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Tom
I have always wondered why English police do not carry guns like american police. Could any of you tell me about it because i dont know why but i think i wouls fell safer if our police would carry guns. Well you see americans have armed police, FBI, undercover cops and S.W.A.T, and we (that i know of) have are nomal police and armed police (oh ya we both have the Army). So i want to know why so it would help if any of you could tell me some stuff about it smile.gif
Novander
Safer? I love the fact that out police don't carry guns. I'd be worried if they did start carrying them. It's not that I don't trust the police; they've always been fair in my dealings with them. It's that if they've got guns, they'd be far more likely to use them*.

I suppose one of the reasons American police all carry firearms is that the vast majority of the american population has the right to bear arms and thus access to guns is much easier, even for those who don't have licenses and whatnot.

*Well, obviously the probability of them using them if they don't have them is 0, but you see what I'm getting at.
Phyllis
QUOTE (Novander @ Jan 26 2006, 11:07 AM)
I suppose one of the reasons American police all carry firearms is that the vast majority of the american population has the right to bear arms and thus access to guns is much easier, even for those who don't have licenses and whatnot.
*

That's exactly why. And there have been some sad cases here where the police have shot and killed children carrying toy guns. That's why all toy guns are now required to have a bright orange tip on the end.

There've also been numerous questionable shootings by the police that resulted in the death of an innocent person because excessive force was used.

I'd feel far safer around police without guns, personally. But I guess only if the general populace didn't have access to guns either...which is unfortunately not the case in this country. dry.gif
Calantyr
Arming the police would set them apart from the average citizen. One of the great things about our bobbies is that they are approachable. They are not an armed force. They do not have a weapon to hide behind. They are more like us. It places them more as a service to the people, than some faction somehow removed from you and me.

I'm not sure if I explained it good enough... hope I did.

It would also cause an unneccesary escelation. Arm the police, then all criminals will want a gun. At the moment you know the police won't kill you, so you have no reason to risk a murder charge. It still happens, but it is considerably rarer than in other countries.

All in all, it keeps the impression of the friendly English bobby. Someone who is here to help, not patrol. A respectable member of a community, not a gate keeper. Hearts and minds.
elphaba2
Forgive the ignorance, but do UK police carry nightsticks all the time? So they're certainly not unarmed, they just don't have guns. I don't know if this makes a difference, but it does mean that they're still perfectly capable of apprehending a person.

With regards to the Second Amendment--what can I say? It's antiquated, developed so that Americans wouldn't be able to be taken over by the British again, but ask any of our nation's well-respected militiamen and they'll tell you differently. It's clear that militia in the US are extremely pointless in today's political climate, seeing as there hasn't been a battle on US soil since Pearl Harbor but they like to stick around, you know, just in case. Top hat to the Brits for recognizing the danger in police packing.
Astarael
I'd probably feel safer if people in general didn't have guns, but I suppose the police in America need them when so many people have guns and are willing to use them to get what they want.
My U.S. History gave an interesting interpretation of the Second Amendment. "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." He thinks that the first bit meant that people only really needed guns to be part of a militia, as the Revolutionary War was a fresh memory and militias had been so important in the battles. Militias have sort of died out, so the interpretation runs that you shouldn't have a gun if you're not in a militia. However, it's been interpreted to say that anyone can have a gun, and it's not likely to change at this late date.
Calantyr
We had a thread about the Second Amendment back when I first joined this forum. I hope someone can dredge up the link.

Basically militias are pretty much useless now. In the modern age where the US government has access to incredibly effective body armour, vehicle armour, satelite reconnaisance, pin-point air-strike accuracy, and long distance missles... a bunch of over-eager gun enthusiasts with a bit of camo on their faces arn't going to do much.

If there WAS a militia uprising in the US, it would be put down with practically no US casualties in a matter of days. If not hours. The difference between capabilities is just too great.

And yeah, I think the general idea was that everyone keeping a gun was the only way to keep the Evil Redcoats at bay. Back then the US had no credible military, and was too poor to raise one. Hell, the only reason they won the revolution was with French loans of money and equipment. Arming the population was pretty much the only line of defence.
pixie
If the police carried guns then the majority of criminals would as well.

Guns are not legal here either, and no one owns anything more than an air rifle unless they are into some kind of sport. 95% don't even own an air rifle, only the idiots do.

Also having a gun would make every policeman a target and more would get shot.

