Tasers, Pepper Spray, and Other Non-Lethal Weapons | TED [Video 17:32]


by Richard Pedersen

Anyone who has read this blog for any length of time knows how I feel about Tasers and other various so-called non-lethal weapons. They suck. Period.

They give the users (read: Police) the false sense that they won’t actually be harming anyone. It’s just a matter of control. And therein lies the crux of the whole matter, doesn’t it. If you don’t think you are going to hurt somebody, then you are far more likely to use that method. No?

It doesn’t matter that you may very well kill them in spite of your best intentions.

The following video discusses this very thing.

Pepper spray and tasers are in increasing use by both police and military, and more exotic non-lethal weapons such as heat rays are in the works. At TEDxCanberra, ethicist Stephen Coleman explores the unexpected consequences of their introduction and asks some challenging questions.

Here’s the clip:


I hope you will think about the use of these nasty devices and think also, for a moment, what it would be like to be on the receiving end of these things.

It doesn’t matter whether you deserve it or not. It’s all dependent on the whim of the officer at hand and whether he believes it will hurt you in some permanent fashion. And, whatever you do, don’t take up a “more threatening pose in bed”. You’ll be sorry.

And, oh,  how easy it is to shoot when you don’t believe it’s going to hurt all that much.



About Richard Pedersen

~"addicted to computers since 1982"~ I got my first computer in 1982 and haven't looked back. I love to find ways to improve their efficiency and to help others do the same. I build and repair personal computer systems. I live in a small farming community in Western Wisconsin.

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