Practice Match. Budski v Sublime620: Tazers

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posted on Feb, 3 2008 @ 11:25 PM
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The topic for this debate is "The use of tazers by law enforcement should be abolished".

budski will be arguing the pro position and will open the debate.
Sublime620 will argue the con position.

Each debater will have one opening statement each. This will be followed by 3 alternating replies each. There will then be one closing statement each and no rebuttal.

Character limits are nolonger in effect- you may use as many characters as a single post allows.

Editing is strictly forbidden. This means any editing, for any reason. Any edited posts will be completely deleted. This prevents cheating. If you make an honest mistake which needs fixing, you must U2U me. I will do a limited amount of editing for good cause. Please use spell check before you post.

Opening and closing statements must not contain any images, and must have no more than 3 references. Excluding both the opening and closing statements, only two images and no more than 5 references can be included for each post.

The Socratic Debate Rule is in effect. Each debater may ask up to 5 questions in each post, except for in closing statements- no questions are permitted in closing statements. These questions should be clearly labeled as "Question 1, Question 2, etc.
When asked a question, a debater must give a straight forward answer in his next post. Explanations and qualifications to an answer are acceptable, but must be preceeded by a direct answer.


Responses should be made within 24 hours.

This is a practice match. No points are at stake.




posted on Feb, 4 2008 @ 01:28 PM
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Thanks to the Vagabond for setting up this practice match, and good luck to my opponent Sublime620.

Opening.

"The use of tazers by law enforcement should be abolished" is the topic for this debate.

Throughout the course of this debate I intend to show why tazers should be abolished.

I will provide evidence that they are not the non deadly option which they are supposed to be.

I will provide evidence to show that they are wrong, both in a moral and ethical sense and that they are used to subjugate and silence suspects and members of the public, as much as they are to help uphold the law.

I will show that they have led to the seperation of trust between citizens and law enforcement officers, and that they have also led to a soft option when dealing with individuals, instead of real police work and communication.

I will show further, that in using tazers law enforcement officers are becoming increasingly reliant on subduing people instead of using traditional police and law enforcement skills.

The tazer has been around since 1969, when a NASA researcher named Jack Cover first began developing the weapon. He completed the design by 1974 and the first tazers used gunpowder as a propellant.

In 1993 the "modern" tazer which we know today was developed - ostensibly as a non lethal law enforcement tool, by Rick Smith and his brother Tim with the help of the original developer.

The tazer is now in widespread use in many police forces - I intend to prove that this is wrong and that they should be abolished.



posted on Feb, 4 2008 @ 01:46 PM
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Exhibition Debate

Thanks again to Vagabond for organizing yet another debate for me. Also, thanks to budski for accepting a practice round. Hopefully I will gain enough experience from these debates to stand a fighting chance in the upcoming tourney.

The topic on hand is: “should the use of tasers by law enforcement should be abolished?”

Tasers save lives... or do they?

Every once in a while an invention comes along that makes society better. The taser is one of them. “But why?” you ask. It saves lives. That puts the taser in a class with the seatbelt or the airbag. Unfortunately, tasers have come under attack. One such organization that has put the use of tasers under fire is Amnesty International. Here is why AI is calling for the ban:

Amnesty International Calls for Ban on Tasers

In the past three years, more than 70 people are reported to have died in the USA and Canada after being struck by M26 or X26 tasers, with the numbers rising annually. In this report, Amnesty International calls US state, federal and local authorities to suspend all transfers and use of tasers and other electro-shock weapons pending a rigorous, independent inquiry into their use and effects.


The Truth: The benefits greatly outweigh the risks.

During this debate, I plan to focus on both the benefits and the risks. I will not dispute that being shocked with a taser is a bad idea, though I am sure we will see the members of Jackass shooting each other’s genitalia with them – if they haven’t already. What I will do is put perspective on the issue.

One of my favorite sayings is: “You have to take the good with the bad”. Have people died from being tased? Yes. According to Amnesty International, 70 people have died between 2001 and 2004 from having been shot by a taser. That equals, roughly, an average of 24 people per year. In no way could I downplay those deaths. 24 deaths is 24 deaths. It is a flaw.

That was the bad. My opponent will attempt to glorify the bad. He will try to make you forget about the real question:

How many would have died if the standard issue Glock was used?

Someone is at fault for every death.

Let’s face it, America is a nation that loves punitive damages. If someone dies, we feel there must be someone(s) who is responsible and who we must seek justice against. There is nothing wrong this idea, but sometimes we lose sight of the real issue. A classic example is parents blaming video games for their children’s actions. While video games may not have helped the situation, it remains the parent’s responsibility to raise their child correctly.

The same applies with tasers. While the taser may have been the physical cause of death, perhaps it was the perp’s actions that caused the incident to begin with. If a police officer asks you to take your hands out of your pockets, it is not because he wants to admire the manicure you just received.

Man dies from taser
A perfect example happened just a few months ago. A Maryland Sheriff’s Deputy responded to a call about a brawl. The officer eventually shocked Jarrel Grey twice for refusal to show his hands and Mr. Grey died shortly thereafter. The cause of death was never determined, but most tie it to the taser. Spokesmen for the taser company argue that the taser could not have caused the death because he continued to struggle after he was tased.

Blame the training, not the tool!

This is a rare occurrence, but sad nonetheless. Was the taser at fault? Absolutely not. Here’s why:
  • In almost all cases of death resulting from taser, there is a preexisting medical condition found.

  • If a cop tells you to do something, do it! If you take issue with the cop’s right to do something, fight it afterwards. That is what the court system is for. In the case of Mr. Grey: because he was drunk, already proven himself as possibly violent by being involved in a fight, and his refusal to show his hands, he was tased.

  • If the force used by the police officer was excessive for the situation, then it is the police officer’s, and not the taser’s, fault. The taser is simply a device. It must be used properly and in appropriate situations.

My intentions

I will prove that tasers are an effective way to protect our officers, while at the same time holding the same regard to the victim’s life. I will stress that abuse of the taser is a training issue and should not be used as grounds for abolishment. I intend to keep things in perspective for the reader. This is a debate that will stir up emotions, and we cannot allow the sad stories to steal the light from the truth.

Invoking Socratic Questions.

I would like to know my opponent’s stance on these issues:
  1. Due to the many reports of airbag’s being responsible for killing people in car crashes, would you find it reasonable that they be banned?

  2. Are there any non-lethal weapons you do support for law enforcement’s use?

  3. If you answered yes to the previous question, what would you define as an appropriate time to use the non-lethal weapon?



posted on Feb, 5 2008 @ 08:33 AM
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In opening this post, I will first answer my opponents socratic questions, albeit with some qualifications.

