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.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Cranky-pants fails reading comprehension test

Cranky-pants:
Your silly comparison of the taser as equally or even more lethal than the officer's issued weapon is a dog that just won't hunt. [e-mail]

What I wrote was: "...tasers are 'less-than-OR-EQUAL-TO-lethal'. Even Taser International has been forced to admit this long-denied fact." [LINK]

The gap between what I wrote and what he misunderstood is wide. Nobody ever claims that tasers are "equally or even more lethal than" police guns. That would be a stupid claim, and if you suspect that someone made such an outlandish claim then the first thing to do is re-read what they actually wrote to ensure you've not misread it.

Sigh...

The cold hard FACTS are that Taser International are the ones that made the outlandish claims that tasers were fundamentally incapable of ever affecting the heart. This claim was so obviously false that even laymen could see it could not possibly be true.

But those of less sensitive observational capabilities were fooled by the false claims, and some ill-informed fools still haven't even "got the memo" yet.

And now, several years later, Taser International has finally added the "cardiac effects" and the "associated risk of death" to their legal warnings (Training Package, 1 May 2010).

In other words, they've subtly admitted that their previous claims were wrong. Which may explain why they've finally shut-up.

And at about the same time, they caved like a house of cards and settled the Butler case (cardiac arrest CAUSED BY the taser, but he barely survived) for THREE MILLION DOLLARS.

All the Taser Use Policies that were developed (or more likely, copied-and-pasted from Taser International) during the period before 1 May 2010 (the date when they finally admitted the risks for what seems to be the first time), all those policies are based on false claims about the risk of DEATH. Those Taser Use Policies are therefore obsolete and need to be dramatically tightened. It would be sub-human to not address that newly-admitted risk of DEATH.

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Cranky-pants is still operating under the impression that tasers can save lives. True, but it seems that he doesn't understand how relatively rarely that actually happens. I'm not saying that THE CLAIMS of lives saved are not frequent, but when ding-dongs like the Alberta Solicitor General at the time come out and actually claim that tasers have saved "thousands" of lives in Alberta, then the numerical magnitude of the claim should cause one to stop and think, 'thousands'?

The FACT is that tasers are used about ONE HUNDRED TIMES as often as most police forces historically used lethal force. So to claim that a taser use equals a life saved is about 99% bull sh_t. The precise ratio varies with jurisdiction and varies over time.

If tasers were only ever used to "save lives", then would any rational person have any reason to complain? If only, Oh if only, it were true that tasers were used just for 'good' and rational purposes.

Based on what I've seen, most taser deployments are used to replace LOWER and SAFER (w.r.t. DEATH) forms of "persuasion". They are actually used as electro-torture persuasion. As a tool of convenience. As a time saver (sic).

If a taser fan-boy is not willing to acknowledge that there are problems with tasers and the associated real world usage patterns, then at best they're sadly ill-informed.

In the Canadian province of British Columbia, after a multi-million dollar inquiry, it was determined that tasers were (in short) being overused and misused. Post-Braidwood, it was reported that taser use was reduced by about 90%.

And ya know what?

All good.

I've not seen anything to indicate that police, operating under much tighter Taser Use restrictions, have been forced to engage in a wholesale slaughter of citizens that didn't quite qualify for a good solid electro-torture session.

The stun gun salesmen and their infiltrating fan-boys were wrong.

Very tight taser restrictions are A VERY GOOD THING.

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