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.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

"Tasers save lives" - So how many?

In Canada, police have historically shot-dead relatively few people each year. Some reports indicates it's about 12 people killed per year. Others reports indicates it might even be about 20 people killed per year. Perhaps it's a bit higher these days.

Other news reports have mentioned that they're not even tracking this data. I've not yet found a database or list (if you have a link, please send it in).

But it's clear that the police in Canada have never been encumbered with a reputation for being trigger-happy with guns.

So when police officials claim that tasers save lives, then we need to ask a series of perfectly logical questions:

1) How many per year are you claiming?
2) What are your criteria for claiming a 'save'?
3) How many supposed "gun-replacement" 'saves' are you claiming?
4) Does this number exceed the historical rate of lethal police gun-play in Canada?
5) Has the rate of lethal police gun-play gone down correspondingly?
6) What about the taser-associated deaths - do they count against?
7) What about the cases where the taser "contributed to death"?

I can't see any combination of the raw data available to me that would support the claim that "tasers save lives" in Canada, let alone in Chief Kaye's little city of Owen Sound.

At best, depending on the particular shade of rose-coloured lenses in their glasses and the thickness of the smoke curling off the stuff that they must be smoking, they'd be just barely breaking into the plural.

Even then you'd be left with the totally-unresolved Karma issue [LINK].

'Tasers save lives'? Puh! Show me the numbers.

See also [LINK]

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