Mission Statement - De-Spinning the Pro-Taser Propaganda

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


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.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Herding cats...

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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