I was doing a casual search looking for problems with pepper spray and most of what I found did not concern the function of pepper spray but in the way it is used. Unfortunately, most of the time pepper spray is mentioned in the news is when police officers are using it against non-violent protesters. Personally, I am against any violence against the nonviolent.
There have also been articles on mail carriers using pepper spray to protect themselves from aggressive dogs. I have noticed, in my own neighborhood, mail carriers with two or three pepper sprays hooked on their bags. I find this a bit more problematic, since my dog was attacked by a large aggressive dog while I was walking her. She is only about 20 pounds and she was on a leash. The dog who attacked her was closer to 50 pounds and not on a leash. If the other dog’s owners had not rushed up and pulled their dog off mine, I don’t know what I would have done. I definitely wished I was packing pepper spray that day. But a very good friend of mine had a large black lab puppy (about 50 pounds) who was very bouncy. She ran up on a mail carrier wanting to play and the carrier mistook her exuberance for aggression and sprayed her. She was always stranger shy after that experience. Though to be fair, my friend should have had more control of her dog.
With all this said, I would still advocate for people who live is neighborhoods that have stray dogs or for people who go jogging early in the morning or late at night, whether it is to escape the heat of the day or traffic, to carry pepper spray. Pepper spray is an effective means of protection against not only two legged predators but also against overly aggressive four legged ones.
Stay Safe People,