“The notion of an unarmed police service is quite frankly a non-starter”

Some of the new members of the Policing Board [that link’s on redirect – Ed] have met the Chief Constable before, but they all got a quick reminder that he is in charge of operational matters at today’s public meeting

“The notion of an unarmed police service is quite frankly a non-starter,” he said. “Currently my assessment is that we are where we need to be. I have no plans to start removing guns.”

And Hugh Orde also told the Policing Board that, now that human rights assessments had been completed

“I have decided in principle that the introduction of Tasers for specialist officers is something I want to do. That having been said, no officers have been trained and no devices have been purchased.”

More from the Chief Constable’s comments

Home Secretary John Reid wants the guns made available to police units such as tactical support teams and drugs squads.

And following human rights assessments, Sir Hugh has concluded they could help protect his officers.

He will meet with a Policing Board committee later this month to discuss the plans after stressing how no-one in the UK has yet been killed by the weapon.

It is unlikely that Tasers will be in use before the end of the year.

But Sir Hugh insisted: “There comes a time when, as Chief Constable, I feel my officers have rights too.

“The way Taser is used in the UK has not led to one death and, because officers had this option available to them, they did not have to resort to lethal use of force.”

, , , ,

  • Tasers and guns in front line policing, the new civic police force is just great, so different from the old one. No need these days for PSNI officers to help granny across the road, they just sap her up the arse with their taser and she flys across.

  • Blue Hammer

    They’ll do anything to make the shinners feel more at home. keeping weapons included. maybe they can pass them round at the board meetings to allow Maskey and co to keep their hands in …

  • Pete Baker

    BH

    Just in case you’re not being ironic.. that’s about as far from an accurate assessment of the situation as you could be.

    Mick

    The guns are there already, and aren’t going anywhere quickly. Tasers are there as an alternative option to plastic bullets – or even Attenuated Energy Projectiles.

    Operational matters, after all.

    And if granny wanted to cross the road..

  • Harry Flashman

    In all the thirty years of the Troubles you could probably count on the fingers of one hand when a serious incident was prevented by an ordinary peeler on street patrol drawing his weapon, this despite the deaths of over three hundred officers many of whom were killed while armed and indeed in the presence of other armed officers.

    The idea that we need policemen on routine foot patrol to be armed is a fallacy.

  • Cahal

    Harry, I was thinking the same thing.

    Has a cop here ever used his/her gun successfully i.e. to prevent further loss of life? I can’t think of any examples.

  • heck

    “I have decided in principle that the introduction of Tasers for specialist officers is something I want to do. That having been said, no officers have been trained and no devices have been purchased.”

    Is’nt this new democracy that Norn Iron has a wonderful thing.

    Anywhere else that claimed to be a democracy the head of the police force would have to convince elected represenative’s that he needed certain equipment and that his needs were more important than others (say a new hospital wing). He would have to do this with data, examples from other jursisdictions, and demonstrated priorities.

    The elected representatives would then have to convince the population being policed to fork out the money to pay for it.

  • Aquifer

    “you could probably count on the fingers of one hand when a serious incident was prevented by an ordinary peeler on street patrol drawing his weapon”

    But how many policemen would have been murdered if they did not have the guns?

    If you were for the collapse of policing in the North you should perhaps declare an interest.

    There were a few incidents where the personal protection weapons of off-duty cops gave criminals surprises. Though I’m not presenting an argument for arming policemen and women as they go home after work.

  • Dec

    Tasers are there as an alternative option to plastic bullets

    That, I seriously doubt unless you envisage a scenario whereby baton rounds can be unleashed on aggressive drunks outside bars.

  • Dec

    There were a few incidents where the personal protection weapons of off-duty cops gave criminals surprises.

    Not just criminals.

  • Joost

    Guys,

    there are two simple rules on this issue as far as being a copper is concerned (for those who aren’t);

    a) don’t take a knife to a gunfight; and
    b) it’s better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6.

    Enough said. I’m sure you all can work it out.

  • “Attenuated Energy Projectiles”

    Pete

    With terms like the above being put about one cannot but be ironic, do you not feel? Heck is spot on in his post, Orde’s arrogant attitude displays the fact that he does not come before these policy committees to take orders or even advice, but simply to keep the politicians up to speed on his and his masters in Whitehall’s intentions as to policing in the six counties. Once operational matters where taken out of the remit of the police committees they became a dead duck as to holding the PSNI to account; and became political window dressing, much as similar committees are elsewhere in the UK.

