The 3 Laws of Tasering

Sexy Robot

There are quite a few controversial stories about people getting tased lately. Controversial, because they’re incidents that never should have happened.  I look at some of them and I can’t figure out whether they’re more attributable to a lack of training. Or just plain laziness.

There’s no reason that 4 or 5 guys can’t easily subdue and arrest one person without using a taser.

The big problem is that tasers are not being used the way they were intended to be used. They’re supposed to be used in situations where the only other alternative would be to draw a gun. The taser is supposed to be a non-lethal alternative.

But they’re being used (increasingly) in situations where authorities would never think of drawing their guns.

Of course, some people need to be tased. We just need some rules. In 1942, Isaac Asimov gave us the Three Laws of Robotics. So here’s three new laws for this century …

The Three Laws of Tasering

  1. A taser may not be used to injure an unarmed human being or, through non-use, allow an unarmed human being to come to harm.
  2. A taser must be used to subdue armed human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  3. A taser must protect its user’s existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

Those are the rules.

Follow the rules. Bro.

8 thoughts on “The 3 Laws of Tasering”

  1. Your comments could have not come at a better time. I think Issac was on to something here. Maybe they should legislate this into actual law especially when it comes to the use of taser’s. I think more crisis management training is needed for sure. It will only benefit the police officer as well the unarmed individual. Unfortunately some have had to die to get us all to wake up and pay attention to this very important issue. Lets hope it was not in vain we owe it to ourselves in act laws to protect our interests first and then the states not the other way around.

  2. Hey Matthew,

    You’re right, training is the answer. Tasers aren’t going to go away (although there’s talk in some circles). They need to be used for the situations they were designed for.

    Unfortunately, there’s a narrow window of situations between just physically handling a suspect and having to draw a sidearm. But in that narrow window, there’s an opportunity to save lives by using a taser. Only a strict set of engagement rules is going to stop the free-for-all use of them in situations where the better option is clearly to manage the ordeal or wrestle the guy down and take him into custody without a weapon.

  3. Good luck getting anyone to follow these. You do remember though in I, Robot, that the robots said f**k the 3 laws and tried to kill everyone. 😉

  4. Nice post. I’d tweak the first law though to replace the words “used to injure” with just “used on”, because a convenient defense could often be that the detainee wasn’t injured. Tasers, as with any weapon, just shouldn’t be used at all unless absolutely necessary – which was your point.

  5. Hey Brian,

    Good point. I don’t think the tasers are going to revolt anytime soon though. 😉


    “used on” does sound better. Thanks for the feedback. I didn’t put a lot of work into polishing the laws. They could use a little work for sure, but as long as people get the point … that’s the important part.

  6. Hey Jon,

    Thanks. I’ve been away from posting for a while – crazy busy. But I’m going to start posting regularly again pretty quick. So … new theme for a new beginning!

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