Unless you have sworn off television sets over the holidays, you have probably seen Monday's tense standoff in New Orleans that ended with a knife-wielding suspect being gunned down by the police. The camera reveals only so much of this tragic event, though my first thought was how differently this situation could have turned out if the cops has been armed with Tasers
The traditional media approached the story from sensationalist angles. Did the officers overreact? Were their lives being threatened? Could New Orleans survive yet another black eye?
I live in Miami. It's a Taser town. I have read about cops sedating a school child who was cutting himself in the principal's office with shards of glass from a picture frame he had smashed to bits. The media played it off as an abuse of force, but if you dig into the finer details of the case, you find a situation that could have been far more heinous if a Taser hadn't been discharged.
Tasers aren't toys. However, deadly cases involving a Taser being discharged in the act of policing have been rare. For the New Orleans police force, which was just starting to live down a separate (and non-fatal) confrontation caught on film three months ago, a Taser may be as good a response as possible in a city looking for answers.
Financially speaking, Taser's had a rough year. But like its weaponry, the results haven't been lethal. The company remains profitable. Next year, it's looking to earn $0.13 a share on a 31% spurt in revenue.
Tasers aren't perfect. But, with my apologies to the Smith & Wesson
Taser is a Rule Breakers pick even though it certainly hasn't lived up to its billing as an ultimate growth stock at this point. Some of the stocks that have been discussed in the newsletter service's active forum for subscribers include other defense-oriented technology stocks such as Ionatron
Still, through feast and famine, Taser has been the face of non-lethal weaponry. The company has been busy trying to clear its good name by issuing favorable press releases and suing media companies that don't get the facts straight. Maybe this would be a good time for Taser to make a public appeal to New Orleans, offering to arm a precinct or two with Tasers. It would be a great way for two distressed entities to win their way back into the media's good graces.
Pardon the pun, but it's at least worth a shot.
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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz lives in Miami, which really is a Taser town. He does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story. The Fool has a disclosure policy. He is also part of theRule Breakersnewsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.