    SF argument for joining them was dishonest and disingenuous and Orde’s attitude proves it.

    By the way Harry is correct when he writes “The idea that we need policemen on routine foot patrol to be armed is a fallacy.”
    For even if a beat officer were to come across say an armed robbery, the last thing the public needs is for him/her to engage in a shoot out with the perpetrators in a public place.

    An armed civic police force, I suppose Whyat Earp and his brothers fell into that category in the mind of Mr Adams.

  • kensei

    In England or Scotland, is the decision of a police force to be entirely armed or not an operational matter or would it require political approval?

  • kensie

    That would be a complete change of strategy so one would think that would be a matter for the home office, certainly in England and I do not doubt Scotland to. Indeed un-arming local bobbies in the north would also fall into that category, would it not? [certainly at this stage of the game]

  • Dread Cthulhu

    mickhall: “For even if a beat officer were to come across say an armed robbery, the last thing the public needs is for him/her to engage in a shoot out with the perpetrators in a public place. ”

    Disarming the police is not a useful move, especially in light of certain groups unwillingness to disarm. So long as the hoods are armed and the masses of law-abiding citizens are disarmed, the cops should carry firearms. Admittedly, their still not at parity with what some of the hoods can trot out, but one does the best one can.

    Besides, gun control doesn’t work as advertised, Mickhall. NYC, Washington, DC, Philadelphia — all have draconian gun-control laws, with the only impact of disarming the law-abiding populace to its own detriment. It is also famously a pillar of tyranny, supported by such luminaries as Hitler, Stalin, Mao, etc. Throw in the fact that a modestly skilled individual can make a working gun and ammunition and it is really an excercise in futility.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Dread

    “So long as the hoods are armed and the masses of law-abiding citizens are disarmed, the cops should carry firearms.”

    I have to agree with Mick’s point. I don’t accept that engaging in shoot-outs is something we want our police force to do. We want them to investigate crime and arrest suspects. I’d rather see a bank robber get away and be picked up later (perhaps with an armed response unit backing up the arresting officers) than see shoot-outs in our town centres, with criminals, cops and by-standers all being imperilled. The best policing is unflashy, low-key, relentless, with the peace of the community preserved. The worst policing is Dirty Harry-style role-playing from phallically-challenged big children who’ve seen too many movies.

    “Besides, gun control doesn’t work as advertised, Mickhall. NYC, Washington, DC, Philadelphia—all have draconian gun-control laws, with the only impact of disarming the law-abiding populace to its own detriment.”

    I think a more useful comparison would be closer to home. Arguably in the US, it’s too late for gun control to work effectively, as the fetishisation of firearms is so entrenched. (I mean, after the Virginia Tech massacre, many Americans argued that the problem was that there weren’t enough guns around. To most of the rest of the world, this is simply insane.)

    Compare though, with the south of Ireland or anywhere in Britain. A handful of firearm-related deaths per year, as opposed to more than 10,000 in a quiet year in the US. Not problem-free zones, I grant you, but far safer environments than the US, and far closer to our own experience to boot.

    “It is also famously a pillar of tyranny, supported by such luminaries as Hitler, Stalin, Mao, etc.”

    This is totally stupid.

    “Throw in the fact that a modestly skilled individual can make a working gun and ammunition and it is really an excercise in futility.”

    An Garda Siochana disarmed in 1923, in what was a profoundly idealistic gamble that paid off to the benefit of everyone in the Republic – and to the benefit of Gardai most of all. Wouldn’t you rather see a situation where the PSNI occupy a place in our society akin to the position of the Gardai in the south? I would. To get there though, one or two leaps of faith will be required – and that includes a leap of faith from the police themselves. Republicans have taken their leap. Perhaps police should too?

    Or to put it another way: the community has put its trust in the PSNI. Perhaps in time the PSNI will put its trust in the community?

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Billy P: ” don’t accept that engaging in shoot-outs is something we want our police force to do. We want them to investigate crime and arrest suspects.”

    And how, pray tell, will the arrest armed suspects, unless the are armed? You already concede that an armed component is necessary, so I’ve already “won,” as we are no longer discussing whether or not they should be armed but how many should be armed. As such, disarming the police, by your own kenning, is a non-starter.

    As a rule, no one likes being a helpless victim. Police, entrusted and empowered to enforce the law need the means to do so. In a nation where the hoods are armed, that means arming the police.

