First I'm going to ask that my question be taken seriously. I'm not trying to troll [I've been honest and straight forward with my posts to date] so please save the derailing comments until post 50+ or something. This is a serious question.
A comment last week started the mice in my head spinning on their little wheel. A poster commented about how the RCMP were issued new and deadly weapons such as the taser and submachine gun. [In addition to their current 9mm sidearm] Tasers seem to be generally viewed like red lightsabres from "the left." Tasers more dangerous than 9mm pistols?? Their Evil evil weapons designed to toture and cause suffering and I don't know, somehow help harper control Canada. I have an idea but I don't fully understand why the hate on for tasers.
Let me explain my point of view. I'm always vounteering for stuff, I'm a really curious guy. During riot taining we were asked who wants to be pepper prayed? I put up my hand. That sucked. 30 minutes of being fucked up where I sat on my butt trying to wash my eyeballs like mad man. More training some time later- tear gas. We walk into a closed hut and when we smell tear gas [CS gas] we put our gas mask on. Im inside a room heavy with a cloud of tear gas. My curiosity gets the better of me so I take off my gas mask and try to breathe. I immediately drop to the floor start choking and gasping for air. I'm helped [carried] outside and I begin to barf and have snot all over my face- in a world of hurt or 10 minutes. Lastly I'm at work and a police swat team is there doing some training. Some of the training includes tasers. Naturally I ask to be tased and they say sure. I figure I'm tough enough to shrug off the effects. I'm not of course. I drop to the matt loosing control of my legs and arms, letting out an ignoble unnnnnnnngh. A few seconds later I am up and walking on my own again. Out of the three experiences getting tasered was by far the easiest and least painful. I don't mind the tear gas that much, I never want to go near pepper spray again.
Now putting firearms into the equasion- I've seen people shot. Some killed some wounded. Some wounds seemed small and not that big of a deal, most others were epicly gross and looked very traumatic.
Lots of people want police to get rid of tasers. My feelings on the matter are I would MUCH rather be tased than shot. I don't know the stats off hand but I'm pretty sure if you tasered 1000 people 99% of them would have no lasting health issues. Maybe even higher. Yes I know some people DO die because of pre existing heart conditions and being tased causes damage or death. but whats the stats? Out of the numbered of tasered victims how many have died?
What about the last 1000 people who were shot by police. [With hollow point bullets I'll add which are much more deadly that what the military s allowed to use]. I don't think 99% of the 1000 people shot will be okay. In fact I would wager more than half of those shot probably died a very painful and traumatic death. 75%? From a technical perspective,
Tasers cause much less suffering debilitation and death than handguns if you compare them both, right? So now I'm asking myself why are tasers so bad? Why do people hate them?
Here are some answers I came up with.
1. Because of the less lethal [Or practically non-lethal] damage they cause someone, police officers are much quicker to taser someone rather than shoot them. You wouldn't [can't] shot someone for giving you a hard time or just beig a disruptive asshole. Can you taser them for that? Maybe [probably, without knowing the police use of force wheel].
2. Less paper work. Police employ tasers more often [perhaps too often?] because it's not seen as a big of a deal as it is with firearms and like I said above there is a much lesser chance of hurting someone. Basically police being lazy. Instead of trying to talk someone down they just go for the taser.
3. The capability to use a taser as a torture device. I've heard of americans using rifles for barrel thumping in Iraq which I guess could be a form of torture but in Canada [Say north america] you don't really see firearms used to for torture by the police. [Mind you I am sure there are some instances of sexual assault using them?]
Tasers however are perfect, for lack of a better word, for torturing someone. I remember reading in the news a young girl out west who was tortured with a taser. Makes you sick. How do you fix the taser problem? Take them away period? What does that leave cops with, a choice between pepper spray or a 9mm pistol? More training for police officers so they employ negeotiation tactics more? Make using a taser the same amount of paperwork/investigation as would happen if they fired their service pistol?