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.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Russian Roulette: (Inherent?) Risk

Think: A six-shot revolver, with one bullet. What are the odds?

"One-in-six" is the obvious answer, and it is the right answer. But it's probably not what an informed stastician would be expecting to see in the real-world results.

What are the odds of what? Death?

Are you assuming that the revolver is actually fired in the expected manner? What if the subject is just pistol-whipped? Are you assuming that the aim is true? Depending on circumstances, there would be some percentage of misses. Are you assuming that the result is fatal? Not all bullet wounds are fatal.

If someone would design a study of full taser deployments where the taser darts actually hit the subject's chest, and the taser is actually cycled repeatedly, I'll bet that the results would be "very interesting"...

These too frequent all-inclusive studies, such as Wake Forest and similar uninteresting nause, where they include all forms of taser deployments, are not answering The Main Question about the inherent risks (as opposed to external safety factors).

The Main Question goes back to the claims of inherent safety being propagated by Taser International and their minions.

Find the inherent risk first, then decision makers can explicitly adjust for external safety factors.

It's common sense.

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