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.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Comment wars in the US media...

In Canada, the comments about tasers are running about 95% against. The battle for public opinion has already been overwhelmingly won by those that criticize tasers.

In the US media, there are many more people that are as yet uneducated about the issue. The pro-taser comments there are (right now) running ahead of those that have concerns. It's a clear indication of the level of ignorance of the subject.

The reason that I use the word 'ignorance' is simply that the pro-taser arguments being presented are the very oldest and already shredded nonsense.

On the following news story, the police were shown proudly tasering one of their trainees (in the back of course). Seriously, it is well past time to tell the police to either start tasering their trainees directly in the chest for at least 31 seconds, or shut the hell up about how safe taser are. It's pure BS and people should be ashamed that they've so easily been tricked.

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There are many myths and lies about tasers. One of the oldest lies is that they replace guns. Fact is that tasers are used roughly 100 times as often as guns ever were. This ratio will vary with place and time, but it is a very good round number. To even mention that tasers replace guns in relation to incidents where teenagers were tasered and died is skirting the edges of basic human morality.

And the point about doing some sort of trade-off between saving lives of those that arguably deserve to be shot dead, at the expense of instituting a street-level death lottery for those that did nothing to deserve a lethal outcome is completely unethical.

The problem with the taser debate is that there are so many old and stale arguments still floating around. It's like herding cats trying to stay on issue. Virtually all of the the old pro-taser arguments have been examining and shredded. My blog has nearly 1000 posts where you can try to catch up with the latest aspects of the issue.

The primary issue is the following:

Are tasers as safe as claimed?

The manufacturer and their minions claim that there is essentially zero risk from internal risk factors. The training reflects the same hubris and over-confidence. People sometimes die right after being tasered. Even those that are young and healthy. Especially when hit in the chest. Especially by the latest X26 model. Low end of single digits risk of death (given certain assumptions).

Common sense tells the truth.

Do you think that taser demos are almost ALWAYS into the back for any reason other than reducing risk of death for the trainees? It's the most-obvious stage trick in the world once you notice it. If they're so confident in the real-world safety, then let's see them turn around. They can even use clip leads if they're worried about the darts. Go ahead...

Real-world safety. THAT is the main issue. Everything else is a distraction.

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