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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

What's next, rubber bullets?

I don't like tasers and I don't believe they have any business in New Paltz.  I told Toni Hokanson that I think approving the use of even one of these devices by our police is her Hurricane Katrina - and that her vote may have been different if she weren't coming off an unopposed election.

I volunteered to be tased to prove a point - that our police and government officials wouldn't use this device on an ordinary citizen in a demonstration for liability reasons, any more than they would demonstrate how to stop someone with a gun.  I've had friends in the law enforcement community, and other trained in a variety of martial arts, demonstrate any number of disabling techniques on me safely, but guns and tasers can't be demonstrated safely.  My offer was ignored because the Town Council understands that they couldn't have agreed without making community taser opposition more visible.

Through a variety of lively debates I've explored this issue with people in law enforcement, who generally support their use because it minimizes danger to the officers.  I'm all for keeping our cops alive and well - they keep graffiti off my house, muggers away from my person and generally exist to make sure we treat each other with some level of respect, even if we don't want to that day.

What concerns me was confirmed in the Phillies taser attack - a rowdy fan was running around the field and got tased for being an idiot.  In the past, this type of fan has been wrestled to the ground and arrested.  According to the story, "the Police Department's internal affairs unit would open an investigation to determine if the firing 'was proper use of the equipment.'"

Good for them - because it wasn't.  The only reason a taser was used in this case is because the cop had one.  No indication that the officer would have been in danger, just an indication that it was just too difficult to chase after the punk.  The taser, once equipped, is a very easy piece of technology to use.

I'm amazed that we spend so much time debating relatively minor issues like who's smoking where and how noisy they are when doing it, while blithely letting our police get armed with a device that has been documented in its use for torture and can also be fatal.  Those college kids who are so noisy will be quieter if they're twitching on the ground, I'm sure; likewise the middle schoolers will think twice about sneaking a taste of a hookah if they know what the consequences may be.  I'm not saying that any of our individual officers are likely to use this device in an intentionally harmful way, but in the heat of the moment it sure is an easy solution to reach for.

Police Chief Snyder is proud of his new black-and-white police cruisers, because of the "old time" feel they have.  They evoke feelings of community policing, which he claims to support.  I'm not sure how well tasers fit in with friendly officered fellows who put a scare into troublemakers and make sure runaways make it home safely, but they definitely fit with our police force's paramilitary-style uniforms and AR-15 rifles.

I guess it depends on what kind of community you think you're policing.  If you believe that New Paltz is not a community that needs tasing, join the Facebook group or just stand up and say something.

38 comments:

John Bligh said...

That idiot in Philly deserved to be tased multiple times. Those cops were being too nice.

kt tobin flusser said...

Rhinebeck man dies after being Tasered by cop:
http://www.dailyfreeman.com/articles/2010/03/11/blotter/doc4b987a34a66fb513863302.txt

kt tobin flusser said...

Since June 2001, more than 150 people have died in the USA after being shocked by a Taser: http://www.amnestyusa.org/document.php?id=engamr510302006

Terence said...

Disclosure: there is no part of professional sports, from the athletes to the fans, that I do not find utterly idiot and beneath my contempt.

That being said, should they have tased that lady who made a rep for herself running onto fields and kissing athletes back in the 80s, John? How about the guy that parachuted into Shea? Or the dude that scattered his mom's ashes on the first base line of Yankee Stadium? (I may intensely dislike sports, but that dislike is not born of ignorance; I pay attention.)

Streakers, protesters, and all manner of drunken idiots have tried to disrupt games in the last century. Are you so confident that your own kid won't be that idiot someday that you think we should step up enforcement like this?

John Bligh said...

Morgana The Kissing Bandit getting tased... There's a visual! And, if anything, the potential for exploding boob jokes are endless... ;)

And yes, if you want to run onto the field, you should expect a good tasing... These days, who knows if said idiot has a bomb or a gun (Streakers notwithstanding - heh)? Tase first, ask questions later...

Terence said...

My kid's not a sports fan, but he's around this guy's age. It's an age when people are exploring who they are in the world, and some of them end up getting arrested for being really, really stupid. I don't want to see him electrocuted if he happens to make a stupid decision.

Martin McPhillips said...

There's no excuse for tasing some kid running out onto a Major League ballfield. That doesn't excuse the kid for running on the ballfield. But that sort of trespass has regretably happened for years and been taken care of with fairly swift dispatch by ballpark security teams. Then the perp has to face whatever consequences attend the trespass. There's no excuse for using the taser in that situation.

