Monday, January 08, 2007

Taser for sale


I'm definitely what you would call an electronic gadget guy. I'm sitting in front of my Mac at work which is next to my pager, my RAZR cell phone, and my Palm PDA. Are you sickened yet? Plus, you know the car that I drive (scroll below).

I'm always excited this time of year because it's the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. It's a gadget guy's paradise. Did you know that there's a huge 63 inch plasma TV that they're marketing out there? That is, if you're into that sort of thing.

Something that did catch my eye was in today's USA Today. Apparently, there is going to be a new version of the controversial taser stun gun that's going to be put on sale (pictured above).

What's new about this? Well, this is a smaller version that previous that can be stored in a purse or a backpack. Curious yet? The older model is big and bulky and cost about $1000. This newer version is coming in at a cool $300.
Taser [International] says the C2, less powerful than the police version, is designed to stun for 30 seconds, providing enough time for the shooter to flee from danger.

"It's a terrible idea. It's a dangerous idea," says Larry Cox, executive director of Amnesty International USA, which says there have been 200 Taser-related deaths. "I can't think of any reason you would want these out in public."

Daniel Garza, 42, was glad he bought the civilian Taser when a man climbed in the back seat of his truck Dec. 17 at a Yuba City, Calif., Wal-Mart. Garza zapped the intruder, who was arrested. "The Taser did the job," Garza says.
Although I do not own a gun myself, I definitely support the second amendment to bear arms. However, should the public have easier access to a weapon like this? I would probably have to say no. I think that only law enforcement authorities should have access to taser like weapons.

This is probably a bad analogy, but I think about the public's access to medications. There's a certain group of meds that people should have access to (called over the counter meds). Then, there's the group of meds that should be prescription only and managed by those "medical professionals" (I think that's the politically correct term) who have prescriptive authority.

I could be wrong on the taser thing and on the prescription medicine thing. But, I know you'll let me know where I'm going wrong on this. Would you buy one of these things? What if your neighbor bought one of these?

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

i think i'll just keep my gun doc, but thanks anyway. here in florida we are allowed to shoot if we feel insulted, i mean threatened, so it all works out. now to that guy that insulted me the other day, sorrr-eee.

bee

Anonymous said...

why does everyone get all worked up over taser ownership? really now, I can go out and by a 45 cal. hand gun that is more dangerous to everyone.

personally, I'd rather be shot accidentally by a taser, but for the rest of you out there, if you'd rather be shot by the 45, that's your business. it's a free country.

Anonymous said...

Why get worked up over taser ownership? Because of stuff like this:
Man Dies after cops shoot him with taser.

You likely won't take a moment to check someone's medicalert braclet before tasering them, and if they have a heart condition, a shock from a taser is as deadly as a bullet. Unless of course, they're wearing a bra.

Anonymous said...

I just want to know if it comes in blue?

Muddy said...

From the article..
"The Taser C2 has some police worried. "There are concerns in law enforcement about the public having access to these types of weapons," says Wendy Balazik, spokeswoman for the International Association of Chiefs of Police. "Those concerns include: Who is buying them? How are they going to be used? What are they going to be used for?"

Wouldnt those same concerns carry over to random people in the general population owning knives, guns or other things that could be weapons? I dont have a problem with someone owning this anymore than someone owning a gun. The same person owning a gun could own a taser. That person could have something malicious in mind...or they could be just exercising their right to bear arms...to protect their family.

Dr. A said...

I guess I didn't articulate my point accurately enough.

What I'm wondering is where do we draw the line? Some people even think army type assualt weapons should be accessible to the general public. Others say that smaller caliber guns should only be accessible to the general public.

I feel like I'm sparking an entire discussion where I shouldn't even go. But I'm curious about this topic, and that's why I blogged about it.

Muddy said...

But there is no way to know how someone might use a weapon (responsibly or not). This is part of the freedoms we are privileged to enjoy in this country...The ability to own a weapon...the ability to defend ourselves and our families. We are innocent (and should be seen as such) until proven otherwise. There are a lot of dangerous items in people's homes...but MOST people are going to use them responsibly. Do we punish the ones that are responsible for the few that are not ?

Dr. A said...

Don't take this the wrong way. I'm not trying to be argumentative, just having a little fun in continuing the discussion.

Do we punish the ones that are responsible for the few that are not?

Of course we already do this. Most people are responsible drivers. But for the few people that are irresponsible we require drivers' licences, we require obeying of speed limits and other traffic laws, and we require car insurance.

I think I'm pretty comfortable saying that a lot of people have not used their car insurance, house insurance, or any other property insurance. Then why do we have it? Not for the responsible people, but for those out there who do irresponsible behavior.

Again, no malace here. I'm not personally attacking your points. In fact, I agree with most of them. Just some additional thoughts I had...

Muddy said...

No, your fine...you added to what I said and probably said it better. I guess I just get tired of constantly seeing liberties we have or should have restricted because of the irresponsiblity of others.

ripple said...

Isn't a taser safer than a gun? Why is it okay to carry a gun but not a taser? The only reason I can think of is that people would probably be more likely to buy a taser than a gun, and would be less hesitant to use it than they would a gun. But really, if you support the right to carry a gun why does a taser suddenly become too much? If anything, we should be allowed to carry tasers but guns should be too much.

Superstenogirl said...

Hey, it's pink! That would match my pink RAZR, pink hello kitty keychain, and inevitably pink-ish laptop! :)

It's going to get to the point though that the only people with guns are the cops and the bad guys. Supply and demand. I don't think this sort of thing should be made available, there's too much potential for misuse. Same as I don't think assault rifles, AK47s and the like should be available to the public. There's no use for them.

