Tasers In the Media Is Taser Use Safe
Unfortunately, there has been a great deal of recent media coverage about tasers being a dangerous self-defense tool. Usually these stories center on an isolated and rare incident in which a criminal has been injured while police were trying arrest them. While it is undeniable that all police activities carry risk for both the officer and the criminal, it is important to think about what level of risk is acceptable, and whose safety should be the first priority.
It should be generally accepted that when an attack occurs the safety of the innocent victim is the first priority. This person has does nothing wrong, nor have they volunteered to be put at risk. The second priority, should be the safety of the officer. Men and women who work in law enforcement do so at great risk to themselves, never knowing if they will be harmed or even killed in the line of duty. Although officers do accept that risk part of the job, it should still be a priority to ensure that these men and women are kept as safe as possible.
The final priority is the safety of the criminal themselves. This person has elected to engage in illegal activity, such as committing a physical attack on another person, by their own choice. They are the ones who put innocent, law-abiding citizens and police officers at risk. For this reason, the safety of the criminal, while still very important, should be prioritized after the victim who was attacked and the police officer who is completing the arrest.
A recent US study of taser use nationwide does suggest that tasers are a safe self defence tool. This study, conducted by the Wake Forest University School of Medicine and funded by the National Institute of Justice, examined 1000 cases of taser use and found that 99.7% of them resulted in no significant injuries.
What is the alternative? A police officer who uses physical brute force to subdue a perpetrator will have to physically restrain that individual – risking bodily harm to both the criminal and themselves. Tasers provide a non-violent option that allows the officer to control the situation without risking their own safety and without harming the criminal.
Individuals who use tasers for their own protection are even less likely to cause harm than a police officer. While an officer must remain with the criminal and work to gain control for an arrest, your goal is simply to stop the attacker long enough for you to escape to safety.
Moreover, those who carry tasers as a self defence tool report that the likelihood of actually firing a taser is very slim. Even in situations where a taser-user has been under attack, simply displaying the weapon is usually enough to scare the criminal away.
Let the media debate whether tasers are safe or not for the criminals. Most people would agree that a small risk of injury to the criminal is worth the certain protection of the victim. After all, who’s safety are we looking out for? Are we trying to make criminal activity safer for the criminal?
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