Sunday May 19, 2013
Tasers May Not Be As Safe As AdvertisedRalph E. Stone Salem-News.com
Someone struck by a Taser experiences stimulation of his or her sensory nerves and motor nerves, resulting in strong involuntary muscle contractions.
(SAN FRANCISCO) - According to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
Tasers are used by more than 12,000 law enforcement, military and correctional agencies in the U.S. and abroad,
According to Taser International, Inc. (www.taser.com), located in Scottsdale Arizona, Tasers or Electronic Control Devices (ECDs) are "used worldwide by law enforcement, military, correctional, professional security, and personal protection markets. TASER ECDs use proprietary technology to incapacitate dangerous, combative, or high-risk subjects who pose a risk to law enforcement/correctional officers, innocent citizens, or themselves in a manner that is generally recognized as a safer alternative to other uses of force. TASER technology protects life, and the use of TASER devices dramatically reduces injury rates for law enforcement officers and suspects."
But Tasers may not be as safe as the company says. Tasers "can cause cardiac electrical capture and provoke cardiac arrest due to ventricular tachycardia/ventricular fibrillation. After prolonged ventricular tachycardia/ventricular fibrillation without resuscitation, asystole develops." (http://circ.ahajournals.org/
Amnesty International reported (www.amnesty.org/en/news/usa-
On May 6, 2011, a team of cardiologists at the University of California, San Francisco announced findings suggesting that much of the current Tasers-related safety research may be biased because of ties to the devices’ manufacturer. Some 96 percent of studies supported by Taser concluded that the devices were “not harmful” or “unlikely harmful.” By comparison, only 55 percent of the independent studies found the devices to be “not harmful” or “unlikely harmful.”
In addition, researchers (www.ajconline.org/article/
At the time of the study, California did not have a state-wide training standard for stun guns, even though they had been used in the state for decades. Taser International, Inc. does provide introductory training. After that, the individual law enforcement agency does supplemental training. The California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training sets minimum training standards. But generally, training is on an agency by agency basis and the content of the supplemental training could vary.
In December 2008, Amnesty International issued USA - Stun Guns In Law Enforcement (www.amnesty.org/
Amnesty International's recommendations seem sensible and should be adopted before Tasers are even considered for use.
Also see these reports:
Salem-News.com writer Ralph E. Stone was born in Massachusetts. He is a graduate of both Middlebury College and Suffolk Law School. We are very fortunate to have this writer's talents in this troubling world; Ralph has an eye for detail that others miss. As is the case with many Salem-News.com writers, Ralph is an American Veteran who served in war. Ralph served his nation after college as a U.S. Army officer during the Vietnam war. After Vietnam, he went on to have a career with the Federal Trade Commission as an Attorney specializing in Consumer and Antitrust Law. Over the years, Ralph has traveled extensively with his wife Judi, taking in data from all over the world, which today adds to his collective knowledge about extremely important subjects like the economy and taxation. You can send Ralph an email at this address email@example.com
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