- They Keep officers out harm's way - you don't have to get in close quarters with someone who's probably already upset with you and not listening to your commands.
- Quick and effective method of immobilizing an attacker or someone who is danger to their self or others, with relatively little side effect other than a quick ride to the ER in my unit to get the barbs removed.
- HILARIOUS to watch. OK, this isn't a good reason, but I like it, and I don't care if you think I'm ignorant or a bad person, because I've come to peace with the fact I'm both of these things.
Basically, if you don't want to get shot by a taser, don't do anything that would make the police want to shoot you with a taser. I think this a pretty easy maxim to follow but apparently some people do not. Our metro police department has them and uses them regularly to great effect.
There's been some debate as to the safety of using tasers - that using one on an intoxicated individual can lead to arrhythmias and death. AD talks about a case that happened in Lafayette here- he pretty much took the words right out of my mouth. I'll toss a quote from his page for those of you too lazy to click -
"PCP, cocaine and methamphetamine are known as stimulants. When ingested, snorted, smoked, injected or pushed up your rectum to hide them from the Po-leece, they tend to do certain things to the human body. Blood pressure skyrockets, as does heart rate. Body temperature may rise as high as 108 degrees, offering one probable explanation for Mr. Enard's lack of clothing in December. A whole cascade of events occurs with your body's chemistry, and none of them are good. Quite often, these people are headed for a rendezvous with death that no intervention will stop. It can happen in the back of an ambulance, it can happen in an instant when the rugby scrum of officers needed to subdue the suspect finally untangles to find the patient dead at the bottom of the pile, or it can happen six hours later at a major medical center, as it did in Mr. Enard's case. The use of a Taser is incidental. Linking the two events is akin to claiming that since 89% of pilots involved in airline crashes ingested pickles in the 24-hour period before the flight, it thus follows that pickles cause airline crashes. Let's call for a ban on sweet gherkins!"
Well done, sir.
I know some of you might complain about police brutality - the kid at UCLA in the computer lab or that guy in philly, and that's part of it. With Law Enforcement there may always be an incident where more force is used than, in hindsight, might've been necessary, but shit, it's probably the most humane thing to get hit with. If I was a victim of police brutality (a term I have a problem with, btw, but don't know anything better to use) and had to pick between getting shot, maced, beaten with a stick, chewed on by a large, upset dog or getting electrocuted a little, I'd pick the last.
Ok, I know I may've handled this one lightly, so I'm opening up the comment section on this puppy. You disagree? Didn't like the way I said something? Then holler at me! Let's see some debate! And some mudslinging! And some name calling! I'm a total pushover, so hit me with your best shot!
This is going to be fantastic.
EDIT: I just went and searched for "Tasers" on youtube and I have almost PEED on myself laughing at people on COPS getting tasered. It's so funny! I'm a bad person now, I know it for sure.
EDIT II: I also have followed some links on youtube to officers without tasers, forced to scuffle with an irate detainee - I abruptly stopped laughing because these are not fun to watch - a lot more dangerous for the perp and the cop.