Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

A Tour of Taser HQ

ScuttleMonkey posted about 5 years ago | from the don't-tase-me-bro dept.

334

Soychemist writes "Walk into the Taser headquarters in Scottsdale, Arizona and it may seem like you are on an episode of Get Smart. The foyer is like a fortress, with giant steel doors and biometric identification systems. Inside, factory workers meticulously assemble the less-lethal weapons by hand and then put them through a battery of safety tests. In addition to making pistol-shaped devices, the company also produces the electronic equivalent of a claymore mine, which hurls dozens of electrified needles at the push of a button and electronic shotgun cartridges that deliver a powerful jolt."

cancel ×

334 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Wired (0, Offtopic)

destuxor (874523) | about 5 years ago | (#29390907)

Cool story, but is it really necessary for people to /. everything Wired does? Aren't most /. readers also Wired readers?

Suck on that neckbeards! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29390941)

Hey neckbeards how does it feel knowing that your shitty Loonix OS has less market share after 18 years than Win7 has [hitslink.com] and it's not even released for retail sale yet!

Win7 - 1.18%
Loonix - .94%
Win2k - .93%

Even more sad is that Loonix can barely beat Win2k in market share and it's 9 years old at this point and obsolete!

Re:Suck on that neckbeards! (-1, Offtopic)

mweather (1089505) | about 5 years ago | (#29391037)

It doesn't bother me any more than Brittany Spears going multi-platinum did.

Re:Suck on that neckbeards! (0, Offtopic)

xmousex (661995) | about 5 years ago | (#29391173)

actually that bothers me really really alot. but not the linux thing

Re:Suck on that neckbeards! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29391203)

Who is Brittany Spears? Is she a Britney Spears knock off like when you saw HK actors would call themselves things like Bruce Li to cash in Bruce Lee's name?

Re:Suck on that neckbeards! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29391315)

Have you considered that the metric that site uses (a javascript based plugin on websites that is blocked by adblock) Might be biased against educated users?

Most of these systems use similar metrics, javascript/advertisement monitoring/malware.

From experience, most of these things don't work correctly in alternate browsers or are outright removed by users with a clue.

Re:Suck on that neckbeards! (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 5 years ago | (#29391371)

Yeah, because so many people use their linux servers for web browsing.

Re:Suck on that neckbeards! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29391503)

I'd say you're a sucker for numbers. W3Counter's stats for August:

Aug iPhone OSX 0.40%
Aug Linux 1.97%
Aug Mac OS X 7.11%
Aug WAP 0.07%
Aug Windows 2000 0.78%
Aug Windows 2003 0.65%
Aug Windows 7 1.69%
Aug Windows 98 0.13%
Aug Windows Vista 22.64%
Aug Windows XP 60.55%

Linux is falling over the past few months but nowhere as much as WinXP has. The big winners? Vista and Win7. I guess you CAN force people to "upgrade" after all (I know one of my Win2K systems had to suck up a XP licence with it's new motherboard due to lack of drivers).

Meanwhile, W3Counter thinks my browser is on a WinXP system despite the Linux desktop which continues to work great despite the rise and fall of the Windows user base. That must really eat at you Microsoft fanbois so I'll expect more clueless trolling.

Re:Wired (1)

eleuthero (812560) | about 5 years ago | (#29390993)

Some, but not all--I read slashdot for a general condensation of tech news and while some might argue ars tecnica as better, I like the comment system better here.

Re:Wired (1)

destuxor (874523) | about 5 years ago | (#29391057)

That makes sense.

Re:Wired (4, Insightful)

skirtsteak_asshat (1622625) | about 5 years ago | (#29391053)

Most /. readers USED TO BE Wired readers, back in the 90's when it was relevant, interesting, and had actual production value (of a sort). Now it's just geek playboy. A couple interesting articles, 60 pages of glossy shwag for sale, and a desperate sense of self-promotion. Well, maybe it hasn't changed THAT much... maybe my gadget pr0n tastes have evolved. Either way, leave it on Digg.

No (0, Offtopic)

winkydink (650484) | about 5 years ago | (#29391115)

I am not a Wired reader.

Re:No (1)

Spazztastic (814296) | about 5 years ago | (#29391191)

I am not a Wired reader.

Confirming that. I even had a free subscription in the mail from signing up for GameFly or something that I can't remember, I don't think I read a single one.

Re:Wired (1, Offtopic)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | about 5 years ago | (#29391355)

Aren't most /. readers also Wired readers?

A dozen years ago, perhaps. They had *it* once, and lost it. Which is not to say they are not making money by the bushelful. "Wired" is to technology as "Men's Fitness" is to exercise and nutrition. But I still pine for Mondo 2000 [wikipedia.org] , so maybe I'm not the right person to pass judgment...

revolting humor (4, Funny)

jdgeorge (18767) | about 5 years ago | (#29390983)

Tasers going through "a battery of test"... Props for stunning punning.

The Funky Chicken (5, Interesting)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | about 5 years ago | (#29391127)

I knew a correctional officer who frequently used stun guns [howstuffworks.com] on rowdy inmates. They called it "The funky Chicken" because of the inmates' jerks and spasms which were often so severe that they would shit and piss on themselves.

Stun guns != tasers, but keep that in mind the next time you mess with authority.

Re:The Funky Chicken (-1, Troll)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 5 years ago | (#29391425)

Stun guns != tasers, but keep that in mind the next time you will be contemplating going to USA to spend your vacation.

Here, fixed that for you.

