Minneapolis has some creative people. Too creative for their own good. Somebody probably saw that the guys who take down large animals with tranquilizer darts use darts filled with ketamine. “Hey, if it will take down those animals, why don’t we use it on the animals our police are fighting?” And an immensely stupid program began. It was also illegal, but if we’re controlling bad guys, who cares?
Time for disclosure. I am a doctor. I do not play one on TV. Not only that, I’m an anesthesiologist and used ketamine in my practice. For certain things, it has no equal. But its proper uses are quite limited.
Ketamine comes from a class of drugs called phencyclidines. The street version is known as Angel Dust, and abusers are Dusters. Because ketamine causes profound analgesia (pain relief), Dusters are known for feats of superhuman strength. Broken handcuffs are just one relatively well-known example. At the same time, Dusters may break their own bones. The analgesic effect of ketamine keeps them from realizing the damage they are doing to themselves.
By now, it should be pretty clear that ketamine is no panacea for the problem of sedating troublesome persons being arrested. At the wrong dose in the wrong person, police can put themselves in worse difficulties than when they started. How do you control someone who feels no pain and wants to cause you harm? Flashback to the villain Renard in The World is Not Enough. He is almost impossible to defeat in a fight because he feels no pain. But I guess the Minneapolis wise guys don’t watch James Bond films.
I have to wonder if the police bothered to look at any references. Even Wikipedia would have been helpful. If they had, they’d discover that there are a lot of other problems with ketamine. The first one should have given them a real headache. The primary reason we don’t use ketamine a lot in anesthesia is that it has a high incidence of emergence delirium. In language even an inattentive civil servant can understand, that means that if you give someone ketamine, they can hallucinate. This happens often enough that we try to avoid ketamine except in those odd cases where its other effects make it the best drug available. Just to make a bad problem worse, there are a lot of times when there isn’t anything you can do to stop the delirium. Welcome to hell.
We’ve only scratched the surface. Since Minneapolis police officers obviously consulted Dr. Conrad Murray, we should expect that they got the same level of advice Michael Jackson got. That means that they missed the fact that ketamine can lead to airway obstruction and death. It releases adrenaline, so it can cause hypertension and tachycardia leading to death. Did I mention that it can kill you? And, unlike opioids, you can give all the naloxone you want and it won’t do a bit of good.
But the Minneapolis police officers are really interested in saving lives, so we can let them use this drug they simply don’t understand on patients who aren’t consenting and may suffer badly from its administration. No problem.
The track record is as bad as I suggested up front. Ketamine administration has led to multiple episodes of cardiac and breathing problems, with many patients requiring emergency intubation. Now for a skilled health care provider, intubation is generally no big deal. But you never deliberately put yourself in a position where you create an uncontrolled need for intubation. The moment you do that, you’ll find yourself looking at the impossible situation. With somewhere around fifty thousand intubations under my belt, the next one can still be the one where I have to call a partner in to give it a try. My practice had over eighty anesthesiologists and two hundred nurse anesthetists, so there was usually another set of hands available. But who is the paramedic in the field going to call? Ghostbusters has an unlisted number.
Let’s get one thing clear. Minneapolis police officers did not have a hand on the syringe. They asked the Hennepin County paramedics to administer ketamine. And if a cop asks, how is a paramedic supposed to refuse? But the paramedics are supposed to operate according to a strict protocol, and only give ketamine when a patient is “profoundly agitated, unable to be restrained, or a danger to themselves or others.” It’s clear that this guideline was violated on multiple occasions.
And this brings us to the nub of the matter. Ketamine is properly used only in the sort of situation described in the protocol. In anesthesia, we will also use it in autistic or severely mentally retarded patients who cannot be managed by breathing them to sleep with gases. In short, we mostly use it in the controlled medical equivalent of the field situation.
It’s likely that Dr. Jeffrey Ho (the director of Hennepin County EMS who happened to graduate from the same medical school I did!) is actually well aware of the proper use of ketamine. He’s a recognized expert in pre-hospital emergency care. And if ketamine is used in the very restricted fashion the policy describes, it’s probably better than most alternatives. But when police decide that they want a set of chemical handcuffs rather than doing their job, we have a problem.
Police work can be difficult and dangerous. But police are not allowed to place people in danger just to make their own life easier. Doing so exceeds the bounds of our social contract with police, and also violates a host of laws. For a paramedic to go along with such an improper request places that paramedic in violation of state laws on the practice of medicine. Their drivers’ license isn’t enough. You follow the protocol or get permission from the supervising ER doc by calling it in.
