TASER reviews. It’s good to see a plan come together. Last week we pointed out that a columnist, Rick Martinez, wrote a very slanted op ed on TASER technology & stated that our technology should be banned (Time to Ban the TASERs). We wrote the reporter, invited him to visit TASER HQ on his trip to Phoenix, issued a blog about this, Tweeted it, placed it on Facebook & many readers posted their comments about his view on TASER ECDs on the newspaper web site.
The results are in & at least he reviewed the comments & did a follow-up story (Zapped by TASER Backers). We have to give props to Martinez for reviewing the reader’s comments & at least taking a look at the other side of the TASER coin.
His opening sentence was dramatic: “I figured the call I made last week for North Carolina’s law enforcement agencies to ban their officers from using stun guns & Tasers would be a lonely one. I just didn’t realize how lonely. Opposition to my proposal has been nearly universal.”
While he certainly is still somewhat negative to the technology, he went from a strong moratorium request to calling “on police chiefs to consider this simple question – are stun guns more trouble than they’re worth?”
We at TASER International know they are worth it just based on the more than 82,000 people that have been saved from potential death or serious injury using TASER devices.
We don’t expect everyone to love TASER technology. Opinion polls indicate that 51% view TASER in positive manner, with 37% neutral & unfortunately 12% negative. We know that our technology will be used in dangerous situations & can have controversial outcomes. But it really hurts to see stories without facts, articles based on speculation, or when the errors of omission cause harm. It’s our job really to let the public know that we made our ECDs for the good of mankind & ultimately protect life — suspects & officers – & that the majority of the public is in favor of TASER technology. It needs you to provide the feedback to the media — which in this case worked well.
Another way to fight unbalanced stories is to go straight to the public via large news shows. You may have recently seen the interviews we set up with 60 Minutes & ABC Nightline News. This allowed us to reach a broader audience & let viewers see the good, the bad & the ugly views of TASER technology using a balanced story line for viewers to formulate their opinions.
We felt both these shows provided a good platform for this goal.
Clearly the power of readers’ comments & social media influenced the overall outcome of the negative op ed. We have to give props to Martinez for at least reviewing the reader’s comments.
While we may disagree, at least he did take some time to look at the science, facts & listen to his readers. Thanks readers.