Friday, December 4, 2009

Redeux News: "Stop Taser Torture" Blogging for Justice

Today is "Stop Taser Torture" Blogging For Justice Day," organized by the Stop Taser Torture Blog:
So when will the cops start using tasers in Beverly Hills?

My good friend Villager over at Electronic Village has asked that like-minded bloggers stand with him today to post against the sickening use of tasers (also referred to as 'stun guns) by local police, and I can't imagine a more compelling, urgent, and timely cause. Admittedly I don't frequently lend this blog to petition signings and repeated promotions of this and that cause, though not because I don't believe many of them are worthy. It's just that I believe others - such as Villager - have that area much better handled than I ever could, so I move on to do what I do best.
But this is one time - and most likely not the last - when I am more than willing to put my name on a cause and get on board with all the others who wish to openly and vocally protest the use of torture as legitimized law enforcement. And for those who choose not to believe that taser guns qualify as torture, I would reply that when I hear of a sufficient number of taser incidents being reported from Beverly Hills and other not-exactly-the-ghetto neighborhoods, then I will be willing to consider the possibility that gee, maybe tasing ain't so bad after all. Go ahead and tase me, bro.

But in the meantime, I must confess that I do find it more than interesting - perhaps 'alarming' might be a better word - that even though both the United Nations and Amnesty International have declared the use of tasers to be a form of torture, this doesn't seem to be causing much concern among police officers. Naturally the Taser company refutes these claims, but what do you expect? Torture pays the bills. It's what buys junior's X-Box. But isn't law enforcement even the slightest bit concerned? I mean, since they're, well, supposed to be protecting and serving the population and that sort of thing? That deafening silence should be all the answer required, and that silence is funded and brought to you courtesy of your local taxpayer.
OK. My bad. I meant to say the taxpayers who make enough money to matter when it counts. Big difference there.Because if those folks who actually mattered began raising a ruckus about this issue? Oh you'd best believe the use of tasers would become about as common as the use of leeches to cure the common cold.
The following quote is from a Dec. 16 article located on Amnesty International's site:
"Tasers are not the 'non-lethal' weapons they are portrayed to be," said Angela Wright, US researcher at Amnesty International and author of the report. "They can kill and should only be used as a last resort.
"The problem with Tasers is that they are inherently open to abuse, as they are easy to carry and easy to use and can inflict severe pain at the push of a button, without leaving substantial marks."
Amnesty International’s study – which includes information from 98 autopsies – found that 90 per cent of those who died after being struck with a Taser were unarmed and many did not appear to present a serious threat.
Like I said, when they start regularly tasering folks in Beverly Hills? In Malibu? In Grosse Pointe Woods? Then sure. Go ahead and tase me, bro.
But until then? I prefer to receive the same sort of taxpayer-funded law enforcement as those other taxpayer-funded neighborhoods. What is it you call...? Oh yeah. Equality.

Our guest blog comes from Keith A. Owens a Detroit writer, editor and musician. Check out his blog at The "D" Spot

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