    Bill P: “Arguably in the US, it’s too late for gun control to work effectively, as the fetishisation of firearms is so entrenched. (I mean, after the Virginia Tech massacre, many Americans argued that the problem was that there weren’t enough guns around. To most of the rest of the world, this is simply insane.) ”

    The statistics disagree — areas with higher numbers of armed citizens have lower crime rates, at least in the US. Some crimes, such as “hot” burglaries (burglaries where the owners are in residence) are almost unheard of.

    Criminals like folks who can’t fight back. They make easier prey.

    Billy P: “Compare though, with the south of Ireland or anywhere in Britain. A handful of firearm-related deaths per year, as opposed to more than 10,000 in a quiet year in the US.”

    The are, as the author said, three kinds of lies. Lies, damned lies and statistics.

    1) What are those numbers adjusted for population, just so we are comparing apples to apples?

    2) One would remind you that, at last check, gun crime in the UK was trending upward, despite gun control, whilst gun crime in the United States was trending downward. This has, iirc, been consistant at least through 2005.

    These are just the objections off the top of my head… you’re not comparing apples to apples — statistically, in Ireland’s 4 million, one gun death would be the same as 75 deaths in the United States pop ~300,000,000), once population is take into account and that the trending numbers do not agree with your assumptions.

    Billy P: “This is totally stupid. ”

    What, that disarming the populace is a popular move with those who prefer a dominant central government?

    Billy P: “To get there though, one or two leaps of faith will be required – and that includes a leap of faith from the police themselves. Republicans have taken their leap. ”

    Second point first — not all have made that leap, and those who leaped, by all responsible analysis, did not do so completely. First point second, your seeming inability to compare like to like comes again to the fore — Belfast of 2007 is not Dublin of 1924. There are still heavily armed thugs threatening violence — this is not the time to disarm. When the biggest worry are bank-robberies and ordinary decent criminals, mayhap… but not today.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Dread

    “And how, pray tell, will the arrest armed suspects, unless they are armed?”

    They pick them up after the fact. Go to their homes, pick them up on the street, wherever. Far safer for police and the general public than engaging in shoot-outs.

    “You already concede that an armed component is necessary…”

    I accept the need for armed response units for particular instances where arms might be appropriate. I doubt many people would disagree. That’s quite different from having a routinely armed police force, where every Bobby on the beat is tooled up. I mean, I remember once being pulled over for not wearing a seatbelt and the cop approached me with his sidearm drawn. Crazy stuff.

    “As such, disarming the police, by your own kenning, is a non-starter.”

    No. It’s perfectly clear what I’m saying. Armed response units, yes. Routinely armed, no. Where’s the confusion?

    “As a rule, no one likes being a helpless victim.”

    I believe in courts of law, not the wild west. I want to feel secure as I walk the streets – secure from criminals, of course, but secure from “accidents” as well. The more guns there are in society, the more prevalent “accidents” are.

    “Police, entrusted and empowered to enforce the law need the means to do so…”

    How then are Britain and the RoI, with their unarmed police forces, more peaceful societies than the United States, where everyone is armed to the teeth?

    I’ve never had a gun. Never held one, never fired one. Don’t want to. No interest. And yet and all I feel reasonably safe in the society I live in. If I thought I was going to be burgled I wouldn’t dash out and buy a gun. It’s just not the kind of guy I am. In that respect I’d say I’m much like the vast majority of people in these islands. I’m sanguine enough about crime. It happens. It has happened to me. The law is there to protect me from crime but sometimes it doesn’t work out that way. That’s life.

    I don’t want a gun, though. I rather take it on the chin than turn myself into a killer. I don’t regard shooting a burglar as self-defence. I accept Nehru’s maxim that peace only comes to peaceful people. Peace comes only to peaceful societies, not armed societies. True security comes only to those who let their guard down. It’s a philosophical thing, I suppose.

    “Criminals like folks who can’t fight back. They make easier prey.”

    This is a pulp fiction truism, not the stuff of serious policy. Again it’s indicative of the Virginia Tech mentality – the solution to gun-related problems is more guns. As I said, totally insane.

    “just so we are comparing apples to apples?”

    In 1999, 0.35 persons per 100,000 died as a result of firearms in the UK (approx 210 people – an appallingly high figure). In the same year, the figure for the United States was 10.5 per 100,000. That’s about 31,500 people (Portadown) or 30 times as many per capita.

    At the UK rate, that means six deaths in NI. At the US rate, 123 deaths.

