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Saturday, June 14, 2008

Taser teaser

June 14, 2008
UJJAL DOSANJH, MP, Vancouver South

In your editorial Dangerous Weapon Of Convenience (June 11), you contend - based on the testimony of one RCMP officer speaking to the House of Commons public safety committee - that Tasers were never meant to be used instead of a gun, and that legislators who approved Tasers misunderstood the true uses for these devices.

I want to reiterate that when I approved Tasers for use in British Columbia, I was assured they would be employed as an alternative to guns and lethal force in high-risk situations, and that they would be used sparingly. Though I now have real concerns about "usage creep," I could not have envisioned such slippage when I first allowed Tasers.

My understanding of your editorial is that you are not arguing for a complete ban. I want to state categorically that police forces across Canada should have this alternative to guns. But while I recognize that Tasers will not be the appropriate substitute in all situations, I would like them to replace the gun as often as possible. When a gun is drawn, police shoot to kill. I would not want police to always draw their guns.

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