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Bentonville, Arkansas

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Jeanie Oliver
Jeanie Oliver
Contributor •

Taser Guns and Death

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How can shooting someone with a devise that delivers 50,000 volts of electrical charge be anything but controversial? Taser guns are gaining such popularity that people are having parties in thier homes to sell Taser guns. The potential for death as a result of the shock is great, yet there are few or no regulatory measures being taken with the guns.

The ACLU,www.aclu.org, issued a report, “Stun Gun Fallacy: How the Lack of Taser Regulation Edangers Lives” and is working to promote legislation at minimiziing the risk of death with these deadly weapons.
According to ACLU, 148 people in the U.S and Canada have died since 1999 as a result of being shocked with taser guns by police forces in these two countries. Amnesty International gives different statistics, with a report that states that since June 2001, more than 150 people have died in the U.S. alone after being shot with a taser gun. The most frightening aspect of these facts is that Amnesty reports that coroners have identified Tasers has a contributary factor in more than 30 deaths. Given these numbers, we have to take a step back and look at the risks involved in using the devises which were billed as the “alternative to deady force”.
According to the Taser company literature, the electrical signal is transmitted through clothing and skin and “results in an immediate loss of a person’s neuromuscular control. In one case, a victim who died after tasering was tased 17 times in three minutes.
It is my opinion that there is no difference between this and being beaten on the head by a nightstick over and over. We have already determined in this country that the second case is brutality. At what point will being tasered be considered undo and deadly force?