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Getting tougher on stun gun use
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Dear Editor,

I write in response to the recent articles, Oct. 4 and 7, about a hotel robbery committed with a knife and stun gun. I have no doubt that every reader found the man’s actions appalling, but I am also confident that  few readers truly understand how disturbing this is.

Futhermore, I doubt that they realize that there is a very serious underlying moral issue about the technology and its use. Technology is supposed to be neutral and morality is a matter of how technology is used. But if the original intended purpose of that technology is immoral or if the majority of that technology’s uses lead to immoral outcomes then can that technology still be considered moral or morally neutral?

The average person considers a stun gun to be a weapon, it is treated as such by the manufacturers and the police, but not by U.S. law. By U.S. legal definition, stun guns (a device designed to cause harm to other people) are electronic devices and as such are open to the public with little, to no, restriction or regulation.

Thanks to the way the law has defined these “electronic devices,” the man who committed the robbery could have committed the crime and been brought up on far lesser charges if he had not been in possession of a knife during the crime. This leads me to believe that the language with which the devices are described and defined needs to be changed because it is immoral to falsely name, label or identify an object so as to manipulate the way it is viewed.

These electronic “devices” are known to be extremely painful and are suspected to be a partial cause of several deaths. Also, Amnesty International and the UN have actually labelled stun guns as torture devices. It is a universally held view that it is immoral to torture another person and even though people have exceptions that provide ways around this view, torture is in and of itself immoral.

If it truly is the application and usage of technologies that determine their moral value, then would not the stun gun, with all of its immoral implications, be an immoral technology and subject to stricter regulation?
Brayden Saxon