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Anorak | Fire At Will: British Police Get Stun Gun Tasers

Fire At Will: British Police Get Stun Gun Tasers

by | 24th, November 2008

NEWS on the wires that police officers will be given 10,000 Taser stun guns. They’re regulation issue.

Specially trained officers will be able to use the 50,000-volt weapons when faced with the threat of serious violence, says the Home Office.

Good news, then, for the police. Stick a magnet on the end and when deployed the wires glue the perp’s knife and make him dance like a demented John Sergeant.

But not everyone is happy.

Oliver Sprague, Amnesty International’s UK’s arms programme director, says the use of the guns should be restricted to “life threatening” or “very dangerous” situations.

Those situations not dangerous enough for, say, a gun, and more dangerous than moments necessitating pepper spray, a truncheon, a horse, tear gas, an angry dog or heavy sarcasm. Those situations where you’ve just killed someone’s friend. Or you’ve stopped a man for speeding.

Amnesty says 300 people have died after being shot with Tasers in the US and Canada. And that is no good.

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith offers:

“I am proud that we have one of the few police services around the world that do not regularly carry firearms and I want to keep it that way.

“But every day the police put themselves in danger to protect us, the public. They deserve our support, so I want to give the police the tools they tell me they need to confront dangerous people.”

Note the use of “us”. Citizen Smith is one of us, not one of them. And like us she has a personal bodyguard when she pops out for a kebab. And – yeah – they have guns.

But tasers are OK. Tasers have been on trial in the UK. Tasers were deployed on more than 600 occasions in the past year but only used 93 times, ministers say.

No fatalities. So better than bullets, then. And because tasers are safer then guns, we should expect our officers to use them more frequently than they would use guns, sometimes on themselves.

Until someone dies

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Posted: 24th, November 2008 | In: Key Posts, Politicians Comments (5) | TrackBack | Permalink