CM107: College Composition
Professor Fran Gregg
April 9, 2013
The Risk and Benefits of Tasers Many time’s, people question whether a taser was necessary for a particular situation. Who made the taser? What do tasers do? What are tasers? All these questions will be answered. There is considerable risk with Tasers. Three points that will be made are long term health problems, possible death and removal of the probes. There are also considerable benefits with Tasers. Three points that will be made are the reductions on officer injuries, they are non-lethal and they can be great self-defense. The benefits are greater than the risk of Tasers.
The very first Taser was invented in 1970. Jack Cover was the man behind the first non-lethal devices to control riots. The name TASER stands for Thomas A. Swift’s Electric Rifle. Cover got the idea from his favorite character Tom Swift. The very first patent was in 1974 and was sold to police in Nashville and Akron. A Taser is a gun-like weapon system that delivers an electrical charge to incapacitate a person. In order for the gun-like weapon to fire, it uses compressed nitrogen gas. Once fired it shoot’s out two darts which are attached to wires that remain attached to the gun. Once the darts have penetrated the skin of the target, an electrical charge travels through the wires. What is does is administers fifty thousand volts to the body. Although a taser creates a big voltage, they do not generate a large amount of amperes or amps. Many time’s the news broadcasts another death due to Tasers. Yes, there is the possible risk of death after being Tasered. The main concern is that after being Tasered can cause cardiac arrest. After the probes attach to the subject, it sends fifty thousand volts of electricity through the wires to the probes which are imbedded in the skin. When the body receives that much of a shock, it tricks the heart into thinking it is actually a heart attack, or ventricular fibrillation. “Ventricular fibrillation is a condition in which there is uncoordinated contraction of the cardiac muscle of the ventricles in the heart, making them tremble rather than contract properly. If the arrhythmia continues for more than a few seconds, blood circulation ceases, and death occurs in a matter of minutes.” (Watson, 2008, para 6)
There have been studies that the only long term problem is lowered blood pressure. The barbs that are shot out are what get stuck in the skin; they can be hard to remove. If they are not removed properly, the tiny barbs may have to be removed by a doctor. Sometime’s these barbs can get stuck in the bones and then have to be surgically removed.
There are many benefits to Tasers, some of them are the reduction in officer injuries, they are non-lethal and they are great self-defense weapons. Tasers are considered non-lethal because of the fact that they usually do not cause too much damage. What are considered lethal forms of compliance are batons, pepper spray, and of course a gun. All of those can cause serious damaged. Pepper spray burns not only the eyes but also burns the skin. A baton if used improperly can not only break bones but can also cause death. The gun is the most serious weapon of all. One shot could kill not just the subject but also an innocent