Have some aggression toward city officials? If you live in Van Meter, Iowa, you're in luck.Yes, this is how we fund government needs in America: by tasing government officials. Oh, don't worry -- no plans were ever made to tase anyone forcibly (at least for this purpose):
For the price of a $5 raffle ticket, the Des Moines suburb town with about 1,100 residents is offering its residents a chance to use a police Taser on a city official, with tickets being sold as part of a public safety fundraiser.
The raffle winner will get the chance to Taser or spare City Administrator Jake Anderson or Councilman Bob Lacy at the Van Meter Fire Association Street Dance on July 18.
A police officer will assist with the Tasering, with the proceeds going to help the department purchase a second squad car, add speed radar and possibly expand its six-member part-time and reserve force.
"I volunteered to be Tased," Anderson said of the idea that came up during a meeting with police about funding.
"The joke was sort of, yeah, let's Tase the administrators. They make all the friends," Anderson said. "I was like, yeah, that's funny. Do you think you could raise some money?"
Lacy volunteered to add a little competition, and Anderson was glad.
"I didn't want there to be a 100% chance I'd be Tased," he said.
I'm usually no fan of libertarians, but I give Reason's Nick Gillespie a bit of credit for finding this a tad off-putting:
About 1,000 people live in the town, according to the Census, and it's unclear whether out-of-towners can buy raffle tickets.However, as it turns out, this isn't going to happen:
If so, perhaps family members and friends of 540-plus people who have died after being tasered by U.S. police since 2001 will want to work out some anger issues on Van Meter's Jake Anderson or Bob Lacy.
It had the ingredients of an all-American fund-raiser.... But the raffle prize ... raised eyebrows far beyond Van Meter.... On Monday, after a bout of criticism and national attention, the town’s police chief said that corporate donors had agreed to help buy a cruiser, and that no one would be stunned with a Taser at Saturday’s street dance. “We’re much better off,” said the chief, William Daggett. “What we wind up with is the ability to do more than we could to begin with.”The corporate donors actually implored the town not to go through with this:
Chief William Daggett said the Aware Not Afraid organization based in Colorado has agreed to donate funds to help purchase the vehicle "as long as the event is to educate the public on the use of Tasers and a person is not tased during the event.These donors don't appear to be libertarians or bleeding hearts. The Colorado donation appears to be from two Colorado security consultants who've written a book called Aware, Not Afraid: Safeguarding Yourself and Your Loved Ones Against Crime and Disaster. Wise Tactical Products is a local small business that sells emergency lighting, high-visibility clothing, biohazard gear, and the like.
Daggett said Wise Tactical Products and Uniforms has also agreed to donate all emergency lighting and sirens, "again asking that no one be tasered."
I don't want to use a self-righteous term like "white privilege," but, really, this is a hilarious idea only to people who think it couldn't possibly happen to them in a million years. A lot of our fellow citizens don't have that luxury.