Yesterday afternoon my family and I visited Fort McHenry National Monument, where the U.S. national anthem “The Star Spangled Banner” was born in 1814.
Our visit that day started wonderfully but ended unpleasantly when a National Park Service ranger aimed his taser at my father over… (drum roll) …an alleged dog-off-leash violation.
<Insert ironic statement about the location and nature of this incident. E.g. “So much for the ‘land of the free.’”>
At right is a picture of the vicious, nasty, terrifying, 14-pound and taser-worthy hell hound named Mac.
Mac tried to befriend the offending park ranger and his backup during the incident. After they ignored him, he eventually got bored and took a nap in the grass of the monument’s spacious east lawn.
Did the park ranger abuse his authority? That’s not my decision to make — I’ll leave that to his superiors and the courts. But the fact is he aimed a weapon at an unarmed person — aka my father — and shamed his family in broad daylight in a public park jam-packed with other families.
Make no mistake, this could have been a lethal confrontation. My father is not young, and even the low-amperage jolt of a taser can spur cardiac events.