We’ve had considerable news and commentary over the last week about arming Police officers. I am strongly against it.
The main reason I am so strongly opposed is the lack of meaningful training and the gung ho attitude of the Police.
You just have to look at their record.
Just last week they put two shots into the top story of a two story building when people were having a meeting on the ground floor.
The target was on the street and not six metres high.
The Police excuse – it was a ‘panic shot’. Properly trained firearms users don’t panic.
We then had the officer who shot himself in the foot. If he’d been in the military he’d be Court Marshaled before he took a second breath.
We had an officer in Hawkes Bay who accidentally shot a person he was guarding lying harmlessly on the ground. The round drilled his shoulder. The officers’ excuse – ‘the safety catch was faulty’. You don’t rely on safety catches and rifles don’t fire unless you pull the trigger.
He got away with it.
Then there was the case in Auckland where an innocent bystander was killed and another wounded. They were some distance from the target who didn’t receive as much as a scratch.
In Kawerau we had a lone gunman wound four Police officers before giving himself up. That shows in my humble book an eye watering degree of incompetence by the Police.
I could go on. Last week we had all Christchurch Police armed which was ridiculous. A cavalier Minister in the form of Stuart Nash supported it.
We then had in the believe it or not category the Police union releasing a ‘survey’ where 66% of their members supported arming themselves.
One should remind them they’re servants of democracy and not leaders in the arms race.
It is all quite farcical. The highest support for arming the Police came from road policing at 73%. So a cop giving me a speeding ticket wants to be armed! It is ridiculous in the extreme.
It is important to consider that when we sent troops to Bougainville in the middle of a civil war NZ Defence mad a decision not to arm the soldiers who were I might add were highly trained in the use of firearms.
The situation was solved by negotiation and no soldiers were shot at.
My concern at the saga is you and I don’t know how many weapons are available to the Police, how often they are used and for what.
My further concern is that the arm the Police movement is being driven by the Police and not the democratic process.