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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Truck stops (in Amerika) to offer personal taser weapons

It's official - they're nuts down there. It's already been widely reported that citizens in the United States can buy "personal" taser weapons at Tupperware-type parties. They're sold by the manufacturer in a stunning array of designer colours and patterns. They even come equipped with mp3 players.

And now, truck stops in the US will offer personal taser weapons for sale to Joe Public. Even as police grapple with what to with citizens who would turn these personal protection devices upon each other. The only way these weapons could ever be considered personal protection devices is when *everyone* owns one. And the winner will be he who can zap the fastest. (Former Jeopardy contestants will have a definite edge.) I'm sure this is what Taser International intended - a taser for every man, woman and child in the madhouse known as the US of A.

In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania police are investigating two cases where the victims were first Tasered by the suspect, then robbed.

Over in Manchester, New Hampshire, three teenagers have been charged in connection with a robbery in which another teenager said he was shot with a stun gun.

And down in Lubbock, Texas, investigators are working to identify the person that, on two different occasions, pulled a taser gun on his victim and tried to rape them.

Truck stops to offer personal taser weapons
July 16, 2008
By JON CHAVEZ, Ohio Blade

Very soon, truckers and motorists will be able to buy a jolter with their jolt of java at TravelCenters of America Inc. truck stops, 11 of which dot Ohio's roadways.

TravelCenters, based in Westlake, Ohio, said last week it had reached a deal with Taser International Inc. to begin selling Taser weapons at its truck stops starting this month.

A clerk at the TravelCenter truck stop in Stony Ridge, where I-280 connects to the Ohio Turnpike, said the gift shop there had not received any shipments of Taser stun weapons.

However, Steve Tuttle, a spokesman for Taser International, said the company began shipping the devices to TravelCenters the last week of June.

The pairing between Taser and a chain of truck stops is the first in which the defense technology company will sell its products in a retail setting other than sporting-goods stores or licensed firearms dealers.

"We were approached by them, but it fits with our vision of getting our products into more mainstream stores," Mr. Tuttle said.

"Anybody's that's traveling does have concerns about personal safety. For the trucker away from his family, he might want one or think that his wife could use that while he's gone, or his daughter at college could use one," Mr. Tuttle said. "So this was something that's a pretty good fit for us."

TravelCenters will sell the devices at its TA and Petro truck stops. Officials from TravelCenters did not return calls seeking comment.

Tasers shoot barbed probes that deliver an incapacitating electric current or can be used as contact stun devices. The C2 Taser model, designed for personal use, sells for about $300 without frills, or $350 for one with a laser sight that pinpoints where the barbs will go.

"They're nonlethal and they're really catching on," said Theresa Cleland, owner of Cleland's Outdoor World on Airport Highway.

"We only sell them with laser sights. That way, you know where it's going. Some come without lasers but I don't sell them because a miss with a Taser doesn't do you any good," she said.

Customers who buy Tasers at TravelCenters shouldn't expect to be able to use them immediately. Taser requires that buyers pass a $10 background check before giving them a code to activate the weapon.

"If it's misused, we have the ability to track that too," the company spokesman said. "It contains 20 to 30 pieces of tiny confetti that match back to that unit. If you use it, it's akin to leaving a business card that is tiny and discreet, but the police know what to look for."


Anonymous said...

Coming soon to a neighbourhood near you...yes, the madness begins!The founders of Taser International should be languishing in prison for their audacity. First they arm police forces with this horrific, tortuous device, then they make it simple for all civilians to own one. Perhaps they are now negotiating with MacDonalds to include a taser with every Big Mac!! The faster a moratorium is called here in Canada, the sooner we put a stop to this idiocy....

Anonymous said...

"They're nonlethal..." said Theresa Cleland, owner of Cleland's Outdoor World on Airport Highway.


And what are the chances that Taser will issue a press release clarifying that these sorts of tasers are supposedly 'less-lethal', as opposed to 'non-lethal'?

Zero. They don't care.