Eugene, OR - Eugene residents are collecting signatures for a ballot initiative to restrict the use of tasers by police officers. Randy Prince, a teacher, says the initiative would allow police to use tasers only in situations where deadly force is justified. Critics say the effort to classify tasers as a deadly weapon would hamstring police. ... A new report from the Eugene police department says officers are now using tasers more frequently than pepper spray when confronting resistant people. [LINK]
If tasers were pure-good, then there wouldn't be any controversy surrounding them. These sorts of initiatives to restrict the use of tasers are simply trying to force the Taser Use Policies into some reasonable alignment with the purportedly pure-as-the-driven-snow justification for tasers.
The pro-taser forces make wild claims that "tasers save lives" (as an alternative to police gun fire), and then squeal when someone tries to hold them to this purpose.
The facts are plain. Tasers are used about 100 times as often as the police have historically used their guns. This figure varies with location and with time. After a few taser-deaths, the rate of taser overuse tends to drop a bit as the more switched-on officers figure it out on their own.
But this 100-to-1 overuse ratio is a good round number. So the argument that "tasers save lives" ignores about 99% of the taser debate.
The tasers themselves are not really the issue. It's the damn lies about their safety, the defective training, and the propaganda-based Taser Use Policies cut-and-paste from Taser International - those are the problems.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: I don't care if the police have fricken' Flame Throwers. So long as the burnt citizens are not blamed on Spontaneous Human Combustion.
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