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Hit Me With Your Best Shock!

Everyone knows Marines run to the sound of the guns. But to the silent jolt of a Taser?

Yes. Absolutely. Oorah! was replaced with “Taze, me, Bro!” at Marine Corps Base Quantico recently, as Marines lined up to be zapped.

Of course, during the Tasing there wasn’t much of anything coherent said, just screams or loud grunts.

“I am an individual who loves adrenalin rushes and I wanted to see what kind of adrenalin rush I would get from being Tased,” Staff Sgt. Michael J. Boafo told Defensetech. “It was a pain that I have never felt before. I felt completely incapacitated and helpless.”

Boafo, operations chief with the Security Battalion at Quantico, said the pain stopped as soon as the Taser was shut off, though his leg “felt weird for about 15 minutes after the fact. Almost like when a leg falls asleep.”

Obliging the zap-curious Leathernecks was retired Marine Col. George Fenton, now vice president for federal and military programs for Taser International.

At the time he retired Fenton was director of the DoD’s Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Program, where he coordinated research and development of weapons designed to incapacitate rather than kill.

“I always said, without shooting to kill, the ‘Holy Grail’ [of weapons] is neuro-muscular incapacitation,” he told Defensetech​.org at Quantico, where Taser was doing a very popular show-and-tell as part of the Modern Day Marine Expo. If the conflict situation falls short of the need to kill, he said, taking someone down with a Taser is the best way to handle it. This would include policing actions such as perimeter or gate security.

“It’s about end-state and consequences as opposed to thinking lethal/non-lethal,” he said. “You need to think about what I’ve got [for defense] and what’s the situation?”

That said, once a situation turns “hot” the Taser would not be the way to go. “You don’t’ take a Taser to a gun-fight; it won’t do you any good,” he said.

– Bryant Jordan

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

blight October 12, 2010 at 1:38 pm

In its current state a Taser isn't as effective because we've not developed ways to rapidly fire tasers at meaningful ranges. It would require developing a way to deliver the jolt without the wire, since the wire is the big hiccup in rapidly retargeting the taser. A taser gun that fired lots of taser rounds would eventually have to deal with delivering enough power to deliver incapacitating zaps, a means of power transmission either wirelessly or develop a way to "clear" the wires before the next shot, and finally address the range issue.

A riot gun with multiple barrels that could fire multiple taser lines into a crowd would probably be an acceptable means of crowd control, since CWC has muddied the deployment of tear gas on the battlefield. The real problem is that once you've expended the wires no easy way of reloading exists…yet.


Project_Thor October 12, 2010 at 4:18 pm

You haven't seen the Tazer Claymore?


Dom October 12, 2010 at 2:20 pm

Au contraire…


Oblat October 12, 2010 at 4:13 pm

Taser International wants to turn every marine into a torture cell. Widespread distribution of them will lead to widespread use on civilians. It is unfortunate that what is holding back many incidents is the fear of being found responsible for civilian deaths, take away that fear and abuses will skyrocket.


JBM October 12, 2010 at 8:10 pm

Why is it that everything you say is stupid?


William C. October 17, 2010 at 1:38 pm

You can't reason with an idiot my friend.


crackedlenses October 13, 2010 at 8:34 am

Civies have tazers too ya know……What's going stop them from returning "non-lethal" fire?


Jacob October 12, 2010 at 4:39 pm

Okay, I'm pretty sure that letting yourself get tasered for no good reason is a really, really bad idea. Some people die from taser shocks, so you really should not be doing this to yourself for the thrill of it, Marine or not.


Moondog October 12, 2010 at 6:09 pm

It is getting so cops have to have a really good reason to tase someone. There have been so many taser deaths. Also, people high on certain drugs are only minimally effected by taser, unless you hit them so many times it stops their heart.

I am not sure we want to give a taser to every Marine. In fact, it is probably a very bad idea. Also under current rules of war, it might be considered torture. Cops can shoot criminals with hollow point/expanding bullets. If the military tries that, they are war criminals.


Jerry October 12, 2010 at 6:19 pm

For most jurisdictions, if you are to carry less-lethal weapons such as the Taser, you need to have it used on yourself. It's both to build confidence in the weapon, as well as knowing what it feels like so you can employ it more effectively.


Ergo the Qualmed October 12, 2010 at 6:23 pm

Maybe i'm a little thick, but I have never understood the people who argue against a taser.

Honestly, though the taser can cause death, it's a might bit LESS lethal than a firearm. I mean, if a person is so high on drugs that they can be tazed to the point of heart stoppage, what SHOULD be the recourse? If they are that high, nothing will stop them short of a gunshot, right?

A taser is still less lethal than a firearm, or a beanbag gun, or rubber bullets, etc. So I wish people would top harping on it. Same thing with the active-denial system: painful yes. But, kinda preferable to being KILLED.


Euan October 12, 2010 at 9:09 pm

I agree with you Ergo, but only in situations that would otherwise require lethal force. The problem as I see it is that tasers can be lethal (how leathal is yet to be determined as the causation element is difficult to prove since most deaths attributed to tasers occur 24-72 hours after being shocked) but are used against individuals where lethal force would not be normally be justified. Imagine the outcry if that campus police officer shot the "don't tase me bro" moron with his side arm; it is self evident that in that situation, that the officer was not firing the taser instead of his side arm, but instead of physically restraining/removing the student. I would argue that such use of the taser is dangerous and irresponsible.


roland October 13, 2010 at 1:33 pm

Don't over do it. It might break your heart! That's what doctors will say after being confined in a hospital after being tasered near the heart. Don't be tasered near the heart. It might explode. It's dangerous. It's not a game to be tasered. It's only for criminals not for marines.


Kellen October 13, 2010 at 2:52 pm

You wanna give a link to back up your exploding hearts theory?


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