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Stun gun in the United States

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While I was in Honolulu, I was reading the newspaper, USA Today, which was delivered to my room everyday. One of the articles I found very interesting (shocking) was the report of stun guns used in schools by police officers.

USA Today, Jun 3-5, 2005, says that in Miami-Dade County a police officer used a stun gun on a 6-year-old student. A stun gun is a very degerous device, which paralyzes people with high voltage electric currect. From USA Today:

Investigation by Amnesty International and The Arizona Republic have linked more than 100 deaths to the devices. ..... 1,700 cops assigned to U.S. schools carried the devices at the start of this school year. ..... In the central Florida counties of Orange, Seminole, Brevard and Polk, at least 24 students have been shocked with stun guns during the past 19 months.

The comment from a stun gun company:

The Taser [stun gun] device has been shown to be medically safe when used on children.

This comment is shocking because this person takes it for granted that a stun gun is used on children, and says that it is safe if used. In the US we can buy stun guns on the Internet freely. For example, you can buy a cell phone shaped stun gun here. On this page they say some states (Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan etc.) and several countries (Australia, Belgium, Canada, etc.) restrict the use of stun guns, but this means in the other states or countries there are no restrictions on this device (including Japan). I can't believe this. I can imagine how many parents are using stun guns on their children in their home at night. It's horrible.

Japanese police do not carry stun guns. they only carry normal guns, but they rarely use them. After they used guns, they have to explain the reason why they used, and newspapers the next day report the case and make a comment about whether it was used appropriately. In the USA such a procedure is unrealistic. American cops use guns everyday all over the states. When I was in Connecticut a person shot a gun in a college campus, but this was not reported nation-wide. If this happened in Japan, it would be the lead story in newspapers and TVs. In the USA ordinary people can have a gun at home. America is a free contry, they say, but I don't like this kind of freedom. What do you think?

Photo: Hotel room

 -- M.Morioka www.lifestudies.org

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