Is a TASER dangerous?

Investors feared so, according to Macleans.CA. But court of law results quickly quell those concerns. TASER International (TI) of Scottsdale, AZ. has won 50 personal injury/wrongful death cases and lost none despite civil liberties groups attributing 250 deaths from the shock device. Macleans.CA reported police departments in 40 countries either use or are testing the electroshock weapon.

TASER Charge Disrupts Muscular Function reports a half-second TASER charge interrupts “superficial” muscular function. A 2-second charge dazes and fells the victim, while a 3-second charge completely disorients and drops an individual for up to 15 minutes. The temporary, high-voltage, low-current charge causes muscles to spasm. Experts conclude the safety margin of the charge depends on the health of the victim.

TI warns that “prolonged or continuous exposure(s) to its’ device’s electrical charge” may lead to…cumulative exhaustion and breathing impairment.” Without an automatic stop, a TASER’s prolonged use -- time-wise -- increases medical complication.

In mid-October, an angry airline passenger threw chairs in customs at Vancouver International Airport in Canada. Police arrived and pulled its TASER trigger twice, firing 100,000 volts into the man’s body. Minutes later, he died. TI’s stock price fell minimally but since April, has gained 114%. The Huffington Post reported TASER sales increased 150% from 2006 to 2007.

TASER Popular with Security-Conscious Market

The sales spike is enhanced by a consumer market which may purchase the “electric shaver-looking” device in any color. TI is planning on airing a TV infomercial before the year is out. Since the shock guns were made available to the commercial market three years ago, the company has sold 170,000 devices. In addition to becoming a security accessory, they’re stylish. A TASER comes in macho metallic blue or sexy hot pink.

TI gained mass exposure for its product in September when Florida police TASERED a student. A video of the victim screaming, "Don't ‘Tase’ me," was downloaded across the Internet. “TASER,” like “Google,” now has become a verb in pop culture.