This is one of those debate points I have with people who aren’t really anti-gun, but just REALLY Don’t like guns and would rather there be less of them out there. They see the videos where tasers are deployed and they work like a charm, and say “Why do you need a gun when you could get one of those?”
It’s a valid argument. Of course when we see Tasers WORK it’s generally in a law enforcement environment, so when the person is on the ground, officers jump in and handcuff the suspect. They do this because it isn’t long before the effects wear off and the lethal threat you just took down is now a lethal threat again.
But that’s if everything goes perfectly. Here’s an example where it REALLY Doesn’t.
I lost count of how many tasers were deployed, some missed, but SEVERAL hit. Generally the word is if one barb misses nothing works, and if one barb hits but fails to penetrate the skin if also fails, so you often see people wearing heavy coats shrug off a taser, but this jerk was wearing just jeans and a t-Shirt. Plus given how many bean bag rounds from the shotgun he soaked up, this was a battle to the death, and frankly I’m not displeased he was the one who died.
Tasers only work 60 to 80 percent of the time. A TASER is also a one shot weapon with an effective range 7 to 15 feet. Shorter than 7 feet or longer than 15, and the TASER will fail more often than not. If it fails, the weapon must be reloaded while the wielder is under direct physical assault. This is why, when police use a taser, there is always another officer standing by with other means of using force.
If it is a self defense situation where you are defending your life, it is much safer to use a firearm, because if the first shot isn’t effective, you can always immediately engage again. This is exactly what happened in 1 out of every 12 police shootings.
That second “fail” video was amazing.
1. One officer seemed to be giving commands, reducing confusion.
2. Everyone was paying attention to lines of fire, and where everyone else was.
3. The cops did not immediately go to handguns. Even when the suspect advanced on them, they showed restraint and retreated to maintain distance.
4. When the suspect moved, they had enough situational awareness to call for traffic on that road to be blocked.
5. They went trough 9 beanbags and 4 Tasers before resorting to firearms.
6. When the shooting did start, only three officers fired. Admittedly, they fired 28 rounds, but the majority of shots appeared to be while the suspect was still standing(!).
That could be a training video on how to do it right. Naturally, the suspect’s family whined, “Rivera was in a bad mental state and wished the police had helped him, not hurt him. ” Bless their hearts.
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In addition to issues demonstrated on the body cam footage, there’s the fact of the limited range of a taser, and the inability to engage multiple targets (or even the same target if the first attempt fails).
I’m not a cop. I’m probably by myself. I likely don’t have backup en-route. I have no obligation to take a “suspect” into custody. I have no obligation to care about the well being of an individual threatening myself or my family with deadly force beyond calling 911 and requesting EMS along with LE once his ability to threaten me is neutralized.
The whole Rodney King debacle started when a taser failed to stop his aggression toward the officers. So the moral of the story is, if you want to go to prison, use a taser.