Basically, in the UK there is no need for any policeman to carry guns when on normal duties. It would them and everyone else less safe.
Astarael
*pulls thread out of pocket*
Is this what you were talking about, Calantyr? There's some stuff about liberals and conservatives interpreting the Second Amendment in different ways, especially on the second page.
Honestly, the UK is sounding like a nicer place to live all the time.
Phyllis
QUOTE (Astarael @ Jan 27 2006, 02:13 PM)
Honestly, the UK is sounding like a nicer place to live all the time.
*

Sorry to shatter your dreams, but that's kinda difficult to do unless you find someone over there you love and want to marry. It becomes a bit easier if you have an advanced degree, but still way complex. Or you can go temporarily as a student, but that won't get you permanent residence and it's incredibly expensive. And now I'm rambling...and you probably weren't even serious about it to begin with tongue.gif

But anyway, if you were serious, then I'm afraid you're more than likely stuck with America and the police with guns. Which, in my opinion, can be quite scary.

I don't think of our police as unapproachable, though. They're generally friendly and helpful...or at least have been so when I've spoken to them. But if they think you're reaching for a weapon...eek. They become quite scary in that situation. But actually seeing them on the street, just walking around? Nah. Still approachable, I think. It doesn't affect that in my experience...it's more what can happen if they misjudge someone's intentions that worries me.

Greeneyes said I should mention that apparently they're giving tazers to the UK police. He said that posting in Issues causes him to die, so I should mention it instead. blink.gif
Tom
im not saying its true but i heard if every one carried guns there would be less shootings?
bryden42
QUOTE
im not saying its true but i heard if every one carried guns there would be less shootings?


What's the reasoning behind this LT? I would have to suggest that shootings would go up. If you would like more evidence of gun crime and gun culture I would suggest that you hire out a documentary called "bowling for columbine". I'm not a massive fan of Michael Moore but this documentary has some fairly compelling evidence.
As catchy as the saying is, I've never much gone for the whole "peace through superior fire power" mindset.
gothictheysay
QUOTE
im not saying its true but i heard if every one carried guns there would be less shootings?


U.S. = tons of people carry guns. TONS of shootings.

U.K. = hardly anyone carries guns. I don't hear about a lot of shootings there.

So I think you've got yourself backwards. smile.gif
Astarael
QUOTE (candice @ Jan 27 2006, 06:22 PM)
QUOTE (Astarael @ Jan 27 2006, 02:13 PM)
Honestly, the UK is sounding like a nicer place to live all the time.
*

Sorry to shatter your dreams, but that's kinda difficult to do unless you find someone over there you love and want to marry. It becomes a bit easier if you have an advanced degree, but still way complex. Or you can go temporarily as a student, but that won't get you permanent residence and it's incredibly expensive. And now I'm rambling...and you probably weren't even serious about it to begin with tongue.gif

But anyway, if you were serious, then I'm afraid you're more than likely stuck with America and the police with guns. Which, in my opinion, can be quite scary.
*


I've been thinking about possibly doing a UK study program if it's possible when I get to college, but I'm not sure if I'll be able to afford one. I'd really like to spend at least half a year to year there to see what it's like, though.
I'm usually not scared to approach US police (I have an uncle who's a policeman,) but some have this habit of keeping one hand near the gun all the time and moving their hand closer to the gun every time someone gets close. There aren't many who do that, but the ones who do scare me a bit.
I agree with bryden and gothic about carrying guns. When people don't have guns, they can't use them in a sudden fit of temper. I'll admit that there are still many other ways to kill people, but it's likely easier (strategically and emotionally) to shoot someone than to get very close and stab them.
Mata
The only people who say 'guns make you safer' are people who consider themselves to be 'responsible owners'. These people constitute aproximately 99.9% of all people who own guns. Everyone who owns a gun does so because they say it makes them safer, they say that they store it properly, and that they would use it only in self-defence. That's a great argument except for the detail that the evidence just doesn't support it.

Gun owners have a far higher chance of meeting a violent death than those who do not own guns, mainly because the chances of being attacked by a person you know are far higher than a person that you don't. If your family has access to frying pans then anger people will give out a beating, but if they have access to guns then people are more likely to die. Everyone who owns guns say that they are responsible owners and that such things would never happen to them, but mysteriously somehow lots of people get shot in arguments with their partners, children playing kill themselves and each-other, and general death ensues.