Re:revolting humor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29391163)

Yeah, I got a real charge out of it.

Re:revolting humor (4, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 5 years ago | (#29391209)

The law enforcement officers can now properly charge the suspects with battery. What a hair-raising idea!

Less Lethal... (1)

DarthVain (724186) | about 5 years ago | (#29390991)

Just like a club is less lethal than a sword... but it still does 1d6.

Also "the electronic equivalent of a claymore mine, which hurls dozens of electrified needles": W.T.F.

What exactly is the intended non-lethal purpose of such a thing?

Re:Less Lethal... (2, Insightful)

mweather (1089505) | about 5 years ago | (#29391025)

There is no intended non-lethal purpose, because it is non non-lethal.

Re:Less Lethal... (5, Insightful)

megamerican (1073936) | about 5 years ago | (#29391139)

There is no intended non-lethal purpose, because it is non non-lethal.

Yes, non-lethal, except for the 100's of times it has killed people. Tasers are nothing but a torture device used like a cattle prod when people don't "comply" with police orders.

They were originally intended to be used in cases where a gun would have been used. These devices would never be used against people in the manner they now are in a truly free society.

Re:Less Lethal... (4, Funny)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 5 years ago | (#29391175)

"And here we have the Legal Department, which pursues county coroners who suggest that our device could possibly interfere with heart rhythms. That's Doug over there, yes, the one with the horns and the tail. He came to us after a stint with Adolf Hitler. He's responsible for, ah, marketing."

Re:Less Lethal... (2, Insightful)

catbertscousin (770186) | about 5 years ago | (#29391249)

Or the police could just go back to using guns...

Re:Less Lethal... (5, Insightful)

bcmm (768152) | about 5 years ago | (#29391359)

Yeah, because when they used guns exclusively it was commonplace to shoot someone in cuffs for struggling against being put in a police car, or shoot someone, yell "get up" at them, then shoot them again cause they can't.

Using Tasers instead of guns is a good thing, but they are constantly being used in situations which would not warrent the use of a firearm, and Taser International's own training and marketing material is a least partly to blame.

Re:Less Lethal... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29391677)

shoot someone, yell "get up" at them, then shoot them again cause they can't.

This is what hollywood has been telling us (and telling LAPD officers) for decades is standard practice in the USA ("stop (running away) or i'll shoot!")

But then they also tell us that all american cars will explode in a huge fireball if they get so much as a scratch on the paintwork (unlike e.g. a Volvo). OK maybe that is just Ford.

Re:Less Lethal... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29391341)

Why has this been modded as a troll?

Tasers clearly are dangerous and the company itself is disgusting - they have tried to get the result of the Braidwood enquiry into the death of an immigrant tasered at Vancouer international, changed so that it doesn't say the tasers were responsible for his death.

I found this puff piece nauseating.

Re:Less Lethal... (1, Insightful)

Ichijo (607641) | about 5 years ago | (#29391405)

Yes, non-lethal, except for the 100's of times it has killed people.

The same can be said for airbags and seatbelts. Therefore, these things must all be banned, right?

Re:Less Lethal... (3, Insightful)

jgtg32a (1173373) | about 5 years ago | (#29391435)

I see what you did there, you changed the words. Tasers are called less than lethal not non-lethal.

But I do agree with you they are over used. Personally I think that the officer should draw their gun when they would normally be allowed to tase the perp. If that doesn't work and its save to switch from a gun to a taser they should then do so.

Re:Less Lethal... (1)

Jarik C-Bol (894741) | about 5 years ago | (#29391585)

they call it "Less Lethal" its not Non-Lethal, its Less Lethal, aka, you *might* not die.

Re:Less Lethal... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29391085)

Crowd control.

Re:Less Lethal... (5, Insightful)

oldspewey (1303305) | about 5 years ago | (#29391099)

What exactly is the intended non-lethal purpose of such a thing?

I'm gonna take a totally wild guess here: to make profits for Taser Inc.?

Re:Less Lethal... (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 5 years ago | (#29391113)

crowds.

Re:Less Lethal... (4, Interesting)

vertinox (846076) | about 5 years ago | (#29391131)

Just like a club is less lethal than a sword... but it still does 1d6.

I think the key here is that the "less lethal" concept means to many that "you can use it more than a gun and get away with it" which is a problem because in a small subset of its use it does become lethal or causes situations that cause death when normal restraining methods would have sufficed without incident.

Re:Less Lethal... (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | about 5 years ago | (#29391157)

Not "non-lethal", "less-lethal".

And yes I would prefer to be standing in front of that when it went of that be standing in front of a claymore mine when it went off.

And the purpose is obviously to fire into a crowd at a choke point in order to hurt as many of them as you can.

Re:Less Lethal... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29391235)

Tell me, when is the last time you heard that a police force used claymore mines?

That's what I tought.

Re:Less Lethal... (2, Informative)

nedlohs (1335013) | about 5 years ago | (#29391349)

How does that matter to it being clearly "less-lethal" than a claymore mine?

And why would the police use it anyway? THe description in the article refers to "Military personnel" at "checkpoints".

Re:Less Lethal... (1, Offtopic)

Jarik C-Bol (894741) | about 5 years ago | (#29391699)

you know they make a rubber bullet version of claymore mines? the dolts on that Jackass show all lined up and got shot with one. wets the size of golf balls. personally, i think *that* would be safer than the tazer claymore.
(welts, or half a dozen pairs of needles delivering electrical shocks to interrupt my nervous system. hmmmmm yeah i'll take welts)

Re:Less Lethal... (2, Insightful)

Bakkster (1529253) | about 5 years ago | (#29391161)

Just like a club is less lethal than a sword... but it still does 1d6.

