posted on Nov, 25 2007 @ 04:45 PM
This is both to answer the question on pepper-ball guns and address the all or nothing mentality that some members are showing on this subject.
First and foremost, all violence is inhumane. The root of this question is not whether or not TASERs are a good thing, or whether or not the UN has
the authority to say what is good and bad, etc.
Violence is bad. I think we can all agree that if God comes down from the coulds and says "peace or violence" we should all say "peace" in one
Short of God doing that, there will be violence. Consequently the root of this question is whether or not we wish to have a society. A society by its
very nature entails the sacrifice of some of our natural absolute freedom, which some would use to violently tyranize their neighbors, for certain
assurances of safety. This safety is preserved by entrusting government agents with the means to use force. In short, do we want to have cops or
I say yes, as did our founding fathers. As our founding fathers did, however, I say this with the proviso that new safeguards must be provided against
misconduct by those who would be guardians of our society. I do not claim to know what all of these safeguards would be, but I do know that the
principles that would govern them are already partially existant, that they would not completely do away with everything we now have, and that those
safeguards must include strict accountability.
I also know that those safeguards will not make a perfect world, and I am OK with that, because there is a delicate balance between absolute freedom
and safety. Some safety can be sacrificed and some cannot. Some rights can be foregone and some cannot. (I will give up the right to swing my arms
near your nose, but not the right to swing my arms at all. I will not allow you to swing your arms near my nose, but I will accept a little risk from
you swinging your arms elsewhere).
On the pepperball gun and other weapons:
The Pepperball gun does solve some of the problems presented by the TASER, so it's a pretty good option, but no non-lethal weapon at present is
The pepperball gun is a gun, and if you aim it wrong it cause permanent injury, so doesn't have quite the same illusion of harmlessness as a TASER.
I haven't got the stats in front of me but it seems reasonable that it is probably less likely to kill than a TASER when properly employed.
But it's also not quite as effective as the TASER. I've seen guys have to be shot in the genitals with that thing before they'd comply.
The TASER is one of the most effective non-lethal weapons available- far more effective than a club, hand to hand techniques, or even the pepper-ball
As a direct result of that extra power though, the TASER is also more dangerous than those techniques. (although none of them is completely safe. If
somebody has a condition, you could put them into shock with a baton or a grapling technique.)
There is what law enforcement calls a "force continuum". On the low end, you've got grabbing someone's wrist, turning them around, and cuffing
them because they won't comply with lawful instruction. On the high end, you've shooting to kill before a hostage taker can kill his victim. Between
those extremes, there is a progression through low-impact holds, pepper spray, hand and baton strikes, and things such as pepperball guns and tasers.
There are times when any of these things may be necessary, but far more often they are not necessary and must not be employed.