1. Due to the many reports of airbag’s being responsible for killing people in car crashes, would you find it reasonable that they be banned?
An airbag is not designed to be a weapon, a tazer is, so no I don't think airbags should be banned. An airbag does not shoot needles carrying up to 50,000 volts into a person with the express intention of "taking them down"
So I see a rather large difference, and the question is moot.

2. Are there any non-lethal weapons you do support for law enforcement’s use?
If the tazer is a non lethal weapon, why have there been so many deaths from it's usage?
Pepper spray is much less lethal and I would suppost it's minimal use.

3. If you answered yes to the previous question, what would you define as an appropriate time to use the non-lethal weapon?
I'm not a law enforcement officer - individual circumstances would dictate, I imagine.

Rebuttal and Reply

My opponent has tried to set the terms for this debate by repeatedly referring to tazers as non lethal.

I have to say I am surprised at this - a non lethal weapon does not cause death, a lethal weapon does.

I would also take issue with the number of deaths - between 2001 and 2006 there have been 152 deaths in the US alone. Which is more than twice the figure my opponent put forth and is from the same source

So again I will reiterate - a weapon that kills isn't a non lethal weapon.
Pretty simple really.

My opponent has also tried to tell what my position will be - this is very dodgy ground and a very dodgy tactic.
In talking about deaths from tazer use he asks you to compare how many lives would be lost if standard issue glock were used.

Part of my answer comes from Amnesty International:

Amnesty International is particularly concerned that vulnerable groups such as children, the disabled, pregnant women and people with mental illnesses are also being subjected to electric shocks from tasers in the USA. The organisation said it continues to receive reports of individuals being subjected to taser shocks while already handcuffed.

Amnesty International said:

"It is extremely disturbing that tasers are continuing to be used by US police in circumstances where the suspect does not pose a serious threat to police officers, the public or themselves. These weapons should never be considered a 'low' or 'intermediate' force option."

source

So, according to AI we have abuse of a deadly weapon while subjects are already restrained and usage of this deadly weapon in circumstances not appropriate.

So while many seem to be under the impression that tazers should be considered a last resort, obviously they are not viewed that way by SOME law enforcement officers.
Instead, they are being used in situations where a subject poses no threat - which is tantamount to torture as well as lazy policing, and breaches the rights of the subject.
This lethal weapon is being used then, to infringe civil liberties and human rights and to silence people who are being arrested for non violent crimes.

Does this sound like something you want on the streets?

My opponent also raises other questions:
originally posted by Sublime620
"If a cop tells you to do something, do it! If you take issue with the cop’s right to do something, fight it afterwards."

I have a right to know why I am being stopped or questioned.
If a police officer tazes me for wanting my rights, then I am not in the wrong, he is.
It is exactly this sort of muddy thinking that led to the rise of the Nazi's - "Just do what the cop tells you"

I'd also like to address the likelihood of increased deaths from increased usage:

Medical studies suggest that more not fewer deaths could result from the introduction of tasers and stun guns for police work. Some doctors worry that more deaths could occur since police may be more likely to use tasers and stun guns on a suspect thinking they are safer than handguns.

Researchers first made this point in 2001. Tasers and stun guns were first introduced in police work in South Africa in 1999. In the 1 September 2001 issue of The Lancet, bioengineers Dr Raymond Fish of the University of Illinois and Dr Leslie Geddes of Purdue University, argued that tasers and stun guns may not be as safe as many of us are led to believe.

Instead, tasers and stun guns are known to cause a suspect to suffer cardiac arrest, respiratory failure, malfunction of pace-makers, damaged eyes, injury to the central nervous system, and death. The death of an innocent foetus can occur as well as tasers and stun guns can cause a miscarriage when used on a pregnant woman. Police would find it difficult, if not impossible to know if a female suspect is pregnant.

source

So now we have the following evidence;
Tazers are not the non-lethal weapon supporters claim they are.
There is a high risk of infringement of your rights.
There is a higher chance of a police officer using a tazer than other lethal means of subduing a subject.
Tazers are used highly inappropriately.
The 2non-lethal" tag encourages inappropriate use.

Socratic Questions
1. Does my opponent believe it is acceptable to deny people their rights.

2. Does my opponent think that inappropriate use does not occur.

3. How does an invention that kills, save lives when there are other non lethal means to restrain a subject.

4. Does my opponent believe that it is morally acceptable to fire 50,000 vaults into a person, when this can be construed as a form of torture.

5. Does my opponent think that encouraging the use of tazers by calling them non lethal (when they clearly ARE lethal) is morally acceptable.



posted on Feb, 5 2008 @ 11:13 AM
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First Rebuttal

My opponent raised a few excellent points in his last post. He truly has gotten to the heart of the debate. Are tasers non-lethal?

Let me first respond to his Socratic Questions and then I will issue my rebuttal.

Response to Socratic Questions


  1. Does my opponent believe it is acceptable to deny people their rights?

    Absolutely not. I am a strict liberalist. Nothing infuriates me more than a person’s rights being trampled.


  2. Does my opponent think that inappropriate use does not occur?

    I am sure inappropriate use does occur. I have no doubts about it. This is a loaded question though. Inappropriate use goes with all weapons. That includes: nightstick/batons, pepper spray, tasers, and even firearms. It is a training issue, not an issue of the weapons themselves.


  3. How does an invention that kills, save lives when there are other non lethal means to restrain a subject?

    Excellent question. It is a supplemental source of safety. Much like the airbag compliments the seatbelt. Airbags have saved lives, but they have also caused death. The key is looking at the ratio of lives saved to deaths caused.


  4. Does my opponent believe that it is morally acceptable to fire 50,000 vaults into a person, when this can be construed as a form of torture?

    This is a question I want to put a lot of emphasis on. I will answer it very thoroughly below in my rebuttal. The answer is: I do not consider it to be torture.


  5. Does my opponent think that encouraging the use of tazers by calling them non lethal (when they clearly ARE lethal) is morally acceptable?

    Another loaded question. Again, I will answer more thoroughly below. The short answer is that tasers are nonlethal.

    Tasers are a form of torture and are lethal?

    The UN says so.

    UN: Tasers Are A Form Of Torture

    The use of TaserX26 weapons, provoking extreme pain, constituted a form of torture, and that in certain cases it could also cause death, as shown by several reliable studies and by certain cases that had happened after practical use.


    As I mentioned earlier, I am not afraid of mentioning “risks”. If I do not bring them up, I am sure my opponent will. The UN Committee Against Torture believes that the use of them is torture. I think that is a dangerous thing to say. I believe it dilutes the word itself, and could explain why so many American’s are apathetic to water boarding – which is real torture. For the UN to make such a bold and under analyzed statement is completely irresponsible.

