More realistic worry
... might be that it's going to get used against people.
Electric stungun manufacturer Taser International has brought out yet another new weapon, one which could perhaps eclipse even its existing technologies in terms of controversy and media brouhaha. The new Taser X3W (Wildlife) model is intended to take down, comparatively harmlessly, such adversaries as charging bears or moose …
If the alternative is a bullet, then it's surely better to be tased.
I doubt there's any difference in the actual electronics between a taser intended for wildlife and one intended for people. In fact the smaller the animal, the higher the voltage needed to induce any particular current in it. An electro-shock device that incapacitates a human might kill an elk, not the other way around. I read somewhere that a truck battery (24V) can be lethal to an elephant. However, I would guess that a taser is current- or charge- limited, so as to work the same whether it's made a low- or a higher-resistance contact with its target.
It's not a straight comparison - people will much more readily use tasers than firearms because they leave little sign of use and aren't expected to be lethal. This leaves them open to abuse, e.g. when the perp is immobilised on the ground but verbally abusive he'll likely be tased again just because he's a dick.
There's an obvious techno-fix to the problem that law enforcement may use Tasers for punishment or torture. Build in a digital camera which takes a photo every time the taser is fired. Then, higher authorities can review the circumstances in which it was (ab)used. Obviously, it must be impossible for the person firing the Taser to erase the evidence, short of physically destroying the Taser.
The taser's "Curious Temporal Asymmetry".
Watching Taser International's slow micro-stepping, during the period of 2007 to the present, towards the obvious truth about the real-world risk of death associated with use of their weapon has been a fascinating study of the human condition.
To be clear, it's not the weapon. It's their demonstrably false claims they made about the level of inherent safety that are the problem. Those claims (since abandoned) are still believed by many within their less informed customer base.
You electrocute the bear because the bear's life is in danger. Won't somebody think of the bears?
So where is this angry bear, anyway? Presumably he's just wandered up behind you in the queue at the supermarket and got outraged at the price of honey? Or perhaps he was involved in an altercation with a fellow citizen over access to a parking space which, escalated into affray? Or is it that some dumb gun-juggling-burger-monkey has traipsed into the woods and pointed a high-powered rifle at one of its offspring. I wonder...
....when I doubt my sanity in reading these comments.....and then a true gem pokes its wee head up out of the dross....."gun-juggling-burger-monkey"????....it's right up there with Ian M Banks description of a homicidal battle droid's avatar:
"a gorgeously tattooed limping albino dwarf, with a speech impediment and double incontinence"
AC?...you have my respect sir.
Actually, in that case, just leave the picnic basket and walk away, the bear really isn't going to be interested in you when there are sandwiches to be eaten.
Or are we now considering stunning bear to protect £2 worth of tescos meal deal?
Megaphone because it's the icon which looks the most like a stun gun.
In the past most bear attacks on humans were by rogue bears - bears that for whatever reason were unable to get enough to eat. It is also true that mother bears will attack a human to protect her cubs. If you see a couple of cute little cubs in the woods, don't stop to admire, or worse, pet them, just get the hell out of there. In Ontario we are seeing a rise in human/bear interactions and they are occurring further south, which some people attribute to the cancellation of the spring bear hunt, but studies show the bear population is relatively stable. If I lived further north, I wouldn't mind one of these devices.
Why did it take so long to figure out a Taser would work on Wild animals. I may be an Alaskan but I grew up in a semi farming area. We used electric fences to contain farm animals and they are used to repel Wild animals. So why would a Taser calibrated for Wild animals not work? During test here in Anchorage Alaska, it was found that the barbs needed to be longer or the Taser needed to be a repeater because the barbs would not always get through the hair to the animals skin. In case you are wondering we have had Black and Brown Bears in our neighborhood, and Moose in our back yard (Garden to you). Our neighborhood butts up to a State Park the size of Scotland.
This isn't such a stupid idea. Bears probably have a better learning curve than humans, when it comes to tazing. A tazed mamabear will teach the cubs which animals are edible and which you avoid, and any animal that inflicts pain the amount tazing does wil go in the "to be avoided" box.
So pre-empiteve tazing all around. There's a good reason why porcopines in africa are left at piece by every animal, even lions.
Rick Smith, Taser CEO, has claimed that he and others in his company, have 'sampled' the effects of their products.
I wonder if has tried these latest versions of his product out on himself.
The reaction of a bear whose fir prevented sufficient conductivity on the Taser user would be interesting - maybe they would go for a three-barrelled Taser rifle. (See: < http://www.taser.com/products/law/Pages/TASERXREP.aspx >)
And what if it was a BIG grizzly or Kodiak or Polar bear.... and the TASER all of a sudden decided NOT to work, or it mis fired or the barbs got caught up in the fur or the aim was bad....
Aside from the fact that they are far and few between, High Voltage power lines work really good....
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