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NCJ Number
Ronald D. Lankford Jr.
Date Published
109 pages
Fourteen papers on the technology, uses, safety, restrictions, and prevalence of conducted-energy devices ("Tasers") are written by representatives of agencies related to law enforcement and public media, as well as individuals in the fields of health and journalism.
The first paper provides an overview of the technology, uses, and prevalence of Tasers and stun guns in the United States. This is followed by a paper that develops the argument that Tasers are safe when used properly. A paper then presents the counter-argument that Tasers are unsafe even when used properly. In another paper, "excited delirium," a term often used to describe a life-threatening condition that occurs in some people who have been Tasered, is said to be an "ill-defined phenomenon used to explain Taser deaths." The next paper takes the opposite position, i.e., that "excited delirium is a documented phenomenon." The latter position is defended by the U.S. Department of Justice. The author of a sixth paper believes that "Tasers are frequently overused," followed by a paper that argues proper training will prevent Taser overuse. The latter paper is reported as the finding of research sponsored by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), the research and evaluation agency of the U.S. Justice Department. Two papers argue the pros and cons of viewing Taser ownership as a right under the second amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Other papers argue the following: Tasers should not replace firearms in all police situations; easily available Tasers can be used for self-defense and to commit crime; Tasers are not practical for self-defense; Tasers should not be marketed to women; and Tasers should not be used on students. 33 references, a list of resource organizations, and a subject index


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