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, July 2, 2008

Law professor fails to see 30 seconds into future

The New York Times has an opinion piece written by a law professor, Paul H. Robinson.

"... If, on your way to confront an intruder, you choose your gun rather than your more effective but less lethal weapon, you can hardly complain later about your limited options. ..." [LINK]

I guess what he's saying makes a bit of sense from the narrow view of explaining the peculiar details of the law, but his passing and unsubstantiated statement that a taser is somehow 'more effective' than a gun (and all the logic that flows from this doubtful assumption) leaves me wondering how he supports that particular aspect of his argument.

The example he uses is an intruder, presumably in your house. And so you rush downstairs at 3am and taser the perpetrator.

What if there isn't just one intruder, but two or three? Did anyone think about that little detail? A taser seems to be more-or-less useless once the number of intruders or attackers exceeds unity. Therefore, right off the bat, most of his argument falls apart.

The judge might ask, 'Why the heck did you choose to arm yourself with your gun instead of your taser?' You'd reply, "Well your hounor, it really sounded like there might have been two of them downstairs." The judge would ponder your reply for a second and then ask, "Could you have brought both your taser and your gun?" You'd reply, "Seems inadvisable to bring two weapons in case one of them gets out of my control. That's not a reasonable requirement." The judge would likely reply, "Yep, you're right. Let's move on to see if the plaintiffs have any better points... I have to be outta here by 11:00."

But let's assume that there is only one intuder and everything goes perfectly.

Now, what exactly do you plan to do after the (home version) 30-second taser cycle ends?

Unless you have handcuffs and leg irons and perhaps a restraint chair standing by, what do you plan to do after the first taser cycle times-out? Often, even the police are all out of ideas at this point. It is not unusual that they will repeat the cycle again.

Taser claims that the effects of a taser do not linger. So, by their logic, to allow 15-minutes (for example) for the police to arrive, you'd have to pull-up a chair and sit there incapacitating the perpetrator thirty times in a row. That's equivalent to 180 of the shorter 5-second cycles with the police version. The batteries might be flat by then, or the electrical components may have overheated.

Combine this world-record-setting duration of tasering with the very-likely drug addiction of the intruder (some claim that drug problems = bad heart), not to mention the apparently proven-in-court blood pH issue, then the 'less' part of less-lethal is fading away.

Has anyone thought this through?

'More effective' than a gun my ass.


Note - Being Canadian, I'm not particularly pro-gun nor anti-gun in relation to the USA legal system. I'm just here to shred pro-taser arguments and statements.


PS: See also It all goes here blog regarding the same NYT Op-Ed [LINK]

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