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Taser safety studies significantly biased from ties to manufacturer

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posted on May, 10 2011 @ 10:15 AM
Everyone by now knows of Tasers. The common law enforcement device that disables a person by an electric shock. Its been used now on everyone from dangerous criminals, to confused elderly to kids throwing a tantrum. Sometimes a person dies after being tasered and there is always some controversy on if the taser caused the death.

One problem is that comprehensive stats often aren't really kept on if taser use caused the death as pointed out by Amnesty International.

Amnesty International's continuing concerns about Taser use

Obviously, the concern and criticism of Taser use have prompted various studies regarding the safety of the devices. Law enforcement likes the devices and obviously Taser likes money from sales. So it no surprise they have conducted various studies on the safety of devices.

You may have heard the phrase, "There are lies, damn lies and statistics". It appears this holds true with Taser studies. How safe they are depends on who you ask...

Taser safety studies significantly biased from ties to manufacturer

The cardiologists examined the the accuracy of 50 published studies on the potential dangers of using Taser stun guns and found that the likelihood of a study concluding the devices are safe was 75 percent higher when the studies were either funded by the manufacturer or written by authors connected with the company
Of the 50 studies that were investigated, 23 were funded by or affiliated with Taser International. Ninety-six percent of those studies concluded that the stun guns were either "unlikely harmful" or "not harmful." In comparison, only 55 percent of the 27 studies not affiliated with Taser International concluded that the stun guns were either "unlikely harmful" or "not harmful."

It appears that Taser thinks the devices are much safer than true independent studies indicate. I honestly think they do save lives in many cases where more deadly force would otherwise be used. However, I also honestly think they are sometimes too frequently and in cases where they aren't needed. Sometimes it seems like they've almost became the default tool to use in situations where they aren't really needed.

posted on May, 10 2011 @ 10:56 AM
reply to post by Frogs

It's nice to see this issue hasn't been forgotten.

Most policemen I know remain convinced and insistent that tasers are non-lethal. Yet every detailed review of the information clearly shows that the people who 'inform' them so confidently of this reality have every reason to lie.

Just in case anyone wants to stroll down memory lane: Maxmars v Zaimless: The Taser, Should It Be Banned?

... it was an excellent and informative debate.....

posted on May, 10 2011 @ 11:29 AM
reply to post by Maxmars

Thanks for the link - an interesting and good debate.

For my own two cents I'd say that in most cases it does boil down to how the individual officer uses the device. Consider a baton, one strike from a baton probably isn't lethal in most cases. Prolonged and repeated strikes to the head may very well be lethal. I'd say the same may very well apply with tasers.

I think they have their place and do save lives as I stated. However, they also seem to be becoming more a something that used to control (or even punish) when other options may be available - and that does concern me.

Of course, Taser keeps introducing newer and more powerful toys like....

New High Tech Taser being used in Polk County

It's fired from a 12 gauge shotgun from up to a 100 feet away. It's 14 grams, has wing like fins that spread open as it takes flight. It has painful probes and pins that stick into your body. It packs all the powerful punch and stopping power of a stun gun and is enclosed in a 12 gauge shotgun shell and when it hits you it locks up your muscles.

John Angleton is the taser coordinator for the sheriff's office and says, "It's the most excruciating pain imaginable. It locks everything up. For one you cannot move. You can breathe because you're screaming at the top of your lungs."

The TASER XREP keeps a suspect down for 20 seconds instead of 5 seconds which is how long the traditional taser keeps a suspect down.

In the article this "taser rife" may have saved the life of the victim and the criminal. However, it packs a much bigger jolt and lasts much longer. In the words of Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs - "I don't see what can possibly go wrong."


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