Editor, the Gauntlet,
Upon reading the editorial in last Thursday's paper concerning the Robert Dziekanski tragedy ["Mounties need to cool heels," editorial, Nov. 22 Gauntlet], I furiously threw down the Gauntlet to the floor. It was like I was in some kind of dramatic movie. Despite having the benefit of making me feel important, I feel obligated to attack the editorial on the grounds of it being an ignorant rehashing of knee-jerk sentiments. The guillotine of blame in the editorial falls squarely on the necks of the RCMP officers. It is so easy for the media to blame the RCMP in this situation. What the editorial neglected to emphasize is that the RCMP officers are told that the taser is a nonlethal and completely safe weapon by their trainers, and I assume they believe them, considering they are obligated to be "tased" themselves before the weapon is issued. In the Dziekanski case, RCMP officers were called in to remove what the airport officials called a threat to security. Contrary to popular belief, the RCMP are not power-crazed terrors to society; what the officers did was a mistake. But as a testament to the monumental responsibility members of the RCMP carry, when they make a mistake people including the officers can die, and when a newspaper editor makes a mistake, all he does is deliver an uninspired, automatic and reactionary article to the public.
[Ed. note: While the United Nations' recent torture classification of the stun gun might be going slightly overboard, something in the RCMP's training program is flawed severely enough to prove a supposedly non-lethal tool to be deadly. The RCMP chose to issue these weapons. It must now face the repercussions of inadequate training or poor judgment, regardless of whether blame lands on the organization or the individual officers involved. All this without even mentioning the grossly inappropriate use of the video tape capturing the event.]