Feature / Tatiana Princivil

Welcome to the New United States: Bring Goggles!

gassy jones

In 1993, several of the world’s largest nations got together to determine how they could make war suck less. This was called the Weapons Convention of 1993.  They were able to come up with an agreement that did, in fact, (fractionally) make war suck less–and almost every nation in the damn world signed this agreement.  Now, in this agreement, the use of tear gas was banned. If tear gas is banned in warfare, why is it okay to haphazardly fling it on your own citizens?

For the past several months, protests have broken out everywhere (because everyone is only just now realizing how much their government sucks–and apparently there’s a new law against being black that requires immediate capital punishment without trial… who knew?).  Police have been using tear gas to disperse the “rioters” (read here: revolutionaries) and to deter the masses from gathering and expressing their general disapproval of how crap is run in their country.

Despite going against an international decree against the use of tear gas, citizens in Ferguson and elsewhere are being hosed with this shit. At least there aren’t long-term effects to being gassed….

Oh wait there totally are. And they’re awful.

Besides the immediate effects of tear gas, people have reported coughing, shortness of breath, and other lung-related problems —which is made worse in people who already have lung problems. Plus, delayed menstruation, miscarriages, and stillbirths are other lovely effects of tear gas. People have also reported that teargas can cause damage to the heart and liver.

But hey, as long as we aren’t chucking teargas at other countries, this is completely legal. Welcome to the New United States, where we keep the world safe. Except for our own citizens.

I believe it was a bunch of old white dudes who said:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.—That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

…except if you’re black.

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