Good Morning Readers! In my neverending quest to remind people that Tasers are deadly weapons, I need to point out that more innocent Americans are dying at the hands of trigger-happy police. Two teenagers, both from Michigan, died over the past few weeks.
Last month police in Detroit, Michigan used a Taser to subdue 15-year old Brett Elder. They said he tried to fight with them. Despite the fact that Elder was unarmed and no more than 110 pounds, and posed no threat to law enforcement, they decided to risk his life using a Taser. Now the boy is dead.
Another Michigan boy, 16-year old year old Robert Mitchell, died after being tasered by Police in Warren, Michigan. Police say Mitchell was driving a car with expired tags. As officers pulled him over, they say "he ran and hid." They report there was a struggle and an officer used the Taser. The boy died shortly after the incident.
Amnesty International is an outspoken critic of Tasers, as am I. Amnesty reports that America is an exception in the Western world in the way it treats Tasers. American law enforcement treats Tasers like some kind of electronic pepper spray. Amnesty thinks the situation is unacceptable, and is beginning to work with law enforcement. Innocent people are dying all the time. The situation is very serious.
I think Tasers are excellent weapons IF used properly. An example might be a woman at risk of being raped or murdered, or used to protect the weak and the elderly from harm. I own and respect guns (yes, I am a gun-toting liberal - and I love them), and may even own a Tasar someday, but no matter who's using them deadly weapons need to treated with respect.
Nobody, especially law enforcement, should use a potentially deadly weapon unless threatened with overpowering or deadly force. American law enforcement needs to toughen up. The citizens they are hired to protect should not be treated to a deadly crap shoot. Police can use pepper spray if they need a non-lethal alternative.
Please write to your representatives now, for it could be your son or daughter next. Again, I'm not against Tasers, but simply the use of deadly force without real provocation. Tasers should not be used by officers hoping to avoid a struggle. Officers should be trained and capable of immobilizing people without using Tasers. For now, all I can say is rest in peace Brett and Robert. You didn't deserve to die.
Monday's Political Rant - Michael
PS - Btw, make sure you don't piss off your local police, or you could be next.