Personally, most taser incidents where the perp is not threatening the officer's safety should be replaced with a rap on the calf or elsewhere with a smaller billy-club. Still hurts, without resorting to electric shocks. Less likely to die from 'mysterious circumstances' from a sharp rap on a muscle than from electrical pulses (and less of an uproar, probably, when they do).

Re:Less Lethal... (5, Informative)

Duradin (1261418) | about 5 years ago | (#29391221)

You don't want to rely on pain for compliance. It just doesn't work on all people. The electric shock of a taser screws with the target's muscles, it's not just pain.

Grab on to a non-pulse electric fence sometime near the fencing unit. Try to let go.

Re:Less Lethal... (2, Insightful)

Bakkster (1529253) | about 5 years ago | (#29391391)

Right, but that should be reserved for times when otherwise an officer would use a firearm to subdue the perp. Tasers have expanded their role to include instances where the officer would have just hit the perp and been rough with them.

There are some times when a taser can fit between these two places (some massive dude high on PCP is threatening to pummel a cop with his fists, I'm not going to require the cop to subdue him physically if he has access to a stun gun), but in general, I think that most of your taser stories ('don't tase me bro' guy or the naked wizard) would be better handled by just cuffing them roughly. Of course, when you have a dude covered in kerosene charging you with a lighter, a taser seems like a better alternative than an officer dying or needing to shoot the guy in the kneecaps.

Re:Less Lethal... (5, Insightful)

schon (31600) | about 5 years ago | (#29391673)

Tasers have expanded their role to include instances where the officer would have just hit the perp and been rough with them.

Actually, they've expanded their role to include instances where the officer just wants to punish someone when they don't do as they're told, like when they can't move because they're lying on the ground with a broken back. [alternet.org]

Re:Less Lethal... (2, Interesting)

Artraze (600366) | about 5 years ago | (#29391447)

Actually, it's essentially pain. True, it's not exactly same, but neither are burns and cuts. The muscular interference effect is largely unimportant as it tends to be both short lived (i.e. duration of shock) and fairly localized. If someone is high PCP and charging you, zapping them on the arm isn't really going to do much better than a billy club. Unless, of course, you keep the current on until they're dead, but that kinda misses the point, doesn't it?

If the money spent on tazers and tazer training (and defending tazer death suits) was instead spent on billy clubs and (here's the important part:) close combat classes, officers would generally be better off.

Re:Less Lethal... (2)

smooth wombat (796938) | about 5 years ago | (#29391657)

If the money spent on tazers and tazer training (and defending tazer death suits) was instead spent on billy clubs and (here's the important part:) close combat classes, officers would generally be better off.

Right, because when someone is charging a cop, it's much better they be allowed to get up close and personal before the cop can begin to disable them with a club than it is to have the cop shoot them at a distance with a taser.

The whole point of both guns and tasers is to keep the person away from the officer.

Re:Less Lethal... (2)

ScentCone (795499) | about 5 years ago | (#29391729)

billy clubs and (here's the important part:) close combat classes

Yeah, I'll mention that to a cop I know. She's 5'-2". I'm sure she'd much rather get into a physical fight with PCP-stoked guy twice her size than simply drop him, alive, like a sack of potatos. Though it sounds like you'd prefer she used a firearm in that situation.

Re:Less Lethal... (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | about 5 years ago | (#29391463)

So we need Combine stun sticks, leave them off unless you need a takedown

Re:Less Lethal... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29391167)

These guys are just grown up kids who liked to make toy guns when they were little. The security doors and all of this hi-tech warhgarble is testament to it too. They have no reason to need this kind of security at the front doors. It is a a front for games that they play in their minds. They are constantly at war with the unseen enemy and must constantly be on guard to protect themselves from this invisible juggernaut. So really, the 'electronic equivalent of a claymore mine' is to protect themselves from their imaginary enemies, nothing more. Sad thing is that people will use these things against innocent people, maybe some who aren't so innocent it will be used correctly, but occasionally used just because people like to impose their power upon others. Then all of their actions were justified, for here is a real enemy and our contraption did exactly what it was supposed to do! At least these guys don't try to make lethal devices, as once their power tripping is over there is at least someone who is alive in the end.

Re:Less Lethal... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29391183)

I can imagine crowd control. Once all gatherings are made illegal, this is what the governing class can use to control the slaves. And, all they have to do to make it lethal is turn up the voltage or produce certain impulse sequences.

Sweet technology if you are an oppressor.

I'd like to see laws allowing citizens to carry tazers and use them against anyone presenting a life-threat, including police officers.

Re:Less Lethal... (4, Interesting)

Bobb9000 (796960) | about 5 years ago | (#29391227)

Less Lethal...Just like a club is less lethal than a sword... but it still does 1d6.

Yep - that's why they started calling them "less-lethal" weapons rather than "non-lethal" weapons...though if we're doing dnd references, I'd argue that many of them do subdural damage and something more like a 1d2 with a 5% chance of causing death.

What exactly is the intended non-lethal purpose of such a thing?

What lethal uses did you have in mind, exactly? It doesn't sound very effective at killing people. As a less-lethal weapon, however, it sounds useful for crowd control, remote perimeters where you'd rather capture than kill, ambushs where you'd rather capture than kill...any number of things.

Re:Less Lethal... (1)

xrayspx (13127) | about 5 years ago | (#29391431)

"1d2", you mean, like a coin?

