I have to give you credit for attempting to dodge the reality of the situations in the questions. Meaning that you somehow tried manipulate the
questions so they would appear to be in your favor. But I will pose a question in the end of this post to clearly make you see what I was saying in
Well, shucks, I will try harder to not come off sounding 'coy'. I really didn't mean any disrespect, I suppose its the passive-resistant in me.
] I addressed your question in that manner because I had to avoid validating your premise. Nothing personal.
The question of banning Tasers will be seen different by everyone.
I agree wholeheartedly, however my responsibility is to the engagement we're in.
You are defending an idea which is contrary to reason. I will proceed with my position, by addressing your assertions more directly.
I have no problem conceding the concept that non-lethal weapons, of many varieties, can kill. I believe that it is a distraction from a more
... from 1990 to 1996 there were 60 deaths that were Pepper Spray related. ...
While the statistics you shared with us are interesting, they do not address the point that is begged in the topic.
How many taser "related" deaths will it take before we recognize that its unrestricted deployment is demonstrating an uncontrollable 'trend'
towards increasing abuse?
The instantaneous discharge of a Taser forces random and consequential physiological changes: Blood chemistry changes; Ph levels, lactic acidosis,
potential muscular spasms capable of crushing or severely compromising internal organs, the autonomic nervous system; breathing, heart rate. The list
is considerable, since these all represent what 'risk' we as a society are willing to take with human life.
In 2005 over 23 million crimes were committed; of these 5.2 million were violent crimes. ...
More than one million women and almost 400,000 men are stalked annually in the United States. In 2005, 24 percent of all violent crime incidents were
committed by an armed offender, and 9 percent by an offender with a firearm. An average of 1.7 million people are victims of violent crime while
working or on duty each year. An estimated 1.3 million (75 percent) of these incidents are simple assaults while an additional 19 percent are
The argument of weighing our society's propensity for violent crime leads to a false choice. I believe that it falsely validates the notion that
Tasers are a necessity. To insert a bit of the metaphorical, it's like a starving man insisting he can stop starving only by eating a hamburger.
The need is not for Tasers. The real need is to eliminate crime itself, not confront it. It is an idealistic notion, and I will concede, that such
arguments are not going to engender 'safety' upon the victims of assault.
Question 1) What are the police and victims to use to defend and control a situation that requires the necessary aide of a weapon?
I will honor your question's intent, although I object to its immediate relevance because the point of the debate is not about alternatives, it's
about Tasers injuries and fatalities having reached a point beyond tolerability.
The 'police and victims' thus joined in your question offers itself to a twisted answer, one that must embrace the nature of the question rather
than the content. Similarly, 'defend and control' are two very specific and different actions. Whereas a situation which would of necessity
'require a weapon.' most certainly is realistic, it forgoes the object, which is dual, police, and victims, either defending or taking control. The
victims, for the sake of our argument are necessarily, people who were unavoidably engaged, under threat, and without recourse to safety. The police
are specially trained citizens, versed in the enforcement of law, and prepared for such engagements at all times.
Since your question demands a specific answer, I suggest a baton. For ages we have managed to 'police' ourselves using the tried and true
'baton'. Its effectiveness and familiarity are nearly universal around the civilized world. Its use has been with since we first swung a stick,
and has remained a necessary choice of tool for law enforcement worldwide for ages. Of course, by definition, a victim so armed is no longer a
victim, since the tool for self defense is thus available. Such is the semantic of the question.
Arming citizens to allow them to carry out day to day lives in safety is not an answer to the general existence of violent crime. It will merely
escalate the risk of any engagement leading to death. Especially should the citizen thus armed lose control of the weapon, to the attacker. And
again, this could be true of ANY personal weapon.
In America, at least, the commercialists have made great headway in increasing the citizens’ fear of the world they live in. It pays for them to
paint our world as dark and hazardous, because they have 'just the thing' to make you feel safe. But I think it is wrong to consider yourself a
victim, before your rights have been threatened by an attacker. Empowering the citizen with potentially lethal force will not stop the assault, only
mitigate its outcome. Furthermore, the false confidence increases the likelihood that untrained people to use this weapon, wrongly, or in the wrong
Long ago, as a child, I recall a television commercial of the public service variety. An old woman with a bag of apparently heavy groceries is
walking home in a city. She is alone, its night, and approaching her are two young men, ambling in a stereotypical 'bopping' manner, rambunctiously
laughing at each other. The music crescendos, the woman display clearly that she is fearful, expecting the worst. Then the music stops, the men
pause in their tracks, smile, ask the lady if she's OK, and would she like some help with the groceries. She smiles, and they escort her to her
stoop, carrying her groceries and returning them to her after she climbs the steps. They wave at her and proceed on their way. It was about
prejudice, which includes the prejudicial belief that all strangers are to be feared.
What if she had been Taser 'empowered'? Think that Taser might have come out? Maybe not. Maybe so. The result, who knows? It’s a theoretical.
