It resembles a hand-held electric razor and is available in metallic pink, electric blue, titanium silver and black pearl.
But it gives out a 50,000-volt jolt that short-circuits brain signals and momentarily incapacitates.
Meet the sleek new C2 stun gun from Taser International in Scottsdale, a controversial device aimed mainly at women consumers that has sparked widespread concern among U.S. law enforcement and human rights groups.
Police forces in the United States have been issued with Tasers since 1999 to subdue violent criminals. A pistol-like civilian version aimed at the self-defense market has been available since 1994.
But the new, lighter, brighter designer version, which was launched in late July with a price tag of around $350, is small enough to tuck into a purse and packs the same paralyzing punch.
“We wanted to make sure that it was something that people were comfortable carrying and didn’t make it look like they were ‘Dirty Harry,'” said Tom Smith, the company’s co-founder and board chairman, referring to the Clint Eastwood movie.
“And it does the job.”
But some of the nation’s top police authorities are concerned that the gadgets could easily wind up in the wrong hands. Amnesty International also is opposed, saying it can pose “serious harm” for women.
The C2 Taser, which fires two electrical probes and is equipped with a laser sight, can legally be sold to consumers in all but seven U.S. states. It is largely banned for civilian use throughout the rest of the world.
“If a police officer or a civilian is stunned with a Taser there are a whole array of things that can happen and most of them are very bad,” said Jim Pasco, executive director of the National Fraternal Order of Police in Washington, D.C.
Pasco, whose group represents 325,000 police officials nationwide, said the immobilizing devices should be limited to well-trained law enforcement professionals.
“There’s a tremendous amount of respect and accountability that goes along with a police officer using a Taser,” he said. “This Taser is no more regulated than a hair drier.”
Even the least dangerous weapon, one designed only momentarily to stun, can be supposed to be capable of being used to resist the authority of the state, and is therefore unacceptable to extreme statists philosophically committed to the Leviathan state’s total monopoly of force.
And civilian self defense, any level of physical resistance to victimization by violent criminals. is unacceptable to Pacifist extremists.
A record of hundreds of millions of deaths by government in the last century ought to be sufficient to discredit completely ideologies of extremist Statism, and extreme Pacifism has always been a minority position. So why does the mainstream media insist on treating both of these absurd ideologies as the appropriate standards for evaluating public policy?