LETTERS: Check out Taser alternatives
In the November issue of Crime Watch magazine there was an extensive article on the police use of less-lethal weapons.
The article hardly touched on the use of the Taser but reviewed other options such as a beanbag shotgun, the Arwen projectile gun and deployment of gas for riot control. What stood out most was a paragraph that the U.S. Pentagon is doing research on the use of less-lethal options for the U.S. Armed Forces, of which seven options were listed.
The two that stood out most to me were the Webs and Nets. State of-the-art technology included a three-metre wide Kevlar net known as Webshot. The net is packed in a cartridge and fired from a special shotgun, allowing the disabling and capture of an individual. The net can be deployed so as to entangle targets as far away as nine metres.
The second one that caught my eye was anti-traction gel. A sprayable anti-traction gel allows the deployment of this technology on the surface of an object, causing it to be slippery to human contact.
If sprayed on a flooring surface it becomes virtually impossible for an individual to walk upon, described as “slippery as liquid ball bearings.” If sprayed upon a door handle it becomes too slippery to turn. This non-toxic and biodegradable product has a 12-hour effectiveness and could be utilized by police in the apprehension of a fleeing individual.
Both of these products seem to me a very viable alternative to the deadly possibility of a Taser. We must remember that police officers put their own lives on the line for you and me on a daily basis. It is not their intent to maim and kill. They, too, would look forward to alternatives to help control often very volatile situations.
A little-know newcomer
Dare one take a deep breath and just for a moment step back from the breathless news media frenzy surrounding the Taser death and subsequent public “canonization” of Robert Dziekanski, and reflect on what led him to his ill-fated arrival at YVR?
Without prejudice to the official outcome of a full public inquiry into the actions of four RCMP officers, this immigrant letter-writer, risking a passionate backlash of righteous public indignation, merely wonders how someone with Mr. Dziekanski’s troubled history (a five-year jail sentence for robbery as a teenager) had been admitted to Canada as a landed immigrant?
Dimmer switch on Tasers?
For the most part, I agree with your Nov. 23 editorial (“One positive thing about the death of Robert Dziekanski”) and I ask the question again: Is it 50,000 volts or nothing? Could tasers not be made to emit 40,000 volts, or 30,000 and still have the desired subduing effect?
I’m no electrician, but it’s my understanding that the voltage is not what really does the damage; it’s the wattage or amperage or the ohms.
Could they not be designed with something that resembles a dimmer switch?
Start at a relatively low setting, then if that’s not doing the job, crank it up a bit?
In any case, there is a second “positive thing” or lesson to be learned from the death of Robert Dziekanski: If you smoke, pack lots of nicotine gum with you when you’re going on a long flight.
Quite frankly, I’m fed up with the crap that various “smokers’ rights” people keep spewing – “If only the RCMP had offered him a cigarette instead of 50,000 volts,” blah, blah, blah.
It’s worth noting that on the day Robert Dziekanski arrived in Canada, about 125 Canadians died prematurely as a result of smoking
And that same number of Canadians have died each day since Dziekanski’s death.
Along those same lines, “More funds needed to fight bad landlords: MLA” (The Leader, Nov. 25) brought to mind this thought: I’d like to broaden the definition of “bad landlords” to include those who do nothing to make all multi-unit dwellings 100 per cent smoke-free.
Errol E. Povah, president
Airspace Action on Smoking
Donate to victim’s mother
The whole nation has been aggrieved by the tragedy at YVR.
A string of errors and omissions culminated in the death of Robert Dziekanski. His mom, who worked so hard to bring her son over to Canada, has unfortunately been left with a tragic memory for the remainder of her life.
Donation information is available for anyone wishing to do so.
Donations can be made payable to: Zofia’s Victims Trust. Valley First Credit Union, account #74666, Branch 16.
The address is:#100-180 Seymour St., Kamloops, B.C. V2C 2E3. The credit union can be contacted at 250-374-4924 or by fax 250-374-5710.