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Jared Feuer, who heads the U.S. southern regional office of Amnesty International, said the group has documented that 277 people in the United States have died after being shocked by a Taser since June 2001.
"We do believe that there is a risk to the public safety, and we still call for there to be a moratorium on the use of Tasers" by police, Feuer said in an telephone interview.
"Our concern is that Tasers interfere with a basic equation, which is that force must always be proportional to the threat," Feuer said, noting that about 80 percent of the people on whom a Taser is used by U.S. police are unarmed.
"They are being used in a situation where a firearm or even a baton would never be justified," Feuer added.
...the electricity that is sent into a person from the Taser is not a lethal amount.
FIREARM FACTS Gun Deaths and Injury - The United States Leads the World in Firearm Violence • In 2004, 29,569 people in the United States died from firearm-related deaths – 11,624 (39%) of those were murdered; 16,750 (57%) were suicides; 649 (2.2%) were accidents; and in 235 (.8%) the intent was unknown. Gun Violence - Young Lives Cut Short • In 2004, nearly 8 children and teenagers, ages 19 and under, were killed with guns everyday. The Economic Costs of Gun Violence - All Americans Pay a High Price • The average total cost of one gun crime can be as high as $1.79 million, including medical treatment and the prosecution and imprisonment of the shooter.
The most recent medical study researching the injury potential of using the TASER was performed by Bozeman et al. A tactical physician at each agency reviewed police records and medical records for each case. ... Subjects mean age was 32 years and 94% were male... Findings of the research reveal that: 99.7% of the subjects sustained no injuries or mild injuries; skin punctures from the TASER probes, contusions and lacerations account for 98.5% of mild injuries; and the back, chest and the abdomen/pelvis areas represented 76% of the body impact areas...during the study only two deaths... occurred immediately after the TASER was deployed and the autopsy showed that both deaths were unrelated to the TASER.
1) If you were being attacked in some manner and you needed a weapon to stop the person, would you rather have a Taser or a gun?
2) If your daughter were being attacked would you rather her have a knife, Taser, or pepper spray?
3) If you had been attacked and the police had to go after the person would you rather have them shoot the criminal or Taser them?
…Nationally recognized Taser expert Aram James of the Coalition for Justice and Accountability (CJA) says, “The study concludes -- without supporting data -- that Tasers reduce injuries to both police and the individuals Tasered. But the authors offer no systematic data to support this conclusion.” James says that actually the study's own data belies their own conclusion of safety. The abstract reported 23% of 597 subjects received some sort of injury. “Nearly 1 in 4, hardly support for the proposition that Tasers are safe -- and when coupled with 293 Taser related deaths, a statistic conveniently ignored by the authors of this study, the conclusion that Tasers are safe is not only not true but in fact a lie of deadly proportions.”
Richard Konda, Executive Director of the Asian Law Alliance and CJA co-founder, says the study ignores the reality that some populations are at higher risk when Tased. “The study fails to mention the effect of Tasers on vulnerable populations, such as pregnant women, the elderly, the mentally ill, and those under the influence of drugs, who are far more likely to suffer serious injuries and even death as a result of being Tasered.” Konda, who's organization is supporting a ban of Tasers, says the evidence of the deadly effects of Tasers is already being acknowledged by law enforcement communities. He says, “Medical remedies to prevent death are being developed because Tasers kill. In Miami emergency medical technicians are spraying a sedative in the noses of Tasers victims or inject them with iced saline solutions. These protocols lead us to only one conclusion – that Tasers are deadly weapons and must be banned.”
James says the reason why the study does not appear to be independent is because it was, essentially, a law enforcement report, and points to several red flags. “First, it was conducted at six law enforcement agencies across the country, interestingly enough not disclosed. Why the secrecy? Secondly, the underlying police reports and any accompanying medical records were reviewed by ‘tactical physicians' who are closely connected to a law enforcement agenda. Finally, not mentioned anywhere in the press release related to this study is the companion piece put out by the Wake Forest Physicians Group. In a study dated September 4, 2007 -- the same doctors credited with the above study -- reported on a police officer who after volunteering to receive a 5 second Taser exposure, under very controlled circumstance, was Tased for 5 seconds and suffered a very serious and apparently permanently debilitating thoracic compression fracture. So much for Tasers being a low risk of injury weapon, if they’re unsafe for the cops they’re unsafe for us!”
The California branch of the American Civil Liberties Union, however, has linked pepper spray directly to 27 deaths in that state alone in the early 1990s. And some U.S. newspapers have come up with higher totals from time to time. One of the legal ironies of pepper spray is that it appears to be outlawed for international use in war by the 1972 convention on biological weapons but not for internal use by countries for security. However, use of pepper spray by the public is widely restricted around the world.
