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Sunday, August 31, 2008

What if they threw a taser party and no one came?

Fort Myers gun shop hosts Taser party, but guests are no-show
Owner says his plan may need tweaking

First it was Tupperware and Mary Kay cosmetics.

Now it's Tasers.

Fort Myers gun shop Guns R Us is the latest to sell its wares via a community gathering, or a party, of sorts. But unlike mascara and food storage containers, this product is a nonlethal weapon capable of giving an attacker a 50,000-volt jolt.
Guns R Us' owner Brian Waldron decided to hold the parties at his shop at 2075 Broadway because an influx of people came to his shop within the last six months inquiring about Tasers. Waldron estimates he's sold about 30 Tasers in the last two months. Tasers carry the jolt to the attacker by firing two darts.

"We've been running into more and more people who aren't gun friendly," he said.
On Saturday, Waldron planned to hold the first party. He'd scheduled a certified Taser instructor, passed out about 400 flyers and laid out refreshments.

But by noon, an hour after the party's scheduled start, no one had showed up. Waldron said he had been expecting about 50 people.

"You go and do it, and now where is everybody that wants to do it?" Waldron said.
But he wasn't dismayed. This was, after all, the first try, and Waldron admitted maybe his plan needed tweaking. Perhaps he should hold a party in a woman's home, channeling the success of those party products that have come before the Taser, he said.

The $300 Taser model Waldron was peddling is different from the one carried by law enforcement. On the law enforcement Taser, the darts the device fires can travel 30 feet and a civilian Taser travels 15 feet.

That's to ensure in a civilian-officer confrontation the officer would have advantage, said Charlie Mesloh, associate professor in the Division of Justice Studies at Florida Gulf Coast University and director of its weapons and equipment research institute.

Mesloh said Waldron's idea is not unique; he has heard about Taser parties occurring across the country. And Taser International, the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based company that makes the weapon, also holds seminars on Tasers.

"It's certainly a good marketing technique," he said.

Carrying a Taser for self defense does not require a permit in Florida, although you must be authorized to have one at a school. And if you buy one, Taser International will do a background check and if you have felony arrests, you may have to give back the Taser and receive a refund.

Lt. Dennis Eads of the Fort Myers Police Department has no problem with his neighbor Guns R Us holding the gathering, although he said if it was up to him he wouldn't call it a party.

"It's not different than if they were having a firearms display," he said.
Eads, who trains new officers in Taser protocol, has been Tasered at least half a dozen times. "It hurts," he said. "It's like losing all control of your entire body. You can't move; it completely immobilizes you."

Eads said he only knows of bounty hunters and bail bondsmen who own Tasers now, but could see more people in the future opting to buy Tasers.

Lorie Fridell, associate professor of criminology at the University of South Florida, said her worry about the availability of Tasers was the device could fall into the wrong hands. "It could be used by a spouse against a spouse, a parent against a child," said Fridell, who is doing research on Tasers.

Eads' concern with more people buying Tasers is owners won't know how to properly work it, since no training is required to have one. Hitting someone with the darts isn't as easy as it looks, Eads said. "It could be as dangerous as it is helpful," he said.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good old Florida has the dubious distinction of being the Taser Torturing capital of the world. I really feel for the guy who held the taser party and no one showed up...am sure he could have shown the guests how to taser each other. In the meantime, as the taser company makes these handy devices available to thugs and housewives alike, perhaps we should urge them to provide a supply for senior citizens residences..."Take your pill Fred...or else". Am sure they would be most useful in theaters...remove your hat M'am...right now! Along with their two car garages, every home should have a taser or two...teenagers do get mouthy, husbands love to stop by and have a cold beer with the boys, (a taser would be so much neater than a rolling pin) puppies pee on the carpet and abusive husbands would find this device leaves fewer marks than a punch in the face. How in God's name did we live without the taser? Not to mention the rising use of tasers against cashiers in the corner store, makes shopping so much more economical. The list is endless...am waiting for the first literary best seller "Tasers for Idiots" ...but most of all, I am waiting for the fall of the House of Taser...