Thursday, November 24, 2005
Tazers In Scotland
I've remained silent on this subject long enough. Taser guns, and their use in Scotland.
In today's Herald, there is a report of a man in his mid-thirties, being the first Scottish victim of the use of a Taser gun. He was fired upon by trained officers in Wishaw, North Lanarkshire, as he attempted to rob a Texaco Garage, allegedly, with a firearm. He was admitted to hospital and will face charges later.
In this particular incident nobody was hurt, although the "victim" banged his head when he fell. It could have been much worse. Brandishing a gun and using it to threaten people is something, which in the past, has often led police marksmen to shoot to disable the perpetrator of a crime as it happens. The use of a Taser is designed to incapacitate the criminal rather than risk fatally wounding them.
To me, this sounds like a good idea. If you are going to use a firearm to commit a crime, it is reasonable to expect the rest of the public and the police might believe that you are going to use it. Therefore, don't be surprised if a member of the Firearms Response Unit pops a bullet in your ass. I would have though a Taser gun as an alternative, might appeal more to any would-be armed robbers.
That's not how John Scott, Chairman of the Scottish Human Rights Centre, sees it. He says, "There are still serious concerns that although a Taser gun is supposed to be a non-lethal force people can be killed with it."
Human Rights? If someone is going to commit a crime, particularly one involving firearms, violence or any kind of violation of an innocent person’s life, then the perpetrator forfeits all rights they themselves once had. We should not be protecting the rights of a man who wields a pistol and threatens to kill someone so they can take their money. The chances are the money is only needed to finance a drug problem, but that's not an excuse for destroying someone else's life.
We should be protecting the rights of innocent people and do our best to ensure that the honest and moral people of our society are protected from being hurt or killed.
Jack McConnell will have you believe he's all for this kind of thing, but he's a balloon filled with the contents of my Dyson after a month's heavy hoovering.
The man this article relates to is lucky he wasn't shot. He chose to commit the crime therefore he should pay to a similar degree of the pain he caused the people he pointed a gun at.
Over one hundred people have died in the US at the end of a Taser gun, which is a terrible shame. But these people chose to put themselves in line of the Taser by committing the crime in the first place. If they had chosen an honest life, they wouldn't be dead. It's that simple.
We in this country need to put the law-abiding people at the forefront. It's OUR rights that should be protected, not those who choose to break the law not giving a damn what happens to anyone else as a consequence. Taser guns won't solve the root-cause of why people commit serious offences in this country, but it may go a long way to making them think twice.
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