Mission Statement - De-Spinning the Pro-Taser Propaganda

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

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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.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Webster is being ignored

I note with some satisfaction that today (Tuesday, 6 May 08) most of media outlets are picking up Reilly's almost-reasonable opinions about tasers and their "not zero" safety [LINK], and are (for the most part) studiously ignoring Webster's crazy "6 in a million worst case" nonsense ([LINK] and [LINK] if you're interested).

I've already discussed How low is low? [LINK] and The Karma Factor [LINK]. Add to this the possibility of denominator washing [see below and LINK] and there seems to be the slight possibility of finding common ground between Reilly's opinions and the real world outcomes that we are seeing [raw data: LINK]. Even getting within sight of roughly an order of magnitude (within the range of ten times to one-tenth) would be a tremendous first step.

[Clarification - I'm assuming that Reilly's view when adjusted, normalized and finalized will be in approximate alignment with the real-world incidents that we're seeing. I admit I'm being generous with my view of his opinion at this time. It's because he is being so much more reasonable - I think - than Webster. But if Reilly starts to move his opinion away from being aligned with the real-world incidents, then my opinion of his opinion would shift exactly in step.]


By denominator washing I mean that 'someone' has apparently decided that it would be beneficial to increase the total number of taser 'incidents' and 'deployments' by including everything under the sun. Reportedly, in some jurisdictions, even threatening to use a taser or displaying a taser counts as a deployment. If they can get away with inflating the denominator, then it artificially decreases the ratio. That's why I cry FAKE when Taser tries to include those obviously much safer (cardiac wise, as backed-up by a recent study [LINK]) training sessions where the taser is applied almost anywhere except across the chest. [LINK]

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