The logic of the argument runs like this: if everyone had a gun, then no-one would ever pull out a gun because they would be too afraid of being shot. The only people who would ever get shot would be bad people doing bad things. It's an extension of the Cold War logic, where both sides of a fight have nuclear weapons so will never use them because it would result in Mutually Assured Destuction (MAD); in other words both sides would die. That 'logic' does not extend to guns at all. In the world of nuclear armaments there is sufficient time involved in a conflict that either side would be able to retaliate before the first blow is landed, so you get a stalemate. With guns in life you just don't get showdowns like in the movies, people simply shoot eachother and the first person to get hit loses. Due to this very simple 'get shot, you lose' principle, the basis of gun fights is to shoot first to stand the best chance of survival.

Guns are not threats (as pro-gun campaigners argue) they are simply weapons. They function in a fight only ever as a tool with which to harm the other person: they do not calm, they escalate.

If you were to give everyone a gun then it would simply mean more stupid people with the capacity to kill. I like lots of people, but it doesn't mean that I would trust everyone with guns. I consider myself a rational person who is generally in control of my faculties, but I wouldn't want to own a gun. Maybe I would be a truly responsible owner and keep the gun locked away, but then I might as well not own it to begin with. There are many people in the world more stupid than me, and if I don't trust myself to have a gun around the house then I certainly don't trust them.

To put it another way: would you feel safer if you knew that every businessman, every mother, every teenager, every beggar, every truck driver, every estate agent, every person in a pub, every person in a car, and every person working in a shop on every street of this country was carrying a gun? That would scare the hell out of me. I see drunken arguments quite often, as do most people who live in cities, but I've never seen a shooting. I hope I never will, but I suspect that if everyone had a gun then at least one of those arguments would have resulted in a death by now.
Tom
QUOTE (gothictheysay @ Jan 28 2006, 02:28 PM)
QUOTE
im not saying its true but i heard if every one carried guns there would be less shootings?


U.S. = tons of people carry guns. TONS of shootings.

U.K. = hardly anyone carries guns. I don't hear about a lot of shootings there.

So I think you've got yourself backwards. smile.gif
*


there are quite a bit of shootings in the u.k. And my statment:If you think about it if everyone carried guns there would be more chance of the person who shot someone would get shot themself so there would be less shootings!?
Calantyr
QUOTE (little twit @ Jan 29 2006, 11:58 AM)
there are quite a bit of shootings in the u.k. And my statment:If you think about it if everyone carried guns there would be more chance of the person who shot someone would get shot themself so there would be less shootings!?
*


There are proportionally less shootings in the UK than in the USA.

There is also this handy link which discredits many of the pro-gun 'myths'.

Here are some figures on total gun crime committed in the UK between the years 1989-2004.

And here is a comparison between gun crime in the UK and USA. You have to scroll down to the sections "Some Statistics from the USA" and "Gun Deaths - International Comparisons".

Basically, for every 100,000 people in the USA there are over 4 gun murders per year. In the uk there is roughly only 0.12.

In 1999 there was an average of 80 gun deaths EVERY DAY in the USA.

It should be noted that those sites I linked to support gun control.

Basically the argument that "No one would shoot someone if it risks being shot themselves" has no proof to back it up. In countries where guns are common place there are VASTLY more shootings than those with strict gun control.

And as Mata says, everyone thinks that they are responsible gun owners. Everyone. If they didn't then they wouldn't have guns. Guess what? People still end up getting shot, either on purpose or accidentally.

Widespread ownership of guns is a bit like doctors using leeches in the middle ages. If the illness doesn't kill you then the 'cure' deffinitely will.
Daria
QUOTE (elphaba2 @ Jan 26 2006, 08:51 PM)
Forgive the ignorance, but do UK police carry nightsticks all the time? So they're certainly not unarmed, they just don't have guns. I don't know if this makes a difference, but it does mean that they're still perfectly capable of apprehending a person.
*

True, police carry truncheons, and if you ever have the chance to be at a rave in the countryside (none of those city-warehouse ones) then you will know that the police are not at all afraid of using them. Or covering up their badge numbers, or smashing equipment (including video cameras and recording equipment). But that is a whole different story wink.gif
In fact, the police- especially riot police- seem to be quite happy to thwack someone round the head. I would HATE the police to carry guns (but I am sure that they do in some instances- I always thought that the Metropolitan police do...) and it would seem as though our freedom was being infringed upon. Guns are to harm people, and from more of a distance than a truncheon: and, as has been stated above, they do more harm than good i.e the shooting of that guy in the underground during the summer.
Mata
I was not very happy when the police moved up from carrying truncheons to nightsticks (which are a westernised version of a tonfa). They allow a massive amount of power to be put into a strike from quite small movements and as such can be extremely dangerous. That said, knives are becoming more common, so I guess that some form of escalation was unavoidable.

