Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Tasing the Opposition

Having grown up with a British Police Force who in those days had the proud boast that they did not carry guns, one wonders about the present Taser debate. One wonders even more why the SA Opposition Leader, Isabel Redmond, is doing anything more than attention-seeking when she is offering to be Tasered herself (here) in order (presumably) to show that it's OK!
There is no doubt that we have a real problem about what to do with armed criminals.
Is it too simplistic to say: Get rid of guns!!! Make it illegal to own them, or use them unless you are licensed, trained, and using them in a full-controlled environment.
Is it all too-simplistic to say the same thing abotu knives also?
In the current hysterical discussion in which the hyperbolic "Gang of 49" language is being used we should all be aware that it is bad to make public policy in the heat of the moment.
The Taser (and there are a number of variants) has a basic problem...and that is that you use it like a gun.
It does nothing to diminish gun violence, and may even provoke it, if we say that you point a gun at someone who is pointing a gun at you.
Most of us here are deeply disturbed by what happens in the US. Less guns seems better than more.
This is a bit of a ramble...but you get the point!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

If the Liberal party think this will help sway votes to their side then i think they are stupid - we have already had a Taser related death in Queensland and a taser used on a teenager who was 'under age' (there are rules stating that the taser cannot be used on people under a certain age in queensland)
I have no problem with the basic tenet of the use of a Taser - to be used in place of a gun - however the reports coming from the US show the Taser being used more and more often as a compliance device with no one immune - teenagers, pregnant woman and the elderly have all been, in my opinion, assaulted with the device. And after being used for only a very short time in queensland the police were using the Taser just like the police in the US

stephen clark said...

I still think there is a problem with the whole idea of the police using a "point and fire" weapon as a first point of contact