Robert Dziekanski was killed by a Taser stun gun in a Canadian airport last month. Dziekanski’s death, which has been widely reported after a video of the incident was posted on YouTube last night, is one in a long list of fatalities that have been caused by Taser stun guns. And yet Taser International continues to claim that these weapons are safe, practical tools for law-enforcement. How are they able to do this and get away with it?
The strategy’s pretty simple, actually. For years, Taser International has been funding and performing crude experiments on pigs, horses, and other animals that serve no other purpose than to provide them with “evidence” that their weapons are safe for humans. And yet as Robert Dziekanski’s death shows, the information that Taser International has been able to gather from shocking pigs is utterly useless—except insofar as it serves to protect Taser CEO Rick Smith from mounting public opposition to the use of his dangerous weapons.
The Taser situation is a perfect example of a problem that is endemic to all such animal experimentation. As is the case with so many drugs that go to market after animal testing only to be pulled from the shelves when they’re shown to be dangerous to humans, the results of these experiments have no relevance whatever to how humans will be affected, because (as should be obvious to a first-grader) pigs and horses have fundamentally different physiologies to humans. We just don’t work the same way. And the inevitable result—as we’ve seen time and again—is that companies like Taser International manipulate the data from their meaningless experiments to justify whatever argument they care to make. And people like Robert Dziekanski pay the price.
This video shows one of the hideously cruel experiments that Taser International has been performing on bulls, pigs, and other animals since they first tried to rush their weapon to market. Do we really want to stake our safety on the word of a man who does this?