North Texas Objectivist Society (NTOS) Message Board › Question about Tasers and Killing

Question about Tasers and Killing

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A former member
Post #: 65
I have a freind that wants to get a taser for self defense. I told her that if she does that she should also get a fold up combat knife for her purse so if she has to Tase someone she could then just cut their throat or punch a hole in their heart.

She said that would be illegal as it would be considered murder. It seems to me to just be common sense that if you tase someone because you are being attacked you need to go ahead and kill them. They are definitely going to recover from being tased in pretty short order and be really pissed off and will very likely come after you.

So my question is:

If one is attacked and uses a taser to disable the attacker and then pulls out a knife and kills them while they are incapacitated is that self defense or is that murder?
Scott Connery
Scott_Connery
Dallas, TX
Post #: 70
Tasers from a civilian point of view are pretty shaky. In my non-lawyer opinion, If you are ever in a situation where you could lawfully defend yourself with one, you are in a situation where deadly force is allowed.

I think in your hypothetical, your friend would likely beat the murder charge (assuming of course that she was in a situation where deadly force was lawful), but I would hate to see the civil "wrongful death" suit that followed.

I think Tasers are best employed when you have a partner with a pistol at the ready in case things don't go as predicted.

I also think that it would be a lot easier and more practical for your friend to get a CHL and carry a small pistol.
Sherry
SherryTX
Plano, TX
Post #: 658
I think it would be more fun to just hire Chuck Norris as your body guard.

Seriously though - I think if your friend could be in some serious trouble if she cut the throat or killed the person once he was incapacitated. If that is the goal - than just go for the gun. Because if you have time to attack them when the are down - then theoretically you have time to use your cell phone if you have one to call 911. And then taser them again.

Though, maybe not in Texas.

Justified or not - how many people would even have the presence of mind or stomach to stab someone while the are incapacitated? I guess it would depend on what they had done, or had attempted to do.
outside of your two of course, tongue
Old Toad
OldToad
Group Organizer
Dallas, TX
Post #: 773
Seriously though - I think if your friend could be in some serious trouble if she cut the throat or killed the person once he was incapacitated. If that is the goal - than just go for the gun. Because if you have time to attack them when the are down - then theoretically you have time to use your cell phone if you have one to call 911. And then taser them again.


I agree. Assuming a context of civilized society and that police would (eventually) show up to help, immediate need for self-defense is the only basis for responding with immediate violence. In such a hypothetical, the circumstances would have to be very clear that other options would not be available, such as fleeing the scene (though I don't think this is required if in one's home), calling for help (police or otherwise, if feasible), etc. But I think we could easily dream up circumstances where such action would be justifiable under self-defense.
A former member
Post #: 66
I told her she should just get a gun, preferably a semi-auto with a clip in case she has to kill a whole lot of people, but she is against guns and I guess against killing. I don't think its a good idea to taser someone and then leave them alive to seek revenge. Consequently I think owning a taser is probably a bad idea if it would be illegal to then follow up with some means to end the attackers life.
Old Toad
OldToad
Group Organizer
Dallas, TX
Post #: 774
Hi Isaac,

I don't think that having a taser is worse than having nothing. Even if we can dream up many circumstances where it would not help, we can also dream up many circumstances where it could buy a person life-saving time and options.
Sherry
SherryTX
Plano, TX
Post #: 660
I am with you there Todd. I am not sure why people spend so much time thinking about how they would kill someone if someone was trying to attack them. Whether it is in one's right or not, I would think in most situations it is probably better to incapacite the person enough to get to safety or be able to get help etc.

Certainly, I believe one has a right and it is often appropriate to defend yourself or ones you care about "to the death" if necessary. But in reality, there may be other options, and I would rather not have to kill someone if possible. Because even if you are in the right, there are a lot of other issues that will come up. It is no small thing to take someone's life, even when you are fully justified in the eyes of the law or morally. I have never killed anyone, and hope I would never be put in such a situation. Again if I had no other choice to protect myself or my loved ones, I wouldn't hesitate. But while the attacker may be dead, I would have to deal with it afterwards. It is easy to say "well you were in the right - so there is no unearned guilt" that may be true, but certainly that cannot be an easy thing to deal with.
Lathanar
Lathanar
Dallas, TX
Post #: 316
Keep in mind the government has the exclusive right to retaliation by force. When attacked, morality may go out the window but your principles shouldn't. Your first thought should be to get away, incapacitating if necessary, and get to the authorities. It shouldn't be what's the most effective way to kill this person. Be ready to defend yourself? Yes. Be ready to kill? No. Killing should ALWAYS be the absolute last resort and should be the last thing you are ready to do. Otherwise, the barbarians at our gate will be the least of our worries.

- Travis
A former member
Post #: 1
I have never been tasered myself (and thank you, but I'd prefer not to find out), but I have seen videos of the effects, and while it looks painful, it certainly does not seem incapacitating.

It would seem to me that if anything, the point of a taser is to scare off (shock, if you will) anybody who is not personally interested in doing you harm.

The question of whether to carry a knife or other weapon to deliver the 'killing blow' would be moot in this case.

Incidentally, were the assailant to be incapacitated, wouldn't taking any action against what is essentially a helpless victim be considered initiating the use of force?
A former member
Post #: 69
I understand the objection to killing people. But all of you seem to think that a person that is willing to attack you will then just forget the whole thing once you tase them and you can just walk away and it will be over. I don't think so. I think once you tase someone they will have it in for you. Even if the "authorities" put this person in jail for a year or two they will get out and come looking for you.

Once you have been attacked, I think assuming the person is going to develop good will towards you just because you tased them is just poor planning. If the social attitude is that once you have temporarily incapacity an attacker the fight is over, then I really would not want a taser.
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