    Let’s first review the most commonly accepted definition of torture:
    Dictionary.com

    1. the act of inflicting excruciating pain, as punishment or revenge, as a means of getting a confession or information, or for sheer cruelty.


    That’s torture. I think we all agree. The only other acceptable definition for this panel to be considering is:

    4. extreme anguish of body or mind; agony.


    We know they are not using the first definition. Our officers are not using tasers to interrogate. They must be using definition four. So we are discussing “extreme anguish of the body”.

    Proof that tasers are nonlethal

    Howstuffworks – Stun Guns and how they affect the body
    Anyone who likes learning about stuff and how it works has been to the above site. This article is really quite interesting and it’s a great read. It raising a few points that I believe my opponent overlooked.

    My opponent continuously brings up the volts that stun guns project into the body. What he is blatantly overlooking is that volts do not kill, amps do. Here’s where howstuffworks.com comes into play:

    Stun guns generate a high-voltage, low-amperage electrical charge. In simple terms, this means that the charge has a lot of pressure behind it, but not that much intensity.


    That is very important. My opponent will continuously throw around the 50,000 volts to attempt to awe you. Fortunately, voltage is irrelevant.


    But at around 3 milliamps, the charge is not intense enough to damage the attacker's body…


    It takes around 100mA – milliamps – to stop a person’s heart.

    What takes place when a person is stunned is just as howstuffworks described. I’ve never been stunned, so I cannot effectively describe it, but it stops you in your tracks. That is what it does. It does not have enough amps to kill you, but it has enough to sit you down.

    Tasers are not torture

    I have shown above that tasers are quick charges of high voltage but low amps. Not enough to kill, but enough to stop an aggressor in his/her tracks. The other question is whether or not it is torture.

    I find it rather funny that my opponent would claim that pepper spray is a better option, and then say that stun guns are a form of torture. Stun guns basically “stun” the aggressor by depleting his/her energy temporarily. Very temporarily.

    Taser Demonstration See how fast the officer regains his energy?
    Compare this to pepper spray. Now that is torture closer to “extreme anguish of the body”.

    How Pepper Spray Works

    Pepper spray results in considerable tearing of the eyes, as well as temporary paralysis of the larynx, which causes subjects to lose their breath. Contact with the face causes a strong burning sensation.

    After being exposed to the spray, subjects' reactions become reflexive in nature. They immediately cover their eyes and bend over into a defensive posture to avoid further contact. This reactive behavior allows officers to gain control and restrain disorderly subjects more effectively. The effects of the spray generally last about 20 to 45 minutes and leave no residual effects.


    20 to 45 minutes compared to the short burst of a stun gun. Shortness of breath and extreme pain and tearing in the eyes. Sounds pretty brutal to me.

    Important Facts To Remember
    • Abuse of tasers by law enforcement does happen. It is a training issue. I get very upset when I see an unarmed man who is merely questioning the officer get tased. That is abuse. You cannot refute the tasers awesome stopping ability simply because a few officers abuse their power. Did the nightstick get removed after the Rodney King incident?

    • Tasers are not deadly. They do not produce even close to enough amperage to kill a healthy human.

    • Compared to: nightsticks that break bones, and pepper spray that blinds and practically suffocates the victim, stun guns are an effective way to simply stop whatever the target is doing.



posted on Feb, 5 2008 @ 12:11 PM
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Reply and Rebuttal

My opponent has again tried to use the argument that tazers do not kill, despite the fact that posted figures in his opening to show that they do kill people.

He has also cherry picked his definitions of torture, so for his and the readers' benefit, I will post ALL the definitions, from his own source:

1. the act of inflicting excruciating pain, as punishment or revenge, as a means of getting a confession or information, or for sheer cruelty.
2. a method of inflicting such pain.
3. Often, tortures. the pain or suffering caused or undergone.
4. extreme anguish of body or mind; agony.
5. a cause of severe pain or anguish.
–verb (used with object)
6. to subject to torture.
7. to afflict with severe pain of body or mind: My back is torturing me.
8. to force or extort by torture: We'll torture the truth from his lips!
9. to twist, force, or bring into some unnatural position or form: trees tortured by storms.
10. to distort or pervert (language, meaning, etc.).

source

The UN also says that tazers are a form of torture - something which he refutes, but I would ask this question;
Does my opponent think he is better qualified to define torture than the UN?

There is also the question of usage - these weapons of death are meant to be a last resort.
But who can forget the tazering of a student last year, for asking questions the campus authorities didn't like.

Who can forget this number, 152 deaths from 2001 to 2006 in the US alone from tazers.

And still my opponent would have you believe that they are a non lethal weapon, in a misguided attempt to kid you into thinking the same.

He continues to use his unfortunate airbag analogy, when clearly there is NO comparison between the two.

This is clearly a desperate attempt to push his "saving lives" theory onto the reader in the hope that the reader will see some similarity between a vehicle safety mechanism and a deadly weapon when none exists.

It's also worth remembering that once the barbs have embedded themselves into the skin of a victim, repeated charges can be given, each one lasting up to five seconds and capable of causing damage to the heart and neurological system as well as inflicting other damage.

My opponent would have you believe that the inappropriate use of tazers is a mere training issue, something I refute.
How can training be an issue when in two separate incidents in the space of two weeks, two children, one aged six and one aged twelve were tazered.
source

Is this a training issue?
The torture of small children because officers couldn't be bothered to understand the nature of the deadly weapon they are carrying?

NO, this an abuse of power issue and something we will see more of the longer tazers are in use.

This abuse of power and erosion of civil liberties comes down to one very basic fact of law.
A person is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

So how can the torture of a suspect fit into this basic right?

The answer?
It doesn't - what it does is enable the state to strip more of your rights from you by a process of engendering fear of retribution and torture should you dare to ask for your rights which are supposed to be protected by law.

Tazers are merely another extension of a fascist police state in which torture of an innocent victim is at the judgement of a badly trained cop whose main concern is for his own safety at the expense of your rights under the same law he is sworn to uphold and protect.

This is what our countries are coming to when we allow lethal weapons to be placed in the hands of individuals who do not respect the law they are sworn to uphold.

And this is why Tazers MUST be outlawed.



posted on Feb, 5 2008 @ 11:23 PM
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Second Rebuttal

Define it how you want to

I want to start off by letting my opponent know that I do not care which definition of torture he uses. I was just trying to pick the most appropriate one, and I felt that “extreme anguish of body” seemed to fit best.