Re:Less Lethal... (1)

skirtsteak_asshat (1622625) | about 5 years ago | (#29391255)

In the future, heroin will be replaced by pure Colombian electricity and the streets will be filled with hordes of electricity-depraved zombies. Now, you could waste precious ammunition on these pour souls, but why? Just set the Tase-more mine, flip the switch, and run along. The zombies get their daily fix of electrified needles and fall into a peaceful slumber. Problem solved. Meanwhile, you've saved your buckshot for the REAL enemy of the people; the comcast horde and its mighty flotilla of death vans! If the comcastinites were ever to get their hands on Taser technology... we would surely pay a price. After 6 months, we would pay more.

Re:Less Lethal... (1)

Jared555 (874152) | about 5 years ago | (#29391631)

In addition to what others have said (crowds), it would probably be more effective (maybe cheaper depending on bulk discounts) when it comes to automated defense than attaching a taser to a couple motors and using a computer to track a target.

Short Sword (1)

mujadaddy (1238164) | about 5 years ago | (#29391737)

My short sword does 1d6, you insensitive clod!

Security theater (5, Funny)

Animats (122034) | about 5 years ago | (#29391081)

The front entrance is very impressive. But it's security theater. Google StreetView shows the entrance to the loading dock [google.com] , where the gate has been left open.

Re:Security theater (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29391137)

What you don't see is the carefully placed taser claymore around the corner and a team of giddy scientists waiting for their next test subject.

Seriously, don't taze me. (3, Insightful)

MRe_nl (306212) | about 5 years ago | (#29391089)

The term electronic police state describes a state in which the government aggressively uses electronic technologies to record, organize, search and taze its citizens.

If you treat me like an animal don't be surprised when i bite you in the face.

Bzzzzt (1)

TheModelEskimo (968202) | about 5 years ago | (#29391105)

"And to your left - if everyone will put on their goggles, please - you'll see our product tester of the month, Jorge. Let's all give Jorge a hand!"

"Stand back a little there, ma'am. Thank you."

When you walked in.... (2, Funny)

operagost (62405) | about 5 years ago | (#29391109)

Were your first words, "Don't tase me, bro!"

and all I can think (5, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 5 years ago | (#29391111)

The foyer is like a fortress, with giant steel doors and biometric identification systems...

Security like that for a business like theirs is just for show. It's there for all the "foreign dignitaries" with their big pocket books. Which makes me think of other elements of their corporate identity. These people market "non-lethal" weapons and then cover up the research that says that blasting tens of thousand of volts through the human nervous system might just have some negative effects. Not that there isn't a ton of historical evidence saying that when you science and law enforcement meet, a conspiracy usually results. Taser's products are not "non-lethal", they are "less lethal"... But the police and people who buy their equipment love to watch people scream and fall over because they smarted off to them, and for this, Taser Corporation delivers. And although their products could easily be designed to be more humanitarian, curiously these changes never make it to market.

Re:and all I can think (5, Informative)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 5 years ago | (#29391199)

Based on the following excerpt, from page 19 of the X26C operator's manual, I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that "more humanitarian" would be seen as a defect. The last three lines are particularly... Suggestive.

"Page 19
TASER® X26C Operating Manual

DRIVE-STUN BACKUP
Drive-stun capability is available with or without a TASER Cartridge installed. The drive-
stun mode will not cause NMI and generally becomes primarily a pain compliance option.
Probe deployment is usually considered more desirable, even at close range. Some of the
advantages include:
Drive-stun is only effective while the device is in contact with the subject or the
subject's clothing. As soon as the device is moved away, the energy efiect stops.
Deploying the probes allows the user to create distance between the user and the
subject while maintaining control.
Due to automatic reflex actions, most subjects will struggle to separate from the
TASER device. When the TASER device is used in the drive-stun mode and the subject
struggles to get away it may be difficult to maintain contact between the device and
the subject.
If the probes are deployed, even at very close range, the user may be able to use
drive-stun to another portion of the body that is farther away from the probes,
thereby resulting in enhanced NMI effect.
If the drive-stun is not effective, evaluate the location of the drive-stun and consider an
additional cycle to a different pressure point.
When using the drive-stun, push (drive) the front of the TASER X26C firmly against the body
of the subject. Simply "touching" the X26C against the subject is not sufficient. The subject
is likely to recoil and try to get away from the stun electrodes. It is necessary to aggressively
drive the front of the X26C into the subject for maximum efiect.
The drive-stun works more effectively when aggressively applied to pressure points on nerve
bundles. This includes the brachial area, common peronial, mastoid, and pelvic triangle. The
TASER X26C must be actively depressed or aggressively driven into the nerve bundles in a
"drive-stun" manner to be effective in the drive-stun mode.
RECOMMENDED DRIVE-STUN AREAS FOR MAXIMUM EFFECT
Drive the X26C into the following areas for maximum effectiveness.
Carotid (sides of neck) (see warning below).
Brachial plexus tie-in (upper chest).
Radial (forearm).
Pelvic triangle (see warning below).
Common peronial (Outside of thigh).
Tibial (calf muscle).
WARNING: Use care when applying a drive-stun to the neck or pelvic triangle. These areas
are sensitive to mechanical injury (such as crushing to the trachea or testicles if applied
forcefully). However, these areas have proven highly effective targets."

Taser admit to torture (3, Insightful)

whoever57 (658626) | about 5 years ago | (#29391419)

Drive-stun capability is available with or without a TASER Cartridge installed. The drive- stun mode will not cause NMI and generally becomes primarily a pain compliance option.

