April 19, 2008
Rod Allen, Assistant Managing Editor, The Moncton Times & Transcript
Recent incidents in Vancouver raise fresh questions about use of stun guns
Our cousins up on The Rock just north and east of here have a special word -- 'stunned' or sometimes just 'stun' -- to describe a person who might not be thinking clearly or, less kindly, is just plain stupid. Rarely do they use this word to describe actual 'stunnedness' -- that altered mental state which mysteriously occurs when we are smacked upside the head with, for example, a hakapik.
Incidentally, the spiked 'hakapik' club might be banned from the seal hunt down here on the East Coast, according to news reports this week, but fortunately there is still a potential market for our vital hakapik-making industry with the municipal government of Vancouver.
This august body may soon be on the hunt for an appropriate replacement for the taser, also currently under fire from various panty-waisted civic groups in this seething, hippie-infested west-coast birthplace of the seal-hunt protest.
Opponents of the taser are mewling piteously over Vancouver's decision to supply this mostly non-lethal device to the security dicks who prowl the city's vast public transit system. This, despite the fact the taser has produced stunning (chuckle) results in the maintenance of discipline amongst the citizenry, says Sgt. Willie Merenick of the Greater Vancouver Transit Authority Police Service.
According to 'Wild' Willie, all 10 incidents of taser use by his 'officers' since early 2007 were completely justified, and that's all he's got to say about a public outcry based on a separate report which states that in five of those 10 incidents, tasers were applied to people trying to avoid paying the fare.
Furthermore, in one of those five cases the offender was tasered because he (or she) wouldn't let go of a railing.
Well said, Willie, or not-said as the case may be. I'm pretty sure I know what you're trying to not-say. Why should the taser be confined, un-asks Willie, to the rather unimaginative role of somewhat largely non-lethal alternative to the scattergun or the hakapik or the morning-star in cases of self-defence? Why should it not be used by cops to teach the citizenry the meaning of the word "respect?" Willie, in fact, inspires us to wonder aloud whether the taser has yet to find its full and rightful place in our society.
True, there have been some slightly unsettling taser-related incidents on both coasts of late. A few people have died. Untidy business, that.
But think of the potential benefits if taser use was expanded to other professions. If a weapon originally intended for the police is now good enough for transit security guards then why not mall-cops? Hey, why not the little man in the booth at Moncton's downtown parking garage?
'Lost yer ticket, eh? Suuure, Mac.' Zap.
Would it be so wrong to supply tasers to teachers? Think of how this might be applied not only in matters of discipline in the hallways but in matters of correction, shall we say, in the spelling bee. One imagines New Brunswick's woeful academic record in our high schools improving overnight.
And don't forget: Education Begins At Home. 'Didn't do your homework eh, you disrespectful little brat?' Zap. 'Now eat your broccoli.' Zap. 'Faster.' Zap.
Verily, the possibilities are endless.
Think of tourism. Think of how Montrealers stroll along Moncton's Main Street in the summers and spy, to their horror, the locals wearing white, last year's black. Should Downtown Moncton Inc. consider augmenting its force of 'summer ambassadors' with, oh, I don't know, maybe the DMI Fashion Police? 'Oh my Gawwwd. Yellow sou-wester and tartan toreador pants with a horizontally striped orange blazer? Zap. And gum-rubbers?! Zap. With the tops rolled down?!!' Zap. 'Oh, why not?' Zap-Zap.
And let us not forget we inhabit the Age of Information and robots are getting smarter and smarter. The day will come when Automated Teller Machines will demand not only the vote, but the right to demand satisfaction from that disrespectful old lady trying to withdraw 50 bucks from an overdrawn account. Zip-zap, zippity doo-da pay.
Accept no delays, dear readers; we are speeding headlong into the future.
Foot-draggers will be considered disrespectful and stunned stupid.
WELCOME to TRUTH ... not TASERS
Saturday, April 19, 2008
April 19, 2008