Mission Statement - De-Spinning the Pro-Taser Propaganda

Yeah right, 'Excited Delirium' my ass...


The primary purpose of this blog is to provide an outlet for my observations and analysis about tasers, taser "associated" deaths, and the behaviour exhibited by the management, employees and minions of Taser International. In general, everything is linked back to external sources, often via previous posts on the same topic, so that readers can fact-check to their heart's content. This blog was started in late-2007 when Canadians were enraged by the taser death of Robert Dziekanski and four others in a short three month period. The cocky attitude exhibited by the Taser International spokespuppet, and his preposterous proposal that Mr. Dziekanski coincidentally died of "excited delirium" at the time of his taser-death, led me to choose the blog name I did and provides my motivation. I have zero financial ties to this issue.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Propaganda is apparently working in some cases...

On the recent CBC News item, people have been leaving comments [LINK]. Most are good comments, but the paid Taser spokespuppet David E. Zuskin made a predictable appearance under the name 'Proud American' with his trademark ALL CAPS idiot company slogan. A few comments are laughably ill-informed or simply insane:

Yorkke wrote: Let's remember that every cop who uses a taser has been tased themselves. How many died? Zero. How many injured? Zero.

Rebuttal: First, police are almost never tasered across the chest. Usually just on the back in Drive Mode (closely spaced contacts). This provides an extremely low cardiac risk to due to the very short current path between the gun-mounted probes (nowhere near the heart). Sometimes they're tasered just down one leg (harmless). Second, many police HAVE been injured (many back injuries). Some claim thousands have been injured and the records shredded (Pamela Schreiner) - this allegation has not been proven. Taser admits quite a few injuries in their annual report. Many agencies have stopped the stupid practice of tasering students due to too many injuries.

Zambo0518 wrote:
I have a problem with the citizens who suppose to be respect the officers. I would say, whoever running away from the officer, or disrespect the officer should be tasered. It is so simple.

Rebuttal: Oh-my-God.

[ATTENTION: Don't miss the comment war: -------\/]


Grettir said...

The Taser takes advantage of two natural protections against electrocution that arise from the difference between skeletal and cardiac muscle. The first—anatomy—is so obvious that it is typically overlooked. The skeletal muscles are on the outer shell of the body; the heart is nestled farther inside. In your upper body, the skeletal muscles are arranged in bands surrounding your rib cage. Because of skeletal muscle fibers' natural inclination to conduct low-frequency electricity along their length, a larger current injected into such a muscle tends to follow the grain around the chest rather than the smaller current that penetrates toward the heart.

The second protection results from the different timing requirements of the nerves that trigger muscle contractions and the heart's intrinsic electronics. To lock up skeletal muscle without causing ventricular fibrillation, an electronic waveform has to have a specific configuration of pulse length and current.

To see just how different skeletal and heart muscles are, let's look at what it takes to seriously upset a heart's rhythm. Basically, there are two ways: by using a relatively high average current, or by zapping it with a small number of extremely high-current pulses.

In terms of average current, the 1.9 mA mentioned earlier is about 1 percent of what's needed to cause the heart of the typical male to fibrillate. So the Taser's average current is far from the danger zone for healthy human hearts.

Anonymous said...


Hello Grettir.

Your words sound exactly like those of Dr. Mark Kroll. You might as well have cut-and-paste them from his infamous IEEE Spectrum article (subject of a previous series of posts on this blog).

Or perhaps you actually are Dr. Millionaire Kroll. If so, Hi. And please take the challenge I offered in a previous post. It involves removing YOUR shirt and 'riding the wave' yourself until the X26 batteries go dead. It's 'perfectly safe' LOL, so please go ahead. YouTube the results. Supervised by Ruggieri if you don't mind because I don't trust you not to fake the test.

I see several problems with your statements. It's similar to you wandering by and knocking over a vase. It takes longer to clean up the mess than it takes you to make it.

Let's start with the average current of 1.9 mA.

The only Taser product worth spending any time discussing (since it is probably their most dangerous product) is the X26. The spec sheet for the X26 clearly states that the average current is 2.1 mA (not 1.9mA as you stated). A minor error.

The same X26 spec sheet also admits that the RMS current of the waveform is 151 mA.

As you may know, RMS (Root Mean Square) is the preferred mathematical technique for dealing with extremely peaky waveforms (such as found with the X26).

Averages can be very misleading and that is why they are simply not used when dealing with complex waveforms. This is common knowledge for anyone with any University level training in the sciences.

Even common household power is 115 VAC RMS (note the RMS). The average voltage of household power is ZERO (since it varies on both sides of zero). This common example shows that RMS is not at all uncommon, and that averages can be very misleading.

Are you keeping up?


Anonymous said...


Okay. This next issue has already been addressed in a previous post. I'd appreciate it if you could review the entire blog before forcing me to repeat myself like this:

[Quote from previous post]

...Ground Fault Interrupters (GFI) devices are designed to cut the power if they detect a possible ground current of just a few milliamps. This is because it has been established that something like 5mA can be lethal, so the GFI devices protect humans by cutting the power if the leakage current is anywhere close to this value.

And note this: The GFI design values includes all that gobblegy-gook about the difference between heart muscle and skeletal muscle. Even after all that is taken into account, the safe value is still just a few milliamps, and averages don't necessarily enter into it (in the absence of extensive clinical trails with hundreds of subjects).

[end quote]

Read that again. The safety limits ALREADY TAKE INTO ACCOUNT all that gobblegy-gook about the difference between heart muscle and skeletal muscle.

You can't include a parameter that provides a safety factor, and then include it a second time. It exists only once, but you've included it twice.

If you designed a bridge making such a stupid mistake, then the bridge would probably fall down.

This blatant error vaporises your entire first paragraph.

Your second paragraph is promoting the sophisticated waveform that can distinguish between different types of muscle. Bull shit.

First of all, if it were true then we wouldn't seeing so many people dying after being tasered. This is prima facia evidence that these theories are incomplete. There's obviously a safety gap that has been missed, and then has been strenuously avoided (hiding in closets, fingers in ears, singing LA LA LA LA).

Secondly, if the waveform is so precisely crafted, then how come the M26 waveform is completely different than the X26 waveform?

The M26 was the so-called "advanced" 50kHz damped waveform that was supposedly 'safe'. But the X26 is a bit of 100 kHz noise on the leading edge of a LOW FREQUENCY 19 Hz waveform. Even Taser admits that LOW FREQUENCY is much more dangerous.

Read that again: Older M26 was 50,000 Hz and 'safe'. Newer X26 is just 19 Hz and is also 'safe'?

Bull shit detector just pegged.

Your third paragraph is toss-away. There's nothing there.

Your fourth paragraph was destroyed in Part 1 (above).


Thanks for dropping by.