interested in a dinner on me? We’ll cover our nachos with pepper spray for an extra kick,” one user wrote. “And then I’ll spray you in the face so you know the difference, you unbelievable jacka–.”
Added another, “I don’t see Ron Colburn volunteering to be sprayed by pepper spray to show how easy it is to then enjoy his nachos.”
Past instances of pepper spray use suggest that it isn’t something to fire off freely, especially in the presence of children, who were hit near the border Sunday after wind caused the spray to fan out.
A Florida deputy was placed on administrative leave last month after she fired her OC spray at four elementary school students.
The local sheriff issued a blistering statement slamming the deputy and her decision to use what he called a “serious tool that we use in the field.”
“It has no business being deployed around the children we are supposed to keep safe,” Hillsborough Sheriff Chad Chronister told the Tampa Bay Reporter. “We have zero tolerance for the misuse of our equipment in this manner. This deputy did not adhere to her training or our standards and she will be held accountable for her actions.”
A 2003 U.S. Department of Justice study found that exposure to pepper spray was a contributing factor in 2 of 63 in-custody deaths in North Carolina, though both victims were asthmatic.
Using pepper spray on people with asthma ups the risk factor, as the capsicum can inflame airways if inhaled, causing swelling and restriction.
Adverse cardiac, respiratory and neurological effects, including arrhythmias and sudden death, were also reported as effects of chemicals used in OC spray, according to a joint 2004 Duke University and University of North Carolina study.
Meanwhile, pepper spray can also cause permanent eye damage, like a 2012 case in which a police officer in California permanently blinded a woman with spray as he arrested her for a traffic violation.
And pepper spray’s not the only “all-natural” substance that can cause serious damage to ones’ health.
Though the word “organic” conjures up images of health, the organic chemicals that make up nerve agents definitely won’t be found stocked at your local Whole Foods.
The chemicals are highly toxic and incredibly fast acting, and will poison the nervous system and disrupt bodily functions important to survival, according to OSHA.
Small amounts of nerve agents will cause a runny nose, vision problems and headaches among other things, while high does will cause coughing and breathing problems that will eventually lead to coma or death. Even higher doses will almost immediately lead to convulsions and death by suffocation.
Asbestos is made up of six naturally occurring minerals – but don’t go sprinkling this over your nachos, either.
The minerals occur naturally as fiber bundles that can be separated into thin threads to use for things like pipe insulation and floor tiles, since they resist heat and corrosion, according to OSHA.
But breathing in those fibers can not only cause cancer, but also scar-like tissue to build up in the lungs. Over time, lung function will deteriorate, eventually leading to disability and death.
It doesn’t get more natural than plants, but don’t tell that to Socrates.
The Greek philosopher was executed by drinking hemlock, a plant whose poison affects transmission of nerve impulses to muscle, causing respiratory failure and death.
Beans are a Mexican food staple, but definitely keep castor beans out of your next burrito. Ricin is a poison found naturally in the beans, and it’s released if they’re chewed and swallowed. It can also be made from the waste material that’s left over when castor beans are processed.