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Shutdown, flowers and police tasers?

Just a couple of short comments.

Yesterday, United Action for Idaho (UAI) was to demonstrate at the Idaho Capital, asking for a cease-and-desist order to the state’s Congressional members to stop the shutdown and pay the nation’s bills, and as part of that they were to lay flowers on the statehouse steps representing all Idahoans who have been impacted by the GOP’s negligence and obstructionism.

Set aside the blame-game political posturing in this for a moment and consider what UAI has overlooked: They’re gonna need a lot of flowers.

Part of this shutdown is a call to end the continued madness at the federal level of continuing to raise the spending level for its programs, rather than taking a concerted, collaborative effort to better manage its expenditures. Legislators past and present share in this negligent oversight. The bureaucracy shares in its “poor me, caught in the middle” victim posturing while encouraging the vindictive restrictions and closures of public places and services. And President Barack Obama takes top credit for fanning the fires for those crying GOP obstructionism when this whiner should be stepping past this divisive partisan “You’re wrong! No, you’re wrong!” game and being a leader for once who works for the common good, not just Democrat Party success.

Oh, yes, about those flowers. Failure to solve this debt cycle means more than just impacting UAI’s usual cast of the downtrodden. Please include flowers for the children and grandchildren yet to come who will be burdened with an obscene amount of debt not of their making, all for the sake of political expediency that serves short-term desire for comfort.

Tasers are such commonplace parts of police gear these days that we were surprised to hear the Kamiah Marshal’s Office requesting these be part of its weapons grab bag to the Kamiah City Council last month. Appropriately, the council agreed the $3,000 purchase for two multi-shot units.

Agencies such as the Idaho County Sheriff’s Office and Grangeville Police Department have had tasers as a compliance and control option for several years now. Without this shockingly good tool, the alternatives are for officers either to have to wrestle combative subjects under control for restraint – a dangerous situation for injury for both police and criminal – or draw a weapon that carries the high likelihood for severe injury or death.

It’s not a perfect tool, of course. But it’s a third option that for right now provides a quick de-escalation and resolution of a dangerous situation for all with nowhere near the injury-to-lethality chances that come with a lead round traveling at 1,000 feet per second.

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David Rauzi drauzi@idahocountyfreepress.com

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