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The Use of Taser Guns in the United States and Canada

The use of taser guns in the United States and Canada among civilians and the police force has become a common practice since tasers have been considered to be less lethal and effective weapons for maintaining security and apprehending aggressive suspects. However, there have been long-running debates on the safety of tasers with some groups arguing that they are dangerous while others maintaining that their usage saves lives and helps minimize criminal activities. Quan points out that police in Canada are using tasers in a potentially lethal and cruel way to deal with the mentally ill, the poor, and unconfirmed suspects (par. 2). On the other hand, he asserts that those who support the use of tasers are of the opinion that the latter is safe and has less lasting effects compared to batons and pepper spray when used appropriately by the police. This paper supports the use of tasers as effective and less-lethal weapons of maintaining security.

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Mukherjee points out that in Canada, many police officers have developed a dependence on taser guns as alternative and safe firearms which are less deadly and effective in subduing suspects (342). Over the years, they have used these weapons to enforce laws and apprehend suspects most of who are poor or use drugs. However, critics of taser guns hold the view that in the course of apprehending suspects, the police force over-relied on tasers and caused immense injuries and even death to suspects. They further argue that these guns are similar to other lethal weapons since they release metal barbs when fired that have an electric charge of over 50,000 volts, which incapacitates a suspect and causes massive injuries. Charles Thomas differs from the critics and expresses that manufacturers of these weapons hold a different viewpoint out that taser guns have been tested and proven to have less potential to cause injury. Rose concurs with Thomas and posits that even though a taser gun fires overrides and incapacitates a taser’s motor and sensory functions, it does not cause any injury (13). It has been carefully made to apply the technology of Neuro-Muscular Incapacitation which only disrupts and stops the nervous system of an individual.

Taser guns have been considered by law enforcement personnel as effective tools for marinating security. Their benefits include the ability to shoot from a relatively far and safer distance from the tasered or tased compared to when using empty hand techniques, pepper sprays, and batons (Sousa, Ready & Ault 35). Despite common complaints that taser guns are being used on the poor and downtrodden individuals in Canada, it is important to highlight that the use of this weapon has been lauded by many in both private and public circles as beneficial in minimizing the crime rate in Canada. Credible studies on crime and poverty indicate that cases of crime are normally high among the poor, drug abusers, and those who are mentally disturbed. Canada has not escaped from harboring such a population (Hall 85). While it may be argued that police in Canada are becoming overly reliant on taser guns and are using them ineffectively to apprehend chronic drug users and the poor involved in crimes, it is imperative to look at the positive aspects of this weapon which includes significant reduction of crime incidences and injuries to suspects and bystanders.

To sum up, it is imperative to point out that despite the unfortunate events related to taser use by the police force in Canada, the device is relatively safe and the causes of death or injury are not solely because of taser guns. As already indicated, during law enforcement, taser guns ensure safety for both security officers and targeted suspects.

Works Cited

Hall, Christine. “Public risk from tasers: Unacceptably high or low enough to accept?” CJEM: Journal of the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians 11.1 (2009): 84-89.

Mukherjee, Alok. “Tasers.” Canadian Medical Association Journal 179.4 (2008): 342- 346.

Quan, Douglas. Tasers most likely to be used on ‘downtrodden,’ study asserts. Vancouver Sun 2012.

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Rose, Barbara. Fear factor. ABA Journal 96.10 (2010): 13.

Sousa William, Ready Justin & Ault, Michael. The impact of TASERs on police use- of-force decisions: Findings from a randomized field-training experiment. Journal of Experimental Criminology 6.1 (2010): 35.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "The Use of Taser Guns in the United States and Canada." April 19, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/the-use-of-taser-guns-in-the-united-states-and-canada/.

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