I apologize if this is slightly off topic. I don't know who carries a TASER. Being an engineer and having an electrical background I have never bought the argument that TASERS aren't lethal weapons. I have always believed that they have the potential to be just as lethal as any other weapon, maybe more so because of the cavalier approach that is taken with them. Anywho, I read this in the NYT.
It's not really OT. This is Open carry and although it is generally oriented to firearms, any defensive weapon can and has been discussed. To be honest, it's more on topic than the numerous concealed topics we have.
I carry a Taser. Usually in conjunction with a Handgun and pepper and sometimes all by itself. It has some advantages. No permit to conceal, can be carried in places that serve alcohol (Concealed). Many places that prohibit "Weapons" allow Tasers.
They are just another level of defense. Thankfully, there are few situations that require shooting someone.
My opinion is that just under the firearm, comes impact weapons as far as potential lethality,
Right under that is the knife and just below it is the Taser.
Everything has it's proper use under certain situations.
Here is the problems with a lot of police Tasings as I see it and a little history is necessary.
Not too many years ago, police officers were different people. Radio communications weren't that good and you didn't have a cop under every rock.
Officers were simply tougher. Some were dumb bastards (some still are), but tough dumb bastards. They carried a blackjack on their person. Most uniform pants had a special pocket for it. Later, the flat sap became popular because it was easier to carry, didn't wear holes in their pants and were less lethal. You also had to hit the subject with the edge to be effective.
As time progressed the Baton regained popularity. It was at one time, the weapon of choice for LE. There was the short day stick (sort of a wooden blackjack) and the longer night stick. These go way back to the Constables' truncheon.
Again, time passed, administrations changed and officers got more sissified. Most went to the night stick which is supposed to be used as a control device first and an impact weapon second. Didn't work that way though so they went to side handle batons so it was less likely to smack someone the head and kill them.
Rodney King did that in.
So the new breed of cop, who just doesn't have what it takes to physically take an aggressive suspect into custody, needed something other than pepper gas.
Tasers were invented as a weapon for Sky Marshals. I had one of the first ones. It was big and heavy and classified by the ATF as "any other weapon"
They were also expensive and that hasn't changed.
After the original Taser company went bankrupt, the new group developed the Air Taser and T Waves and they are effective.
At last the limber wristed, new wave cops, who had more mouth than azz, had the perfect tool to force compliance and since Taser says they are non-lethal, it must be so.
As a result they are way over used. In some areas, department policy would prefer Taser use than physically restraining the subject. There have been cases of Grandmothers, children, disabled people in wheel chairs and non violent suspects being Tased. The result have been deaths.
At first, death was always blamed on something else and my opinion is, that's partially true. If you Tase someone with a heart condition and he dies, it was a bad heart that killed him. The Taser just greased the tracks.
On the newer Tasers, the company reduced the wattage to mitigate liability and gave a lame excuse that it was to improve the Twave. The newer models don't work as well as their big brothers which I'm hanging on to my old one.
As police use or over use continues, the death toll will continue to climb until it gets too expensive for the departments. Then Tasers will go the way of night sticks and blackjacks.
Maybe departments will start hiring for abilities again instead of their GPA.