Tasers saving lives

The Dom Post reports:

The Taser is saving lives, and many criminals are simply surrendering at the sight of it, say.

Nine people were shot with a Taser in its first year of use and some incidents were so violent, the offender could have been shot with a firearm, if the stun gun had not been available. …

Police incident reports issued to The Dominion Post reveal the extreme violence faced by police during the Taser incidents last year.

One man had just allegedly killed a man and was raging at neighbours with an axe. Another had stabbed himself with a samurai sword and was brandishing it at officers, a third attacked officers with a wheel brace and screwdriver, and another had stabbed a taxi driver in the head and fled in his stolen taxi.

In the Johnsonville case, a mentally ill man was tasered as he lunged at police with a hunting knife after a two-hour standoff.

Wellington area commander Inspector Pete Cowan said: “Potentially it was a case where a person could have been shot. It was a very, very good example of where … the Taser saved the offender’s life and potentially other members of the public and police.”

If the opponents of the taser had their way, then there would probably be some additional corpses. Offenders who are brandishing axes and swords would probably have been shot in the past.

But the opponents have done some good:

Police Association president Greg O’Connor said: “Perversely, the misinformation given out by the anti-Taser group has probably worked in the police and the public’s favour. People think the consequences of the Taser are worse than in reality they’re likely to be.”

Bring on the national roll-out.

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