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LETTER: Now is the time to outlaw Tasers

Wednesday, October 27, 2010 | 2:40 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — It’s only a matter of time before we outlaw Tasers. I am hoping that the “time” will be this election on Nov. 2.

I say this because I know our thoughtful citizens will eventually come to the conclusion that these weapons are very dangerous. They will eventually kill one of our citizens and or bankrupt our community, and THEN we will outlaw them.

We already have two lawsuits filed against the city for the alleged misuse of this weapon. Other lawsuits will follow.

Having worked in the criminal justice system I’m well aware of the scare tactics being used by those who want yet another toy in their arsenal. I’m also aware that with proper training in crisis intervention we could arm our law enforcement with a better ability to deal with any and all infractions. These include the mentally ill, any domestic disturbances and traffic stops.

Many have already died in the country from these weapons. Some cities are just now beginning to abolish them.

Now we the public must decide whether we want punishment as the first line of defense or whether we want judges to determine whether any law has been broken.

Don’t be frightened by the buzzwords flying around that this will keep Columbia safe.  We all want safety, but Tasers borders on fear tactics. That is really just silly.

Just think about what is really at stake. And repeating what I have already said, it is only a matter of time until we will realize the repercussions coming from this very dangerous weapon, and we too will rid ourselves of this albatross.

Joan A. Sullivan lives in Columbia.


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