I Was a Taser Guinea Pig

From Danger Room:

First, they attached the metal probes to my hip, and to my sneaker. Then, two men grabbed my forearms, in case I fell over. After a deep breath and a final look, I gave the thumbs-up. That’s when Taser International chairman and co-founder Tom Smith blasted me with his latest stun gun, the X3.

It was brutal – like sticking your finger in a socket over and over and over again. I screamed in pain as he zapped me. I screamed some more after it was over. Then I cursed, and put my fingers to the bridge of my nose. “Kind of like hitting a funny bone,” Smith said. “Like a good workout.” Uh, not exactly. Five hours later, I was still tingling.

By the company’s estimate, Taser-wielding police and troops have blasted more than 750,000 men, women and children. On average, they received a five-second shock. Which means I got off relatively easy: Mine was just a one-second blast, at 19 pulses per second. The X3 can fire up to three sets of probes into a single target, generating 57 pulses per second. The company’s XREP wireless, shotgun-fired projectile can keep shocking for as long as 20 seconds. I guess there must be someone out there tough enough or crazy enough to take on that much punishment.

What I keep wondering is: Who would inflict that kind of pain? And under what circumstances? We all know that our tools change our behavior. Give us cars, and we’ll go new places; give us iPhones, and we’ll check our e-mail way more often. So when we hear stories about grandmothers and kids and handcuffed prisoners and even runaway sheep getting tased, I asked Smith, what does that say about the stun gun’s impact?

4 Comments

  1. “…shotgun-fired projectile can keep shocking for as long as 20 seconds. I guess there must be someone out there tough enough or crazy enough to take on that much punishment.”
    PCP is a hell of a drug.

    “Then I cursed, and put my fingers to the bridge of my nose.”
    He also whooped as if he just stepped off of a roller coaster. I suppose the article wouldn’t have the same effect if he included that bit.

    “Who would inflict that kind of pain? And under what circumstances?”
    Police officers who have been tased themselves as part of training against activly resistant people.

    Use of tasers against passively resistant people, kids, the elderly, sheep (sheep?) is a clear and abhorrent abuse of an effective law enforcement tool, and police who abuse it should not be in a uniform.

  2. If someone was about to hurt me then I would much rather taser them than shoot them with a bullet. However, I would rather shoot them with a bullet than allow them to damage me. Of course, I am not a liberal.

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