    “gun crime in the UK was trending upward, despite gun control, whilst gun crime in the United States was trending downward.”

    But it’s rising from a very low level in the UK and falling from a level that is nothing less than a national crisis in the US.

    “These are just the objections off the top of my head… you’re not comparing apples to apples—”

    Yes I am.

    “disarming the populace is a popular move with those who prefer a dominant central government?”

    Invoking Stalin and Hitler is totally stupid – particularly given that we’re talking about disarming the police, as well as the populace, and having a society that is, to the greatest extent possible, unarmed. The UK banned handguns in 1997. Almost every constabulary in these islands is routinely unarmed. Why not talk about these examples – surely more relevent – instead of totalitarian regimes? What on earth do they have to do with the issue?

    (Answer: nothing. You’re displaying the kind of passive-aggression very common among unionists and rightwingers.)

    “not all have made that leap, and those who leaped, by all responsible analysis, did not do so completely.”

    Call me irresponsible, but you’ll have to explain this one more thoroughly to me.

    “your seeming inability to compare like to like comes again to the fore—Belfast of 2007 is not Dublin of 1924.”

    Belfast in 2007 is VASTLY safer than Dublin in 1924 for police. There’s no comparison really. An Garda Siochana took a courageous punt and it paid off. Will the PSNI follow suit? I doubt it – of course the biggest difference is there was no issue of a dual role as garrison force where Gardai were concerned.

    “There are still heavily armed thugs threatening violence—this is not the time to disarm.”

    Those “heavily-armed gangs” could be disarmed in the morning if police wanted to. Perhaps there are too many vested interests within our security establishment who don’t want normalisation?

  • Dread
    I feel you are not seeing the cultural difference and are making your judgement on media headlines alone. The reason gun crime is making such a big splash in the UK press at the moment is because it is still a very rare event.

    For example on doing a very quick google, between March 03 to March 04 there were 853 murders in the UK and I would guess only a small minority would have been by gunshot. You can see the enormous difference between the US and this side of the pond.

    Billy Pilgrims post above sums up my attitude on this matter perfectly, his following words should be used at every police training school.

    “The best policing is unflashy, low-key, relentless, with the peace of the community preserved.’

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Billy P: “I believe in courts of law, not the wild west. I want to feel secure as I walk the streets – secure from criminals, of course, but secure from “accidents” as well. The more guns there are in society, the more prevalent “accidents” are. ”

    Got any sort of basis for this, beyond your own imagination? A firearm is no different than an adze or an auger. It is a tool — prefectly safe in the hands of any responsible owner/operator.

    Billy P: “In 1999, 0.35 persons per 100,000 died as a result of firearms in the UK (approx 210 people – an appallingly high figure). In the same year, the figure for the United States was 10.5 per 100,000. That’s about 31,500 people (Portadown) or 30 times as many per capita. ”

    Which precedes the trends trends I referenced. Grasping for old data does not support your cause. Likewise, switch baselines — you picked Ireland, not I — does not serve your cause.

    Billy P: “Yes I am. ”

    No, you were not. You were comparing numbers of deaths without accounting for the difference in population. In your more recent post, you have made two adjustments — one to a per capita basis, which compares apples to apples, but also changed your baseline, grabbing older data and a new political unit upon which to make your comparison. Throw in the accusations that the UK was under-reporting violent crimes, and I still say your argument is suspect.

    Billy P: “Belfast in 2007 is VASTLY safer than Dublin in 1924 for police.”

    And the politics are entirely different. In Dublin of 1924, there was a sea change in the politics, with de facto self-rule in 1922 and the end of the Irish Civil War in 1923. An *ideal* time for breaking with the practices of the previous administration and its practices.

    In Belfast of 2007, the most that has been accomplpished is a re-arrangement of the deck-chairs and changing the office on watch, with the new boss pretty much being in step with the old boss.

    Billy P: “Those “heavily-armed gangs” could be disarmed in the morning if police wanted to. ”

    And the politicians on both sides of the Irish Sea had the balls to weather the fall out. Care to wager on which will happen first?

    Billy P: “Perhaps there are too many vested interests within our security establishment who don’t want normalisation? ”

    More than likely, it is there are too many people with too much to lose by rocking the boat.

    Like I said, when the biggest worry is ordinary decent criminals, it would a topic to visit, not before.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    mickhall: “I feel you are not seeing the cultural difference and are making your judgement on media headlines alone. The reason gun crime is making such a big splash in the UK press at the moment is because it is still a very rare event. ”

    Frankly, you’re wrong, but that hasn’t stopped you from trying to impute motives upon others previously. Gun crime surges following each increase in gun control — you can see it in the statistics from Canada to the District of Columbia to London, the media be damned.