Hennepin County and the city of Minneapolis have a problem on their hands. Their best bet will be to quietly approach persons who were harmed by this cavalier misuse of ketamine and buy out their legal liability. Then the EMS and police persons involved should be invited to leave. Promptly. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200.
So-called Red Flag laws: An unconstitutional solution to a non-existent problem
As with most Leftist affronts to Liberty, unconstitutional gun confiscation SWATing or so-called ‘Red Flag’ laws are based on a lie. The usual contention is that these laws that eviscerate basic constitutional protections of due process are desperately needed because there are no other means to deal with people who are alleged to be a danger to themselves or others. Our previous article on the subject dealt with this outright falsehood. There are laws and procedures for involuntary civil commitments already on the books to handle these extreme situations. In the case of Florida and the Parkland mass murder, the “The Baker Act” was already in place, but the authorities failed to take action in time. Other states such as Colorado already have procedures in place for Mental Health Holds.
The existence of these laws have been ignored in the effort to ‘enhance’ the government’s ability to confiscate guns. Its just another case of the Left exploiting a tragedy to ‘Rahm’ through new laws to deprive the people of their means of self-defense.
Laws built on lies
Most articles on what is supposedly the urgent need for gun confiscation SWATing or ‘Red Flag’ laws will make vague allusions there are no other ways of handling these situations to the point of asserting that the government has never had the authority to deal with these situations.
State governments clearly have these abilities, but the existing laws protect the Constitutional rights of the accused without having the primary purpose of confiscating guns – an intolerable situation for the authoritarian Left that sees 120 million gun owners as a threat simply because they are gun owners.
Why violate one human right when several can be attacked at once?
Leftists seem to be in some perverse competition to see which one of them can conjure up new laws to attack Liberty in as many ways as possible. For them, it’s a more efficient form of tyranny with one law doing the work of several. What better way to suppress Liberty than to confiscate guns because of someone exercising their right of free speech while destroying due process protections?
The dangerous implications to the 1st Amendment
These laws will have devastating consequences for the natural right of free speech. It will only take one concerned person in the group of people who can initiate these actions to decide an innocent gun owner is guilty of ‘thoughtcrime’ to have their property confiscated. The odds are that the Left will also expand who can initiate these gun confiscation SWATings and streamline the process.
This will only serve to further stigmatize gun owners and suppress their right of free speech. Talk too much about the human right of self-defense and the law-abiding could experience a knock on the door at 5:00 AM with property confiscation conducted at gunpoint. One would then have a protracted legal battle on their hands to prove they are innocent after being treated as guilty with all manner of legal costs and red tape just to have their property returned.
The 2nd Amendment – the primary target
In their ongoing efforts to rid the nation of Liberty, the Left has decided that it should be illegal to defend oneself. Thus they have expended copious amounts of digital ink in demanding the death of the 2nd amendment and the confiscation of guns. They are perfectly willing to do this one innocent gun owner at a time if they have to. Never mind that the common sense human right of self-defense is the bedrock of the Bill or Rights. They have no use for the limitations of their power afforded by the Constitution, much less the Liberty conserving provisions of the Bill of Rights.
But wait, there’s more – The 4th and 5th amendments also on the chopping block
These laws turn the presumption of innocence on its head, forcing the victim of one of these gun confiscation raids to have to prove they aren’t guilty of thoughtcrime before they can get their property returned. Not to mention the ‘ex parte’ nature of these proceedings depriving innocent of the critical right of due process and the right to face one’s accuser before these confiscations take place. Lastly, there is the takings clause applicable to the private property being taken for public use since not many innocent gun owners will have the means for a protracted legal battle with the government, resulting in the loss of private property.
Why the focus on firearms?-
The existing laws for Involuntary Civil Commitment are not only superior in protecting everyone’s civil rights. They also serve to keep people from harm by other means. The unconstitutional practice of gun confiscation SWATing only addresses the issue of guns, leaving the supposed danger to society free to use alternative methods to cause harm.
If safety is the point of the so-called ‘Red Flag’ or ‘ERPO’ laws, then why aren’t their proponents concerned about this issue? If someone has their guns taken away suddenly by unconstitutional means, what’s to stop them from using explosives – flour, etc.- from carrying out their deadly deeds? Suppose an alleged ‘danger to society’ no longer has their guns, but still has a motorized vehicle or the ability to make edged weaponry. What about that circumstance?
