Mission Statement - De-Spinning the Pro-Taser Propaganda

Yeah right, 'Excited Delirium' my ass...


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.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The karma factor

[This posting attempts to put into words what your gut feelings may have been struggling to communicate to your conscious mind. I hope that this helps to clarify your thoughts on this subtle issue.]

In the simplest analysis, if tasers are used 'N' times more frequently than the gun, then they have to be 'N' times safer than the gun, just to break even.

But that overly-simplistic trade-off neglects the fundamental injustice of redistributing the risk of state-imposed death from the situation of an officer justifiably fending off a violent criminal (for example), onto the average citizen that failed to pay his transit fare (for example).

Factor that feisty little philosophical issue into the equation and you could slide the decimal point right about three more places just to achieve some sort of karma balance. Exactly how far to adjust it is a matter that could be debated. That it needs to be adjusted seems perfectly clear.

What this all means is the following:

If the police are going to use the taser about one-hundred times more often (as they have been, varies widely) than they've historically and acceptably used their firearms, then the 'N' starts out at 100 (before karma adjustment). Now factor in the karma adjustment of roughly 3 decimal places (1000x), then the karma-adjusted 'N' becomes something like 100,000.

So we would require that the taser be 100,000 times safer than the revolver.

I don't believe that this level of taser safety has been demonstrated in the real-world statistics. Not even close.

It's bad karma.

No comments: