A UN “study group” has decided that Tasers are a form of torture with the capability to cause death.

Aside from illustrating some of the mind-numbing stupidity I’ve come to associate the UN with by default, it reopens a long debate on what tools and rights the police should have.

In the 1990s, many “civil rights” organizations were pushing for the police to be given (and presumably, forced to use) more ‘nonlethal’ methods of solving violent confrontations. Minority-rights groups especially contended that police were “too quick” to draw weapons and fire on members of their races, who may or may not have been bloodthirsty killers and axe murderers who attacked the cops. The Taser was the inevitable result; a weapon capable of incapacitating someone, quickly drawn and fired like a gun, and which would (at least in most cases) leave someone alive to be handcuffed and taken to jail rather than dead at the scene.

A brief side note – in Colosse, we have our own cop problems. Of the cops I’ve met, given that the city has a police force 1/2 the size of cities 1/4 its population, there seem to be precisely 2 types of cop: the overworked ones (let’s face it, if you’ve worked 16+ hour days for months on end with no vacation, you’re not at your best) and the corrupt ones. Still, I’d rather be tased by either than wind up in a grave.

The Taser is not completely nonlethal, nor should any weapon ever be considered to be; even handcuffs can be lethal. It is not un-painful, but again, the purpose of any weapon is to inflict enough pain to incapacitate someone. A quick look at a Youtube search will pull up plenty on it, including demonstrations of people being tasered and explanations of how it works. However, it is a far sight better than the alternative “nonlethal” means of sandbag shotguns, pepper spray, and the “old reliable” metal nightstick.

The Taser is better than the nightstick because it does not require the officer to enter melee with someone, quite probably someone either (a) armed with a gun or knife or other melee weapon, (b) physically capable of attempting to take a weapon from the officer, (c) troubled enough by drug abuse or some other illness that may or may not be physically capable of being transferred to the cop, or (d) some frightening combination of the previous.

The Taser is better than the pepper spray because it is less likely to affect nearby people as well; I’ve been in a room when a young girl mistakenly sat on (and cracked) the pepper spray cartridge on her keychain, and it was enough to clear out a room of 50 people with their eyes watering. It also has a better range than the pepper spray and can more easily be used while keeping the officer at a safe distance.

The Taser is better than the sandbag shotgun because, instead of inflicting physical bruising, it inflicts a shock that incapacitates muscles directly. If someone is mentally ill or on many forms of drugs, their pain response to the physical bruising will likely be minimal (heck, just an adrenaline rush can cause people to ignore all sorts of pain). The Taser bypasses this and goes directly to the neuromuscular level, at least knocking someone over (by causing convulsions of the leg muscles) even if they do get up again. The Taser also does not require such precise aim as the sandbag shotgun.

And yet, we are now barraged with various news stories of why cops are “abusing” Tasers, and how they should be taken away. My suspicion is that most of the groups responsible for these stories simply have an agenda of stopping the cops from doing their jobs. Yes, I recognize (living in Colosse, it’s hard not to as I noted above) that there are times cops will overreach their authority. But I’m also painfully aware that there is a sizable population that are quite willing to attempt to kill cops merely for being cops, or in an attempt to evade arrest, and that the cops need to have the tools necessary to take these people in and defend not only their own lives but the communities they are sworn to protect.

Prior to the issuance of tasers, the default cop option was not the sandbag shotgun, or the pepper spray, or the nightstick. Why not? For all the reasons previously stated – each of them opens up the cop to more risk of being physically assaulted or killed. The default option was to pull the gun and be prepared to shoot.

When a cop is forced by a situation to draw their gun, the likelihood is someone is going to get shot with a weapon intended to kill by someone who is trained to shoot to kill in self-defense. When a cop is forced by a situation to draw a taser, the likelihood is that someone is going to get hit by a weapon intended to leave them alive.

I think the tasers should remain, and I think the UN idiots who called them “torture” need to have their heads examined.


Category: Courthouse

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2 Responses to To Tase, Or Not To Tase…

  1. trumwill says:

    I got to know a lot of Phillippi Police Department cops while I was dating Julie (cops and volunteer firemen overlap). By and large I found them to be mostly upright individuals, though they aren’t under the pressure that a lot of CPD cops are under. Manpower shortages suck.

  2. Webmaster says:

    As I stated – CPD has major problems due mostly to the severely overworked status of their force. There are a few corrupt boobs there (as there are in any place), but I choose to believe that the most that make mistakes are making their mistakes because mistakes are the inevitable result of the physical exhaustion and sleep deprivation that they are subjected to.

    And if I ever have the misfortune to meet a cop who’s on the end of yet another 16-hour shift, hopped up on 30 cups of coffee trying to stay awake and quite jumpy, I’d really rather have him reaching for his Taser (whatever his reasoning) than his gun.

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