It Takes a Village to Tase a Child

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A few months ago down ol’ Miami way, the police had a series of incidents resulting in Taserings (stun gunning for all the police technology termed challenged).

The first zap was against a lunatic wielding shards of broken glass. He held the police and the gathering crowd at bay with his improvised weaponry as well as cutting on himself (as most lunatics wielding shards of glass tend to do), coming close to his arteries. Both he and those in the vicinity were at risk.

The second zap came a few days later against a fleeing female. She and a gang of others were drunk and disorderly in swimming pool one midday morning. When approached by patrol car, she ran off through a crowded the parking lot. Rather than speeding after her in the vehicle, she was tasered and apprehended.

Sound pretty normal… right? Well there’s a hitch. They were aged six and twelve respectively – the younger going berserk in the principles office, the “elder” dodging school (remember, she was drunk).

Of course, now, the officers are under scrutiny; scrutiny, I feel is undeserved. They did what the felt had to be done.

The whole issue is, “what are the procedures for Tasering with regards to underage perps?” Those who are blind to what the youth of today are slowly becoming, who protest any force at all, are saying that there should be no procedure at all – just don’t Tazer kids.

I, however, see it oppositely. True there should be no “procedure” at all… but that’s because procedures slow reaction time. If someone has an improvised scimitar and is waving it around in a 6×6 box with a crowd of onlookers in slashing range – no matter who it is – stun the bastard.

With regards to the lush of a pre-teen, this brings up a good opportunity for a neat idea of mine – we should Taser all kids at least once in their lives. Get them while they’re young. Let them feel the bite of justice. Kids today are getting too big for their britches (my god, did I just use an octogenarian cliché Anyway…). They want to act older, let them be punished the same.

I give to you an example from my job at a “religious” summer camp:

campthing

This fragment of “bootylicious” banner was retrieved from the garbage following a faith festival. The campers were six, the councilors twelve. Is that the art of the harmless children we still think lurk? Game, set, and match.

But this issue, and similar issues will likely never be resolved. Most other people, those with heads on their necks, seem to be staying out of this mess… and with good cause. This tase the children issue falls into what I term the “Bleeding Heart Box-trap.”

Ever see those cartoons were the there a box balanced on a stick which is tied to bait. The rabbit grabs the bait and the box falls. No matter which way the rabbit turns it hits a wall… a blank/dull wall; then runs in circles, and dies of exhaustion. Yeah, same here. No answer will alleviate the situation, because that would put a lot of lawyers out of a job.

I’ll give an example from the Taser story, direct from the Police director’s mouth: “Had the child cut his vein and the officer not Tasered the child, somebody would be saying ‘Well, you had the Taser. Why didn’t you Taser the child?'” (Florida Today, Nov 2004) Classic box trap… aka the Catch 22.

Another example comes from the Miami-Dade medical examiner, who fears the situation because Tasers were never really tested on children. Let me ask this – if testing were scheduled, would you allow it? Probably not.

For the record, 50,000 volts (even 100,000 volts) won’t kill. It’s the amps that’ll get ya. Sure, it’s uncomfortable; but really you’d only be in danger if there were preexisting heart conditions or the subject was hopped… up… on… something…. Well, you get the idea.

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Ryan Livingston

Ryan is an artist / writer out of Melbourne, FL.

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