Police always carrying guns?

Discussion in 'Every Day Debating' started by Druid of Lûhn, Sep 13, 2011.

?

Should the police always carry a weapon?

  1. Yes; it's for our security.

    47.6%
  2. No, they don't need them, only when ordered to for a certain threat.

    23.8%
  3. Yes, but they should be hidden.

    28.6%
  1. Druid of Lûhn

    Druid of Lûhn The Little Lamb.

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    Ok; this could be linked to the riots in the UK - even though the coppers don't carry guns there until ordered to - but that's not why I want to do this.

    Today some policemen stopped the bus, and came on board to look for somebody, and they were both carrying pistols, as the police do in Belgium. Now that's ok when you think about it, but when a person walks past you, and you see a loaded pistol at his hip, it's not very reassuring. And this bus was carrying 80% of under 18s.
    Now what is worse is that at my primary school, we had police there simply to direct the traffic, that was all. Yet they were armed, and did have all too visible guns in front of 6 to 12 year-olds.

    So I wanted to see what you lot think about police - at least overtly - carrying guns.
     
  2. Lady Cyllíeth

    Lady Cyllíeth WillExplodeUnderPressure

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    I’m absolutely okay with policemen carrying their guns. They serve as an instrument of intimidation and policemen grow in confidence. What if patrolling policemen were suddenly confronted with a crisis situation? Drive back to the station to get their guns? Keeping them in their cars would be grossly negligent in my opinion.
    When an unarmed policeman or –woman has to cope with a phyisically way stronger person, who is more afraid of whom? If the policeman carries a gun, the opponent knows who has the upper hand. Policemen are trained on a regular basis; they learn how to rate tense situations and think twice before using their gun.

    Also, children shouldn’t be afraid of policemen only because they are armed. Most people know that the police only uses guns in an escalated situation (overly as a warning shot). In Germany all policemen carry guns (even customs officers do) and everyone knows about it so there is no need to hide the guns.

    Policemen might not always require a gun to do their job but I (as a normal civilian) feel safer if they carry them. You never know.
     
  3. Foinikas

    Foinikas Playing backgammon!

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    My parents being ex-police...I support the police carrying guns.It's only logical they do so.
     
  4. Overread

    Overread Wolfing it up! Staff Member

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    Hmm I'm of the opinion that if you arm the police with guns then the average criminal will have more incentive to seek out guns themselves - then you fast enter into an arms race (which the criminals, once channels are opened, generally are always a step ahead) which not only enforces the need for armed officers, but increases the demand for them and also does little to make the streets safer (instead of knives and such you've got guns flitting around the streets).

    Also a gun is first a deterrent and second a kill stop method; when the gun is pulled the officer should be under no illusions that its to stop the criminal dead (wounding is possible, but like all things not an exact science).

    I personally prefer things like tazers, batons and the like which are a deterrent a halting weapon - more easily able to wound/stop a criminal without resorting to killing.


    In the end I'm in the UK and the gun crime we have is low, we have a knife culture problem admittedly, and guns are always a threat, but I think that keeping them out of the general cycle only helps to slow the criminal vs police arms race; which is a good thing for all concerned as its the public and police that have to pay the ultimate price normally, when the arms race gets into serious weaponry.


    ps the poll asks if police carrying a weapon should be allowed not the specific mention of carrying firearms as the weapon itself.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2011
  5. Druid of Lûhn

    Druid of Lûhn The Little Lamb.

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    I am more for Tazers and Batons as well.

    @Overread: I wasn't sure if I should put firearm/gun or weapon, and decided on weapon. What I meant was firearm/gun.
     
  6. Kakashi

    Kakashi The Fighters Guide House Member

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    Whoever voted no should think twice about what they're saying
     
  7. Overread

    Overread Wolfing it up! Staff Member

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    You have to remember the country that you are living in is going to affect this vote - the UK side we simply don't have a major gun problem (outside of select urban areas) so there isn't even a pressing need for police to be armed with such lethal force. Meanwhile if you're in the USA or countries with a far more active gun culture/access then yes I would agree that the arms race between crime and law means that the police have to retain their edge.
     
  8. Kakashi

    Kakashi The Fighters Guide House Member

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    I guess. But I mean even in the UK there are criminals, right? What happens if the police get a situation where there are guns and they don't have one? They'll either die, let the criminal get away without a fight or even get kidnapped depending on what kind of thing we're talking about. It just seems like they should always have it to fall back on. At the very least in their squad cars.
     
  9. ~Elladan~

    ~Elladan~ A Elbereth Gilthoniel

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    I voted no but again I'm from the UK where incidents involving firearms are not as prevalent as in some other countries.

    If, as Kakashi & Lady C ask, a dangerous situation arises they will try and defuse it whilst calling for backup from specialist firearms units.
     