"Pain compliance"? In other words, torture.

Re:and all I can think (0, Troll)

CannonballHead (842625) | about 5 years ago | (#29391217)

Fists can be lethal, too.

Fists might just have some negative effects.

I'm curious. What do you suggest police use? Here is your criteria:

  1. It has to be quick.
  2. It has to more or less immobilize.
  3. It apparently cannot have any negative effects?
  4. It cannot even have the potential of killing someone.
  5. It cannot come from "science."

Slightly tongue in cheek and sarcastic, of course. I realize police brutality exists. Civilian brutality does, too... and so far, all the police that I have met have been pretty good citizens and good police men. The brutal police make the news, not the other ones. So, what exists for a police to use that is capable of immobilizing a suspect (let's assume he's dangerous and he's running around a crowd of people and they need to immobilize him *now* to prevent harm to innocent bystanders). Guns work well, but that's significantly more lethal than a taser. Tasers appear to work quite well, but there is a chance of killing the person (less of a chance with a gun though). It has to be something that doesn't affect anyone else (e.g., some sort of spray wouldn't work)...

Frankly, I'm glad there ARE police. Bad ones definitely exist, but it appears that they are far fewer than the good ones. Bad civilians exist, too... probably more, proportionately, than bad police. And they don't care if the weapon THEY use is non-lethal...

Re:and all I can think (3, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 5 years ago | (#29391415)

Fists can be lethal, too. Fists might just have some negative effects.

Captain Obvious laughs at you. Strict rules are followed when using physical force, and officers only employ it when necessary, due to risk of "police brutality charges". Electrocuting someone for several minutes, however, escapes that kind of regulation.

I'm curious. What do you suggest police use? Here is your criteria:

No, you're not curious. You're a troll, and you made that list up.

So, what exists for a police to use that is capable of immobilizing a suspect (let's assume he's dangerous and he's running around a crowd of people and they need to immobilize him *now* to prevent harm to innocent bystanders). Guns work well, but that's significantly more lethal than a taser.

Guns have lots of policies governing their use, and most officers go their entire career without ever discharging their firearm in the line of duty. And it (rightly) scares the crap out of them when they have to. But thanks to a lot of training and an understanding that "hey, this could kill someone" -- a combination of morality and training prevents adrenaline from compromising their judgement at the critical time. And most people who are shot survive (little known fact). a 9mm doesn't have a lot of stopping power. Tasers, on the other hand -- officers are trained to pull them out at the first sign of resistance. People get Tasered for merely asking questions, which on the police report is listed as "Did not follow police orders". It's an abuse of power, plain and simple -- weapons are used for the safety of both the officer and the citizentry. They should never be employed because a person is verbally abusive or confrontational unless there's the clear and present threat of physical violence or immediate escalation to. But that line of thinking never makes it into policy guides because Taser tells them "Hey, no lasting effects, instant compliance guaranteed."

Tasers appear to work quite well, but there is a chance of killing the person (less of a chance with a gun though).

And in your entire diatribe, this is the point you miss: Tasers can kill, but the policies governing their use do not take this into account. This is due to the marketing and intentional manipulation of evidence by the Taser Corporation -- and it's only been very recently that they've started to change their tune ever so subtlety from "non-lethal" to "less-lethal", but they're not about to advocate policy changes that would reduce the use of their product -- even when they know their product can kill. Another kind of corporation did this once -- Cigarette manufacturers. And it took more than forty years before people were able to bust them on it. Taser might never have to face the music if private citizens and special interest groups don't continually hound them.

Re:and all I can think (0, Troll)

CannonballHead (842625) | about 5 years ago | (#29391629)

I'm actually curious about what you'd suggest though. I'm not a troll, I'm just sarcastic.... hehe.

Yes, physical violence is something police have to be extremely careful about. And gun usage. Even just holding the gun. Tasers get a free pass? I kinda doubt that, but I'll believe it if you show me where it says that police using tasers are exempt from police brutality accusations...

"People get Tasered for merely asking questions." Yes, most people that get tasered are innocently standing there, hands in the air, asking how the weather is. I'm not saying you can't use it to abuse power or that abuse of power doesn't happen. But that happens with all other forms of weapons. Including fists and handcuffs. So is the issue the taser or is the issue the policeman's abuse of power? I don't see how taking away a less-lethal weapon is going to help.

OK, so let's make some policies about using tasers. I'm fine with that. Limiting the ability of police's abuse is fine with me. On the other hand, I'd rather not make it, as seems to be popular, something like ... if a policeman touches his taser and his suspect is unarmed, it is police brutality....

It's a pretty difficult issue, and I don't think the fix is simply to toss the taser and remove guns from policemen (which some have advocated), nor are simple "policies" going to fix it. That will, at best, just fix the police report for those police that want to abuse the power they have. On the other hand, if criminals (like, say, Garrido) can serve what, 10 out of his 57 years, and then get a Get Out of Jail Free card... well, maybe we should start thinking about punishing criminals as strictly as we want to punish police, too. I get tired of the sympathize-with-criminals while complaining-about-police news... not everyone is a criminal, and not all police are power abusers. I see just as much "badness" in letting a criminal out of jail easily as not punishing an abusive policeman...

Re:and all I can think (1)

Schadrach (1042952) | about 5 years ago | (#29391733)

The argument though is that police are more apt to discharge a taser than a firearm to begin with. That in situations where it would be deemed bad judgment and possibly a career-killing move to discharge a firearm on someone, the police are much more likely to discharge a taser. If tasers were a replacement for a pistol and treated as such when an incident was reviewed it would be one thing, but they get used in situations where before their advent an officer would not have fired at all.

