Canadian newspaper editorials have swung - for the most part - strongly against tasers and/or the abuse of tasers. That's a very good thing. But even with that, they're still getting their facts wrong.
Time for Fantino to start new career, By Michael Den Tandt [LINK]
Proponents of the weapons, Fantino and Kaye among them, cite numerous studies -- 150 is the number they posited this week -- that prove the device has never directly caused anyone to die. There is no reason to disbelieve this. The voltage and amperage of these devices are not sufficient to kill a person.
First of all - many of these studies (based on the abstracts I've seen) arguably provide some evidence that there is not a high risk of death. The studies, even overlooking all their experimental flaws (small sample size) and associated conflicts of interest (Ho), do not prove that the taser has never "directly" killed anyone. If you pay attention then you'll see that they don't even make this claim themselves. Only the less-educated fan-boys extrapolate from the "150 studies" and make hyperventilated claims that are absolutely not supportable. Taser International remains quiet while the idiot fan-boys mindlessly exaggerate the state of the science.
So there is a very good reason to disbelieve this - First, because Mr. Den Tandt has mixed-up the various claims; and second, because the relationship from these studies to the fundamental argument is tenuous at best. This has all be discussed in great detail in various previous posts. [LINK] [LINK]
Finally, the taser output voltage is 50,000 volts peak (and, yes, I'm perfectly familiar with the reason why high voltage by itself need not be necessarily dangerous, depending upon the current). And the X26 output current is 151 mA RMS. Note that Taser has expunged this RMS information from the later specification sheets. They now highlight the misleading "average" value of just 2mA.
Is this sufficient to kill a person (internal factors)?
Taser says "NEVER". Critics say SOMETIMES. So who's right?
Most people are now coming around to the obvious truth.
Even the RCMP...
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