No matter which way you cut it, using tasers to halt an aggressor is not torture. I do not need a definition to tell me that. It is like the old pornography definition: “I don’t know if I can define it, but I know it when I see it”.

If a guy gets punched in the face once, twice, or even three times, it is not torture. If a guy gets punched in the face for 3 hours, that is torture. Same holds true with a taser. If a guy gets tased to stop him, he did not get tortured. If a guy gets tased for 15 minutes straight, you might have a case.

Throwing around the word torture to promote an agenda is quite dangerous. It dilutes the word and takes away from the overall meaning. If we start classifying that as torture, we’ll have bar room brawls that break UN Resolutions and ending up in Federal Court. Not necessary.

Do I think I am better qualified than the UN? No. But that does not mean I can’t call them out for getting something wrong. People make mistakes. Sometimes it is easy for an organization to jump on a cause without doing the correct research. For instance, just like you, the UN made the mistake of emphasizing volts, instead of knowing that volts are completely irrelevant. Shoot me with 8,000,000 volts if you want, as long as the amperage is 3mA, I’ll live.

The follies of a few men

I have a hard time understanding why my opponent continuously brings up abuse. Give cops pepper spray, some will abuse it. Give them nightsticks and some will bash innocent men’s skulls. Heck, take it all away and they’ll use that trusty flashlight.

You can’t win in that respect. Being a police officer gives men power. That is going to attract bad people sometimes. I would much rather be tased than pepper sprayed or glocked, I can tell you that sir.

Pepper spray can cause death. If you are asthmatic or allergic to pepper, it can cause trouble breathing and death. If sprayed too close, it can effect vision permanently. In fact, here are the effects of mace:

Effects of Pepper Spray

Dermal exposure to OC spray causes tingling, intense burning pain, swelling, redness, and, occasionally, blistering (capsaicin alone causes redness and pain, but not vesiculation).

Respiratory responses to OC spray include burning of the throat, wheezing, dry cough, shortness of breath, gagging, gasping, inability to breathe or speak (due to laryngospasm or laryngeal paralysis), and, rarely, cyanosis, apnea, and respiratory arrest.

Nasal application of capsaicin causes sneezing, irritation, and reflex mucus secretion.(9) Its inhalation can cause acute hypertension (similar to ammonia inhalation), which in turn can cause headache and increase the risk of stroke or heart attack. Animal studies show various and sometimes profound reflex effects on respiratory and cardiovascular function. These include apnea, airway edema and constriction, systemic vasodilation, hypotension, bradycardia, and sometimes atrioventricular blockade and even asystole.


Emphasis mine. Under your definition of “lethal”, I guess pepper spray is out of the picture also. I think I swift nightstick to the face could kill, so that would eliminate that also. That leaves the cop with a gun or his fists. Sounds like a pretty bad idea to me.

My opponent also said:

How can training be an issue when in two separate incidents in the space of two weeks, two children, one aged six and one aged twelve were tazered.


Let’s quite dancing around the issue please. Two officers shot a child with a stun gun on two separate occasions. Personally, I don’t want their stun guns removed, I want their badges removed.

When a child molester finds a victim on the internet, you don’t call for a ban on the internet. That would make no sense. You punish the molester for the crime. Blaming the internet, like stun guns, is superficial. It is trying to find blame where blame doesn’t lay.

How can someone compare airbags to a stun gun?

I don’t really want to dwell on this subject, but I will briefly address it.

Airbags are there as a safety precaution. They are just another way to possibly save your life in case of the accident. However, airbags are sometimes actually responsible for the death, 100% responsible. Should we ban all airbags because some people have died due to them? Here are some statistics on how many have died from airbags only:

Air bags cause death

“NHTSA recorded 238 deaths due to airbags between 1990 and 2002, according to information about these deaths on their Web site,” said Meyer. “They all occurred at very low speeds, with injuries that could not have been caused by anything else. But is it reasonable to conclude that airbags cause death only at very low speeds? It seems more likely that they also cause deaths at high speeds, but these are attributed to the crash.

I compare them to stun guns because stun guns are also a safety precaution. They are supposed to be used to disable a person that is deemed dangerous to an officer’s well being. If you want to discuss abuse of weapons by police officers, then we can schedule a debate for right after this one.

Police officers are supposed to “protect and serve”. We give them guns and the ultimate authority to choose when to use them. Are you really arguing that they can have guns, but do not have the discretion to decide when to use a stun gun? If we can’t trust them to use non lethal weapons, then maybe we need to scrap the whole system and rebuild it.

All I am saying is that we are discussing stun guns, not the people that use them. Are stun guns an effective way to stop an aggressor? Yes. They deplete the target’s energy reserves for a very short period of time to allow an officer to regain control.

Again, stun guns are non-lethal


I am going to have to ask my opponent to please cite some sort of source that proves stun guns are lethal. I have proven above that both airbags and pepper spray can and do cause death in certain individuals. Are any of them labeled “lethal”? No.

So, besides citing a freak death where the victim had some sort of preexisting heart condition, I need you to prove with science that stun guns can kill you and I. Something that shows the average individual would not live, or even really have any lasting effects. Anything.

My opponent said:

each one lasting up to five seconds and capable of causing damage to the heart and neurological system as well as inflicting other damage


Please show me one piece of document research that states 3mA to be lethal. In fact, I will include that in the form of a Socratic Question so that when you don’t, you cannot just avoid it.

Tasers save lives

I don't want to just defend my arguments, I want to promote mine also. I want to make sure that it is known that stun guns do save lives. Not the cop's life, but the attacker's.

Taser saves life of a suicidal man

I have actually found multiple news stories on tasers saving suicidal people's lives. Before tasers, police had to either allow the man to kill himself, or charge to try to disarm the weapon. Charging was dangerous. Now officers can simply disable the person and remove the weapon.

In most cases I've seen, the person actually thanks the officers later.

They also save lives when the perp charges the officer. In the old days, the perp would be shot. Now he/she at least often times has the option of being tased first. I'd much rather be tased than shot.

Socratic Questions
  1. Do you have any documented research that states 3mA to be lethal?

  2. If an officer shoots a defenseless child with a stun gun, what/who would you blame?

  3. Would the appropriate action be: take away stun guns from everyone or would it be removing the officer’s badges?

  4. What do you suppose the officer’s might have used if they had not been issued stun guns?

  5. What would you define torture as?



posted on Feb, 6 2008 @ 12:06 PM
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Response to Socratic Questions
1. Do you have any documented research that states 3mA to be lethal?
My opponent still questions the lethality of these weapons and has asked for proof.
Very well, since he insists - this is a list of tazer deaths from just 2 months in 2007:

Sammy Baker - Quitman, Georgia - Oct. 1, 2007
Veteran Sammy Baker, 59, was Tased by an officer outside a convenience store in Quitman, Georgia, causing him to fall to the ground. The fall caused Baker to dislocate and fracture his spinal cord and ended in his death.