TextMore than one million women and almost 400,000 men are stalked annually in the United States. In 2005, 24 percent of all violent crime incidents were committed by an armed offender, and 9 percent by an offender with a firearm. An average of 1.7 million people are victims of violent crime while working or on duty each year. An estimated 1.3 million (75 percent) of these incidents are simple assaults while an additional 19 percent are aggravated assaults.
Text"I wish we could all put this to rest, already. TASERs work. The Thomas A. Swift Electronic Rifle (named by the inventor, who was a fan of the children’s books) sends electricity through the body and incapacitates the recipient. In doing so, it saves lives — cops’ lives and suspects’ lives. Period. ...In almost all major police departments, the TASER is considered “intermediate” force. That means it can be used when someone is fighting, charging, threatening to injure or kill, or displaying a non-deadly weapon at the police."
I have to give you credit for attempting to dodge the reality of the situations in the questions. Meaning that you somehow tried manipulate the questions so they would appear to be in your favor. But I will pose a question in the end of this post to clearly make you see what I was saying in those questions.
The question of banning Tasers will be seen different by everyone.
... from 1990 to 1996 there were 60 deaths that were Pepper Spray related. ...
In 2005 over 23 million crimes were committed; of these 5.2 million were violent crimes. ...
More than one million women and almost 400,000 men are stalked annually in the United States. In 2005, 24 percent of all violent crime incidents were committed by an armed offender, and 9 percent by an offender with a firearm. An average of 1.7 million people are victims of violent crime while working or on duty each year. An estimated 1.3 million (75 percent) of these incidents are simple assaults while an additional 19 percent are aggravated assaults.
Question 1) What are the police and victims to use to defend and control a situation that requires the necessary aide of a weapon?
The fact is that the cops are not trying to kill people they are trying to stop them.
Death can be a result of just about anything and in the Civilized world people are just looking for reasons to sue anybody that has money. A police department would be a good place to sue. The Taser product being used as a 'lethal weapon' theory.
... it is important to note that they are out there to save peoples lives, yours and mine. The fact that they honestly and seriously put their lives on the line every single day for us gives them the right to protect themselves.
Vic Walczak, legal director of ACLU Pennsylvania, agrees: "We see Tasers used for what we call 'contempt of cop' violations -- swearing, questioning their authority. Tasers are a way to exact street justice. It's disconcerting to see police officers using Tasers in circumstances where essentially no force can be justified. De'Anna is, what, 5-foot-2, 110 pounds? And to my knowledge [she] is not a black-belt martial-arts expert. The police are much larger and have training in hand-to-hand combat. You can't tell me that police couldn't bring her under control without a Taser. ... If the [city's] policy says under these circumstances it's appropriate to use the Taser, I think there's a huge problem with that."
Taser advocates often pose a false question, says Gan Golan of Los Angeles, a recent MIT grad who did his master's thesis on the increasing use of "less-lethal" weaponry. The choice communities are given is "What would you have us use -- guns or less lethal weapons?" But in reality, he says, "police are still using their lethal weapons when they should be using their less-lethal weapons, and they are using their less-lethal weapons when they should be using nothing at all."
Looking at The Philosophical Cop Police Blog post about Tasers said a lot...
Question 2) It's evening and you are at your girlfriends house. She runs to the store and you are left alone. She owns a Taser and it is on the coffee table because you were talking about the pro's and cons of it. You are in the living room and the Taser is four feet away from you. You hear a strange noise and before you know it a crazy man is on you and he's big, bigger than you are. He is trying to choke you. Nothing is near you except the Taser. (Before I go on, just so you know the Taser only affects the person that the probes are attached to.) Do you grab the Taser and use it, or would your high moral values say that you might hurt the guy?
Of course the answer is obvious, and the question stupid. But I pose a question after this that puts it in perspective.
Ross (2007) also analyzed 75 police agency reports from 22 states on the applications of the TASER in 34,000 arrests... of these arrests the TASER was deployed in 6,010 or 18%... On average lethal force incidents declined by 48%, excessive force lawsuits declined by 52%, citizen complaints declined by 52%, and no deaths were reported.
Text- A Taser could have prevented the death of David Leclair, the 35-year-old Aylmer man who died about seven hours after he was shot by a Gatineau police officer on Saturday, a family member said Monday.
During this argument you quoted … It does not say that they died because of the Taser. … it makes no direct statement such as ' the Taser killed my (fill in the blank)'…
You also posted in your argument that the Coalition for Justice and Accountability initially supported the use of Tasers, as an alternative to deadly force….
Taser International claims that Tasers ''Reduce Officer Shootings''
Wrong - dead wrong.
Since Tasers were fully deployed in San Jose we've actually seen the number of officer-involved shootings dramatically spike to near record levels - after a steady five-year decline!
