Not So “Non-Lethal” Weapons

Mr. Fogel, I am writing in regards to the use of so-called non-lethal weaponry against UVM students during the celebrations this past week after the Red Sox ALCS victory. While I share your concern regarding the irresponsible and dangerous actions of a small number of the revelers, I remain completely opposed to the use of any gun-like weaponry against these students or those people who just happen tobe in the genreal area of those revelers who act idiotic (for lack of a more descriptive term).

The unnecessary and tragic killing of the young woman from Emerson College by police using the same type of weapon in Boston during celebrations near Fenway Park prove only too well the fact that these so-called non-lethal weapons are anything but. There is no piece of property or need for control that is more valuable than a human life. With this consideration in mind, I urge you to remove these types of weapons from the arsenal of the UVM police and to forbid their use on campus by other police departments, as well.

Furthermore, I encourage your office and other officials of the university to work with students to figure out crowd control techniques that de-escalate situations like that of Thursday morning. Police with guns and bullying attitudes are not among those techniques.

Like you, I do not understand the mentality that turns celebrations of athletic feats into a reason to break things and fight with the police, but, that being said, I do not believe the use of any type of gun shooting any type of ammunition is an intelligent (or effective in the long term) way to keep such celebrations within reasonable bounds.Thank you for your time.