Friday, May 01, 2009

"Generally Nonlethal"

How did "generally nonlethal" ever get to be an acceptable standard for a weapon that's used liberally on the public? From an article describing a doubling of tasers for police in St. Louis:
The department is purchasing 312 Tasers at $799 per weapon, plus cartridge and training costs, according to officials and a memorandum filed with the St. Louis County Council.

County officers currently have 302 Tasers assigned to officers, including crisis-intervention and patrol officers. The additional purchase will allow all uniformed officers and some detectives immediate access to the weapons. ...

Many police officers appreciate Tasers as a generally nonlethal way to control violent suspects with minimal injury to anyone. ...

At least six other people have died after being shocked by Tasers over the past four years in the St. Louis area, and medical examiners have said the deaths were mainly the result of other factors, such as pre-existing health conditions, an agitated state or the presence of drugs or alcohol.
So... we're now a country that accepts potentially lethal torture from the people we pay to keep the peace? Our founding fathers would be so proud.