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On tasers and political events

September 19, 2007

I don’t like tasers, and neither should you. The rationale behind their use is that they create a safer intervention than a gun when a suspect is out of control.

As we’ve all seen on the You Tube video recording of the University of Florida event with John Kerry on September 17, tasers get used on people who are rowdy and essentially disrespectful of a crowd trying to hear a speaker. Several of my friends have been going back and forth about whether it was right for the police to do what they did, and my unequivocal answer is that no, it was completely out of hand. There’s something so barbaric about a society that needs to not only subdue its disruptive subjects, but that also create endless rationalizations for why excessive violence is justified.

taserMy stance on the issue is that the police could have quietened the man down without tasering him and without detaining him overnight. He may have been an asshole – numerous witnesses confirm that he was purposely provocative – but it doesn’t mean that he needed to have his life endangered in order for the event to go on without him.

Police brutality is increasing. Here in Portland, every police officer now has electroshock weapon technology. Don’t fall into step with dialogue that seeks to justify the use of excessive violence, because it only reinforces your docility as a subject in a police state.

What do you know about tasers? A strong electroshock is applied to subdue a subject with the supposed intent of replacing the use of a gun and therefore reducing deaths in violent situations. From Wikipedia:

Tasers were introduced as a less-lethal weapon so that they could be used by police to subdue fleeing, belligerent or potentially dangerous criminal suspects, often when a lethal weapon would have otherwise been used. However, tasers have not proved to unequivocally reduce gun usage. For example, the Houston Police Department has “shot, wounded and killed as many people as before the widespread use of the stun guns” and has used tasers in situations that would not warrant lethal or violent force, such as verbal aggression.

Did Andrew Meyer’s actions on Tuesday require the use of a taser? Did he really need to be drive stunned? Absolutely not. The police overreacted, and we must support efforts to keep something like this from happening again.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. September 19, 2007 5:23 pm

    Then you’ll love this, another future pain gun (/sarcasm).
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/technology/technology.html?in_article_id=482560&in_page_id=1965

  2. September 19, 2007 8:12 pm

    Thanks for the article! I hadn’t heard about the ray-gun yet. Ugh.

  3. September 20, 2007 2:13 pm

    I couldn’t agree with you more! There’s no reason 2 police officers couldn’t have dragged that kid from the hall. Bouncers in clubs do it all the time. If the situation had been handled correctly, I doubt even that would have been necessary.

  4. hipota permalink
    January 20, 2008 6:01 am

    dont you feel that if someone gets hit with a stun gun they aren’t going to repeat offend?

    if you dont do anything wrong your not gonna get stunned, this artictle does nothing but cause problems.

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