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.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Police almost admit what Taser will not... can not...

Law enforcement agencies consider Tasers to be a less-than-lethal weapon that, like all weapons, includes the risk of death, said Lt. Scott Dunn of the Sheriff’s Department. "There are risk factors," he said, "but there’s less risk using a taser than a gun." [LINK]

What sort of risk factors Lt. Dunn?

Taser admits falling down and banging one's head. Taser admits drowning if you taser someone while they're underwater. But Taser likes to play word games when it comes to individual susceptibilities. In other words, if you die from internal risk factors (cardiac is one example), then it must be pretty-much all your fault. Because (Taser claims, with a well-executed straight face), the taser cannot possibly affect your heart.

I suspect that Lt. Dunn, like many police officers, knows in his heart that there is more to the risk than Taser is willing to clearly admit. Everyone knows what is going on... ...it's become a liability-avoidance issue.

Back to Lt. Dunn prehistorical argument about less risk than a gun.

As has been discussed many times before, this argument is sort-of true - but it covers up a much larger, much more important, truth. It is also a mark of ignorance on those making this type of 'better than a gun' argument.

Fact: Tasers are used roughly one-hundred times as often as police historically used their guns (varies widely).

So, just to start, they would have to be roughly one-hundred times as safe just to break even.

My review of the news indicates that much of the safety factor is external as opposed to inherent. The risk of death when taser darts hit sensitive areas seems to be in the single digits (low, but infinitely larger than zero) - but perhaps these occasional taser-associated deaths are just a coincidence. {rolls eyes}

But it's actually worse than that... Because tasers are so overused, misused and abused, the risk of death is being meted out on people that did nothing to deserve death. Search this blog for the word 'karma' [LINK (start at the bottom)] in case you're not familiar with the intricacies of this subtle point.

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