Terence said...

Martin, your comment brings to mind cases such as the "Don't Tase Me Bro" video on YouTube and this charming sodomy: http://gizmodo.com/5322387/police-sodomize-man-with-taser. All of these cases are "isolated incidents" for which there was "no excuse." Supporters of this technology are always reluctant to refer to these incidents in a collective sense, and I don't think it strains credulity to suggest a pattern of behavior that, if nothing else, this technology amplifies to a disturbing degree.

Martin McPhillips said...

I can't make a determination on whether or not the New Paltz police need to have tasers. I've worried for a while that there is big trouble in the offing for New Paltz vis a vis crime (but I don't want to discuss that right now) where tasers might become an important option for officers to have.

Authority can always be and is often abused. It's a universal constant. When conditions are ripe for it and the mix of personalities is combustible, things will happen. It won't depend on there being a taser at hand, but the question is would a taser be more of a risk than it would be an important option to, say, shooting someone. In some cases, a taser is a step up in force (as in the ballpark example from Philly), and in other cases it's a step down (from shooting and killing someone).

Is the potential for it being abused as a step up offset by its potential use as a step down that could save a life? (Without discounting its potential for giving officers another means to protect themselves from injury or worse.)

I think it's a hard call for a small town, and I've gone back and forth on it a few times.

Martin McPhillips said...

This is not on point about tasers, but rather dramatizes how police authority is, at the end of the day, a blunt force instrument.

Radley Balko writes often about police abuses and in particular what he and others call the militarization of police. The link below has a video of a SWAT team raid on a home via a narcotics search warrant. It's pretty shocking. The police officers are trying to do their job in what could be a dangerous situation and make it home from their shift. But whoever sent them in there should be called to account for it. The assumption of the need for this sort of tactical raid clearly did not match the circumstances, and this could happen to anyone.

http://reason.com/blog/2010/05/05/video-of-swat-raid-on-missouri

I'm a believer in better safe than sorry, but this is really a case of better know exactly what you are doing before you do it.

And not shooting the family dog.

George said...

You dismiss smoke and noise even their the very real negative health effects afflict more people in a day than would end up on the wrong side of a taser over many decades.

Tasers have no place in a college town, you say? What if you were dealing with a kid who, we know know, was capable of killing someone? From the Times:

"In November 2008, he was arrested near a fraternity house not far from the campus of Washington & Lee University in Lexington, Va., for public swearing, intoxication and resisting arrest. The arresting officer, R..L. Moff, said she needed to use a Taser to subdue him. She said Huguely threatened to “kill everyone” at the police department.

“He was by far the most rude, most hateful and most combative college kid I ever dealt with,” Officer Moff said in a telephone interview."

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/05/sports/05lacrosse.html?ref=us

George said...

that should be "even though..." and "now know...".

Rich said...

I'm with George on this. Not just on the innappropriate minimization of noise and smoke but also that there appears to be some false reasoning here.

Once you prepare to say "Here's a gun--now your job is to protect me" you need to be careful who you hire and then accept that you've made a leap of faith/trust--faith that the entrusted individual will not abuse the power and will use it appropriately. If you don't have that trust, take the guns away or do away with the position...willing to do that?

Regarding the teenager in Philly, I think it was completely appropriate that they stopped him with the tazer. They couldn't catch him and he wasn't cooperating. It's a logical result. You're talking about the time of hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of people being wasted as this guy runs around. You're also talking about the safety and security of baseball players worth millions of dollars each.

A tackle could have just as easily done MORE harm than a tazer--of this I'm certain.

Rich said...

p.s. regarding "The only reason a taser was used in this case is because the cop had one." How about the only reason I ate an orange is because I had one (I ate it because I was hungry), or the only reason this guy was even caught was because he had one...this is a specious statement. The only reason a taser was used was because the cop had one AND HE HAD A COMPLETELY UNCOOPERATIVE SUBJECT who--in his judgment based on his training--need to be stopped immediately. I'd agree that he needed to be stopped and that the decision was correct.

Terence said...

Rich, I think your reasoning is a case of mission creep. Tasers were originally only supposed to be used in life-threatening situations to prevent the need for a gun. Now that we have them, well it's just logical to use it on this kid to save us time and money - and yes, possibly an injury. It's a very reasonable progression when you look at it only one step at a time.

On the other hand it's probably easier to sodomize someone with a taser than with a gun, at least without killing them. Check it out: http://gizmodo.com/5322387/police-sodomize-man-with-taser

Rich said...

What's with the obsession with tazer sodomy?

And what authority states that tasers were originally only supposed to be used in life-threatening situations to prevent the need for a gun? Have you found this in a police handbook? I'm very skeptical.

As a madman charges me with fists clenched and violence in his eyes, it's not a likely life and death scenario but hell yeah, I'd say a tazer would be a good option.

Another way of saying this is that I think the mission creep to which you're referring is based on a mission defined only by you.

Martin McPhillips said...

I think that the kid on the baseball diamond in Philly is a pretty good example where using an electric shock to stop someone is not called for. It was a prank, he was evading not attacking, he was going to be caught (they always are). But unless it's you or your kid, maybe it's O.K. If it's really about time and effort, well, that would be a criterion for tasering lots of minor offenders, like someone who was going to waste a police officer's time by talking back or questioning an order to move along or get out of the vehicle.

The use of force requires careful prudential judgement about what you're doing and why. It's not a timesaving utility.

Rich said...

Martin--to be clear, I'm saying it was a time, money AND safety related matter. Safety was a part of my stance from the very beginning.

Someone without the good judgment to stay off the field just MIGHT do harm to someone else whether it's the officer trying to tackle him or someone else he decides to hop on as a furtherance of his--in your words that I believe misrepresent the behavior--"prank".

Hell, if you wanted to see much worse than tazing, watch what happens in Philly when an unstable fan knocks over and hurts Ryan Howard. I daresay he'd might not make it out of the stadium in one piece!

A police officer has no idea what this loon has in his pockets nor what he's he's taken in order to be so impaired. He's a danger.

Even aside from this, tackling someone without pads is likely to result in lacerations, separated shoulders, broken bones or worse. Football players wear helmets and shoulder pads for a reason, yes?

Why might you automatically assume that prudential judgment wasn't used? You most likely didn't go through the police officer's training. You definitely appear not to have any faith in police.

Martin McPhillips said...

Well, for one, this guy was tased from behind by an officer who was chasing after him.

Next, this fans running on the field thing has been happening for at least forty years a MLB parks. The methods for dealing with it are well-practiced.

Finally, if you run into a situation that's out of the ordinary and the trespasser is hostile and aggressive, then the transition to greater force is always an option.

It's not off the table.

I have faith in police to be human beings, who need to be well-trained and have a standard set of rules and procedures that they follow and in that context the discretion to act according to changes in circumstances.

That said, the stresses of the work and the authority that comes with it create many occasions for abuse. And that's why you want to make sure you have good people and good protocols so that everybody understands where the lines are drawn. Even good people working with good procedures, however, can be pushed across the line by stress. Everybody has a breaking point, and an accumulation of catching attitude from a dozen punks in a week might very well lead to Number 13 becoming the target of that built up frustration.

That's why you think twice about handing out tasers. As I noted above, there are pros and cons for New Paltz cops having them. Being able to taser someone who is the equivalent of the kid running on the ballfield isn't one of them.

Martin McPhillips said...

That last sentence of course should read at the end: "...isn't one of the pros [for NP cops to have tasers]."

Terence said...

Rich, I get that you think the appropriate uses of tasers are wide and varied. Perhaps you think it's appropriate to taser a 14-year-old girl who is walking away from you in the back of the head, even. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OzHDP3gLDJw) I understand that we disagree.

Tasers are a technology about which much is unclear. Should it really be considered non-lethal force? Is it appropriate to use in a situation which is not life threatening? (This is a frequent promise about taser use, including in our community). Just what is it about these devices that makes well-trained police officers sometimes behave like monsters? And why do taser supporters dismiss the most horrific examples of abuse as an obsession with sodomy?

If it were your kid with a taser up his ass, Rich, would you really say that? Really?

Rich said...

Again with the tazer sodomy...I think there's something else going on other than a discussion about whether or not police should be trusted with tazers as an option.

To meet you at your level of the discussion, however, I'll point out that broom handles have also been used by police to sodomize but don't support banning brooms from police departments.

As for the unnecesary drama--and to meet you there, as well--how 'bout:

If it were your kid with a broom up his ass, Terence, would you still support the use of brooms? Really?

I'll say this--your approach makes for a fun read and entertainment--but it distracts from the main issue.

Rich said...

Martin, given your concerns that any police officer can just lose it and dismiss all of their training at any given moment, you'd have most integrity on this matter if you've actively lobbied to have guns removed from all polive officers. Have you?

You'd probably also never set foot out of your house.

A gun can pretty much be counted on to do more harm than a tazer, right?--So why would you ever support any police having guns? When they wig out on the thirteenth person, I'd much rather it be a tazer than a gun, right?--why not lobby on behalf of having tazers replaced with guns? That would also give you and your point of view some integrity.

If you--as you put it--have to think twice about handing out tazers, you have to think two times to the power of a million before handing out guns.

Either there is trust or there isn't. Do you trust the police? Do you have trust in their ability as humans to act appropriately with their firearms?

Martin McPhillips said...

Yes, a gun can do much more harm than a taser, which is why the discharge of a police officer's firearm is such a serious matter, a life or death matter.

A taser is an intermediate form of force, is less likely to do serious harm, and will not have the consequences, when used, that a gun has. Which makes it an easier thing to abuse, especially with a greater grey area of discretion, as we see in the Philly ballpark example, which you think is O.K. I don't think that is O.K.

But there you have the grey area. Yes, if a taser is an alternative to shooting someone, it is a step down in force, perhaps saving a life. But then there is the grey area and that's where the use of electric shock as a policing tactic raises questions.

Also, I haven't taken a yes or no position on whether NP police should have tasers. I haven't come down on either side. I'm just laying out the pros and cons.

I do think that police officers should have guns and there's nothing inconsistent in that vis a vis the questions about tasers. The police have the authority to arrest someone and they bear arms to back up that authority and that's quite a responsibility that we give to these men and women, but they need it.

Do they also need electric shock technology?

I don't know, but it is an easier thing to abuse precisely because it is (generally) non-lethal and there is a grey area.

Does the taser become a form of tactical discretion? I think that it obviously does, and I think it's an open question as to whether, in our local venue, that is needed.

It doesn't show any lack of faith in local cops to explore that question. It runs to the issue of whether that's an option we want to see on our streets. It's a very important question.

Rich said...

Martin, I clearly don't think that it's as grey as you believe it is. I also don't think that you're as neutral as you seem to believe you are on the matter.

Cops say they want guns. We say OK and they have guns. We trust that guns won't be used innapropriately...

...except for you. You've shared that you're concerned that you or someone else might become the 13th person on a cop's bad day and get shot for no good reason (this is what you shared above, at least).

Now what we have is cops saying they want tazers. We may not like tazers or the thought of them, but why wouldn't we say OK if they say it's what they need? Why wouldn't we say OK unless, of course, we do not trust them and believe that they will exhibit poor judgment with them on the 13th person?

If you trusted them to use it appropriately and in accordance with their training, there's no issue here. The whole "there's electric shocking machines on our streets and do we want that?" conundrum is a charade if you already TRUST that these shocking machines will be used properly.

I don't think people in general would be much in favor of guns regularly being toted around in our greater NP. I know I wouldn't. But, there's a public trust that makes it OK.

Your argument regarding greater discretion being more likely to be "abused" reveals clear distrust in police and I'm not sure why you don't just own it because I'm not even saying it's a bad thing not to trust them...you might even have very good reason not to.

Let's just be clear, however, about the distrust on this issue that you've expressed thus far.

You trust the cops and their training or you don't. This is a black and white issue.

If you were talking about escalating the type of weapons (i.e., cannons, tanks, etc.) I'd be side-by-side with you in a socratic dialogue engaging the community in the questionable necessity--regardless of what cops say they want. But you're talking about greater discretion and not trusting the cops with that greater discretion.

I'll choose to trust them right now.

Rich said...

Let me start by saying I'm enjoying this tremendously--thank you to all!

Martin, this IS a black and white issue.

Either you trust the cops and their training or you don't. Your first stated concern is with the additional discretion that they would have with tazers. Either you trust them and their training to appropriately use tazers or you don't.

You don't appear neutral as you share your fear of being the 13th person who will get shot or tazed innappropriately. You've made a judgment here and I'm not sure why you just don't own it--you don't trust police.

I'm not even saying it's a bad thing not to trust them--you might have a good reason. But regardless, your 13th person argument makes it clear that you don't trust them.

As for the other part of your argument, the do we want electic shock machines on our streets "debate" is a charade as the answer is the same for this as it is for for guns. And the answer is probably "no, we don't". Other than folks in Arizona, who wants more guns (especially in NP)? HOWEVER, the toothpaste is already out of the tube and we've entrusted cops with our security and the ability to carry and use guns.

