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, June 27, 2009

Greg Meyer on Excited Delirium

Sigh... Hold your nose and see his letter [LINK].

Where do I start?

First of all - Meyer tries to justify tasers being used against people that are in a state of "excited delirium" (a.k.a. acutely agitated individuals). Given the medically and legally-established facts about the taser 'Blood pH' death mechanism [LINK], it is obvious that the taser is probably the worst possible choice for people that may have worked themselves into a state where their blood pH is getting close to dangerous levels. Using a taser in such cases might be exactly the same as having them participate in a rapid fire weight lifting contest. Every muscle in their body is straining or even 'locked-up' - thereby pushing them over the 'Blood pH' edge. See previous post [LINK]

Second - tasers are far more often used as a tool of convenience, excess authority and street-level punishment than against people having mental health crisis. Canadian stats showed that the majority of taser applications were against completely unarmed and mostly-harmless drunk young men. In fact I'll go so far as to point out that tasers are almost certainly abused (by any reasonable standard) far more often than used against people having mental health issues.

Third - Meyer claims we offer no alternative. Of course we do. Explicitly. Repeatedly. Put away the tasers (except as a replacement for lethal force, this would be a 95-99% reduction). Use de-escalation techniques. Re-learn legal standards about lawful force (being a noun, not a verb). Learn from those jurisdictions that have rejected tasers, and are not having any of the fear-mongering nightmares predicted by the stun gun salesmen. Look at how mental health institutions (most of which still do not use tasers, thank goodness), and see how they deal with people in crisis without killing them. Open your mind and learn.

Mr. Meyer - I'd take your opinions seriously if you could divorce yourself from The Church of Taser, stop apologizing for them, explicitly acknowledge those abuses of tasers which occur on a daily basis, and stop ignoring the medical debate that is only now just getting under way [LINK][LINK].

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