    Mickhall: “For example on doing a very quick google, between March 03 to March 04 there were 853 murders in the UK and I would guess only a small minority would have been by gunshot. You can see the enormous difference between the US and this side of the pond. ”

    Likewise, as I recall from my graduate level statistical analysis projects, there is a stronger relationship (and strong correlation) between population density and violence than whether or not private citizens are allowed the private ownership of firearms, with some additional caveats regarding homogenous and heterogenous populations — when you pick the extremes, say, Vermot v. Philadelphia, PA. The denser, less homogenous population, *DESPITE* far stronger gun regulation, has a far greater rate of murder.

    It is the lazy mind that blames the weapon, rather than the individual who wields it.

    mickhall: ““The best policing is unflashy, low-key, relentless, with the peace of the community preserved.’ ”

    Which tells me that you and Billy got your “knowledge” of American police methodolgies from bad television shows and B-movies than reality. Most cops in the United States retire without unholstering their weapon outside of the range. The firearm is just another tool and, in my experience, it is better to have an option and not need it than to need it and not have it.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Dread

    “Got any sort of basis for this, beyond your own imagination?”

    30,000 gun deaths per year. Spin that any way you want, but that’s exponentially higher than anywhere else in the world.

    “A firearm is no different than an adze or an auger.”

    Actually it is – an adze or auger have specific uses other than to kill. Firearms do not. Besides, no-one’s arguing that people should be carrying adzes or augers around either. If I was to walk around with an ice-pick in my belt, I’d be arrested – and rightly so. At least I could argue that the ice-pick has a function other than killing or threatening to kill.

    “It is a tool—prefectly safe in the hands of any responsible owner/operator.”

    How do you judge who a “responsible owner/operator” is? I accept that highly-trained specialists within the police force should be allowed to carry guns in specific circumstances. Other than that, no-one else. You set the bar much lower, I guess?

    “Which precedes the trends trends I referenced.”

    All right then. In 2004, there were 29,569 gun deaths in the US – down on the 1999 figure (hardly “old figures” – come on, I’m not talking 1899 here!) but still astronomical.

    “Likewise, switch baselines—you picked Ireland, not I—does not serve your cause.”

    How did I switch baselines? I referred to anywhere in Britain or southern Ireland. Then I talked about the UK. Where’s the switch? (No figures to hand, but afaik, gun deaths are even rarer in RoI than UK – and yes, that’s adjusted for population.)

    “No, you were not. You were comparing numbers of deaths without accounting for the difference in population.”

    No I wasn’t. I quoted the figure per 10,000 of population. The US figure is THIRTY times as high. That’s roughly 180 times more deaths.

    “In your more recent post, you have made two adjustments—one to a per capita basis, which compares apples to apples, but also changed your baseline, grabbing older data and a new political unit upon which to make your comparison.”

    No I didn’t. Read my posts again.

    “Throw in the accusations that the UK was under-reporting violent crimes, and I still say your argument is suspect.”

    Sorry, but that’s bullshit.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Billy P: “No I wasn’t. I quoted the figure per 10,000 of population. The US figure is THIRTY times as high. That’s roughly 180 times more deaths. ”

    To quote you: ““Compare though, with the south of Ireland or anywhere in Britain. A handful of firearm-related deaths per year, as opposed to more than 10,000 in a quiet year in the US.”

    Now what don’t we see? Any adjustment or acknowledgement for differing population bases, for starters. You tried to compare “a handful” vs 10,000 in a “quiet year” with no acknowledgement of differences in population.

    Likewise, you coyly use “fire-arm related deaths, a misleading sum, since it does not address the core issue, muddying the waters with suicides and accidents.

    Now, to drag you into the light of day, let us do something other than pull numbers out of the air, shall we? Going to the FBI website, there were 5.5 murders per 100,000 (The Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program defines murder and nonnegligent manslaughter as the willful (nonnegligent) killing of one human being by another. ) (2001 data (sorry, UK Nat’l Stat office didn’t provide interim estimates that were readily available…) Using the UK source (Home office, England and Wales, population of ~52 million and ~850 “events” ) There was ~1.62 murders per 100,000. There would be a reduction — higher pop and a slight lower crime rate (although below peak, which was 02-03 of over 1000).

