Feb, 20th was National Handcuff Day.
Besides cops, handcuff companies, and BDSM enthusiasts, hardly anyone will cheer this potent symbol of state oppression.
Handcuffs provide an easy pathway for police brutality. Whether it’s beating children, raping women, or garden variety savagery, cops routinely carry out violence on people while they are handcuffed.
Alas, simple handcuffs are no longer enough for the militarized police state. In the near future, authorities may have “augmented detainee restraints” that deliver electric shocks, sedatives, and paralytic drugs to detainees. Scottsdale Inventions, based in Arizona, filed a patent application for just such a device.
The handcuffs can deliver electric shocks between 20,000 and 150,000 volts for durations of 0.5 to 10 seconds. Shocks can be triggered remotely from up to 300 feet away, or programmed to happen automatically in a variety of situations such as the detainee stepping outside a boundary.
It doesn’t take much to imagine sicko cops using the handcuffs as a torture device when no one is looking.
Drugs are delivered through a moveable needle or gas injection system. A great deal of fear and anxiety can be induced in a person who is told they could be shocked or drugged at any moment.
Whoever came up with National Handcuffs Day did not do it on Positive Thinking Day.
Being in handcuffs does not equate to being guilty. Even some governments recognize this, with France going so far as to prohibit media from airing images of people in handcuffs before they have been convicted.
Being handcuffed is bad enough on the psyche of the innocent, but it can cause physical damage as well. Cheiralgia paresthetica, or handcuff neuropathy, happens when the radial nerve is compressed and traumatized, causing numbness or pain that can last for months.
And let’s not forget the epidemic of handcuffs being used (along with other means) to restrain children in public schools. Every day in the U.S., about 1500 kids are restrained or put in solitary confinement by school officials. “Fearing for one’s safety” is the common excuse for this shocking tactic, one that is all too familiar in cases of police brutality.
The National Handcuff Day website asks: “There are National days for donuts, potato chips, silence, clam chowder, and the Tooth Fairy, so why not a National Handcuff Day?”
Because handcuffs symbolize oppression and misery, and will soon function as a torture device. Donuts, potato chips, clam chowder and the Tooth Fairy are things that make people happy. Perhaps we should counter this misbegotten celebration with Tiny Inconspicuous Handcuff Key Day.