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.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Wool slightly pulled over Colby Cosh's eyes

National Post (13 June 2008) - "...be glad that there exists a level ... between bare-handed self-defence and the bullet. ...And many police forces require officers equipped with the Taser to take a jolt from the weapon before it is issued — an impressive show of faith in its safety. ..." [LINK]

Most of the article is good, but a few items of pro-Taser propaganda have slipped through:

1. "...be glad [taser better than] ...the bullet."

First, tasers are used about 100 times more often than bullets (police gunfire) ever were. This figure varies widely, but it's a reasonably good round number. This fact makes any argument based on "better than a gun" or "alternative to the gun" (or similar) into nothing but a damn lie.

2. "[training shocks] ...an impressive show of faith in its safety."

Utter bollocks. Taser training is NEVER done with the barbs fired into the chest. Look at all the examples of training on YouTube or news photos where the training session includes a tasering into the back; but NEVER into the chest. There are several studies that indicate that the safety issue is closely related to the placement of the barbs or darts (chest potentially dangerous, back much less so).

If the police are so confident about the inherent safety, then they should take their taser training shots into their chests (across the heart) as it is often deployed on the street (or in airports). This old-taser-into-the-back trick is such a clear example of a cheap 'stage trick' that I'm surprised that they still get away with it.

If you'd like references to my claims, they are well documented in the blog below...

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