You have stated that the Taser can cause a suspect many different 'side effects'. …
… Walter Skuggevig, a research engineer at UL for 41 years who has done extensive study into electric shock injury, disputes the application of the study to Tasers: “For them to say that Taser is safe based on that line, I don't accept that.... It doesn't apply to that kind of product [Tasers]”
UL, which was unaware that its research was used in Taser literature, emphatically disclaimed the implication that Tasers were UL-approved. UL spokesman Paul Baker said: “We certainly don't want to give the impression that we put our label on this, that we certify this. We do not.”
Director for ACLU of Northern California, pointed out that the company's own training manual undermines its claim that Tasers are safe and non-lethal, since it “indicates that people with certain medical conditions should not volunteer to be shot with a Taser and that Taser use on people with certain 'individual susceptibilities' may result in death.”
In fact, medical evidence shows that heightened levels of adrenaline increase the risk that a Taser shock will disrupt heart rhythms and lead to cardiac arrest. …”
In a report by Ross….
… we develop meaningful policy options and ensure their implementation at the intersection of business and government. The Institute’s current endeavors have required the formation of special efforts in:
• Terrorism and asymmetry;
• Emerging threats and opportunities;
• National health policies;
• Science and technology forecasting; and
• National security.
We strongly recommend that additional research be conducted at the organism, organ, tissue, and cell levels. The mortality figures cited could conceivably reflect inaccuracies in reporting or perhaps there are other factors, such as efficient and effective medical care availability. Moreover, the vast majority of targeted individuals have been relatively young males. The community needs to understand the specific effects of varying electrical wave forms on relevant organic matter of all body types in the immediate time frame of stun application, and in the downstream time course as well, to include possible psychiatric and other non-lethal effects.
If we are going to make a statement that the Taser is not safe to use, then what is safe to use, apparently nothing.
.. When looking at the youtube videos of Taser incidents, …not one person was acting innocent and coy saying. 'Please don't shoot me with the Taser'.
Everybody on our department carries a tazer. I have been saved from serious injury twice in the last 6 months by a tazer.
The taser is a tool that works very well, I think just the presence of it can have a dramatic effect by calming a subject down...
... I have not Tasered anyone to this date but I have red dotted quite a few peeps that were out of control and on the verge of riding the magic buffalo. They became quiet and compliant in a quick-like fashion.
Using the guidelines provided by MemoryShock and incorporating some of my own thoughts on what makes a strong debate, I will be doing my best to adjudicate this debate based on consistency, relevance to the topic, strength of rebuttal, writing style, organization, use of supporting evidence when claims of objective fact are made and perspicacity of argument.
In the interest of full disclosure, I am fairly ignorant of the topic going into the debate. I am grateful to the participants for helping to rectify that. I don’t have strong feelings on the matter in either direction.
I will be giving each posting a rating of 1 to 10, with the conclusion getting ‘double points’, as I hope that it will encapsulate the prior posts and bring home all the points leading up to it. I will then award a purely subjective 1 – 20 points based on who I felt had the more persuasive argument. The total point winner will be the person that I judge to have done a better job.
(Written prior to start)
After reading the debate and making my evaluation, I would like to congratulate both Maxmars and Zaimless. They have both done an excellent job and their willingness to slug it out has helped me to educate myself on tasers and their efficacy.
There were no points given for ‘strength of rebuttal’ for the Opening (for obvious reasons). Also, both participants were given 10s for Consistency in the Opening (as they were establishing their styles).
There was one round with a tie. There was one round with a two point differential in the averages. Every other round the participants were separated by a mere one point. That is pretty stunning (pun intended) and speaks well to both opponents.
The styles for each participant seemed to work well for them. I enjoyed Zaimless use of a more colloquial pattern in his argumentative style and I appreciated Maxmars structured approach.
Points were left on the table for poor sentence structure and misuse of words. I was also less impressed with anecdotal evidence (regardless of source) than statistical evidence.
In my opinion, the winner of the debate was Maxmars. I appreciate the hard work of the participants and look forward to their next foray into ATS debates.
I believe MaxMars is the winner of this debate.
Both Debaters had formulated a proper debate argument and structure. I believe Max stuck to the topic at hand more, which allowed him to focus on steering the readers towards his belief.
Zaimless also put forth a valid debate, but steered themselves off course by trying to prove their topic that violence requires the legality of Tasers. The focus seemed to be more on the fact that this violence existed, and that we should have tasers to defend ourselves.
Had zaimless stuck to the personal rights issue brought up in their closing statement, I may have been steered more towards their opinion.
This was a hard decision, and I regret that on my point scale (1-5 pts per post) Zaim lost 1 point for posting images in their closing. I felt it necessary to penalize zaimless for this, and it allowed Max to commandeer a lead of a couple of points.
I look forward to seeing both debaters further down the line in this round of debates.