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, June 23, 2009

Edmonton Sun columnist Andrew Hanon on tasers

I don't know if Mr. Hanon gets to write his own headlines, but this one certainly misses some critical details.

U.S. docs support stun guns [LINK]

In fact, the AMA position was far more subtle than the headline claims. Here is an extract from a previous post [LINK] on the same subject:

The AMA’s report detailed concerns about the use of Tasers in three general areas:
1) They are used too frequently and at lower levels on the use-of-force continuum than indicated.
2) Appropriate training and supervision of Taser use is lacking in some
[most] jurisdictions.
3) And they may contribute to the death of suspects
[or victims], either directly or indirectly. [LINK]

If (oh, if only...) those concerns listed above (matching almost exactly what almost all taser-critics have been saying) were fully addressed and completely solved, then perhaps it would put us into a position where the promises made by the Phaser salesmen might just barely start to reflect reality. That imaginary world would be where tasers are used only to replace higher forms of force, not lower forms of force.

Dream on sunshine. Now snap out of it.

Mr. Hanon tries to compare taser stun guns to automobiles, and tries to make a comparison in the death rates. This is a horrible bit of illogical nonsense, but let's extend the analogy and see how it stands up.

Imagine if there was a company that made ultra high performance motorcycles, AND claimed that they were perfectly safe and could therefore be driven at maximum speed all the time. Any crash-associated deaths of speeding bikers was obviously due to unrelated factors and had nothing to do with the marketing approach.

That's the insane and warped world of tasers. The manufacturer keeps saying that they cannot possibly directly cause deaths. But many reasonable people draw a different conclusion. Everything flows from this one fundamental issue.

One interesting tidbit mentioned by Mr. Hanon is the following:

"...in the past decade, 20 people across the entire country (six in Edmonton [I think that he means the province of ALBERTA]) have died shortly after being zapped by a police stun gun. ..."

Do you see any problem with that?

Perhaps Mr. Hanon should stop apologising for the pro-taser lobby and start asking why 30% of the taser-associated deaths in Canada are occuring in his province.

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