What do Tasers have to do with video and imaging? (See Taser chairman defends stun gun's safety in Canada.)
What do Tasers have to do with video and imaging? (See Taser chairman defends stun gun's safety in Canada). Unlike mechanical guns, Tasers -- or stun guns as they are generically called -- are inherently electronic devices. And just as practically all things electronic experience feature creep, so too with stun guns. As I reported several years ago, stun guns now offer video recording features that automatically make a recording whenever the shock-delivery device is used. (See
Stun gun video competition heats up, along with safety controversy.)
While to a certain extent we're here to cheer practically all things video, this is a case in which video can uniquely change the equation. Currently, civil rights groups claim stun guns are used improperly, while manufacturers claim they're safe and any deaths or severe injuries are the result of misuse. A video record would go a long way to resolving these issues.
Police departments, however, have been resisting. They're the ones who buy the stun guns, so they're the ones who would or would not select the video-equipped models.
As the Canadian government debated Tasers, I was surprised to see that, at least judging by the article from Reuters, the question of video recording never even came up. It was as if the issue was debated without knowledge of this widely available technology.
If police departments won't buy video-equipped tasers voluntarily, public pressure might require it, through democratically elected city councils, state oversight agencies, etc. But in order for that to happen, people and their elected representatives must first learn that this very useful video technology is readily available.