Robert Dziekanski - Vancouver, Canada - Oct. 14, 2007
A 40-year-old Polish immigrant who spoke no English, Dziekanski became distraught when he couldn't connect with his mother at the Vancouver International Airport. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police arrived on the scene and, after only 20 seconds and no attempt to investigate the situation, began Tasing him. Even after he had fallen to the ground and was restrained, police continued to Tase him, resulting in his death.

Quilem Registre - Montreal, Canada - Oct. 17, 2007
Registre, 38, was Tased on Oct. 14 during a traffic stop. Police say he was intoxicated and aggressive and that they used the Taser in order to subdue him. He went to the hospital in critical condition and died three days later.

Jarrel Gray - Frederick, Maryland - Nov. 18, 2007
Police responded to a fight between four people in an apartment complex in Frederick, Maryland. Gray, 20, was Tased and fell unconscious. He was taken to the hospital were he was pronounced dead.

Christian Allen - Jacksonville, Florida - Nov. 18, 2007
Allen was pulled over by police for playing music too loud in his truck. Allen reportedly shoved an officer before he and his passenger ran away. He was Tased after a struggle with the officers. He went into cardiac arrest and died.

Jesse Saenz - Albuquerque, New Mexico - Nov. 18, 2007
Police say 20-year-old Jesse Saenz struggled with officers and that they had no choice but to Tase him. They say they Tased him only once. However, a witness says there was no struggle and that the police Tased Saenz for about five minutes. Saenz was transported to the county detention center where he died.

Unidentifed Man - Jacksonville, Florida - Nov. 20. 2007
A man whose identity has not been released fled the scene of a car crash and tried to break into a nearby home. The man reportedly fought with the officer and tried to bite him. The officer Tased him three times. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Howard Hyde - Halifax, Nova Scotia - Nov. 22, 2007
Hyde, a paranoid schizophrenic who had gone off his medication, was Tased by police during booking after they said he became unruly. He died a day later.

Robert Knipstrom - British Columbia, Canada - Nov. 24, 2007
The 36-year-old British Columbia resident died in the hospital four days after being Tased, pepper sprayed, and beaten with batons by Canadian police after acting agitated and combative in a store.

source
There are many more examples - which I would be happy to post if my opponents wants me to.

2. If an officer shoots a defenseless child with a stun gun, what/who would you blame?
I would blame both the officers and the fact that stun guns were available for them to use..
As I keep saying - they are a lethal weapon - see above

3. Would the appropriate action be: take away stun guns from everyone or would it be removing the officer’s badges?
Take away stun guns from all enforcement officers - there is no need for them and as they become more common, more abuse and deaths will occur.

4. What do you suppose the officer’s might have used if they had not been issued stun guns?
Who knows, and frankly, who cares - this is about tazers (or tasers to use the correct spelling) not other forms of equipment.

5. What would you define torture as?
Exactly the same as the UN - they are after all, the experts, despite my opponents dismissive statement that they "got it wrong"

Reply and Rebuttal.

My esteemed opponent does not (now) want to focus on airbags - I would like to remind him that it was he who introduced this ridiculous comparison into the debate.
Comparing an airbag to a taser is like comparing a lifeboat to a warship.
In other words, there is no comparison.

I also refute the "evidence" of the lethality of pepper spray - when pepper spray has killed as many as tasers have, then we can make a comparison - until then the point is moot.

Again, I ask my opponent - is he better qualified to define torture than the UN.
Here's what the UN says about tasers:

TASER electronic stun guns are a form of torture that can kill, a UN committee has declared after several recent deaths in North America.

"The use of these weapons causes acute pain, constituting a form of torture,'' the UN's Committee against Torture said.

"In certain cases, they can even cause death, as has been shown by reliable studies and recent real-life events,'' the committee of 10 experts said.

Three men, all in their early 20s, were reported to have died in the United States this week, days after a Polish man died at Vancouver airport after being Tasered by Canadian police.

source

The insistence that taser deaths are due to pre-existing conditions comes from?
That's right - From the manufacturer.
This is a lie on a par with WMDs in Iraq - and we all know the truth of that.

I again reiterate that tasers are only to be used in exceptional circumstances according to current (pardon the pun) guidelines.

This is clearly not the case - tasers are being used with casual, almost contemptuous disregard for the safety of a person who is Innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Instead we have Judge Dread roaming the streets being judge, jury and executioner and flattening people with 50,000 volts because they don't want the cost of taking a uniform to the cleaners because they have had to restrain a suspect.
And this is a very important point - none of these people have been convicted of a crime before their life was taken away so casually and callously by supposed protectors of the law and the people.

This repeated use of a deadly weapon shows such a casual disregard for public safety that this can only lead to massive mistrust of law enforcement officers by the public - which in turn will make a difficult job even harder, for one reason and one reason only: Tasers Kill

The end of the last decade saw a change in policy towards police conduct and the use of deadly force - this has been reversed by the use of tasers, and the casual manner in which people are repeatedly electrocuted whilst in no position to fight back.

I would ask my opponent if he wants to see a return to the era of the watts riots, or the riots that occurred in the aftermath of the Rodney King incident.

Tasers encourage casual police brutality and should be banned for the protection of citizens before even more deaths are caused by this deadly weapon of torture.



posted on Feb, 6 2008 @ 02:56 PM
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Final Rebuttal

Science or Speculation?

I am a bit flustered by my opponent’s response to my Socratic Questions. In fact, he did not answer one of the questions in a straight forward manner. He merely used circular logic to avoid answer correctly to questions that he knew he was wrong about.

I thought I stated clearly that I was requesting information related to 3mA being responsible for killing a healthy person. I have never once argued that people have not died after being tasered. What I have said is healthy people don’t die from being tasered.

3mA is nothing on the scale of amperage. It is not even close to death. I am positive that any healthy human being could take a short 3mA burst on a regular basis and not die. My opponent has shown nothing, as far as science is concerned, to prove otherwise.

He goes on to state that the manufacturer issued the release that deaths are caused by preexisting medical conditions.

What he is ignoring is science. Not a press release. It is not possible for a healthy human being to die from one, two, or 3 short bursts of 3mA electricity. It’s just not.

That is the essence of why stun guns are in existence today! Someone realized that high volts and low amps do not kill, but it does knock you down.

Peanuts… are they lethal?

