Friday, February 29, 2008

Lethal Tasers and Bad Logic

Heard this on NPR this morning:

[The Taser] is not a lethal weapon. Nobody has ever proved it has caused a death. - Taser salesperson
Uh, gee, that's not a logical conclusion. You can't assert that something is a fact just because nobody has proved otherwise (...aliens from Alpha Centauri live among us -- nobody has ever proved they don't). At best it would be inconclusive.

But the second statement isn't even true. Google for taser death and here are some of the hits on the first page:
  • Canadian Taser death caught on camera
  • AlterNet: Rights and Liberties: Death by Taser: The Killer ...
    The county coroner found no evidence of alcohol or drugs in his system and ruled that Ryan's death could be attributed to the Taser shock, physical exertion ...
  • Taser shocks ruled cause of death
    A Chicago medical examiner has ruled that shocks from a Taser were responsible for the death of a man in February, marking the first time that the ...
  • Man's stun gun death caught on tape -
Apparently, hundreds of people have died from this "non-lethal" weapon. Is it safer for the person it's used on than a gun? Sure, but that's no consolation for those who have died.