Thomas A. Swift’s Electric Rifle

December 10, 2007

Or, if you prefer, the Taser. It’s been around a lot longer than you might think, according to this article, but it had to undergo a few modifications before it became widely used in police circles. Designed as a non-lethal weapon that would allow police to subdue someone without the use of firearms, the Taser is — according to civil rights groups — increasingly used for “pain compliance.” That’s a nice way of saying you can use a Taser to hurt people to get them to obey your commands, or maybe just shut them up when nobody’s looking. As the Homeland Security mentality allows more and more thugs to get in touch with their inner Torquemada, another problem has come to light:

Studies in major cities in the U.S. – Canadian ones don’t make such information public – have consistently shown that the addition of Tasers to a police force’s arsenal leads to a significant drop in shootings by officers. In 2003, two years after introducing Tasers, Seattle reported its first full year without a shooting by police in 25 years.

But the problem is that while Tasers may be considered a non-lethal alternative to firearms, they can kill people. Human rights advocacy group Amnesty International has called for a nationwide suspension of police Taser use after uncovering 19 cases of suspects dying after being Tasered by police in Canada.

The group’s findings, according to Andrew Buxton, chair of Amnesty’s Toronto office, have shown that people who die after being Tasered are usually subjected to a number of restraint efforts by police, including batons and pepper spray. He noted that Rodney King was Tasered as police were beating and restraining him, as seen in the notorious 1991 video.

Taser-related deaths often come as a shock to police officers, not only because they have been told the Taser is non-lethal, but because they have seen it tested. Many, no doubt, have even felt the weapon’s effects as police instructors are known to commonly demonstrate Tasers on their students.

The fact is a Taser will not kill a normal, healthy person under controlled circumstances. The problem is that Tasers are rarely used against normal, healthy people in controlled circumstances.

After you watch the above video, be sure to check out this item about the XREP and Shockwave — the next stocking stuffers the gnomes at Taser International have cooked up for law enforcement and the military.   


One Response to “Thomas A. Swift’s Electric Rifle”

  1. Caveat Says:

    We’ve had 19 taser-related deaths in Canada since their use became widespread.

    But they are a ‘valuable tool’ and ‘safe’.

    Yeah. Whatever. Time to go back to nets, methinks.

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