Tear gas on the border: Actually, used so often (under Obama), organizers were well aware it was inevitable

Tear gas on the border: Actually, used so often (under Obama), organizers were well aware it was inevitable
Would-be border-breachers run from pepper spray deployed by CBP at U.s. border near San Diego. Epoch Times video via Twitter

Liberty Unyielding noted in an earlier post on Monday that the media seemed to have trouble remembering the use of tear gas on border-crashers near San Diego five years ago, by the Obama administration.

Outraged pundits were instead excoriating Trump for the use of pepper spray on Sunday when a group of over 500 migrants tried an illegal surge through the border fence, pelting U.S. Border Patrol agents with projectiles.

The Washington Times did some research into Homeland Security’s records on the matter, and discovered that the use of both tear gas and pepper spray at the U.S. border has been routine and even frequent for years, including during the Obama administration.

Use of tear gas occurred an average of once a month in the Obama years.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has used 2-chlorobenzylidene malononitrile, or CS, since 2010, and deployed it 26 times in fiscal 2012 and 27 times in 2013. The use dropped after that, but was still deployed three times in 2016, Mr. Obama’s final full year in office.

Use of CS rose again in fiscal 2017, which was split between Mr. Obama and Mr. Trump, and reached 29 deployments in fiscal 2018, which ended two months ago, according to CBP data seen by The Washington Times.

Pepper spray is used for deterrence and crowd control even more often.

Border authorities also use another agent, pepper spray, frequently — including a decade-high record of 151 instances in 2013, also under Mr. Obama. Pepper spray, officially known as Pava Capsaicin, was used 43 times in fiscal year 2018, according to the CBP numbers.

Besides clarifying that the Obama administration had no qualms about using crowd-control agents at the border, this history illuminates an additional point. The organizers of the migrant caravans have to be well aware that U.S. Customs and Border Patrol employs pepper spray and tear gas, and will do so if groups of people attempt to rush the border for an illegal crossing. When faced with an onrush of young, able-bodied men throwing rocks and bottles and trying to breach a boundary, these crowd-control agents represent a humane use of non-lethal means to deter and contain what no nation tolerates at its border.

(Watch the video between the 1:05 and 1:45 marks.)

Which contributes a special note of urgency to this timely query from Stefan Molyneux:

J.E. Dyer

J.E. Dyer

J.E. Dyer is a retired Naval Intelligence officer who lives in Southern California, blogging as The Optimistic Conservative for domestic tranquility and world peace. Her articles have appeared at Hot Air, Commentary’s Contentions, Patheos, The Daily Caller, The Jewish Press, and The Weekly Standard.


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