2 October 2005

AFP willfully using dodgy information in zap gun trial

| johnboy
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The Canberra Times brings the sobering news that while ACT Policing have extended their Taser trial so they can practice on the public over New Years, they haven’t actually done any research of their own into the safety of the things and are relying on a safety study conducted by an employee of the gun’s manufacturers.

It’s a these levels of dilligence and due process which inspire such confidence in our police!

Just remember kids, only the guilty have anything to fear.

UPDATED: The Wikipedia has an interesting entry on the subject of stun guns and tasers for those looking to get up to speed.

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So police have carried tasers 300 times and used them three times.

That means police use them once in every hundred times they venture out on the streets with them.

I would suggest that this rate is somewhat higher than their use of handguns. Otherwise we’d see bullets flying on the streets of Canberra every day.

It seems they’re having trouble resisting the temptation to try out their new toys on the public.

Agreed totally Johnboy. Sounds like another good reason to avoid Civic on NYE, especially hearing they have a range of 7 metres – I don’t particularly like the idea of finding myself nearby a pack of violent wankers and getting zapped by stray current.

Why is the taser trial even necessary? What was/is the problem with capsicum spray?

It’s funny. When the same argument (would you rather be shot than zapper/sprayed?) was made about bringing in capsicum sprays, I rather agreed with it.

Used it myself even.

But now that we hear capsicum is used against people just because police don’t like the look or sound of them, I have to say I’m a bit nervous about hearing it again.

Bring them on I say. Which would the tree hugging civil libitarians prefer:

a – Taser
b – Firearm.

Any non-lethal option the Police have is got to be a good one.

Like the Victorian seige that was ended last year by a smart thinking Officer that hit the bloke with the car. He was then arrested. He got some bruising most likely but he didn’t get shot.


Samuel Gordon-Stewart2:34 pm 01 Oct 05

I heard whatsername from the AFP on the radio yesterday afternoon saying that they’ve carried the tasers out on duty 300 times and only had to use them three times. She also mentioned something about them having a range of 7m or something and causing temporary paralysis…the only problem I see here is pacemakers, hearing aids and other medically electronic devices.

Certainly batons don’t (usually) reach 7m and tasers are more likely to result in a living suspect than a gun…unless there is a pacemaker involved.

She also said something about research from other independent organisations, but either she didn’t explain it or I wasn’t paying attention.

At least shooting a firearm at someone only has a short term effect on the subject.


When you purchase a product, you purchase the research with it from the manufacturer.

Hmm….No side effects *yet*. What about long term side effects?

It’s actually a good policy that they know what it feels like to be on the receiving end.

a whole three people were OK? well i’m sold!

Steve’s Stockholm syndrome is showing again, he’s never seen an instrument of state power he didn’t like and didn’t want more of.

I also heard some report that the taser-wielding cops had each had a zap from one of the devices, just to see what it’s like.
Whether they were wearing BDSM leather and handcuffs at the time, wasn’t mentioned.

The story JB’s linked to above is actually from yesterday (Friday). There was another story in today’s CT (not yet online) that said in fact tasers have been used on three people since the trial started and there have been no serious side effects and that they were used in situations where otherwise guns might have been used (implication being that tasers are better).

Also interestingly Steve Pratt agrees with the government and ACT Policing that the trial is a good thing. He says, “I trust that our police force in the ACT will not use a taser gun unless absolutely necessary,” and amazingly doesn’t say we need more police.

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