Reader Mail: Ban Tasers Already

Smashing Perceptions

"Cops don't care about respect. They just want complete obedience and to instill fear to maintain control. If you're a law-abiding citizen who has a disagreement with law enforcement, expect to be cuffed and your rights violated."

Way to be: Bravo! Your piece about Máximo Caminero, the local artist arrested for smashing an Ai Weiwei piece at Pérez Art Museum Miami, is really interesting ("Breaking Point," Michael E. Miller, March 20) and brings to light the many perspectives of this event that until now have been ignored. It is obvious you took the time to do extensive research while not becoming partial to any side. Thank you for bringing to this conversation diversity and rich historical values. It is impossible to please everyone, and besides, that is not your job as a journalist. I would like to challenge the public to take this opportunity to learn instead of passing the blame. Danilo Gonzalez

It's all a Weiwei publicity stunt: I wonder if you've heard the rumors that the pot-smashing was an intentional attempt to call attention to Weiwei and his work. You call him one of the most famous artists in the world, but I'd never heard of him until this incident. As a "political dissident" in China, apparently he can't even leave his town without special permission from the Chinese government. And he certainly cannot leave the country. Perhaps this newfound attention has lubricated his situation at home a bit. Sarah Green

Definitely not a publicity stunt: Weiwei doesn't need someone like Caminero to call "attention" to him. He is an internationally known artist who exhibits worldwide. The reason he can't leave his town is that he is a human rights activist who is under house arrest. There is a whole documentary on it, as well as worldwide magazine covers and TV and radio broadcasts. Weiwei doesn't need this kind of foolish attention. Lourdes Diaz


Taser Control

Can't respect bad cops: I like how everyone claims the recent rash of cops killing people with Tasers ("Ban Tasers Now," Luther Campbell, March 20) can be avoided with "respect." The cops don't care about respect. They just want complete obedience and to instill fear to maintain control. If you're a law-abiding citizen who has a disagreement with law enforcement, expect to be cuffed and your rights violated. Miami has various problems concerning cops, or did you forget the cop, while drunk on his ATV, who ran over a couple on the beach? Logic Prophit

Still better than guns: Cops are like the rest of us. Most are pretty good, and some are bad. The thing is, the rest of us don't go to work knowing that at any moment some asshat might start a fight with us or shoot at us. Cops need to have weapons to defend themselves and others. So the question becomes: What weapon ensures cops' safety while minimizing risk to citizens? Tasers are rarely fatal and have a short, directed range. Guns? They are significantly more fatal and significantly more likely to go astray and injure a bystander. What happened to Israel "Reefa" Hernandez, the young graffiti artist killed with a Taser used by Miami Beach Police officers, is deeply tragic and should not have happened. Every department should review its policy on Taser use, but to stop using Tasers altogether would be stupidity. Elpflasa


Drug Overdose

Not an EDM problem: Don't blame rave culture for the rising problem of people mixing other drugs with heroin and ending up dead ("Ultra High," Frank Owen, March 20). The poor decisions of a few naive people who happen to attend a rave or two don't implicate the whole scene in their problems. psychonaut25

Booze is a drug: The point that alcohol isn't considered a drug in most of these studies into overdoses is extremely important and dangerous. I've been a junkie for 12 years, but I've OD'ed only once — on a mix of alcohol, benzos, and heroin. rubuskubus

Blame the friends, not the hood: I don't believe it is fair to say that living in South Beach is the reason the drug user you profiled, "Karina," started using again. Karina herself was a reformed druggie, and she chose her friends, who were admittedly bigger druggies. If you truly want to lead a clean and sober life, that means you need clean and sober friends. Your friends reflect who you are. Karina's drug use was a result of her own bad choices, not of living in South Beach. J abalos


Dolphins Handouts

Play fair with the Fins: You can argue that the latest proposal to renovate Sun Life Stadium with a tax break isn't fair ("Another Stadium Scam," Tim Elfrink, March 20), but in most areas, NFL teams get a stadium paid for by the local government, which also pays to build the thing. They also end up owning it, so unless they charge themselves real estate taxes, most teams get big tax breaks. Maybe you disagree with that, but don't paint Dolphins owner Stephen Ross as a crook for asking for even a bit of the standard dynamic. Dade County taxpayers did not pay one cent to build that stadium there. They already have about the best deal in the country. wthlth

 
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