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Should every home in Britain have a Taser gun?

Do you think It's fair to expect law-abiding home-owners in pyjamas to confront burglars with their bare hands?

The story of a family that became yet another statistic when their house was broken into by thieves armed with an iron bar and one of their own kitchen knives.(see Below)

I rose early that morning to take my wife to the airport to fly to see our family to show off our four-month-old son.

But as I blearily stumbled downstairs, I realised immediately that something terrible had happened. The living room window was wide open and a bag containing passports, mobile phones jewellery and wallets - packed the night before for the trip - was gone.

My wife is a strong women but brought to tears. And I was simply too shocked to say anything.

Worse was to come. I looked outside to find that the burglars had driven off in our much-loved car. Later, I learned, they set fire to it in a forest near Gloucester.

The police officer who came to visit the following morning tried to be helpful but was unable to find any clues that would lead them to the burglars. They were able to show me the marks where an iron bar had been used to force open a window. One of our kitchen knives was left out in a place where it should not have been.

Where we live, is a quietly prosperous and normally peaceful market town where we have always felt safe - crime was always something that happened to other people.

The impact on the lives of victims can be devastating. losing a great deal of money which may not be recovered from insurers. Spending unnecessary time dealing with the insurance companies, cancelling credit cards and other important documents, changing locks amongst doing 1,001 other things.

Mental impact

Luckily the intruders took what they wanted and left without seeing the victims, leaving them asking themselves questions such as:

  • What would have happened had one of us woken up? Clearly these people must have known that breaking into an occupied house at night incurs a risk of confrontation. It is reasonable to assume they were prepared for this. Had they been confronted there is no doubt that they would have used the weapons they had, including their own kitchen knife.

So now consider current law which states only that home-owners may use reasonable force to defend themselves but gives no definition of what 'reasonable' might mean.

It is not fair to expect a law-abiding home-owner in pyjamas to confront multiple intruders with his bare hands. On the other hand we are not about to allow people to arm themselves with guns for protection as is the case in America.

There is a simple solution: Let home-owners carry the electronic stun guns commonly known as Tasers.

Do you think home-owners should be able to carry Taser guns?

Imagine that, like this family, you were the victim of a night-time burglary. You wake up and frantically reach for the phone to call the police knowing that they will not arrive for some minutes. But instead of leaving you alone the thieves cannot find what they want and start climbing the stairs. What would you actually do in this situation?

  • You could try to take them on but realistically what chance do you have of overpowering intruders armed with knives and bars?

  • You could rush out and beg them to leave you alone. Your pleas for mercy might work but on the other hand you might find that along with taking your money the thieves want to beat you unconscious before raping your wife and daughter.

A Taser is a non-lethal weapon looking a bit like a pistol which fires a pair of darts up to 15 feet. These attach themselves to the victim's clothing and deliver a 50,000 volt electric shock - a punch with more stopping power, the manufacturers claim, than a conventional firearm.

Anyone hit suffers extreme pain and temporary paralysis but no permanent injury.


The Taser offers a hope. Having heard the noise of the break in your wife dials 999 while you stand at the top of the stairs pointing the gun.

Anyone coming up would have to weigh up their chances of making it to the top before you pulled the trigger. At a guess most thieves would not take the risk.

Tasers should be available to home-owners to give them an opportunity to protect themselves in the situation I have described.

In order to obtain one you should be required to have a licence, granted on the same basis as a firearms licence.

You should have to undergo the one day training course required for police equipped with these weapons, and misuse of a stun gun or carrying one outside a licensed address would mean a severe prison sentence.

Do you think home-owners should be able to carry Taser guns? comments below


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