Well, if it were really the case in that these people are concerned about other people’s welfare to the point of having them committed, they would have to follow the rule of law and afford the target their right of due process, etc. They wouldn’t be able to take someone’s means of self-defense just on the word of some other aggrieved party. It wouldn’t serve their desire for gun confiscation and gun confiscation alone, so it has no usefulness for them.
Things aren’t going according to plan for the Liberty Grabber Left
The progression for the Left has always been one of control, registration and then confiscation. They used to think that it was just a matter of time before Intergalactic Background Checks would be put in place, then registration would be required – both of which would do nothing to keep people safe or ‘cut down on the carnage’. It was all supposed to happen as it did in the UK and Australia. Intergalactic Background Checks, registration, then confiscation.
But that isn’t happening, despite the baseless polling to the contrary, everyone isn’t clamoring to have the government control their private property. Most of the Pro-Liberty see the danger in this control, with it leading to registration, followed by confiscation. Most on both sides have already admitted that Intergalactic Background Checks don’t work, that the dirty little secret being that these have no other purpose than as a stepping stones to confiscation.
As others have indicated, Leftists aren’t anti-gun, they are anti-Liberty. They love to see them in the hands of the ‘politically correct’, but cannot deal with them in the hands of the right people.
Leftists desperately want to deprive the Pro-Liberty Right of their guns. These firearms represent a vitally important and final check on unlimited governmental power. It’s the primary bulwark against them attaining government power to attain their wondrous utopia they desire. They are so desperate to remove it that they will confiscate them one innocent person at a time, without a care for its effects on safety or Liberty.
PragerU: Do college students support abortion or life?
Progressive indoctrination centers, better known as American universities, have been pushing students towards a leftist worldview for decades. One might start believing the mainstream media narrative that college students are overwhelmingly pro-abortion based solely on other things we’ve seen coming out of college campuses.
PragerU tackled the issue. While nothing in this video will shock anyone, it’s a good cross-section of perspectives that likely reflects what’s actually going on at universities like UCLA. Will Witt went there and found the standard answers on both sides of the board. While the majority were pro-abortion, two pro-life students were found. Their responses were clearly more thought through than the answers given by their pro-abortion counterparts.
This leads to my next article. I’m starting to believe that if people are given all the information about abortion, and more importantly about the life attributes of preborn babies, they’d be more willing to accept a pro-life perspective.
Of all the challenges facing America today, the abortion issue is the most directly tied to life and death, literally. A world without abortion can only be achieved when we’re willing to have the conversations with everyone regardless of their current stance.
A glimmer of hope: Only 7% of millennials support taxpayer-funded abortion without restrictions
A new poll reveals that a very small minority of millennials are in favor of the stated Democratic platform on the issue of abortion. While a large chunk still believe that abortion should be legal, only 7% believe that it should be taxpayer-funded and without restrictions.
As with pretty much every poll ever conducted, the polling process used by Students for Life Institute for Pro-Life Advancement was done in a way that heavily promotes the idea of opposing abortion. But it’s encouraging to see that such a small percentage were essentially willing to identify in favor of the most radical abortion stance available to them.
According to Live Action:
Students for Life of America president Kristan Hawkins said the survey shows that Millennials are rejecting labels and instead are focused on the reality of how political policies will affect them. “Especially as we talk with Millennials, who are often outside the political structure of Washington, D.C., the anti-abortion movement must be clear on what we are advancing and its impact on mothers, the preborn and taxpayers,” she said. “And for those elected officials who want to engage in life-affirming legislation, Millennial voters are listening when you compassionately address the specifics of life in law.”
At the heart of the issue, we are in the middle of a cultural battle. Most still look at abortion as a discussion between political and religious groups, but the reality is the issue comes down to an understanding by American society about whether it’s morally or ethically correct to condone abortions.
The real question is whether one believes a preborn baby is a person. Generally, those who see the fetus as a living person side against abortion while those who see it as a collection of cells favor abortion. This is why I’ve said before we really need to look at this issue through the lens of cultural implications rather than fight solely on the political and religious fronts.
The only way to end abortion on-demand in America is to make it perceived as the immoral practice that it is. We need to promote the righteousness of adoption, empower the family system, and remove the stigma associated with being pro-life.
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