I have heard people call peanuts a lot of things. Delicious, for sure. But I have never heard them be called lethal. Perhaps my opponent will be the first for me:

Peanut Allergy

Peanut-induced anaphylaxis is an IgE-mediated condition that is estimated to affect 1.5 million people and cause 50 to 100 deaths per year in the United States.


What are peanuts good for? Did they ever save a life? They make my food taste good, but I don’t recall them ever helping save anyone. However, they are responsible for more deaths per year than stun guns. In fact, since my opponent feels that he can save every life, maybe banning peanuts will be his next cause.

When a person eats a peanut and dies, what happened? Did the peanut kill the person, or did the person’s allergic reaction kill them? I think the answer is obvious. Peanuts are not lethal, peanut allergies are.

When shot with a stun gun, a healthy human will hit the floor like a sack of bricks. The muscles lose control. As soon as the current is stopped, the target will immediately begin regaining composure. However, if this person has a preexisting medical condition, it could be too much for the body to handle.

This is unfortunate but the blame cannot be placed squarely on the stun gun. The taser is merely the catalyst for an event that was already going to happen in this individual’s life.

Putting it all in perspective

My grandfather has used a pacemaker for over twenty years now. He has a heart condition. If he was shot with a taser, he probably would not survive. The heart could probably not take the shock, and the pacemaker would probably malfunction.

My grandfather, however, is smart enough to not get shot by a taser. He is smart enough to know that if a cop asks him to do something, then he should do it. Whether the cop is right or wrong, there is a line that is usually crossed.

I will use my opponent’s own examples as proof:
  • Sammy Baker
    Source

    When the officer responded to the individual, he was informed that a knife had been spotted on a man who had entered the convenience store.

    When Baker, identified by the passerby as the individual with the knife, exited the store, a few verbal commands were made by the officer followed by Baker lifting his shirt to reveal a knife strapped to his waist. Thompson said that a Taser was later used to subdue Baker after a few more commands were not followed and then a physical altercation took place.


    I’d first like to point out that this man did not die from being tased. He died from the fall. Again, poor research on the part of my opponent.

    Was all this necessary? Did the cop need to tase him? More importantly, did this man really need to resist arrest while carrying a knife? Suppose they didn’t tase him and got stabbed, what would my opponent be fighting for then?

    I doubt he would be marching for the cop’s life.

  • Robert Dziekanski
    Source

    Mr. Dziekanski did not speak English. He was in a secure area in an airport and he was freaking out. Read up if you don’t believe me. He was wielding a stapler for some reason as a weapon.

    Need I say more?

  • Quilem Registre
    I can just use your source for this one. Here’s what my opponents source states:


    Police say he was intoxicated and aggressive and that they used the Taser in order to subdue him.


  • Jarrel Gray

    I posted about Jarrel above. He was just out of a fight, intoxicated, and proven himself violent. He would not remove his hands from his pockets.
  • Christian Allen

    Again, check my opponents source:


    Allen reportedly shoved an officer before he and his passenger ran away. He was Tased after a struggle with the officers. He went into cardiac arrest and died.


    This is who you are defending? Yes, they certainly trampled this man’s rights… or possibly if he was not on drugs, violent, and healthy, none of this would have happened to him.

  • Jesse Saenz

    His source again


    Police say 20-year-old Jesse Saenz struggled with officers and that they had no choice but to Tase him. They say they Tased him only once. However, a witness says there was no struggle and that the police Tased Saenz for about five minutes. Saenz was transported to the county detention center where he died.


    Either this man struggled with officers or they are sick people. It needs to go to trial.

  • Unidentifed Man

    His source:


    A man whose identity has not been released fled the scene of a car crash and tried to break into a nearby home. The man reportedly fought with the officer and tried to bite him. The officer Tased him three times. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.


    I love how he quotes a source that is against tasers, yet throws around the fact that these people are violent towards the officers first.

  • Howard Hyde


    Hyde, a paranoid schizophrenic who had gone off his medication, was Tased by police during booking after they said he became unruly. He died a day later.


    Schizophrenic, off medication, unruly in a police station.

  • Robert Knipstrom

    Source

    Robert Knipstrom, 36, died in a hospital after two officers used pepper spray, a Taser and their batons to subdue the British Columbia resident. Police earlier said Knipstrom was extremely agitated, aggressive and combative with the two officers who responded. He was conscious and speaking when he was taken to the hospital.


    I hope my point is coming across here. People are not tased for asking questions, as my opponent would like everyone to believe. They are tased for being a threat.

    In almost all cases the coroner states cause of death to be unknown. So my opponent cannot state with any certainty that the tasers caused the deaths.

Consider the facts

There are many things my opponent would love for you to forget about. Let’s review the facts that I have presented in comparison the speculations my opponent has:
  • Tasers don't kill:

    I have presented scientific evidence that tasers do not carry enough amps to kill a healthy human being. His only response is to show cases where people who have been tased died. Has he once shown any documented case where a coroner placed blame on the taser?

  • Tasers save lives

    My opponent has not refuted this statement. He claims it is unfounded, but there are hundreds of documented cases of tasers saving both the cops and the targets life.

  • Cops tase people for no reason

    Even his own sources show that these people acted unruly, violent, and were often times on drugs. Some had weapons. Individual cases of abuse where the officers may tase the target for an extended period of time or for no reason are criminal actions.

  • Disregarding the safety of a person who is innocent until proven guilty

    Okay, I see now. My opponent thinks the officers should magically get them into court, and then when found guilty, tase the hell out of them.

    If these people would just go to court, tasings wouldn’t happen. Unfortunately, most tasings occur because the target is trying not to go to court by any means necessary.

  • Tasers are beginning a new police state

    Where is the documented evidence? Before tasers it was mace and nightsticks. Tasers are not reasponsible for dirty cops. Has my opponent provided any documented proof that because of tasers cops are going to abuse citizen’s rights?

  • The UN defines it as torture

    He states that I am not fit to argue that point. Yet, he feels he can argue what is causing death in all of the above cases he provided. In all that I’ve seen, the cause of death was not determined.

    I can argue that the UN got it wrong the same way it the courts have defined obscenity. I know it when I see it. Does my opponent really believe that subduing an attacker through tasing constitutes as torture?



posted on Feb, 7 2008 @ 12:48 PM
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Before my last post, I'd like to thank my opponent for an interesting and lively debate.

Rebuttal and Closing Statement

During the course of this debate, my opponent has repeatedly claimed that tasers do not kill people, despite saying in his opening that more than 70 deaths have occurred from them - even this figure is wrong.
Between 2001 and 2006 over 150 people have died after being tasered - this is a fact.
My opponent would have you believe that they would have soon dropped dead anyway, from pre-existing medical conditions.