Oh - Dr.A a good site for us techno geeks :

www.thinkgeek.com

I want to buy the USB rocket launchers and the pirate name tag hooky thingy. And the USB George Foreman Grill!

Dr. A said...

Ripple, I guess I draw the line at tasers. I know it doesn't make sense to some people, but for me, guns are ok, but tasers are not. One of the points I wanted to bring out was that the place where each person draws the line is different - And, isn't it interesting where and why people draw the lines that they do.

As far as what is deemed "safer," I think it's relative and depending on your point of view. Here's a link to the CDC website on the most common causes of accidental death from 2004.

According to this chart, motor vehicle accidents accounted for 43,432 deaths verses firearm accidents which accounted for 649 deaths. Does that mean that guns are safer than automobiles? Does that mean that cars are too "deadly" and should be outlawed? (Of course, this doesn't take into account crime related gun use. I tried looking up FBI statistics. But, they are very confusing on trying to tease out gun related crimimal deaths.)

SuperStenoGirl, Thanks for the gadget link. I'll have to check that out!

Anonymous said...

I think one of the biggest problem with tasers is that people don't KNOW they are going to be deadly until they taser someone with a heart condition. When you carry a gun, you are well aware that a gun's only purpose is to kill, or give the impression that you are about to kill.

Anonymous said...

Looks dangerous. Looks painful. Looks like I need one.

wolfbaby said...

k... don't tell my hubs about the techno convition.. please..

as for the tasers. dude seriously. anyweapon can be deadly, so long as people keep that in mind while using them. I'd rather have a taser then a gun. the likely hood of getting killed by a taser are far less then a gun. could you see all the gang bangers with a taser instead of a gun? there'd be alot less deaths. yes the tasser can kill if the wrong person is shoot but wouldn't you rather lower the deaths with more taser usage then rase then by promoting guns over tasers? ... also when cops are tasering and killing i think they are more then one taser being used on a person and/ or more then one hit with the taser. also think they are to free with it but that's just me. Teaching responsiblity with any weapon is the key to safty. I would own a taser before a gun. and to tell ya the truth, if someone were breaking into my house and threatening my children and family and he had a heart condition and i had a taser, well he should have thought about that before he broke into my house.

wolfbaby said...

ahh that was supposed to be techno convention;P

Anonymous said...

I just don't see the general public John or Jane Q. Citizen being the consumers of the tasers. It's going to be the sociopaths who don't need access made easier. Great blog site, Dr. A. I just recently found you (not that you were lost).

Anonymous said...

If I wanted to incapacitate an attacker I sure wouldn't use a taser, for a number of reasons. That your intended must be willing to stand still for a few seconds. A 'few' seconds is a long time in an attack-type situation.

But merely because I'm a gadget addict this caught my interest. Sorry, I'll pass, though. Good luck selling it! ~acadine

Anonymous said...

Hey Doc. Lets just say the taser is a form of preventive medicine. Maybe with special attachements it can be used as a defibrillator.

Anonymous said...

umm...good with guns with bullets but now with stuns...interesting.

ps. you've been tagged - 6 weird things about me...

Anonymous said...

My first thought on seeing that was that it was a phaser ...

Anonymous said...

I would not want the liability issue of having one. What if you shock someone and they die? At least the police go through training and only use it when necessary to protect the public. I can see drunk party goers pulling one out and thinking it is funny to zap a fellow partier possibly killing someone in the process.

Anonymous said...

I love looking at guns. I totally dig watching movies with lots of gunplay. But I absolutely HATE handling one. At various times in my life been to a a few firing ranges...4 or 5, I think. I've fired a .22 rifle, .22 pistol. .38, .44 Magnum, .357 Magnum, a musket, an M-16, an AR-15, a Walther P99, and a couple of others I'm sure that I'm forgetting. Each time I've been incredibly nervous when the weapon was place in my hand. I used it well enough, being the amatuer I am. After leaving every firing range, I could not stop my hands from shaking and would have to close my eyes and control my breathing to get relaxed again. That feeling just got worse the first time I fired a weapon after having kids.

As Peter Parker's Uncle Ben once said, "With great power comes great responsibility." In my humble opinion, it's a little bit more power than I feel comfortable having and would not actively seek out purchasing any sort of weapon, gun or taser.

I understand that they are tools, and, to quote the 1953 movie SHANE, are only as good or as bad as the person using them. More poeple die of car accidents than gunshot wounds...or taser shocks. But the consequences of a gun seem to be so much more....personal? If that makes any sense. Anyway, sorry for the long-winded rambling.

Anonymous said...

Most "taser deaths" are really agitated delirium deaths. People with agitated delirium (often from psychosis +/- cocaine/meth use) often die whether or not they get tasered. The taser gets blamed though.

Anonymous said...

I might be able to think of a more useless product for self defense, but it would take a while.

Taser was designed for law enforcement use. It is designed to take a solitary suspect who is resisting arrest into custody without beating them senseless. It was developed as a response to bad press from cops doing things the old fashioned way (i.e., giving bad guys a good drubbing with a baton). Of course, now Taser has bad press from shocking the crap out of people.

Unless you and your family and/or friends plan to surround a solitary intruder with the intent of subduing and restraining him, don't waste your time and endanger yourselves by relying on a Taser.

liberalmind said...

It didn't take long for a parent to figure out the great perks of using one on his misbehaving toddler, did it? Now, how about criminals using them in crimes to paralyze, but not kill, their victims? Great wave of the future for domestic disputes, too, I am sure.

Tasers do not have place in society, particularly in the hands of any "authority." These weapons were developed primarily to put down any possible future civil unrest and for total control.

I have an no weapons for my personal protection and have absolutely never had any need for one, but I do keep my front door locked.