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Taser Mania36:17
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photoIn 1969, an Arizona inventor named John Cover created the Taser, a stun gun that uses an electric current to incapacitate a target. Versions of the Taser technology have been used since the 70s, but since 1999, when the pistol-style M26 Taser was introduced, sales have boomed among police departments in the United States and abroad.

Taser fans in blue say they are a great non-lethal alternative to the gun, and save lives on both sides of the badge. Critics say they are not so non-lethal. Fifty people have now reportedly died after being zapped with a taser, and human rights groups charge that the promise of a non-lethal but very tough solution invites abuse.

Click one of the "Listen" links to hear about the debate over the use of tasers.

Guests:

Dave Ogden, Lietenant in the training division of the Orange County, FL, sheriff's office

Steve Tuttle, Vice President of Communications for Taser International Inc.

David Klinger, Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Missouri at St. Louis, a former police officer with the LAPD and in Redmond, WA, and author of "Into the Kill Zone: A Cop's Eye View of Deadly Fire"

William Schulz, Executive Director of Amnesty International USA

John Wikswo, Professor of biomedical engineering, physics and biophysics at Vanderbilt University

This program aired on July 23, 2004.

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