"Protecting Life. Protecting Truth" is the company motto for Taser International. Originally created as a safer alternative to guns in law enforcement, the taser became the entrepreneurial passion project of brothers Tom and Rick Smith. In 1999, after years of re-calibrating (and increasing the energy output of) the device the M26 was released on the market and became the weapon of choice for police departments throughout the country.
With zero oversight and no federal regulation officers began wielding these electric rifles with the blessing of its manufacturer, only to encounter dire consequences. Between 2001 and 2012, there were 500 taser related deaths reported in the U.S. At a time when "use of force" and gun control are under heavy scrutiny, Tom Swift and His Electric Rifle adds a necessary voice to the discussion. As the death toll continues to mount in taser-related deaths we are reminded that it is not simply the lethal force of a weapon that needs to be regulated, but the behavior and bias behind it as well.