The US media have awakened from their slumber and are now fully reporting on the new taser targeting guidelines. [LINK]
This about two full weeks after the news broke just ever so slightly north of the USA. In a large country that also uses English. A country that is connected to the very same Internet.
Mark Silverstein, legal director of the Colorado American Civil Liberties Union, who has tracked Taser issues for years, said the bulletin means that police departments should now be asking questions about liability and reconsider how the stun gun is used.
"This is further evidence that law-enforcement agencies need to stop and ask if they have been sold a bill of goods," he said. "This (training) bulletin confirms what critics have said for years: that Taser has overstated its safety claims.. .. (It) has to be read as if Tasers can cause cardiac arrest." [LINK]
Update: "We've had concerns for a long time, first of all, about the dangers of Tasers, we know they can cause seriously injury and death," said Marjorie Esman of the Louisiana chapter of the ACLU. "I don't think they'd be saying this, if there wasn't an indication of possible danger. They might not want to admit it, but they wouldn't be issuing a statement like this, if they didn't know that there is in fact a real risk of serious danger." [LINK]
I think that the explanation offered by Taser International provides a useful trip-wire. If someone is willing to admit that they accept the finely nuanced explanation being offered, then they reveal themselves to either be a drooling moron, or they're in on it.
It is my view that these new taser targeting guidelines were issued for the primary purpose of limiting the growth of "excited delirium" deaths and "purely coincidental cardiac events". If my theory is correct, then we will see a noticable decrease in the monthly taser-associated death rate as tracked on the Truth...Not Tasers blog.
There's already been a decrease from about seven per month (long term running average) to more like five per month over more-recent months. The most logical explanation is that the public outcry is having the desired effect, saving lives. The effect in Canada, where the public reaction has been intense, is very clear. From five taser-associated deaths in a three month period during late-2007, six during all of 2008, and 'only' (sic) one so far during 2009.
If you're paying attention, these trends are crystal clear.
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