creative commons license
In a story on the wire yesterday, a man in Salem, Oregon was arrested and jailed after shocking his four children with a shock collar meant to train dogs. According to the story
"Todd Marcum, 41, said he did it "because he thought it was funny," Salem Police Lt. Dave Okada said. ...
Marcum was taken into custody on four charges of first-degree criminal mistreatment. He is in the Marion County jail."
Now if Marcum had had a lick of sense, he would have just told the police that he thought his children were autistic, and needed some training. Because he had been on the internet, and he knew that the Judge Rotenberg Center uses shocks to control autistic kids. And it's perfectly legal. Other states even send their autistic kids to Massachusetts to the JRC so they can be shocked, too.
Marcum could have stated that his children were swearing, nagging, or flapping their hands, and thus qualified to receive shocks.
Now the only problem is that the dog collar that Marcum used was probably a lot less powerful than the one that is routinely used at the JRC. The dog collar is a small, self contained unit, while the JRC devices need a backpack to haul around. The dog collar will stimulate for up to a half second, while the "GED" devices used by the JRC will shock you for up to 2 seconds.
I found out while poking around that dog collars are subject to legal regulations, which state (amongst other things) that they can be applied for no more than 12 hours in any 24 hour period, and they can't put out more than 15 milliamps root mean square. The JRC uses devices that put out an average (not maximum) of 15 milliamps RMS, and a maximum of 45 milliamps RMS (fully three times as powerful as the maximum allowed for a dog collar).
So Marcum, if you or your lawyer are reading this, just claim you were using a tried and tested method of disciplining your kids, who you suspect are autistic (don't forget the autistic part-people might not approve of your behavior otherwise).
Perhaps the Massachusetts and New York legislatures would be interested in the torture by electric shocks that is occurring if there were dogs that were being shocked. Because they haven't been interested when it was only autistic individuals involved.