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Set for stun!

Yeah, I blame Star Trek. Ever since we saw phasers that could be set to "stun" people, we've wanted similar devices. And once we got them, we assumed that they would work just like phasers: knock the perp over and send them to lullaby land, until they wake up with the cuffs on.

Result? Lots of use of tasers. Some would say overuse of tasers (by cops who figure they're harmless, so why not use them to take down alleged graffiti artists, or folks already holding their hands up in surrender, or people who look at cops funny).

And, yes, tasers are less lethal than, say, bullets. Or a billy club. Or a choke hold.

But tasers aren't phasers on stun. They can kill. It's been known anecdotally (i.e., it happened), and now medical journals are confirming it.

Will this mean a reduction in overuse of tasers? One would hope, but I wouldn't hope for a change any time soon.
For years, watchdog groups have been warning that the allegedly "nonlethal" Taser is not, in fact, nonlethal, based upon circumstantial evidence such as, you know, a lot of dead people. Taser has alwa...
George Wiman's profile photoDave Hill's profile photo
Wasn't a phaser-on-stun used deliberately to kill someone by applying at point-blank range? In Undiscovered Country I think.

The idea that any weapon can reliably stun people without risk of killing some people is idiotic. With the sole possible exception of the Orgazmorator from Trey Parker's Orgazmo.
But it still has that "popular" feel of the truth, encouraged by taser manufacturers and police departments alike.
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