  10. Kakashi

    Kakashi The Fighters Guide House Member

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    Call for backup? Ever think that it might be too late by the time the backup gets there?
     
  11. ~Elladan~

    ~Elladan~ A Elbereth Gilthoniel

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    It may well be on occasion but set that against escalating gun usage and police using their trigger fingers instead of their brains & vocal cords.
     
  12. Lord Yuan

    Lord Yuan Death-Thousand+

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    I have a technological idea to this, why doesn't somebody make a gun that needs to be remotely unlocked to be used, that way before pulling the trigger straight away, the officer must phone in to alert of the situation. That way only the officer can use the gun, and there are measures to make sure the officer isn't going to abuse the use of the gun straight away.
     
  13. Kakashi

    Kakashi The Fighters Guide House Member

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    You guys are missing the point. You guys spend some time in a police man's shoes. It's putting their safety at jeopardy when they're trying to protect ours.
     
  14. Overread

    Overread Wolfing it up! Staff Member

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    Yes but in a place like the UK your average bobby on the beat does not have to deal much with guncrime - heck if you're not a farmer/rife competition shooter or in the army its fairly rare to actually own any kind of gun (barring those passed down from WWII and even most of them are decomissioned/handed in). So knives, batons and the like are mostly what they have to deal with.

    Giving them guns would, for a short time, give them the upper hand till the criminal element feels pressured enough to need them - at which point you've gone from knife and crowbar into firearms - instead of a beating thread you get shot at - so the danger to the bobby has now, on average, got worse.
     
  15. Lord Yuan

    Lord Yuan Death-Thousand+

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    I trust the cop, I just don't trust anybody who steals their guns. Also I say tasers fair game, non-lethal in most cases. Still what is a quick press of a button and a voice command to unlock a gun remotely seems like the best option. On top of that unlocking a gun could serve as a call for backup at the same time.
     
  16. Mububban

    Mububban Administrator Staff Member

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    In Australia the cops wear handguns on one hip and a Taser on the other hip, as well as pepper spray. So they can escalate their response as required. Police shootings are rare enough that whenever one happens, it makes national news headlines.

    Like the UK, we don't have a strong gun culture outside of farms and shooting clubs. Our overall gun crime rate is very low, we are seeing a knife culture emerging though which is horrible.

    I absolutely approve of cops wearing visible guns, and not citizens carrying them concealed.

    This would be useless in an unexpected emergency situation. Case in point from Australia, a country cop on his own stopped a car for failing to pay for petrol, a seemingly innocuous stop. The driver was a guy who'd just killed two people, and was built like a brick ****house. He decides to bash and try to kill the cop. As they're wrestling he's telling the cop he's gonna kill him with his own gun. The officer manages to free his sidearm and kill the attacker. The cop ends up in hospital with a fractured skull and broken nose among other injuries.

    If he'd had a lock on his pistol, the cop would be dead and the crim would be alive. It's not a practical solution for an item that is only used in emergency situations.
     
  17. Anduil

    Anduil New Member

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    I don't trust the cops to carry guns unless they are ordered to catch a murderer or a killer... I still remember the insident happend in December 2008. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_Greek_riotsSo i voted no. Cops are humans and can make mistakes. So in my opinion guns must be used only in massive murderers and not riots.
     
  18. Lord Yuan

    Lord Yuan Death-Thousand+

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    Then maybe a gun that has some sort of reader upon touch that can identify the user of it and then while already unlocked broadcasts an emergency message. Just some kind of way to prevent a gun from being turned on an officer, if that one guy did manage to get a hold on the officer's gun it would be a whole different story.
     
  19. Druid of Lûhn

    Druid of Lûhn The Little Lamb.

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    Last time police and using guns became the headlines here in Belgium was when they must have unearthed a massive criminal organisation; as arrests were happening all over the province (my dad say two in one afternoon) where police cars and vans would suddenly appear and stop some cars. The biggest story was that when one of these happened, the car got away and was on a motorway bridge. Two men got out, and both with guns, firing at the police. The police shot one dead, and the other jumped the bridge, and was caught by the police below.
    I can't remember any other incidents where a person was killed by a policeman's gun.
    In Belgium a policeman may only fire his gun when his "opponent" has fired his, aiming at the policeman or any other person.

    So I believe that it just depends on the country; in America, Greece, Russia, Germany, ... they should carry, but in the UK, Belgium, Australia, ... they could slowly build down.

    @Yuan: The criminal could force the policeman's hand to his head, and squeese the trigger.
     
  20. Overread

    Overread Wolfing it up! Staff Member

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    Actually considering that a lot of police in Australia can have very large, and very open/loanly provinces/areas to patrol I'm not surprised that they are given handguns. In a country like the UK police can call for and expect backup if a situation goes beyond their control during a chase - I suspect its very different in a country where there are miles and miles of open countryside without any support on offer.