Dont Tase Me, Bro: the new LOLcats

Wired Threat Level has an analysis item up about the newly-minted internet meme first shrieked by that Florida student while he was being tasered during a speech by John Kerry:
Just two days after it was yelled out in a University of Florida lecture hall, "Don't Tase Me, Bro!" has become the newest cultural touchstone of our pop-cultural  lexicon.

The phrase has inevitably ricocheted around YouTube, various blogs, newspaper Web sites, television network news shows and it's been among the most searched for phrases on Google for the past couple of days. Several enterprising individuals have even snapped up variations of the spelling of the phrase as Web addresses. Someone has created a mashup and a couple of t-shirt designs have emerged. On YouTube, footage of the incident has been viewed more than a million times, and several people have felt compelled to record their own video responses.


Image: a t-shirt design by Christina Arasmo.

Previously: University student tasered at John Kerry Speech (video)



  1. As I understand things, tasers were originally only supposed to be used as a nonlethal alternative to guns. I like this policy. I certainly prefer cops who will just knock my ass down and lean on me to cops itching to use their stun guns, especially since the latter seems to think they’re some perfect Star Trek stun phaser.

    Maybe it’s time we went back to having cops hit people with sticks. It works well enough for the LAPD, and nobody is ever confused or unclear about what happens when you smack someone with a blunt object.

  2. An out of control person who’s really drunk or on something like meth or PCP can require a serious beating to stop them, but I get the impression that pretty much no one can resist a taser, unless it can’t penetrate their clothing. I guess the tradeoff is supposed to be that a club could easily break bones, cause concussion, etc., whereas a taser is “only” a risk to someone with a weak heart. But there are enough people with heart problems (some who don’t even know it) that I’ve always been surprised that tasers are legal.

    It’s always easy to second-guess the cops, but keep in mind that once someone starts resisting arrest, the cop has no way of knowing whether that person is (a) stupid or (b) dangerous, so the safe thing is to assume (b) and act accordingly until they’re under control.

  3. First, When someone is resisting, even not agressively but trying to pull away and run, why fight and possibly get hurt when you can taze them and get them to stop fighting? So what if there arer 12 cops there. A lucky punch by the resister coule easily injure someone.

    Second, There are NO documented incidents where anyone died as a result of the taser alone. Yes people have died but usually when they have drugs and /or alcohol in them and they reach a state called “excited delirium”. (a controversial diagnosis )Still, I challenge someone to provide evidence that a taser in and of itself has caused someones death. MEDICAL/LEGAL evidence, not just anecdotal…

  4. i find it sad that LOTS of people around the ‘net find this funny enough to not address the real issue at hand – the guy had hit his limit. he wanted answers about the state of things in good ‘ol USA, and lo-and-behold, John Kerry was at his college. now who knows exactly what happened to get the cops chasing him in the first place – perhaps barging into the building, not waiting in line to ask a question? oh how threatening! and then Kerry says he’ll answer the question, and the cops just stand there! so if they thought the guy was really a threat well, turns out nothing! no gun, explosives, etc, just, uh, WORDS. (did Kerry even answer the question, why had he given up on the election so quickly?). regardless, guy asks question(s), then basically gets pummeled, and yeah “bro”… who knows why he says it – trying to keep the security with him psychologically? like hey “bro”, i’m not gonna do anything? i just wanted some straight answers for a change from a political waste of goddamn f**king time who has a craptastic lame answer for EVERYTHING? like pretty much all politicos!??

    HAHAHAAHAHA – but he said DON’T TASE ME BRO!!!!!! dude, that’s so classic…


  5. The best (or possibly worst) co-option of this phrase has to be by Bill O’Reilly; apparently, he found it so amusing that any purchase from his online store now includes a “Don’t Tase Me, Bro” bumper sticker.

  6. It’s discouraging to me to read debate on BoingBoing on whether tasers are effective enough, or should we go back to billy clubs in order to deal with situations that you might find at an average high school pep rally.

    Any security personnel like those shown in this video who can’t deal with an unarmed, unviolent, outnumbered man without tasering him over and over need to go back to serving sloppy joe at the local middle school.

    And the whole, “If we’re just good little drones and do whatever the nice men in charge say we’ll be OK, and if we step out of line, we deserve to be assaulted” attitude is frankly a little creepy.

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