If we were talking about an escalation of weapons (e.g., tanks, cannons, flame-throwers), I'd be right there by your side engaging the community in a socratic dialogue. This isn't the case, however, and I'll choose to continue to trust our NP cops...they've not betrayed it.

Rich said...

Sorry about the double post--the first one said it didn't go through.

Martin McPhillips said...

Rich, your assertion that this is a black and white issue is refuted by this discussion.

It clearly is not a black and white issue. Just look at the disagreement over the tasering of the fan on the field in Philly.

Also, I think that my explanation of the gun vs. the taser is absolutely clear. You have to make an effort to misunderstand it.

Then, if I had come down on one side or another in this matter I would tell you.

(Does anyone reading this who knows my writing at all think that I hold back on my estimation of a situation?)

I'm actually happy to say I don't know the right answer on this question for New Paltz.

And this, following your assertion that this is a black or white issue...

"Either you trust the cops and their training or you don't. Your first stated concern is with the additional discretion that they would have with tazers. Either you trust them and their training to appropriately use tazers or you don't."

...is simply a false dichotomy.

What I trust is that human beings are human beings. If cops were completely trustworthy there would be no internal affairs investigations.

This is a real issue, a real question, and I have not formed a clear opinion as to yes or no. It's what Albert Camus called "Between Yes and No."

On one hand this is just another weapon, a generally non-lethal weapon. It could very well help police in a sometimes difficult job. It could save a life. I can think of one famous incident in NYC where a taser would have saved a life -- the very famous Eleanor Bumpers case.

On the other hand, there is something troubling about the use of electric shock on citizens, and the potential -- precisely because the weapons are non-lethal and are anticipated to have only a momentary effect -- for abusing them. The gun, by contrast, is a lethal weapon and is anticipated to have a permanent effect. Its use has immediate and profound consequences that mitigate the urge, or the loose attitude, that would lead to its abuse.

If men were angels we wouldn't need laws and if cops were angels we wouldn't need to have this discussion, but all are people not angels.

And there are connotations to the use of electric shocks on people that make this a discussion somewhat different than a discussion about nightsticks or pepper spray, both of which can also be abused.

Peter said...

Rich writes an awful lot like Steve, as in, "I'll set the terms of the debate, I'll decide what's legitimate and not, I'll tell you what you said(but not in so many words, in MY words), and I'll decide everything in the end, so why don't you like my groundrules, who do you think you are Pete Healey?"
Well, Rich, I am Pete Healey, and you're doing one helluva impersonation of Steve G., and I and lots of others wish you would give it up. You've said twenty different times and every time in the same exact way that you trust the cops with tasers, ok, we get it. And you've said twenty times in the same way that no one else has the right to a different opinion, ok, we get it.
Ya feel me?

又陽 said...

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Rich said...

Peter, and you're so like someone who isn't able or willing to see a different side. I'm sorry for your closed mind.

Gadfly: 2 : a person who stimulates or annoys especially by persistent criticism
"We, the gadflies of New Paltz, consider this to be honorable work or civic duty"

As this appears to be a forum in which people are encouraged to express themselves in such a manner, it's clear this blog is either severely misnamed or I fit right in with exactly what it is I'm doing.

Am I wrong?

Rich said...

Martin, if you engaged racists about the equality of all races; is racial equality a grey area to you? Simply saying that people debating an issue automatically makes it "grey" seems a little off.

I believe I understand your understanding of a gun vs. taser--I just don't think you agree with the results of my analysis of it. That's OK.

I don't understand, however, what you mean by "connotations to the use of electric shocks on people" and how it makes it different from other non-lethal options...please share.

Regarding "What I trust is that human beings are human beings. If cops were completely trustworthy there would be no internal affairs investigations." I'm not saying police don't make mistakes, so let's not waste time with this...hell, a lot of people I choose to trust make mistakes.

Allow me to highlight what I thought I clearly communicated but perhaps didn't:

What I'm talking about is the social contract that entrusts some people with the ability to use lethal force(in a manner consistent with their training)in order to keep the peace.

Given that this is a lesser weapon than what they already have, and given that they are saying they want it, I'm eager (and open) to hear how this isn't a trust issue. Even from you, Peter.

Sometimes people are wrong and adament about their incorrect stance (e.g., racism, anti-semitism, etc). This doesn't make such issues grey. Can we at least agree to this?

And Peter, don't hate the playa' hate the game, baby.