Re:and all I can think (1)

vertinox (846076) | about 5 years ago | (#29391741)

I'm curious. What do you suggest police use? Here is your criteria:

If a person is unarmed and resisting arrest, an officer should clearly warn the person he/she will be forced to use a taser at least 3 times and that they are also under arrest and start reading their Miranda rights.

On the 3rd request and no compliance then... You had fair warning.

The problem most officers get into is that that they pull it out and use it right away without any good reason and haven't notified the person of their arrest other than the initial part of being non-compliant which constitutes no threat to anyone nearby.

Despite what they say a police officer cannot detain or restrain you without first putting you under arrest... And they must have a valid reason to put you under arrest.

If the person is wielding a weapon then by all means use whatever force is needed.

Thank You Letters (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29391505)

Plus they can show off all their thank you letters from the governments of Burma, Iran, North Korea, China...

Re:and all I can think (2, Interesting)

SOdhner (1619761) | about 5 years ago | (#29391579)

Security like that for a business like theirs is just for show. It's there for all the "foreign dignitaries" with their big pocket books.

For show or not, it really is a more-secure-than-average place. Until recently I worked for the company that cleans it and while I don't have (and wouldn't give) details I know I was told the security is closer to a bank than an office building. The president of the company was also told that if he volunteered to be Tazed they would give him a free shirt. He passed.

Tasers are lethal (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29391121)

Taser are NOT "non-lethal."

They have killed many times. Amnesty International says 351 people have been killed by tasers in police hands. Although they are marketed as non-lethal and safe, they are most definitely not.

Information on taser deaths:
http://www.amnestyusa.org/us-human-rights/taser-abuse/page.do?id=1021202
http://www.justicenewsflash.com/2009/08/31/dallas-wrongful-death-lawyer_200908312018.html
http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2009/05/14/crimesider/entry5013690.shtml
http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/news/articles/0730taser30.html
http://www.wsws.org/articles/2009/jun2009/tasr-j19.shtml
http://www.startribune.com/13841301.html
http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20126936.100-taser-guns-raised-deaths-in-custody.html
http://www.taserdeaths.org/

Their marketing is part of the problem. Because they are seen as "safe," officers are more likely to use them in situations where it is unnecessary. There are many viral videos where the police officer goes directly to the taser as soon as the person asks a question or protests in any way. (I would post them, but youtube is inaccessible from my work.) They are more likely to escalate a situation and use force because they believe the taser to be safe. For example, there was one incident a woman was tased in front of her kids after protesting an unjustified traffic ticket. The officer in question was about a foot taller and outweighed her by around 100 lbs, yet felt threated enough that using a weapon was justified even though the woman made no aggressive movement against him at all. Thankfully she didn't die, the ticket was dismissed and she is currently in the process of filing a lawsuit. (http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2009/08/mom_in_minivan_tasered_in_traf.html)

Re:Tasers are lethal (0, Troll)

SnarfQuest (469614) | about 5 years ago | (#29391331)

The police should thus avoid using tasers, and resort to the more politically correct shotgun blast to the face. This should prove a much more suitable method of handling aggressive combatants than the excessively deadly taser. No sane person would choose a taser when they could receive a shotgun blast to their face.

Re:Tasers are lethal (1)

noidentity (188756) | about 5 years ago | (#29391347)

But the summary says "less-lethal". It's still lethal, just not as lethal. It's kind of like getting a woman "less-pregnant". Er hmmm, what does less-lethal mean again?

Re:Tasers are lethal (1)

timbck2 (233967) | about 5 years ago | (#29391469)

less-often-lethal.

Re:Tasers are lethal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29391515)

Er hmmm, what does less-lethal mean again?

That it's still a weapon which can result in serious complications which can lead to death, however its primary purpose is to subdue, rather than injure.

A nightstick, which is what the TASER replaces for the most part, is also a 'less lethal' weapon. I'd argue that the switch to TASER rather than a bludgeon is a wholly positive one, even if TASER misuse is getting more publicity (What, you think no cops ever misuse their billy club? Really?)

Re:Tasers are lethal (3, Interesting)

jdgeorge (18767) | about 5 years ago | (#29391369)

Taser are NOT "non-lethal."

...

Thankfully she didn't die, the ticket was dismissed and she is currently in the process of filing a lawsuit. (http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2009/08/mom_in_minivan_tasered_in_traf.html)

The summary says "less lethal". Read The Fine Summary, please.

The real complaint seems to be not that Tasers are anywhere near as lethal as handguns, but that they are more likely to be abused due to the expectation of the users that a Taser won't cause serious injury or death.

Re:Tasers are lethal (2, Insightful)

rickb928 (945187) | about 5 years ago | (#29391605)

It's not the size of the dog in the fight.
It's the size of the fight in the dog.

Trust me on this.

I knew two female police officers, neither of which I would challenge, despite outweighing them. being significantly taller, more reach, and stronger by every objective measure. EVEN^H^H^H^HEspecially without their gun being handy. They do not need anything but their hands.

And one of them died when a drunk driver ran her over and then went back and beat her to death.

Tasers are no doubt used inappropriately, and police officers exercise bad judgement occasionally, possible even more often. But you never know what is going to happen as a police officer.

