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Bear Spray

05/01/2023 9:44 PM | Anonymous

Bear Spray  by Tom Reynolds

Nick Kristof (a CNN contributor) has an op-ed in the New York Times titled, “A Gun in the Home Makes Murder More Likely, Not Less.”

Kristof unequivocally states that in the United States, we suffer from: ”…a mass delusion that a gun in the home makes us safer.”  (Those that attended the Member’s Meeting on Saturday heard speaker and psychiatrist Doctor Robert Young say that ‘it ain’t necessarily so’.)

He uses the terms “delusion” and that it’s our “perceptions of rising crime” to convince us that crime isn’t rising and we are simply being misled (probably misled by the NRA and countless news articles?)

Kristof further states that, “People may choose to have firearms for hunting or target practice or to protect livestock from predators …but given the elevated risk, personal safety is not a good reason to acquire a gun.”  (Emphasis added.)

Oh yeah?  So what is Kristof’s alternative?

“…bear spray instead of a gun.”

He continues, “As a backpacker, I carry bear spray in grizzly country because it’s more effective than a handgun at stopping one of these bears if it charges; the same may be true of stopping a home invader, and certainly the consequences of a mistake aren’t deadly.”

Kristof is obviously not a reader of SCOPE Emails where we point out that, according to numerous studies, guns are used somewhere between 700 thousand and 3 million times a year for defensive purposes.

And then, as one sharp-eyed SCOPE member pointed out, Kristof did not research the laws in NY state.  NYS Penal Law section 265.50 indicates that you can have a pocket size self-defense spray device.  But, NYCRR section 54.3 says that a self-defense spray shall not contain more than 0.7% by total weight Capsaicinoids. 

Bear spray contains a greater amount. (Counter Assault Bear Deterrent is 2.0%)


Also notice he uses the term: “..may be true.”  The Left is infamous for inserting may, might, could etc. in a way that makes it sound factual.  And, of course, they never point out that their position: “may not be true.”

As to bear spray being more effective than a gun, there are differences of opinion.

This articles votes for bear spray.

Does Bear Spray Really Work? — CleverHiker | Backpacking Gear Reviews & Tutorial 

This article votes for a gun.

Bear Spray Fails Again in Canadian Bear Attack, Ends with Pet Dog Killed (

Remember Kristof also said: “..the consequences of a mistake aren’t deadly.”  The holder of a can of Bear Spray that didn’t work may disagree.

So, as usual, the NY Times makes a ‘factual’ sounding statement that should be labelled as maybe.

Then, there is a potential issue with bear spray that also goes unmentioned when the NY Times rages against ‘large capacity magazines’: what if you are being attacked by multiple assailants?

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East Aurora, NY 14052

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