Yesterday’s Globe and Mail featured an article in its Life section on what it dubs “security moms” in the United States holding taser parties. At these festive suburban gatherings, women meet to try out and possibly purchase tasers (available in four designer colours). The company responsible for this scene out of a SNL skit is Taser International which began marketing its C2 model this last summer for a mere $299 and available in say, metallic pink or electric blue. Currently these parties are only being held in Arizona but should be available in all 36 states where tasers are legal for citizen purchase by the end of 2008. Wow. I don’t know about anyone else but I feel less safe already. Just when I thought that British Columbian RCMP were the only ones to be wary of receiving a possibly fatal dose of electric shock from, I now need to avoid the well-heeled women of Arizona.
There are have three deaths by taser in the last month here in Canada, all at the hands of the police, and Amnesty International claims that about 200 people have died in the United States since 2001 by taser, which is what I am sure prompted this little article. That and, of course, the somewhat disdainful attitude many Canadians have towards Americans and are inane ways of dealing with issues like personal safety (think guns). Personally the whole taser thing scares me more than a little. People who are most at risk from dying when tased are those with unidentified heart trouble or irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias) which I happen to have. It’s harmless. Nothing I need worry about unless I am perhaps tasered, which is unlikely but the Polish man who died at a B.C. airport after being tasered was the victim of an unlikely scenario too.
It’s interesting to me to read about my homeland through the filter of another country’s cultural mindset. Canadians are not the mild-mannered U.S. wannabe’s that our culture makes them out to be. They are more like Europeans, in that they really think there is nothing about the lower 49 worth emulating save perhaps our mindless consumerism (which they don’t get at all judging from what I have seen – their malls actually close on weekend days by five or six o’clock).
Tupperware giving way to the Taser Lady is something that should disturb us all regardless.