Tasers are cattle-prods applied to the human spirit

Tasers are weapons that function by delivering a huge electric shock directly to the nervous system of their target, producing temporary paralysis, convulsions, extreme pain and sometimes death.

Every day now images and testimonies appear on the internet detailing the prolific routine use of this new “non-lethal” weapon by law enforcement on citizens, a tiny percentage of whom appear to be actually caught in the process of committing a crime. These weapons have been used on children running away from their parents, old age pensioners confined to their beds, people who have been a bit slow to show their ID cards, legitimate protesters against government and financial abuse of power, and in numerous cases have resulted in the deaths of their targets, despite their supposed “non-lethality”.

The most ancient legal systems in human history were based on the concept of “doing no harm” to one’s neighbor. These principles have followed us through the ages up to the present time, where differences between people are resolved in courts of law, with more or less neutral parties representing the interests of the accused and the victim.

How is it that in most purportedly civilized and democratic countries, police can now legally inflict unbearable traumatic pain with impunity on anyone, merely on suspicion of having committed a crime ? This dreadful taser weapon – a glorified cattle-prod for humans – was introduced first in the US a few years ago, and has spread to most supposedly democratic countries since, with no real public debate at all. Governments have seized the right to torture their own citizens in a way that reminds me of policing techniques in the middle ages, where people were routinely tortured on suspicion of wrong-doing.

Most legal systems would rightfully condemn a citizen inflicting extreme pain and mental trauma on another citizen. So how come police – who supposedly represent Law and Order – may now inflict this physical and psychological pain on almost anyone with the flimsiest of justifications and almost no legal repercussions ? Numerous people have been tasered in western countries for merely raising their voice in front of authority or acting agitated ! Not being a zombie, I find it natural to be agitated when faced by a man in uniform aiming a weapon at me that if I am lucky will put me through moments of paralysis and agony even if it does not kill me, and leave an imprint of powerlessness, trauma and total loss of human dignity on my spirit for my entire life afterwards.

Strangely, traveling around countries with more or less totalitarian regimes in Asia I have never seen police even carrying this weapon, let alone using it ! They would not dare… It would not be accepted by the local inhabitants and any public use of such a weapon would be condemned by the population at large instantly, especially in Buddhist countries where inflicting pain amounts to a cultural taboo – for good reason.

So how have we come to accept as normal, in our “civilized” western countries that pretend to place so much importance in “spreading democracy” and human rights, the routine use of a weapon that is such a direct assault on human dignity ? Is this just one more demonstration of our governments transforming into brutal desensitized psychopathic institutions, more interested in controlling through fear and pain a populace than reforming their own incompetent, wasteful and corrupt practices ? Is their intention to destroy every remaining vestige of the human spirit, reducing their populations to quivering, terrified wrecks who will jump to obey any order given by a man in uniform or suffer immediate pain and incapacitation ? This goes way beyond even George Orwell’s terrifying vision of the future.

And why is the reaction of the public so weak against the use of this device ? Have we been so desensitized by continuous images of suffering and violence projected at us by the media twenty-four hours a day that now we accept without question that our institutions may use what amounts to torture devices to “keep us in line” with almost total impunity ?

Maybe if people accept this daily intimidation from the citizens in uniform representing authority it is a sign that forces of evil have overthrown all the positive principles of human society that were fought for by our ancestors for centuries. In the blink of an eye, over very few years, almost “under the radar”, we have returned to the methods of the Spanish Inquisition or the French post-revolutionary “Question”, where merely being accused of a crime was enough to justify debilitating torture and death.

This is a complete travesty of justice, and unless it is stopped, it will only mark the beginning of a new era. Already, microwave devices that fry your skin and sonic machines that overload your perception have been developed for “crowd control”, and are starting to be used. These weapons are a dictator’s dream, and are a sinister sign of the form our societies are taking.

Do you want that ? Are you going to give faceless institutions the right to torture and abuse you, your children, and all future generations, or are you going to stop this now ? Are you going to continue allowing yourselves be treated far, far worse than misbehaving cattle ?

