Friday, December 7, 2007

Don't tase me, bro'

An honest man must call a thing what it is. Coming up with a clever name to call something to distract from its reality is lying. Lying is intertwined inexorably with violence.* That device which is called a "taser" is an electroshock weapon.

As a wireman, I do electrical work. I have not met one wireman who likes to be electrocuted. They use other words: bit, caught, hit. In common parlance, people understand electrocuted to mean killed, but that is not necessary, it is to be shocked. A strong or long enough shock will kill.

Now, an electroshock weapon is advertised to mete out 50,000 volts. In America, domestic usage is 110-120 volts, in Europe, twice that. A lightning bolt can produce millions of volts.

Power emitted or consumed is the product of voltage (intensity) and current (amount of electron flow). They are inversely proportional. For the same power usage a higher voltage has less current.

Now, 120 will annoy you, and shake you up, but unless your wet and/or unable to extricate yourself -- you live. Now, 277 (another common voltage) will grab you and hold you, and your life is endangered. 480 volts will pick you up and throw you. Greater voltages, that are used, are quite deadly, there are many colorful and gruesome terms to use; simply you are on fire or incinerated. It's not me and my shadow waltzing down the avenue, your shadow is solo and only a penumbra of you is silhouetted on the concrete.

This electroshock weapon is either applied on you directly with two terminals or with two darts attached to wires shot from the weapon. A car battery of 12 volts has two terminals,any dyslexia concerning cars is never good. Two mini arrows attached to a car battery piercing your flesh is not a good thing.

Such devices make and are used as torture devices. If one encounters an excited, fearful or sadistic policeman, should he have such a weapon available? You are unlikely to meet Andy from Mayberry, who did not carry a gun and was fictional.

Because of cheap and available camera technology, incidents have been photographed. Police have cameras behind their windshields, in their holding rooms and booking rooms. Often when suspects are arrested and see themselves on video, they make no attempt to deny charges of guilt, but when police are caught, all sorts of denials, rationales, defenses and outright absurd idiocies are used.

Electroshock weapons are prone to misuse. There have been other such devices: the electric cattle prod and the electric chair.
* Near the end of Solzhenitsyn's Nobel speech: Let us not forget that violence does not and cannot flourish by itself; it is inevitably intertwined with LYING. ...Whoever has once announced violence as his METHOD must inexorably choose lying as his PRINCIPLE. ...usually it demands of its victims only allegiance to the lie, only complicity in the lie.

postscript: Today 21 Dec '07, I heard in spanish language broadcast the more accurate term, pistola electrica.

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