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Semiformalishmaybe

On Tazers

At the risk of suggesting policies that are tied to my specifics, I don't believe that tazers are an appropriate weapon for use by police or individuals. For those of us with heart conditions, many of us have a greater chance of surviving being beaten soundly with a police club than being tazed, and many of us have been killed by use of this "less violent" weapon. At least with a club, people have an instinctual notion, however weak, of how much of a beating someone can take. Less lethal weapons, applied sparingly, are worth developing, and I acknowledge that any weapon might hit on some particular person's weaknesses - there is an occasional need for personal or police power to subdue people, and that is always a risky process. Things based on electricity are potentially deadly to a non-small percentage of society though.

Use of weapons like this have the potential for bizarre escalations of force - if I thought someone were likely to taze me or anyone else with heart problems, I would potentially have to respond with a much greater amount of force than people would expect to protect a life - the yuppie or light criminal who thinks they're just disabling someone is, as much as the policeperson using such a tool, actually using deadly force, and particularly vulnerable people have to treat them like guns held by psychopaths (in the sense that they're likely to be used as if they're not deadly).

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I actually have a suspicion that, even if they were everything they claimed to be, tasers would still be bad; and that riot shields and other tools of riot cops are bad for the same reason.

It used to be that nonviolent protest was particularly effective, because in order to get you to stop, they would have to harm you, and either way you win in the court of public opinion. The existence of tools allowing the police to suppress nonviolent protest without harming the protestors actually hinders the use of nonviolent protest as a tool. I'm really not sure how I feel about them, from that angle.
Hmm. Interesting way of looking at it. The Merton Centre has been doing workshops on how to chain oneself to things effectively, which kind of relates - even tazed, someone hooked to a tree/fence/wall/etc would remain so. That's not always effective or doable though..