TODAY’S QUESTION: Will you vote to ban the use of Tasers in Columbia?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010 | 10:21 a.m. CDT

A proposal to ban Tasers will appear on the Nov. 2 ballot.

On Monday, the City Council voted against the proposal, which would ban the use of Tasers inside the city limits. Because the City Council rejected the proposal, the decision is now up to the voters.

According to the Missourian, People for a Taser-Free Columbia collected more than 4,000 signatures of people who support the ban. In addition to banning the use of the devices, the petition would make it a class A misdemeanor to use or threaten to use Tasers.

A previous Missourian article states that the Taser-Free campaign wants to ban Tasers and conducted electrical devices because they are unpredictable and unreliable.

Police Chief Ken Burton said training and protocol for Taser use have tightened since he became chief in April 2009, and he uses the standards outlined by the Police Executive Research Forum. He also wants to train all 160 Columbia officers in crisis intervention.

In May, two police officers spoke to the Citizens Police Review Board about the department's Taser policy, arguing that Tasers are safer or more effective than other alternatives.

Will you vote to ban the use of Tasers in Columbia?

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Caleb Harbin August 19, 2010 | 4:44 p.m.

Tasers, if used properly, are as effective or even more so than a gun for uses such as home defense. Rather than ban them, why not make a carrying permit required such as the one required for carrying a concealed gun? What piece of equipment is not "unpredictable and unreliable" in the wrong or untrained persons hands? You didn't start driving a car without training did you? There will always be instances where accidents happen because the equipment is unpredictable or unreliable, that's why they are called "accidents". I don't see a vote to ban cars though.

(Report Comment)
Mike Lane August 20, 2010 | 10:32 a.m.

Caleb, this effort is focused on banning police use of TASER - not civilian. (Most people don't even realize that they can purchase & use the exact same devices. On another note - TASER is often labeled as "unpredictable & unreliable" by the "uneducated & uninformed", but that's simply not reality. There are many factors that must be taken into consideration when deploying a TASER, such as distance to target, probe spread, clothing thickness, clothing tightness, probe impact location, single probe hits, etc. If any one of these factors is not in line, the TASER will not work, but that's not the TASER's fault. In reality, TASER mechanical failure is very rare.

(Report Comment)
Carlos Sanchez August 20, 2010 | 11:03 a.m.

If we read the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America as it is intended to be read this vote is not only illegal but the proposition and petition that moved it to the ballot is illegal as well.

It plainly sates "The Right Of The People To Keep And Bare Arms Shall Not Be Infringed".

That means to a lot of true Americans and myself included that it cannot be changed. Would this pass in the Supreme Court of the land? It has stood the test of time over the long span since it was first written and approved.

(Report Comment)

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