I'd like to ensure that all taser-safety researchers and investigators (and perhaps plaintiffs' expert witnesses) take full advantage of the M26 vs. X26 data, and the amazing opportunity that may be found buried deep in the various taser-deployment and taser-associated death databases.
The M26-associated death rate per actual deployment provides a perfect experimental 'control' for the X26-associated death rate per actual deployment.
The older M26 taser was introduced in 1999. The newer X26 taser was introduced in 2003. The two devices have waveforms that are significantly different. For various reason, recent suspicions about safety are settling on the X26.
The real-world applications of the two models must be very nearly identical. There are periods of many years when both models were in common use. Therefore, the M26 is the ideal experimental 'control' for questions about the real-world safety of the X26.
And separating all of the real-world results into two model categories (M26 vs. X26) will help to unmuddle the X26 results (presently diluted by the M26 data, another form of denominator washing not yet properly and fully accounted-for).
There are several lines of evidence that appear to be indicating that there is a peculiar X26-bias in the real-world (all raw data, no excuses) taser-associated deaths:
- My review of the X26 waveform starting at the beginning of 2008 found some indication that the X26 could only be more dangerous than the older M26 taser. See [LINK] [LINK] [LINK] and many many more.
- The recent December 2008 RC/CBC-sponsored Taser Analysis study focused on the same X26-unique monophasic pulse that I've been worried about for more than a year. See these posts for links to the CBC report [LINK] [LINK].
- The monthly taser-associated death rate shows an upward step-function in 2003 (the same year that the X26 taser was introduced). [LINK]
- The Canadian taser deployment statistics seem to indicate an X26-bias in the taser-associated deaths. See [LINK] [LINK] [LINK]
Many of the blame-the-victim excuses being applied to the taser-associated deaths would be revealed for what I feel they are if the taser-associated deaths show any statistically significant bias towards the X26 taser.
My view of this line of argument is that we might be onto something very significant.
I strongly urge all taser-safety researchers to make efforts to gather and analyze the M26 versus X26 taser-associated death rates per actual deployment.
If the initial and seemingly-indicative data continues to demonstrate the same X26-bias, then there will be no escape route for Taser International.
And keep mind that Taser International only ever claimed a puny +5% increase in their made-up Muscular Disruption Units. So even a slight increase in real-world risk with the X26 would fully justify that there be an immediate X26 moratorium. Let them use their older M26 tasers if they're shown to be much safer.
I smell something much larger than just a slight bias...
I smell blood.