Letters to the Editor - Jan. 2


Published: Wednesday, January 2, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 2, 2008 at 12:00 a.m.

Biased against Tasers

David Love's 12-29 column in reference to banning the use of law enforcement Tasers is flawed with bias and ignorance.

As proof that Tasers are deadly, Love cites a single flawed source with an agenda, Amnesty International. According to Love, his source writes the "...vast majority of people killed by Tasers were unarmed and posed no danger to police."

Love then states that a lot of people who die after being shot with the Taser are mentally ill and under the influence of narcotics. Persons mentally ill or are using narcotics may not feel pain. Coupled with physically resisting law enforcement, that indeed poses a threat to an officer whether the suspect is armed or not.

Love should try to place handcuffs on a resistive 300-pound mentally-ill suspect high on PCP or crack cocaine.

Love then goes on to repeat the UN's position that the Taser is "a form of torture." This is the same UN that permitted the genocide of 500,000 lives in Rwanda and continues to take inaction on the genocide in Darfur. Not much credit in my book. If Love would like to make a credible point, he needs to find more reputable sources and catch a glimpse of the reality we live in.

Jonq-Ying Lee,

Gainesville

Wrong about Taser use

In his Dec. 29 commentary, "Time for the U.S. to ban police use of Taser guns," David Love errs in describing the Taser as a "weapon of last resort." He then cites Amnesty International as "concerned that Tasers are being used as a routine tool of law enforcement, rather than as a weapon of last resort."

Clearly, the firearm, not the Taser, is the police weapon of last resort. The Taser belongs with the bean-bag and rubber baton projectiles, pepper spray, and other so-called "less-than-lethal" (or more accurately "less-lethal") devices used to discourage aggression. These devices are meant to prevent the need to use firearms.

Love errs further in claiming the Taser "demobilizes" its subject. "Demobilize" means to disband, or dismiss from service. Perhaps "immobilize" better expresses Love's thought.

Love's "jumper-cable-type probes" also misleads. Most readers know "jumper cables" are heavy wire of at least one-eighth-inch diameter. "Jumper-cable-type" certainly doesn't disclose that Taser wires are, in fact, the diameter of a small thread.

Lastly, dwelling exclusively on the Taser's potential for lethality, Love overlooks the critical fact that Tasers often fail in their intended goal of stopping aggression. One of the nation's largest police departments reports its success rate with Tasers as "hovering around 64 percent."

Martin L. Fackler,

Gainesville

The assault on Darwin

In her letter to the editor in the Sun's Christmas edition, Michele Khurana appears to reveal more about herself than she realizes. In her assault on Darwin's theory of evolution, which she called "¬ ‚ÄÚscientifically supported' atheism," Khurana says, "If there is no God, then there are no laws of God to follow; then we can do whatever we please to gratify our immediate desires and not have to worry about the consequences."

Let's dispose of Khurana's first obvious error. Most Darwinians are not atheists. Let's get to the nub of her argument, that one must fear punishment from God in order to do what is right. Perhaps that is true of Khurana, but I sure hope that is not the reason most believers try do what is right. I hope they strive to be kind and gentle and generous and just "do unto others...." simply because their own hearts and minds and consciences won't let them do otherwise.

Geoff Pietsch,

Gainesville

Crack down on alcohol abuse during Gator home games

I read the 12-26 letter by Jan Synder ("Bad judgement vs. criminal intent") and I agree with her, I feel equally bad for both families.

It is a sad thing to lose someone by a drunken driver, but on the other hand it is also sad to see a young boy go to prison for a bad decision.

I am not trying to justify what happened, but there was a huge number of people drinking that night and it was totally overlooked, as it is always, when there is a Gator football game. Everybody is drinking before the games, during the games, and after the games, and heads are always turned the other way.

Again the issue we should be addressing is the amount of alcohol that is being consumed by young adults on a regular basis during these functions while law enforcement is looking the other way.

Austin Wright made a mistake, a bad choice; there was no intent to harm. But burning him at the stake is not the answer. Let's look at why this happened, how it happened and what can be done differently to prevent it from happening again.

Niya Dix,

Newberry

Yes, question evolution, it's just another theory

In "No place in education for Creationism" (Sun Dec. 15) Casey Schmidt conveniently ignores the problem that evolution does not scientifically explain the origins of life or the presence of the millions of diverse forms of life.

Any attempt address the multitude of unanswered questions in the theory of evolution invokes an immediate response that one is trying to teach intelligent design, which is creationism, which is religion, which means God, which is not science and therefore must not be even discussed.

Evolution must be true because there are no other plausible scientific theories which are acceptable to scientists. In other areas of science, wise and honest scientists admit to things they do not yet know or cannot explain.

In evolution this is not done and supporters of evolution just make up another theory or ignore the question; such as Stephen Gould's concept of punctuated equilibrium to explain the sudden appearance of numerous life forms in the fossil record. This is hardly science.

One should be able to question a theory, which does not explain what it purports to explain without being linked to some "nutcase" who thinks the world began on April 15, 4004 BC at 7:42 a.m.

Allen Meadows,

Gainesville

Memorial Drive needed to honor all our heroes

As I have read the stories regarding the tragic deaths of the two Gainesville area police officers, Scott Baird and Corey Dahlem, my heart went out to the families of these officers. However, I question the process involved in naming a road after someone.

While these police officers helped serve the residents of Gainesville, so too did the likes of Army Specialist Catlin Mixson, who by the grace of God is still with his family but tragically wounded. Hundreds of other Gainesville area veterans who put their lives on the line in true combat zones deserve to have roads named after them as well. And what about firefighters, EMTs and ambulance drivers?

Rather than naming one road after one person. let's rename one of Gainesville thoroughfare Memorial Drive and devote a wall, or statue to those from Gainesville who have put their lives on the line or who have lost lives. All Gainesville heroes deserve a tribute.

Jeff Phillips,

Gainesville/i>

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