"We know a Taser can indeed kill an adult," Colorado Senator Hagedorn said. "We need to have a thorough discussion about the use of Tasers in our schools," he said, adding that discussion should occur at the school districts, not in the legislature.
I could not disagree more strongly - this is not a discussion for the school districts! This is a discussion that needs to go further by far. The top lawmakers in both of our countries have long been ignoring this issue and allowing police, school districts and town councils to make these lethal decisions, often without any public consultation. Most of the people who comprise these councils and committees would be uniquely unqualified to discuss tasers with any knowledge.
Our government is no more qualified to make this decision; however, it is in a position to facilitate a wider forum and public consultation. One that isn't driven by the manufacturer or by any police or police association. Only through full public consultation, including citizens who are not on the same government's payroll nor biased in favour of the manufacturer or law enforcement: only then can any discussion be considered "thorough" and only then can we consider the issue completely and intelligently.
I wonder who made the decision this month to equip all seven El Paso County school resource officers with tasers. The Sherriff's office cited the taser's main purpose is to deal with people coming into the schools - intruders. "But a Taser might be used against an armed student," said a spokesperson. From what I've seen of children being tasered, an armed student may mean "any student with at least one arm".
Today, I received a message from a stranger who said: "I did not even know that people could be seriously injured or die from those things. I can see why you would be angry about tasers."
I'm afraid that this seems to be Joe Public's common reaction. And that, friends, is part of what drives me here every day. I'm here to help people see the other side - the dark side. As of today, my blog has had 1,000 hits and I hope that many of my visitors have gone away somewhat the wiser. Thanks to all who enter - I'll be here for awhile and I hope you'll come again.