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, January 23, 2010

Taser pros and cons (short version)

Regarding: Tasers seen as option in 1/3 of police shootings

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/01/22/MNUD1BMAQ7.DTL


Original long version of my response is here: [Taser pros and cons - do the math]


Short version is as follows:

1) Police guns and bullets are (as shown by this study) lethal about 50% of the time.
2) Tasers are ineffective about 30% of the time.

Combine these factors, and these five potential opportunities to use a taser to actually save a life becomes about TWO. In 5 years.

["5 opportunities" times ~50% bullet-lethality = 2.5 opportunities for a taser to actually save a life. Next, 2.5 times 70% taser effectivity rate = 1.75 lives saved per five year period covered by study. Rounding thus up to "two" is generous.]

But if SF Police had been 100% equipped with tasers in 2005, then they would have actually used tasers not once per year, but probably about ONCE PER DAY!

Most jurisdictions use tasers at about 100x the rate of gun fire. It varies, but it's a good number.

And even with a taser-associated death rate "that can be rounded to zero" (percent), you're still looking at more deaths by taser (perhaps 7) than the lives that might be saved (2).

Not even mentioning the karmic balance problem of redistributing the risk of death to non-violent people.

Not to mention the vast expense of tasers and lawsuits.

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