And you, the police using these weapons to inflict extreme pain on your fellow citizens; are you aware that each time you pull that trigger you are nourishing the worst aspects of your being, the parts of you that revel in human suffering and power over the weak ? Are you aware that each time you use this disgusting weapon, you come closer to resembling the most violent, thuggish criminals you are supposed to be protecting society against ? Are you aware that each time you watch a fellow human being writhing on the floor in agony you are physically damaging the parts of your brain that concern empathy, feeling, and the recognition of another person’s distress. In short, you are incrementally turning yourself into the worst kind of psychopath  enemies of any civilized society ? Can you use the excuse that you are “just obeying orders” and look at yourself in the mirror every morning and see anything but a bully and a coward ?

Mussolini himself defined “fascism” as being the “alliance of the corporation and the state”. Look what happened… Governments no longer have more than a cursory appearance of interest in the welfare of the people. This is manifested more and more every passing minute. I am starting to think that western governments want their citizens to fear and hate them in order to justify draconian repression and control. This has happened in the past. It was called Nazism, amongst other things.

It is not too late to change this, but I think it soon will be unless people make a stand for their most basic rights and human dignity.

If too many people continue thinking we do not have a problem – then we have a real problem…


2 Responses to “Tasers are cattle-prods applied to the human spirit”

  1. 1 Ishkandar
    August 16, 2010 at 1:42 am

    Tasers, like all similar objects (e.g. a knife) are neither “good” nor “bad” !! It is the use of such objects that dictate the “goodness” or “badness” of it !! Therefore, the object should not be blamed for the fallability of the user. It’s the human weakness and/or evil that attains; not the object, which, in and of itself, is inherently neutral !!

    There’s an old English saying – a bad workman blames his tools !! Similarly, a bad cop blames the taser !! Tasers can and have been used to bring down mad-dog, rampaging humans before they can do too much harm. In that case, it is a “good thing” !! However, modern society and modern media being what it is, such incidences are hardly, if ever, reported, since they are not sufficiently sensational to sell newspapers or TV News programmes.

    In this case, the “evil” is in the inherent greed of the news-mongers who use such incidences to sensationalise the news and pander to and titilate the darker side of each of us. They play up the “oooh…aaah” factor and truth and facts fall by the wayside.

    Thus, the real quiestion is not whether tasers should or should not be used but whether there should be sufficiently stringent controls and regulations on the use of such “weapons”; rather in the same vein as firearms. Should firearms be used on little old ladies who park on double yellow lines ?? There cannot be and will never be a blanket verdict on tasers because each and every human is different from any other. As such, each will see and/or use such things according to his/her own light. There can only be regulations that dictate when such weapons are allowed and when they are not !!

    For example, there is this chap, Moat, who went on a rampage shooting and killing a lot of innocent people. He even shot a policeman sitting in his car, minding his own business. That poor policeman is now blinded for life !! Finally, he was found, cornered and shot. Many people where outraged that he was shot and suggested that the policemen should have walked up to him and try and over-power him, *DESPITE* the fact that he was known to be still armed with multiple weapons !! Does this mean that policemen’s lives are of no value and can be expended for soothing the selfish sensibilities of such persons ?? Will such persons be willing to expend their own lives in pursiut of their own beliefs ?? I think you’ll find that the answer to both questions is a resounding “NO” (or “Hell, NO” as our American cousins are wont to say) !!

    Therefore, in conclusion, I think we should blame the singer, not the song !!

  2. 2 sirburton
    August 17, 2010 at 9:12 pm

    Don’t get me wrong – any weapon can be used legitimately for self defence or by law enforcement when a genuinely dangerous situation merits it. I myself train responsibly in a few “just in case” ! To oppose their use against a rampaging axe murderer would be pretty dumb !

    Here I am more opposing their indiscriminate use against civilians on “mere suspicion”, or often with even less of a motive. There should be a lot more restrictions on their use in these cases – which abound these days ! Tazers’ use on dangerous criminals seem to be in a distinct minority compared to their use on innocent people. Most of these cases are not reported by journalists, but covered by internet testimonies and youtube videos – in their thousands now…

    People aren’t concerned with symbolism enough these days; for me any “power that be” inflicting electroshocks on their citizens for minor or suspected offences is going down an Orwellian path to a psychopathic society.

    Some would contend we are already there.

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