When I get pulled over, I put my hands on the dash, ask the officer what they want me to do, tell them what I am reaching for, where, and what it will look like. I want the officer to be confident they know what is happening. No surprises, nothing unexpected. I don't want to become a victim of bad judgement, knowing it will probably be my own mistake that sets off that series of events.

And yet, we should expect our officers to improve their practices and avoid killing us unecessarily.

Taser Use (5, Insightful)

Petersko (564140) | about 5 years ago | (#29391135)

I know this is offtopic (somewhat) so I won't mind if it's moderated out of usefulness, but I'll get on my soapbox at this point.

A taser should only ever be used as an alternative to shooting somebody. If you wouldn't shoot them in the same situation, you shouldn't taser them.

Resisting arrest alone should not mean tasering is on the table, even with a difficult struggle. Law enforcement is getting way to used to tasering simply to avoid any kind of physical confrontation.

If tasers didn't have the lethality question hanging over them I would think differently, but according to Amnesty International [www.cbc.ca] , at least, 334 people died after taser shocks between 2001 and 2008.

Re:Taser Use (1)

RockClimbingFool (692426) | about 5 years ago | (#29391393)

Police officers are armed. Any time they engage in a physical confrontation, there is a chance their firearm will be taken and used against them.

Police officers are not he men. People they arrest can be high, holding a concealed weapon, or can flat out over power the officer.

You have a beef with a ticket? Being arrested? Have your day in court. Sue afterward for unlawful prosecution. Knock yourself out.

No where in the constitution does it give you the right impede the police officers duty. If he is wrong, it will be found out in a court of law.

Any time a suspect does not comply with the officers direction, it is a life or death situation. Period. For most officers who are killed in the line of duty, it is usually during routine traffic stops.

Re:Taser Use (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | about 5 years ago | (#29391555)

In theory, your advice is sound. In reality, your advice is too expensive for the average citizen.

You have a beef with a ticket? Being arrested? Have your day in court.

People have had careers destroyed because they were "charged" but not convicted.

If he is wrong, it will be found out in a court of law.

And often times, a police officer is wrong, but it is not handled by the court.

Any time a suspect does not comply with the officers direction, it is a life or death situation.

I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that statement was made in frustration or anger. Certainly, every case where an officer does not get his wait (rightfully, or not) is not a life or death situation.
      Officer: "You cannot take pictures here."
      Citizen: "Why not?"
That is definitely NOT a life or death situation.

The difficulty here is that officers have a fine line to walk, and they often are not the best trained people to be walking that line.

Re:Taser Use (-1, Troll)

RockClimbingFool (692426) | about 5 years ago | (#29391665)

You seemed to have missed my point about us not having the right to argue and debate with a police officer. We don't have that right.

And as for your picture taking example, public disagreements between a police officer and an average person can devolve very quickly into a bad situation. Other people get themselves involved and before you know it, the officer is out manned and can easily loose control of the situation.

We don't have the right to setup our own little court in public and debate whether or not we are to be arrested or cited.

Re:Taser Use (1)

Volante3192 (953645) | about 5 years ago | (#29391399)

at least 334 people died after taser shocks between 2001 and 2008.

Tasers less lethal than swine flu!

Re:Taser Use (1)

destuxor (874523) | about 5 years ago | (#29391449)

Less-lethal weapons can actually be more effective than real guns in some ways.
Many Soldiers and Policemen have found that many suspects will flee when a gun is pointed at them. They know that shooting an unarmed suspect is typically unlawful. Of course, not all Soldiers/Policemen follow their Rules of Engagement (ROE) perfectly, but nonetheless making a run for it just might pay off in the short term.
Tasers return the psychological advantage to the warfighter by giving the suspect/enemy assurance that lawful force will be used if the suspect/enemy does not comply with all lawful orders by said warfighter.
Not saying it's a perfect world, not pretending technology is a panacea, but in the gray area a non-lethal weapon can be the least of many evils.

Re:Taser Use (1)

onkelonkel (560274) | about 5 years ago | (#29391639)

Way off Politically Correct here (and I'm not saying we shouldn't have women or asian police officers), but it has been observed that use of tasers went way up in step with the hiring of women and some minorities. The stereotypical 6'2" 240 lb Irish beat cop has more "intimidation factor" going for him than a 5' 4" 140 lb woman or Asian guy.

Re:Taser Use (2, Insightful)

CannonballHead (842625) | about 5 years ago | (#29391655)

at least, 334 people died after taser shocks between 2001 and 2008.

Let's see other stats, too. How many of those people were armed? How many people died from police guns? How many times was the taser used? A random stat from an opponent of tasers is not going to help anything, probably, more than a random stat from an advocate of tasers...

The Most Deadly Non-Lethal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29391159)

If its so non-lethal how come I always hear on the news about someone dying in relation to a taser being used on them? Hell, anyone can die from something, am I the only one who saw the tea cup scene in "Chronicles of Riddick"?

Re:The Most Deadly Non-Lethal (5, Insightful)

Volante3192 (953645) | about 5 years ago | (#29391327)

Because it's the exception.

People die in car crashes daily and regularly (one cite I saw said 115), but at best they're mentioned on traffic reports. "Fatal car accident on I-5, traffic backed up for miles..." You'll never hear about those outside of the local area unless someone famous is involved.

But a plane crash that results in fatailites gets reported nationwide for a good week.

The more statistically improbable a fatal incident is, the more probable it will be reported on.

Re:The Most Deadly Non-Lethal (1)

Burning1 (204959) | about 5 years ago | (#29391561)

The more statistically improbable a fatal incident is, the more probable it will be reported on.

