As the underdog in Colorado's Democratic 6th District House primary on June 26, former Obama administration official Levi Tillemann has launched a campaign ad aimed at grabbing people's attention. But the attention he's receiving may not be the kind he was hoping for.
In the ad titled, "This Will Save Lives," Tillemann volunteers to take a blast of pepper spray to his own face, while making the case to arm every school classroom in America with a can of pepper spray to stop school shooters.
"I'm calling on Congress to stop talking past each other and try something new. Empower schools and teachers with nonlethal self-defense tools, like this can of pepper spray."
Tillemann then explains how powerful pepper spray is and why it would be less of a risk to keep in classrooms than a gun.
"Trust me, this will stop anyone in their tracks," says Tillemann, before being liberally sprayed in the face with pepper spray.
The next scene shows Tillemann saying, "Wow, that's intense," before dunking his head in a tub of sudsy water in an attempt to remove the substance from his face.
"It's incredibly painful, and now, I just can't see anything," Tillemann says. "It's just unbearable. It's like lava in your eyes."
He's then seen spraying his eyes with a water hose while the message on the screen reads, "There are more than 300 million guns in the US."
Tillemann says that part of building a better future for America involves making our schools safe again, and that nonlethal defense tools will save lives.
Obviously, Tillemann is quite passionate about his pepper-spray-in-every-classroom policy initiative. But in case anyone might doubt how strongly he feels about the idea after watching him reel from being voluntarily sprayed, the candidate has also published some answers to some commonly asked questions about his proposal under his ad on YouTube.
In the Q&A, Tillemann says that it's actually "easier to hit a target with pepper spray stream than a bullet," citing that "over 70 percent of the time, police do not hit their intended target when shooting at a distance of less than 10 feet," while "pepper spray has an effective range up to 30 feet."
He also insists that Second Amendment rights would not be weakened by his proposal, but that it would indeed save lives.
For your viewing pleasure: