Why can’t protesters throw the tear gas back at police


I saw a picture on Reddit of a guy who used a tennis racket to bounce tear gas canisters back at police. This raised a question – why a racket? Why can’t he just throw it back? Or why can’t everybody who is wearing protective gear just throw back any tear gas cans thrown at them?

In: Other

At best, I have seen protestors with a bandana around their mouth and nose. Tear gas gets in through your eyes as well, and it burns. The name is there for a reason.

Any attempt to pick up a can would include putting your face right down at the can. And if you haven’t sat in the stuff before, thinking rationally when exposed is not an easy thing to do.

So, the guys with the racquet likely had tried to pick up a can before. Or got advice from someone else who had.

They get really hot to touch. And it might be hard to see them once they stop rolling so fumbling around blind in fresh tear gas is not ideal

Maybe it’s an exothermic reaction. Police pulls the pin, insides react like one of those bill nye flasks with mist coming out (that would be the tear gas.) and that reaction gives off energy in the form of heat, making the damn canister bloody hot. (This is my first explanation ever on this sub, sorry if it’s more ELI15 then ELI5)

Tear gas is a crystal. In order to make it weaponized you need to liquefy it in a solvent or burn it. Inside the tear gas grenades is a fire that heats the tear gas.

Without gloves your not going to be able to pick up the grenades without giving yourself severe burns.

Tear gas spray is the crystals in a solvent that can be pumped out.

Tear gas is sent in your direction inactive from the person throwing or firing it. It’s a cold canister but by the time it gets to you it will be fully active sending out loads of gas. The gas basically makes the area around the canister like you’ve been submerged in water.

It’s very difficult to breath due to loads of mucus being created, your mouth starts watering loads and your eyes like the name suggests will start tearing up uncontrollably. The best course of action is hold your breath and get out of the area.

Why don’t you throw it back? It’s a red hot canister which will cause severe burns if directly touched. If you are willing to get close enough it can cause severe skin irritation and depending on exposure time, you can be blinded by it. But this is in severe cases.

I’m sure a tennis racket would be a great option and I’m sure I’ve seen people using clothes to pick up the canister to hurl it back but you’d need a strong arm in a weakening situation cause police keep their distance and good accuracy that is near impossible when your vision resembles looking through water.

If you did throw it back, I’m sure police would send a lot more your way and a lot of forces I’d expect would be equipped with masks else they’d be in the crowds situation. Unable to see a thing.