Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Tasers In The News!

A recent snippet of information hit the news recently:

RCMP stop using nearly 600 Tasers

It seems now that the RCMP are removing almost 600 older model M 26 Tasers because they evidently are too safe! Once again, independent tests showed this model did not meet manufacturers specifications 80 percent of the time, and other testing indicated that the devices produced less electrical output than expected 90 percent of the time! Not to let a good news story like this pass, Taser International made the following pronouncement:

"TASER International stands behind the quality and safety of its electronic control devices. It is not unusual for some high-tech electrical devices to experience a slight degradation in the electrical components over time similar to what occurs in other electronic products," said the company.


Well gosh darn, but do I happen to have a few questions? Well certainly! What about the fact these devices will produce more electrical output than expected 10 percent of the time? And is Taser going to tell the public what other electronic products experience slight degradation in the electrical components over time? I don't want to sound snooty, but published information or studies by accredited agencies or schools might be really nice! And once again it seems that completely out of the blue, Taser has come up with some handy dandy never before published response or comment. Never until now had I heard Taser International use the 'degradation of components' line in defending their product...But I guess one has to be creative and flexible running such a company. Taser goes one step further in trying to spin whatever good news can be had out of this story, but never fear, Dave is here to cut through the bullshit of corporate hyperbole, and tell you what they inadvertently are actually saying!

"Our understanding from the BC Solicitor General's release is that many of the TASER M26 tested fell below manufacturers' specifications for energy output. A lower energy output equates to a higher safety margin and therefore, the medical safety of these devices is not in question."



Well, grade one math is fairly simple, so when we subtract 'many' from 'all' we are left with 'some'! So lets rephrase the Taser provided comment above, and see the wonderfully hilarious result!

"Our understanding from the BC Solicitor General's release is that some of the TASER M26 tested landed above manufacturers' specifications for energy output. A higher energy output equates to a lower safety margin and therefore, the medical safety of these devices is completely in question."



So there you have it!

1 comment:

  1. Being ineffective isn't necessarily safe. There are examples where the subject was in a stand-off and could have been confined there all day. But then some idiot decides to taser them, it proves to be ineffective, except that the subject becomes enraged (understandably so), and ends up getting shot dead.

    Ineffective tasers appear to be associated with some deaths (by gun-fire).

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