The point is Tasers can be the difference between the 'victim' choosing engagement, and simply avoiding the encounter all together by leaving the
area. Of course, even if a misunderstanding had occurred and the taser had been used, would you accept that potential death should be even in the
realm of possibility for the scenario? The element of a Taser ALWAYS includes that potential. But you won't read that in the instruction manual
under "I've Tasered someone, they died, what do I do now?"
The fact is that the cops are not trying to kill people they are trying to stop them.
This is no justification for deploying a weapon that is known to kill. Perhaps we should spend that money training them in the various martial arts
developed over the centuries specifically to subdue and incapacitate. Thus is if death need be the result the police have direct physical control
over it, as opposed to simply zapping a suspect because it was more expedient, and then having that suspect die.
Death can be a result of just about anything and in the Civilized world people are just looking for reasons to sue anybody that has money. A
police department would be a good place to sue. The Taser product being used as a 'lethal weapon' theory.
That is a different debate entirely. The law suit I referred to was about Tasers being marketed and used under the pretense that it is a safe way to
enforce the law, when it clearly is not. The 'cause' was the deliberate marketing of Taser Internationals products. The police were not held
... it is important to note that they are out there to save peoples lives, yours and mine. The fact that they honestly and seriously put their
lives on the line every single day for us gives them the right to protect themselves.
No one debating their role in our society and the personal motivations, noble or otherwise, regarding undertaking that career. Nor am I stating that
police need to go about their work without the tools to do their job. I am stating that they need NOT to be given weapons that will kill without
need. Violent criminals who get tased are much more often than not, nowhere near the level of killers and rapists or theives and thugs. It is
usually the uncooperative inebriated or mentally incapacitated citizen, or the confrontational and emotionally-heated disrespectful. Or occasionally,
it’s just somebody the officer just finds repugnant.
Vic Walczak, legal director of ACLU Pennsylvania, agrees: "We see Tasers used for what we call 'contempt of cop' violations -- swearing,
questioning their authority. Tasers are a way to exact street justice. It's disconcerting to see police officers using Tasers in circumstances where
essentially no force can be justified. De'Anna is, what, 5-foot-2, 110 pounds? And to my knowledge [she] is not a black-belt martial-arts expert. The
police are much larger and have training in hand-to-hand combat. You can't tell me that police couldn't bring her under control without a Taser. ...
If the [city's] policy says under these circumstances it's appropriate to use the Taser, I think there's a huge problem with that."
Taser advocates often pose a false question, says Gan Golan of Los Angeles, a recent MIT grad who did his master's thesis on the increasing use of
"less-lethal" weaponry. The choice communities are given is "What would you have us use -- guns or less lethal weapons?" But in reality, he says,
"police are still using their lethal weapons when they should be using their less-lethal weapons, and they are using their less-lethal weapons when
they should be using nothing at all."
Source: "Charged Debate"; www.pittsburghcitypaper.ws...
In a perfect world, tasers would be used only in the case where any other weapon could not be relied upon to resolve the crisis.
Looking at The Philosophical Cop Police Blog post about Tasers said a lot...
A valid opinion. But in practice, or as applied to the real world, its propensity for unintended consequences makes it unviable as a non-lethal
Question 2) It's evening and you are at your girlfriends house. She runs to the store and you are left alone. She owns a Taser and it is on
the coffee table because you were talking about the pro's and cons of it. You are in the living room and the Taser is four feet away from you. You
hear a strange noise and before you know it a crazy man is on you and he's big, bigger than you are. He is trying to choke you. Nothing is near you
except the Taser. (Before I go on, just so you know the Taser only affects the person that the probes are attached to.) Do you grab the Taser and use
it, or would your high moral values say that you might hurt the guy?
Of course the answer is obvious, and the question stupid. But I pose a question after this that puts it in perspective.
Whoa. A) I don't think it's a stupid question at all. B) I apologize if I have taken a moral tone which offended you, that was certainly never my
With no choice other than a Taser, then Taser it is..., obvious, but I get your point.
Question 3) Would you want the Taser available to you in this situation?
Given that I am physically unable to control the situation, I would want something
with which to save myself, so yes, I would.
Question 4) Would 'you' want the 'right' to own a Taser?
I would prefer a firearm. But I don't want to avoid the question. When defending my life, I want no half-measures. Tasers often require multiple
discharges to completely subdue direct assaults. If you would offer me this as a choice of a right, I would say yes. I think the point is rather
narrow though, and many such scenarios where murder is the objective, don't resolve themselves by Taser.
To return to my perspective, my contention is that the device marketed as a 'stun gun' is not a 'stun gun'. It’s a 'stun and maybe kill' gun.
We simply cannot allow a weapon to be mis-categorized and distributed for use under that pretense. Abuse will become far too common.
[edit on 24-8-2008 by MemoryShock]