I'm not sure how I feel about tasers, which are being introduced around the UK at the moment. On the plus side, they are unlikely to kill bystanders in the way that pepper spray can with children and asthmatics, but they can still be lethal. I think I am more pro-tasers than anti, but it's not by a big margin.
Astarael
QUOTE (Mata @ Jan 28 2006, 08:43 PM)
The logic of the argument runs like this: if everyone had a gun, then no-one would ever pull out a gun because they would be too afraid of being shot. The only people who would ever get shot would be bad people doing bad things. It's an extension of the Cold War logic, where both sides of a fight have nuclear weapons so will never use them because it would result in Mutually Assured Destuction (MAD); in other words both sides would die. That 'logic' does not extend to guns at all. In the world of nuclear armaments there is sufficient time involved in a conflict that either side would be able to retaliate before the first blow is landed, so you get a stalemate. With guns in life you just don't get showdowns like in the movies, people simply shoot eachother and the first person to get hit loses. Due to this very simple 'get shot, you lose' principle, the basis of gun fights is to shoot first to stand the best chance of survival.
*

This is an amusing look at how MAD would work if we launched an attack. WARNING: Contains lots of swearing. Don't watch if that offends you. It's not exactly well-researched, but it gives you a rough idea.
When you're using a gun, you just have to sneak up on someone and shoot them from behind if you're worried about retaliation. If you aim well, the other person is dead so quickly that they don't have the slightest chance of retaliating. If everyone had guns, then there would likely be firefights every time someone who was reasonably confident in their shooting skills lost their temper in traffic.
I'm in favor of gun control. Anyone robbing a house likely knows how to use a gun better than the homeowner (unless the homeowner is an ex-Marine or something.) The homeowner will either have their gun out in the open (unsafe for anyone who happens to see the gun lying around, especially children,) or have to pull it out and load it (by that time the robber would likely already be pointing the gun at the homeowner.) If you have the gun out, the robber will be more likely to shoot to kill because he or she felt threatened. Frankly, having a gun seems to be far more troublesome and dangerous than it's worth.
Moosh
This would probably be what it would be like if everyone had guns. Possibly.
Daria
That Ad was banned? I can half see why, but on the other hand it seems to show just how silly it all is. It made me giggle a little.
Mata
I suspect that public gunfights, even pretend ones, would probably freak out lots of people in the US. It also strikes me as entirely possible that they were watching the episode of the UK TV series Spaced where the characters have a slow-motion fake gun fight. They are of the opinion that every man automatically knows how to get involved with a fake slo-mo shootout, and they're probably right. There was a similar movie on the web a year or two ago where a bored gym class were miming the dullness of the class when one of the mime guns blows a guy's head off. The class then chase each-other around the building, killing eachother with mimed guns. It'll never reach TV because the US tends to be rather sensitive on the subject of guns in schools (I can't imagine why...). I doubt the idea of a mass gun-fight in a train station was deemed a particularly good idea either. I can see why that advert didn't get shown!
MonochromeRainbow
I would definitely hate our police to carry guns. i don't believe that private citizens should be allowed either, in fact i think guns should solely be confined to the army except in those cases where it's necessary like farmers having to shoot vermin. and even then it's dubious.

it's a statistical fact that in america where private householders may own guns, during a burglary, a householder is far more likely to be injured by being shot with his own gun than by any other method. the gun, of course, is subsequently stolen, taking it out of the hands of it's state-approved 'responsible owner'. looking at that, i really don't want one, and i don't want anyone near me to have one, or anyone who's ever going to be burgled to have one. i like living in the UK.
Wookiee
Little Twit; exactly what it says on the tin.
Novander
MonochromeRainbow: surely there are better ways for a farmer to rid themselves of vermin than to use guns? Shooting the odd rabbit here and there when you spot them is hardly efficient enough to allow the farmer the right to carry such a deadly weapon.

I'd hate to see regular police officers armed but criminals are going to find a way to get guns, so the police do need an Armed Response Unit, or whatever it's called. Other than them, I agree that only the army should be allowed guns.

Wookie: Lay off a little, would you? LT was just expressing his opinion.
MonochromeRainbow
QUOTE (Novander @ Feb 3 2006, 01:59 PM)
MonochromeRainbow: surely there are better ways for a farmer to rid themselves of vermin than to use guns? Shooting the odd rabbit here and there when you spot them is  hardly efficient enough to allow the farmer the right to carry such a deadly weapon.


I put that in because I don't know enough about methods of ridding farms of vermin to put forward an opinion, so I stuck with the status quo. If there is an alternative method then of course that's preferable but I personally don't know.
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