This morning Taser International (TASR) put out a press release announcing the following:
Significant follow-on orders of TASER® X26™ and ADVANCED TASER® M26™ electronic control devices (ECDs) and related accessories from two international customers. The first order received provided 530 TASER X26 ECDs with 2850 TASER® cartridges and 530 TASER® Cam™ units. The second order received provided 2080 ADVANCED TASER® M26™ ECDs with 35,110 TASER® cartridges. Further customer information is not being released at this time. It is anticipated that these orders will ship in the First Quarter of 2011.
Given the tumult in the Middle East I can’t help but think that these orders were made by someone sitting in the back office of some Arab country’s ministry of defence. That guy’s boss probably had the chief of police in his office saying something like “these nightsticks and tear gas aren’t enough – we need Tasers!”
A principal faction in the anti-totalitarian rallies in Tunisia, Egypt and other Middle Eastern countries over the past weeks and months has been comprised of college students. These students are well-educated and willing to work, but have not been provided the opportunity to do so. This reminds me of another college student who questioned leadership- Andrew Meyer, the University of Florida student who was “tased” by security guards at a town hall meeting hosted by John Kerry in September of 2007. In the days to follow video of Meyer screaming “Don’t tase me bro!” went viral on YouTube.
His shrieks and squeals haunt me to this day and serve as a constant deterrent for students who consider streaking through the quad and into the gymnasium. I can only imagine that there are screams of “Le tase le akh!” (the Arabic translation for Don’t tase me bro!) being heard throughout the Middle East these days. TASR stock is up close to 5% on the day right now, but still 44% off 52-week highs, and prior to this morning’s news was only 14% off of 52-week lows.