LETTER: Proposed Taser ban a bad idea for personal freedom

Thursday, September 16, 2010 | 1:08 p.m. CDT

When the People for Taser-Free Columbia challenged the police department's use of Tasers that was one thing. They made enough noise that there were a lot of changes in procedures for deploying the weapons. They failed to make the police department give up the Tasers. Next they started a petition drive to get on the ballot, but expanded their initiative to include my stun gun. This is not acceptable and violates my personal freedom. I have a stun gun; I will use it if threatened. If you do not want me to shock you with it, do not try to harm me or take what little I have.

It seems ridiculous to me that I can own and carry a 9 mm handgun concealed upon my person while my stun gun should be outlawed. It also seems ridiculous to me that while I am allowed to own my stun gun, I could be prosecuted for using it to defend myself against an assailant or displaying it and leting them hear the crackle of electricity that causes people to take an involuntary step back. A member of the anti-Taser group suggested that is was better to shoot someone in the leg than use a CED.

While the Lone Ranger could always shoot the gun from the hand of a villain, in my handgun self-defense course I was taught to put three rounds into the largest body mass. Believe me, if I am frightened enough to pull out the handgun, I will shoot to kill. Given the choice, I would prefer to knock someone down with the stun gun and get away or go for help than to kill someone. Apparently the anti-Taser group does not share my sentiment. You cannot take back the night with a whistle! Women deserve more methods to defend themselves, not fewer. 

Most of all, this is a matter of personal freedom. Our freedoms dwindle away every day, but surely we have the right to defend ourselves with the weapon of our choice. If this group prevails and reaches into the lives of private citizens on such a personal matter and gains control over this part of our lives, what freedom will they seek to take from us next?

I urge you to preserve your personal freedom and mine in Columbia and vote NO on Prop 2 on Nov. 2. 

The Rev. Kay Johnson is a social justice activist who lives in Columbia.

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