Martin McPhillips said...

Rich, first the trust issue: "You either trust the government or you don't;" "You either trust the IRS or you don't."

We trust the government or the IRS or the police about as far as we can trust them, which is about as far as we can trust any human being or human institution in whom we do not have absolute confidence.

Has nothing to do with any "social contract." Government is force. The police are a primary form of government force. The government operates with our consent. It's not like "Oh, you're the police, you have our a priori trust, so take the taser and do what you have to do." No, we ask questions.

It's not for nothing that the first clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution puts it this way, "Congress shall make no law..."

That is the purest distrust of government put in the purest way possible. The only thing missing is, "Don't even think about it."

And my argument, which I made a second time in my last comment, about the lower standard for using a taser making it far easier to abuse than a gun (see again the Philly ballpark example) is as clear as I can make it.

And I'm not sure where the problem is in understanding the "connotations of using electric shock on people." It drops people instantly to the ground. It comes in at about 50,000 volts. It messes with the entire physiological system. I don't know, stick a fork into a wall socket and see how it goes.

Maybe, even, it strikes me as a form of punishment and not just a way to immobilize someone. It leaves no marks other than where the electrodes stick. It's ripe for abuse.

And, finally, this matter is not even remotely related to a category like racism or antisemitism. This has to do with a prudential approach to what weapons police in a small community should have available for use, and that's a question that the community is more than entitled to address and disagree about.

Peter said...

I just want to say, what Martin said. I won't say that often but Martin is right about just about everything. And kt started this thread by mentioning how people, lots of people have died in the U.S. after being tasered. How is that a non-lethal weapon? How is that "black or white"?
Let's do this, Rich. Let's take an inventory of all the lethal and non-lethal weapons currently at the disposal of the police. List all the things hanging off their belts, in their pockets, in the trunk of their police car, and in the weapons locker at the station, then we'll talk some more, about "black and white and gray". Then will you please stop acting like we're children and you have to teach us how adults operate?

Rich said...

Peter, it's clear that I trigger something in you that provokes anger. I'm sorry for that as such a thing often interferes in an endeavor such as ours.

I've never referred to tasers as being non-lethal. I accept that someone can die after being tasered. I'd view them, though, as lesser lethal than guns...which I think is a commonly accepted understanding of them.

Perhaps you're cursory reading of my question about Martin's "connotation" quote is what lead to jump to false conclusions.

Regardless, it seems like you might be participating in a mindset along the lines of "I'll set the terms of the debate, I'll decide what's legitimate and not, I'll tell you what you said(but not in so many words, in MY words), and I'll decide everything in the end, so why don't you like my groundrules, who do you think you are Pete Healey?"

Oh yeah, I guess that IS who you are...
...although I must confess I have no idea who Pete Healey if there's some expectation that I do.

As a reminder, my point of view has never had anything to do with the whether or not tasers are lethal. It remains one that is simply about trust.

Rich said...

Martin,
You're steering my opinion in a different direction. I've never mentioned government. In fact, nobody here has. Where did your two quotes from your first sentence come from? It does lend itself to your highbrow we-the-people soliloquy quite nicely, though :)

My opinion on this matter includes only the police and, yes--whether you agree or disagree--what I believe to be the clear social contract that we have with them.

If your your strongest argument is that it's far easier to abuse than a gun then I'm not sure why you're so up in arms to argue. I agree with you. It's easier to abuse than a gun.

What I'm trying to do is engage you in a discussion that goes beyond that easy to accept fact.

Once you accept that they are easier to abuse than guns: What is it that prevents your from taking a stand on this issue?

REGARDING YOUR FEAR OF INCREASED ABUSE:

If one did trust, then the fear of increased abuse no longer exists any more than it does for guns.

If one does not trust, then the fear of increased abuse exists and one is less willing to provide tasers.

Is this not the essence?



p.s. Your incorrect use of "connotations" resulted in my confusion. This misuse of the word appears to be where the "problem", as you put it, was. All of what you shared aren't IMPLIED associations of the use of electric shock, they're quite literally the meaning of electric shock.

Martin McPhillips said...

The meaning of my comment is plain as day.

Even if I could restate it again and improve on it, I'm not sure that there would be any point to doing so.

Rich said...

I'd say it's as clear as your use of the word "connotation" and equally unrelated to what I've shared.

Is it possible that you don't communicate as clearly as you seem to think?

Your draw to closure is a little disappointing as I've enjoyed this a great amount. I wish you well!