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The Fire’s a Burnin’

Beth is making me eat vegan food for a week due to my post on a woman with a tiger-suckling mission.  So, are Twinkies considered vegan?  How about Diet Dr. Pepper?  heheheh

Don’t Just Stun that Criminal, Mr. Policeman, SHOOT HIM, it’s SAFER!

So I’m listening to the morning radio show as I’m getting ready for work this morning, and they were talking about a meeting taking place in Omaha tonight regarding the police’s use of taser guns and an open discussion regarding safety concerns.  My first thoughts were "um, okay…" and then it suddenly made sense.  The radio guys stated that Nebraska’s ACLU president Tim Butz (no, really, that’s his name!!!) would be there to present the ACLU’s concerns about whether tasers were safe to use in police interactions.  Of course, the Nebraska ACLU hid behind their Momma’s skirt and touted the event as "A Powerful Conversation:  Community Forum in Omaha on Police Use of Tasers."  How politically correct.

Apparently police department taser use is somewhat of a hot topic here in Nebraska.  KHAS-TV out of Hastings, NE reported just yesterday on the subject.

I do think there’s a bit of confusion on what the police think about the use of tasers, at least in this article.  Here’s paragraph one:

Tasers are the topic of conversation across the nation. More police departments use them and said they are saving lives, but many people say they are lethal.Taser technology is shocking the nation.Touted as one of the safest non-lethal use of force options, police say they are saving lives.

However, toward the end of the article, the author writes:

One reason gun shops like Old Market Firearms do not stock them. Even some police departments are not convinced they are safe.

The Hastings Police chief shares that they have seen a significant decrease in the numbers of injuries to police officers caused by subjects who were combative or resistant.  During training, Hastings police officers are encouraged to take a hit so they understand how the taser works and what a person will feel when hit by the taser’s 50,000 volts. 

Grand Island’s taser trainer Sergeant Steve Rathman said most officers opt to experience it.

"If they know what it feels like when they are exposed to it, I feel they are less likely to use it haphazardly," said Rathman.

There have been no deaths linked to tasers in Nebraska. 

"They are designed to save lives and prevent injury, and that is what they are doing," said Chief Thoren.

In 2004 the Hastings Police Department has used the taser 50 times, but no one has required medical attention.The Grand Island police said they have used the taser more than 20 times.

It is apparent, however, that there is some national knee-jerking going on (courtesy of the ACLU, perhaps?).  Last week, a man died in California, prompting the police department to suspend the use of tasers. 

The ACLU in Nebraska states that they are receiving complaints about the tool.  Hmmmmm….I wonder if these complaints come right after the "subject" posts bail?

Here’s where the ACLU’s uncovers their agenda (not surprising):

It is incapacitating for 5 seconds, but other than the possible slight redness and itch there is no further injury. Yet the A.C.L.U. in Nebraska questions the safety.

"We have received complaints from several places across the state about the inappropriate use of tasers," said Nebraska A.C.L.U. Executive Director Tim Butz.

Under fire is when police are calling on the tool.

"Police departments that have tasers are allowing their use at a low level of involvement," said Butz.

Police are trained that the use of a taser is at the level of chemical mace - just below striking a subject. 

"These things are potentially lethal," Butz said.

The ACLU said they will continue to gather information supporting their concerns and may present their concerns to the legislature next year.

I dunno, maybe it’s just me, but if the use of tasers in law enforcement lowers the incident rate of police injury and allows a policeman to gain control over a combative "subject" I’m all for it.  For safety’s sake, would Mr. BUTZ rather have the police officer use their gun?   

You can read the entire article here.

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