BUT you cannot ignore the fact that people died after being tasered - and the figures are climbing each year as taser-happy cops send 50,000 volts into children, the elderly and metally disabled people.

Let us just suppose for a moment that everyone who has died has had a pre-existing condition - how are police supposed to know this?
They are, in effect, playing russian roulette with other peoples lives at stake.

Amnesty International (AI) says that tasers are being used excessively in situations where before, even a baton would have been considered excessive.

TASERs have become the most prevalent enforcement tool in some departments. They have been used against unruly schoolchildren, mentally disturbed patients, intoxicated individuals; unarmed suspects in misdemeanor crimes and people who simply fail to comply immediately with a "command."Examples include:

A handcuffed nine-year-old girl in Arizona,

A six-year-old mentally disturbed boy in Florida, and

A 71-year-old woman in Oregon who is blind in one eye

And the list goes on.and on.

"To Serve and Protect"

In Baytown, Texas, a man suffering from epileptic seizures was stunned while in the ambulance by one of Baytown's finest because he was resisted being strapped onto a stretcher while in post-seizure confusion. An Internal Affairs investigation into the incident found that the officer had not violated any policies. Right. The shepherd uses a staff and dogs to herd the sheep.

Also in Baytown, Naomi Autin, a 59-year-old disabled woman, was reportedly TASED three times by police officer Micah Aldred in July 2003 for banging on her brother's door with a brick. She was collecting his mail and keeping an eye on his house while he was away serving a sentence for drug possession. Mrs. Autin called the Police herself to help her get in, when she became worried that her brother's house sitter may have come to some grief, since they were not answering the door. In her lawsuit, she states she was TASED in the back because she kept banging on the door, the door of property she held effective control over, and remember, she was the one that called the cops to "protect and serve" her interests. When the officers would not help, she told them to leave, and went back to banging on the door. She states Aldred told her to stop and then TASED her. She fell, causing a sever head laceration requiring 17 stitches to close [Baytown Police version];. Mrs. Autin, is 5 feet 2 and suffers from severe arthritis. Hence the need for a brick to knock on the door.

I must opine that it is prima facie evidence of excessive force to use a TASER to "control" a small disabled female WHO WAS NOT BREAKING ANY LAW, except being a Hispanic, with a brother in jail and asking for police help. Aldred later alleged she had threatened him with the brick, which justified his actions. The DA refused any case against her.

The Harris County Grand Jury saw it differently and indicted the cop on excessive force charges. Aldred was acquitted at trial when other police officers on the scene corroborated his account that the use of force was justified. Other officers???

Did these guys not have the strength, even if it had been a legal arrest, to grab one crippled old lady without injuring anyone? They sure demonstrated "strength in numbers" at Aldred's hearing! Plenty of witnesses for the defense.

Aldred is also the defendant in lawsuit brought by another woman who states Aldred shocked her "numerous times about the back, face, neck, shoulders and groin" while executing an arrest warrant. She was unarmed.

Aldred was also "cleared" in the death of Luis Torres who died after being subdued and handcuffed by four Baytown officers on Jan. 20, 2002. A loose cannon.

The Police State:

There are literally thousands of similar cases, such as women in detention forced to disrobe in front of male officers at TASER point, the deaf being TASED because they can't hear police "commands," and a host of EMT patients resisting treatment while victim of illness or injury resulting in "altered mental status." Funny, in the olden days when I was on the Emergency Medical staff, we were taught people had the right to refuse treatment. I guess that's verboten under the new world order.

Considering the frequency of use of an appliance designed to be an alternative to a firearm or other lethal weapon, I am led to conclude that the lack of oversight in government use of these weapons promotes the harassment, torture and even death. Not to belabor the subject, I will just put up one of the AVERAGE cases that seems to define government policy. Line up sheeple, the shepherd says it's time to go in the dip tank!

In 2003, Russian immigrant Olga Rybak, 5 feet 4 was approached in her home by Washougal [Washington] police officer intent on issuing a ticket for dog violation. Olga, with limited English, did the smart thing that any halfway reputable lawyer would advise, and asked for a translation before signing anything. She thought she was in the Land of the Free. The Washougal Police Sergeant responded by arresting her, without developing communications to explain the citation. Maybe Olga flashed back to the good old days under the GRU. She was TASED. A lot. The Sergeant who used the TASER was a TASER Training Officer for the Washougal police department. He neglected to include in his report that he shocked her at least 12 times in 91 seconds, reportedly stopped and reloaded the TASER with fresh cartridges and shot her again. He then allegedly threatened to shoot the Olga's 11 and 12 year old sons if they interfered. Subsequent analysis of the TASER's memory chip confirmed Olga's allegations (they are encrypted "to protect the integrity of the data.")

In 2004, Washougal's police chief, Robert D Garwood, reported that the officer had been demoted for using "poor judgment" in the case even though he had acted "within proper legal boundaries"

source

My opponent has said that tasers save lives - a moot point when they also take them.

AI questions this saving of lives and the number of lives saved:

The company claims, "a reasonable and conservative estimate is that over 6,000 lives have been saved with TASER energy weapons," meaning that in the absence of a TASER these 6,000 people would be dead. But this highly speculative assumption is statistically improbable. For instance, if Taser International's claims were true, and 6,000 lives had been saved during a six-year period, justifiable homicides by police, a statistic maintained by the BJS, would have dropped significantly. For Taser's claims to be true, no people would have been killed by police in the line of duty for the last six years. Taser's data is impossible to corroborate or verify.

source

Taser also said this:

In May 2004, Taser International Inc., spokesman Steve Tuttle made a frighteningly accurate prediction when he told the Atlanta Journal Constitution that the number of TASER-related deaths "will continue to increase with the number of devices we sell."

source

Does this not make you think?
The company which makes tasers says that as sales increase, so will deaths

And yet they continue to insist that tasers are non-lethal and produce spurious "data" to say they save lives.

My opponent would also have you believe that the UN is not qualified to say that tasers are an instrument of torture.

So, 50,000 volts being shot repeatedly into the body of a suspect for periods lasting an eternity for the victim who in many instances had already been detained does not constitute torture.

hmmmm 'k.

Of course it has nothing to do with money - does it?
Bernard Kerik, President Bush's first choice to lead the Homeland Security Department, exercised stock options of $6.2 million he received from Taser International, which sold stun guns to the department - and seeks more business with it.
source

I have shown repeatedly that tasers kill.

I have shown they are unsafe.

My opponent made the ridiculous comparison between airbags and tasers, a position any right minded person would find preposterous.

I have shown that tasers are being used as a weapon of torture and abuse.

I have shown that tasers are increasingly used to violate peoples rights.

