Republican Shawn Moody is being widely mocked on social media for his statement on a Maine radio talk show that teachers could use the devices as defensive weapons.
“This is a common-sense thing I want everybody to hear,” Moody said. “When you think about little common-sense things, practical things, we could do right now, there are fire extinguishers, dry chemical fire extinguishers, in every commercial building, school, and almost within 100 feet of wherever you are, and a fire extinguisher can be a great deterrent if somebody gets out of control or if anything happens, a teacher, anybody could break that glass, set the alarm off, grab that dry chemical fire extinguisher and spray it towards somebody and I’ll tell you right now that could put them to their knees.”
And let the mocking begin.
Did the reporter Scott Thistle bother to check with experts on active response training and let his readers know what he found out?
Of course not. He did mention a Twitter reaction from Brent Littlefield:
Brent Littlefield, a political consultant who works for Moody, pushed back on Twitter, noting that safety experts have, in fact, advised a fire extinguisher may be used to thwart an active shooter. He shared a link to a YouTube video produced by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office that depicts the use of a fire extinguisher in a dramatization of a workplace shooting.
Maybe other readers did what I did and looked it up.
From Active Response Training:
Using a Fire Extinguisher as a Weapon
The spray from the extinguisher is a very dense powder. It would certainly blind the person sprayed and make them cough uncontrollably. If I was going to use it, I would enlist the help of two confederates. I would spray the terrorist until the extinguisher was empty and then start beating the dude with it. As I do this, my two confederates both independently work to take the gun away. I think that plan has a reasonable likelihood of success.
I’m going to keep the hose attached to the body of the fire extinguisher. Most people separate it to spray a fire, but it doesn’t have to be pulled away from the body of the extinguisher to function. Hold the grip of the extinguisher with your strong hand. Support the body of the extinguisher with your non-dominant hand, ideally placing your thumb over the hose to keep it in place. Aim the “muzzle” of the hose at the terrorist and keep spraying until the extinguisher is empty. Once empty, keep the same grip and thrust the bottom of the canister into the terrorist’s face repeatedly. Hopefully this will provide enough distraction/injury that your friends can wrestle away the terrorist’s gun.
That was just one result I found in a very hasty search on Duckduckgo.
Doing the work that PPH reporters won't do.