A Desperate Measure

Niccolo Machiavelli once wrote, adroitly (though now, 500 years later, it is a common cliche) that desperate times call for desperate measures. No one can reasonably question--in light of continued police shootings of African-Americans and the protests, riots and violence that ensue--that we live in desperate times. Therefore, here's what I suggest as a desperate measure: take guns "that kill" away from policemen; replace them with guns "that don't kill."

I realize policemen have to enforce the law, and that sometimes requires them to "put someone down." The question that begs an answer is this: does "putting someone down" have to result in killing him? Wouldn't it be more effective, to say nothing of humane, to "put someone down" temporarily and then lift him up again later? If he's guilty of a crime, the policeman can arrest him. If he's innocent, he walks away with his life in tact.

I'm sure policemen who shoot and kill someone wish they could have just temporarily "put someone down," and everyone else involved--the victim, the victim's family and friends, and the entire United States community--would be equally pleased that a life was not unnecessarily taken, unleashing a storm of justifiable condemnation.

I admit that when it comes to technology I am uneducated. Still, I find it hard to believe that if it was deemed essential to "justice and fairness for all" that scientists, under the guidance of our esteemed government, couldn't manufacture a "magical" firearm that shoots bullets that instantly render someone unconscious without killing him.

Perhaps I'm naive to suggest such a proposal. The truth is I'm losing faith in the judgment of too many policemen to act rationally and fairly in situations that involve African-Americans. Too many policemen rush to pull the trigger on their guns, and because this is true we should take their deadly guns away from them and give them instead something "effective, yet benign."

I suggest what I do because like most people--and I mean sensible people of all races, colors and ethnicity--I am disturbed by the continuance of unnecessary police shootings. In such a desperate

time as we now find ourselves, we must act in an effectively desperate way for the sake of our collective sanity, safety, and survival--and in respect to peace and love for all.

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