I have shown that tasers would have been welcomed in Nazi Germany - do we want our countries going the same way?

Whatever you do, don't ask for your rights under law - they'll tase you.

Welcome the fascist state with open arms as police torture abuse and stamp on civil rights.

This is the fact of the matter - taser can be lethal, and the more they are used, the more deaths will occur, the more your rights will be trampled and the less you'll be able to do about it as your rights and liberties are squashed underfoot by the new nazi's abusing their power.



posted on Feb, 7 2008 @ 03:50 PM
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Closing Statement

My opponent has thrown lots of big numbers around. He made big waves about 50000 volts, and even more waves about the number of deaths. What he failed to do was put those numbers in perspective. The number of deaths is extremely small in comparison to the number shocked. Less than one percent.

Don’t believe me? Here’s a study done by Wake Forrest that says tasers are safe:

Wake Forrest Says Tasers Are Safe

Lead study investigator Dr. William Bozeman, an emergency medicine specialist at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C., emphasizes that, when used in appropriate situations, Tasers are much better than alternative means.

"This is the first real-world application study regarding the injury incurred by these weapons, because previous studies have encompassed either human volunteers or animals," he says.

In his research of 597 past situations in which Tasers were used by police officers, Bozeman found that serious injuries were rare, occurring only 0.3 percent of the time.

Bozeman adds that he was anticipating a higher level of injury -- injuries that might require hospital admission or incur long-term disability.

"I think that Tasers in normal subjects are safe," he says, "but I am concerned that emerging evidence may show that they may change the underlying heart rhythm of individuals who do not have a normal conduction system -- such as those using coc aine, those who are dehydrated, agitated, hypoxic or those taking anti-psychotics."


Emphasis mine.

Not that I needed this study as proof, it is exactly what I’ve said throughout this entire debate. My opponent threw around the number of deaths and threw around the voltage. He had no regard for the science behind it. 50,000 volts? No, 3 milliamps. That is what we are discussing. 3 milliamps will not kill a healthy human. Science knew this before the Wake Forrest study, and Wake Forrest confirmed it for us.

After doing a bit more research, I have discovered that there are two different names for tasers and the like. Nonlethal and less-than-lethal. Depends on the source, I suppose. It is important to note that all alternatives to guns are listed as less-than-lethal. That means pepper spray, tasers, batons, rubber bullets, etc.

Why are they listed this way? Because in extreme rare cases people can die. More importantly, the people who get tased are generally being violent towards our officers. It protects our officers and even the target. It’s plainly obvious that being tased is a better option than pepper spray, batons, or glocks.

My opponent begs us to believe that tasers have allowed a police state to sneak in. I say, let’s look at what happens when tasers are not an option:

Officer accidently shoots man during routine arrest

Culosi came out of his townhouse on Cavalier Landing Court about 9:35 p.m. and was standing next to the detective's sport-utility vehicle, police said, when the detective gave a signal to tactical officers assembled nearby to move in and arrest Culosi.

"As they approached him . . . one officer's weapon, a handgun, was unintentionally discharged," said Fairfax Police Chief David M. Rohrer.
Culosi was not making any threatening moves when he was shot once in the upper part of his body, police said. He was taken to Inova Fairfax Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The last fatal police shooting in Fairfax was in September 2000, when an officer killed a man threatening him with a woodcutting tool.
"On behalf of the Fairfax County Police Department and myself, I wish to express our condolences and our sincere sympathy to Mr. Culosi's family and friends," Rohrer said. He declined to answer questions after making the statement.


This is in 2006, before tasers were widely used. Had these police officers had tasers, these incidents probably would not have occurred. There would be two more men alive today.

Unarmed man shot 80 times

It was a bittersweet Sunday afternoon in Compton, a small city on the south side of Los Angeles. Keishia Brunston, a young African American woman, called together friends and neighbors for a backyard barbecue to raise money and call attention to the police terror that is being visited upon her community.

Brunston has formed the Justice for Deandre Brunston Campaign in response to the police killing of her 24-year-old nephew, Deandre, who was shot and killed by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies that patrol Compton and the nearby area of Willowbrook on Aug. 24, 2003.

Deputies had responded to a domestic disturbance call where Deandre Brunston lived. Afraid for his life, Deandre, who was unarmed, jumped out of a second-story window and fled on foot. The deputies cornered him nearby, and handcuffed him. They then unleashed an attack dog on him, and began shooting. When it was over, Deandre had been shot a total of 22 times, and over 80 rounds of ammunition had been discharged from three police guns.

The deputies didn’t just shoot an innocent African American man; they also shot their own dog. After they realized that they had shot the dog, they called for an ambulance and airlifted the dog to a nearby veterinary hospital in Norwalk, where the animal eventually died, while they left young Brunston on the street to bleed to death.

In response to this tragedy, Keishia Brunston has brought a wrongful death lawsuit against the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.


Now I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’d much rather have police with tasers. At least when one of them makes a poor judgment error or simply abuses his power, you have a 99.7% chance of living. I don’t think getting shot at 80 times leaves those kinds of results.

My opponent says that as taser sales rise, so will deaths. That is misleading. Deaths from tasers may rise slightly, but deaths resulting from other weapons will fall drastically. He would like us to forget that.

He states that if you ask for your rights, you’ll be tased. Please reference the posts that he made involving taser deaths. Everyone of them had people on drugs that were attacking the police officers.

If tasers were banned, and the death tolls of police officers rose, do you suppose my opponent would be marching for their deaths? I think my opponent has some serious issues with his distrust of law enforcement.
I would like to sum up all of the important issues once and for all before the judges make their decision:
  • Science and scientific studies have both shown that tasers are not lethal to healthy humans.

  • My opponent has brought no science to the table

  • Correct use of the taser is not torture. Unless you consider a brief shock that ends immediately torture. I’ll let you decide.

  • If all less-than-lethal weapons are banned then officers would only have guns. Personally, if there are as many abusive cops out there as my opponent insinuates, I’d much rather them have other options.

  • To put the amount of deaths in perspective, peanuts result in more deaths than tasers.

  • Abuse is a training issue. Police officers should be trained to use tasers as more of a last resort. Any excess abuse should be taken to the court systems.

  • I do not advocate police stomping on citizens rights. However, when faced with an aggressive police officer, why would you resist and get tased? That is what our court systems are for!

    If you disagree with how a cop treats you, sue the police department! The more you resist, the better chance you will get hurt. Of course, that only means more punitive damages if you are smart enough to go to court!

I guess the question is: Would you prefer our police officer’s to only have guns as a weapon? That would mean more police officer’s deaths, because they have no other option than lethal force. It would also mean more unnecessary civilian deaths.
The choice is yours.





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