    Now, are there going to be more “gun” murders in the US? Of course — you can actually buy guns here legally. But, strangely enough, the difference in murder rates, while still significant, is not nearly the vast gulf you describe, suggesting that, despite the lack of guns, folks still find a way to murder one another in the UK.

    Now, that said, Vermont, which has the most permissive gun laws in New England, if not the U.S. — handguns over the counter to residents, concealed carry for state residents without permit requirements, etc. has a murder rate, all methods (not just guns), of 1.3 per 100,000, less than that of England and Wales, where guns are all but banned.

    Ergo, its not the guns, Billy, so try again. All that gun control accomplished in the UK was to make London the knife-murder capital of the world.

    Now as for the UK undercounting violent crime, I was right in my recollection, but it does not apply to the discussion at hand — they were excluding assaults and assaults on a constable (among others) from their crime statistics, with the correction coming in 1998. Not “bullshit,” but not a useful recollection.

  • kensei

    “Frankly, you’re wrong, but that hasn’t stopped you from trying to impute motives upon others previously. Gun crime surges following each increase in gun control—you can see it in the statistics from Canada to the District of Columbia to London, the media be damned.”

    No shit! There are more gun crimes after the police are told to crack down on them? Get outta here!

    Also, if you don’t see the difference between 5.5 Murder rate, I despair. And you have an incredible bare faced cheek to complain about comparing apples with oranges by then comparing the UK with Vermont. For the comparison to be fair, you’d need to take a suitably rural section of the UK. Because only an idiot would suggest the murder rate is down to a single factor.

    The main point is this. The vast majority of the population in both the UK and Ireland are not comfortable with a shitload of guns in circulation. So we limit then as much as possible. You live in a country with insane gun laws. So, we’re both happy. Or we would be, if the PSNI disarmed. And the debate needs to be taken in that context.

  • the Emerald Pimpernel

    The statistics disagree—areas with higher numbers of armed citizens have lower crime rates, at least in the US. Some crimes, such as “hot” burglaries (burglaries where the owners are in residence) are almost unheard of.

    this is bollocks that is discounted by the FBI’s own statistics

    And what part of the US has less guns? The Imaginery 51st State!

  • Pete Baker

    EP

    Don’t assert.

    If you have the stats to back up your argument, quote them.

  • the Emerald Pimpernel

    Pete I didnt save the link but they were all available on the net and frankly I dont have time to do the research but if memory serves the rate of burgularies commited when people were in the house was 28% in Canada and 26.5% in the US and these differences could be down to reporting.

    But to say that “hot burgularies” are non existant in the US is bollocks

    Anecdotally if their are no “hot burgularies” then why do you need a gun?

  • the Emerald Pimpernel

    The statistics disagree—areas with higher numbers of armed citizens have lower crime rates, at least in the US. Some crimes, such as “hot” burglaries (burglaries where the owners are in residence) are almost unheard of.

    Besides Pete Baker how come you didnt ask this poster to cite his staistics

    Is it because you agree with him he is allowed to post opinions as facts

  • Pete Baker

    EP

    If you want to undermine someone else’s argument then the best way to do so is to back it up with the stats you claim exist.

    On your other point.. I’ve posted my own opinion. If you have an issue with it then comment on that.

  • Sean

    Pete
    but you only asked for back up from me

  • Dread,

    You like many of you fellow citizens appear to me to be very sensitive to any criticism, take your following comment,

    ” Which tells me that you and Billy got your “knowledge” of American police methodolgies from bad television shows and B-movies than reality. Most cops in the United States retire without unholstering their weapon outside of the range. The firearm is just another tool and, in my experience, it is better to have an option and not need it than to need it and not have it.”

    Not once in any post did I mention anything about the practice of the US police. It does not surprise me at all that most cops in the US end their careers without drawing their weapon on the streets, I know of many men why never fired a shot at another human throughout WW2. However we were debating gun crime and thankfully few cops commit such crimes, although they do use their weapon to kill themselves with alarming regularity. [all over the world]

    My point was about the disarming of PSNI beat officers, perhaps you should consider why you are so sensitive on the subject of guns. Let me put it another way, what is the percentage of US gun crime which is carried out by members of families or friends against one and another? i e people shooting people they know after arguments and disagreements have erupted.

    If it is high, then it is surly self evident that mass gun ownership is part of the problem, yes or no. Or do you feel it is the democratic right of every US citizen to shoot members of their families or friends when they piss them off.