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.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Beware experts outside their range of expertise

The Star (1 June 2008) - Dr. Paul Dorian, a cardiologist at St. Michael's Hospital, said: "To turn deadly, officers must shoot at close enough range for the weapon's two metal darts, barbed like fishhooks, to land next to, or right on, each of the victim's nipples, where the electricity from the Taser is most likely to disrupt normal pulses in the heart." [LINK]

Ah, no. This statement displays a lack of understanding of basic electric circuit theory. Which is not surprising since Dr. Dorian is a cardiologist.

The placement of one barb (or dart) would certainly be somewhat critical, but the placement of the second barb would be much less critical. Or, there would be multiple possibilities for the positioning of the second barb.

By way of example, imagine that you live in Toronto, and you'd like to go for a Sunday afternoon drive that passes through the downtown business district. So, the critical factors are: 1) where you start out, and 2) the initial direction that you head. But once you get past the business district, then whatever subsequent route or distance becomes inconsequential.

Another example (perhaps even more clear): If a lightning bolt strikes you on your head, it really doesn't matter if the bolt goes to ground down your right leg, or down your left leg. Your head still gets the full impact either way.

It would be similar for the path(s) that the taser current follows through the victim's body. Provided you have one barb in a dangerous location, then the location of the second barb has some effect, but it is not critical. There will be a large number of locations for the second barb' position on the victim's body that would support the same current path in the vicinity of the first barb.

This is perfectly in accordance with electric circuit theory.

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