I was thinking about that this morning. It reminds me of the old Stalin quite:

"If you kill one man, it is a tragedy. But if you kill 1 million, it is a statistic."

Re:The Most Deadly Non-Lethal (1)

Darth Snowshoe (1434515) | about 5 years ago | (#29391759)

Digby wrote a guest column for Salon, "Let's talk about tasers" that I think is very relevant here; http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2009/08/10/tasers/index.html [salon.com] Basically his assertion is that tasers are being used more often when handguns would not have otherwise been used, and are sometimes being used as a means of intimidation, often arbitrarily. Sure, death by taser is unlikely. But if you give them to every policeman in America, the odds of it occuring go way up.

Claymore mine (2, Insightful)

onedobb (868860) | about 5 years ago | (#29391171)

I understand the less lethal part, but doesn't anyone see the inherent danger of hurling electrified needles into the air. It could poke your eye out then send a electric charge right to the head. Into your mouth if your screaming or yelling. The jugular vein is basically unprotected and a unlucky shot there could puncture it. On another note, wonder if their testing includes a person wearing different types of clothing for like summer and winter. Also if the voltage needed to subdue someone fluctuates greatly between people of different weights.

Re:Claymore mine (0, Troll)

SnarfQuest (469614) | about 5 years ago | (#29391381)

You'd definitely want to use a real claymore instead of one of these dangerous things.

Let's do a comparison: You stand in front of a real claymore, and I'll stand in front of one of these. After firing them, you'll have your proof of their deadliness compared to a claymore.

Re:Claymore mine (1)

swanzilla (1458281) | about 5 years ago | (#29391409)

Back in my days as a bouncer, I saw several people "ride the lightning." I can assure you that those probes can make contact through winter coats and jeans with no problem. I do not personally agree with the frequency of their use, but I can say that a taser is far more effective of a way to subdue someone out of control than pepper spray. I have been hit with that crap as a bystander...not fun to deal with, and in all honesty, it seems to irritate the target more than it helps to control the situation.

I think the real reason tasers are used with such frequency is the public outcry whenever law enforcement officers get physical with a perpetrator. I think if the police were allowed to pull out their night-stick without having everybody up in arms, taser use would be reserved for situations when it is actually called for. The night-stick would offer the same effect of showing the gravity of the situation, without the potential for a death by taser.

Re:Claymore mine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29391763)

High voltage burns, amps (even less than 1 ampere) kill. The main issue is getting it to travel across your heart and start fibrillation. So, as long as the taser hits you on one side or the other (but not across your heart), you should be nominally fine and in a lot of pain.

The claymore idea makes me worry that it would be much easier to get stuck on opposing sides of the body (like both the left and right shoulder), sending current across the heart and causing it to stop.

oi (1)

KingPin27 (1290730) | about 5 years ago | (#29391201)

I for one would really rather not be on the testing end of the

electronic equivalent of a claymore mine, which hurls dozens of electrified needles at the push of a button

interesting (1)

KingPin27 (1290730) | about 5 years ago | (#29391239)

Sorry for the double post but I was just going through the photos FTFA. Anyone else notice that the entrance in the foyer is all metallic and the roof is baffled. Also what looks like a giant exhaust fan in the center. I wonder --- if you get the passcode wrong, do you get tazed?

Photo here [wired.com]

Oh, the humanity. (4, Funny)

catbertscousin (770186) | about 5 years ago | (#29391269)

How dare they manufacture a product that could harm people! They should change their company and make harmless, useful equipment like baseball bats, kitchen knives, and tire irons.

Security Theater (3, Insightful)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | about 5 years ago | (#29391313)

This foyer may look like the entrance to the Control headquarters from an episode of Get Smart, but this is the front door of the Taser plant. The corporation has plenty of reasons for high security. It recently launched an online warehouse for digital evidence, so keeping trespassers out is a top priority.

Looking at the image [wired.com] , my impression is that this is more about appearances than real security. It's all about looking high-tech and security oriented.

Tasers don't kill people (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29391333)

Over-reactive police and prison guards kill people. Personally I would rather be shot, but that's just me.

Obligatory Get Smart comment (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29391543)

Taser test victim that survives - "Missed me by that much"

Here's the most detailed list of US taser deaths (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29391571)

Look [blogspot.com] at how death numbers increased after 2002. I remember tasers being used in the 80's, therefore there must be something different in the way they are used. Or maybe most new trigger happy cops are recruited among Iraq vets with some serious issues in their head.

Sounds like something out of E.M. Unfred (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29391635)

From the Weaseljumper series:

      I followed Jae and No-man through the silent corridors of the Penitentiary. The cells were all empty and the doors stood open. The autocams pivoted to aim at us as we passed by. Their plasma dart canisters, which I assumed were empty, hung menacingly from them. I knew what those things could do: they were designed for mob suppression, on the really, really good theory that a quick way to command the attention and respect of a band of Penitentiary inmates driven to insane rage by the monotony of four gray walls and constant subliminal suggestions of happy conformity would be to boil off the unlucky ones in the front row, leaving the rest of the group retching on the nauseating vapors. The plasma dart was a favorite weaseler toy. One had only to be careful not to use it on a weasel, for those fumes would corrode your lungs and your chest would cave in and you would have to be disposed of as toxic waste.

Antistatic mats? (1)

argent (18001) | about 5 years ago | (#29391749)

It looks like they're using antistatic mats on their quality control stations. I would have thought they'd want to limit the conductive surfaces, given the voltages they're using.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?