Police in Britain now regularly carrying guns, anti-gun activities upset, claim no benefit

From the BBC:
In a little-noticed move, a small number of police officers are now routinely carrying sidearms while on patrol in parts of the mainland UK. . . .
It's a sight that once would have been unthinkable. In this corner of the Scottish Highlands - an area with one of the lowest crime rates in the UK - the officers showing up to a relatively workaday disturbance are armed.
Although every police force has a firearms unit, for decades it has been an article of faith that in the mainland UK, almost uniquely among major industrialised nations, the police do not carry guns as a matter of course.
But with little fanfare at first, a policy of routinely allowing specialist officers to wear sidearms as they walk the streets of Scotland has come into being. . . .
Meanwhile, an anti-gun activist in Scotland opposes police carrying guns.  From the UK Daily Record:
. . . Dr Mick North lost his five-year-old daughter Sophie when killer Thomas Hamilton struck at her school.
The anti-gun activist has slammed Police Scotland Chief Constable Sir Stephen House for suggesting armed bobbies could have stopped the massacre.
At a force summit in June, the country’s top policeman highlighted the mass murder of Sophie, her 14 primary 1 classmates and teacher Gwen Mayor as a reason why units should not spend “an extra five, 10, 15, 20 minutes” arming themselves.
Dr North said: “I can’t see how any armed police would have stopped Dunblane.
“It took 15 minutes until any police officer arrived at the school when the incident was all over in three minutes.” . . . 
Some notes: I agree that it is very doubtful that police could have arrived quickly enough to stop the attack at Dunblane.  But does that mean that there won't be a few other times when speed might save some lives.  Of course, my response is to speed up response time to these tragedies by getting rid of gun-free zones, not by disarming even police.  It is hard to see any benefits from having police being disarmed.

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Blogger Unknown said...

Gun bans aren't about banning guns. They're about banning -your- guns. Something the Scots are starting to realize.

8/11/2014 1:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't underestimate the deterrent effect that armed security- uniformed or undercover (as well as armed citizens) has on the thinking of criminals.

Almost universally criminals will avoid armed opposition. The incident that concerns the aggrieved parent may never have occurred in the first instance had their been even the modest risk of an immediate armed response.

8/11/2014 3:01 PM  

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