Friday, September 21, 2007

The Department of Parkland Security ?

CNN reports that the U.S.Forest Service has placed an order for 700 TASERS.

They don't say why the Forest Service needs 700 TASERS, so we are left to speculate. Several possibilities come to mind:

To stifle dissent when "pack leader" candidates are giving stump speeches? To teach a lesson to environmentalists who chain themselves to trees? Maybe the owner of the company is a big campaign donor. Maybe they're for herd control of elk and bison. They can be used do drop attacking animals like bears and mountain lions, but you need the latest million-volt model to have a chance there. It'd be a fun way to do a fish census.. There are herds of wild winos in some of the parks, could be they're the reason. They may be needed for troublemakers who show up wearing inflammatory tee shirts that say things like "save our parks" or "down with war". I can only guess.

Then there's the problem of training 700 Rangers in the proper use of the devices. Since the Forest Service is a Federal agency, I imagine that training will be conducted on a practice range as well as in the field, and that proficiency badges will roughly parallel the military standards, something like this:

To qualify as "Marksman", you have to hit a stationary target human-sized or larger with 90% accuracy.**

To earn a "Sharpshooter" badge, you need 70% accuracy on moving targets the size of a fleeing toddler or larger.**

For the "Expert" badge, you have to achieve Sharpshooter proficiency on smaller targets--bunnies, prairie dogs, chipmunks, squirrels, toads, and frogs.( For "Expert with Lightning Bolt Cluster", you must qualify as "Expert", blindfolded and drunk.)**

** anyone who brings down an animal on the Endangered Species list automatically earns a raise of two pay grades.

O.K. then-I've made a joke out of all of this because on the surface the whole thing sounds goofy, but ya really gotta wonder what's going on.


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