Taser, the company that’s sold electroshock weapons to some 18,000 law enforcement organisations all over the world for years, has made its smallest weapon ever. And it’s not for cops — it’s for regular people like you and me. If you were American.
Meet the Pulse, the Taser designed for purses, and back pockets. The new $US400 ($578) weapon is impressively tiny, but according to Taser’s press materials, it has the same knockdown power as the conventional Tasers used by law-enforcement. The weapon shoots electrodes up to 4.5m and lights up the target for 30 seconds, allowing enough time for the shooter to run away. Taser Pulse runs on a non-rechargeable 6 V lithium battery pack that provides energy for approximately 50 30-second discharges — that’s a lot of bodies left on the ground.
Images from the new Taser Pulse marketing effort are somehow revealing. For one, it looks like the device wants to trade on the self-defence fears of white people. You’re helpless to defend yourself in a parking garage. The following image is titled, I shit you not, “TASER Pulse shadows.jpg”.
One of the Pulse's key selling points, is its compact, "intuitive concealed carry design". It measures 13cm long, 12cm tall, and a slice over 3cm wide. It weights just 227g. It's also easy to hide the weapon (for a sneak attack I'm guessing?). But, like, what's going on in "Taser Pulse Concealed.jpg"?[image id="1372724" url="https://www.gizmodo.com.au/content/uploads/sites/2/2016/01/20/phnz8f2yzrenlrbsqzoh.jpg" align="centre" clear="true" ]
Taser has been around since 1993, and it touts its electroshock weapons as a less lethal option for law-enforcement. The company claims 160,000 people have been saved from death or serious injury by its device. Of course, the recipient of a taser blast is never happy, and the company has been the target of many lawsuits over wrongful deaths caused by a Taser. More recently, the company has been the leader in the development and marketing of body cameras for police officers.
In general, Taser products have been viewed as a law-enforcement tool. With this new Taser for private citizens in the US, it seems Taser's providing Americans with a tool to take the law into their own hands.