I was walking home from the bus stop one night at about 12:30 AM. A few blocks from my house I saw two police cars. I live two blocks from the "worst neighbourhood in Canada", affectionately known as "the Hood", but it's very unusual to see a police car on my side of the tracks. Then, a few minutes later another police car stopped beside me. The cop asked me where I was going; I told him. He said that there were reports of somebody running around with an axe and he asked if I had seen anything; I hadn't. He asked if I had a cellphone; I did. He told me to feel free to call if I saw anything; I didn't.
An honest discussion is more of a peer review than a pep rally. My toughest critics here are the people who agree with me. -- ringo
Imagine showing up to every nasty little thing that happens in your city and what kind of effects that has on one's psychology.
Imagine cutting down a ten-ton tree that can kill you in an instant if you make the smallest miscalculation. imagine what kind of effects that has on one's psychology. On your day off can you even take a nap under the shady tree in your back yard without thinking about it?
I'm not saying being a police officer is more dangerous than being a deep-sea fisherman off the coast of Alaska...
But that is what police officers seem to think. Worse, they seem to think that carrying guns will solve their problems.
Crime, after all, is a sociological problem above all.
And the police have the same problems as the society they inhabit. When civilians have bad attitudes toward guns, so do the police.
Your society believes it can protect itself with guns. Your police believe they can protect themselves with guns. Your bad guys believe they can protect themselves with guns. But there often comes a point when "protecting yourself" becomes attacking somebody else. The police don't seem to be any better at making that distinction than the average citizen.
As I said, sometimes it is necessary to take the life of a violent felon in order to save an innocent hostage. Are you really going to argue that point?
If I was going to argue that point, I would argue that point. My point is that we can't extrapolate that point.
That was your central point! You made the suggestion that the police are so quick to be heavy-handed in light of numerous instances that we ought to disarm them.
Hmm... that doesn't sound like any central point that I would make. Maybe you can quote where I said any such thing. The central point that I thought I was trying to make was that cops shouldn't get a free pass just because their jobs are "dangerous".
I don't know if I have ever advocated disarming cops. Maybe you can refresh my short memory on that. I did mention that many cops manage to do their jobs without shooting people.
If the real issue is shitty cops then whether they're armed or not seems like a secondary issue to the real problem, no?
Well, I seem to recall saying that shitty cops are more likely to make fatal mistakes with guns than without guns.
In any case, if a standing army was making incorrect force decisions in combat, would your solution be to disarm the military or would your solution be to increase training and increase punitive measures against those who violate the rules of engagement?
Point of information: I come from a Mennonite background. In case you're not aware, Mennonites are pacifists. I'm not a good Mennonite by any means, but I am in favour of disarming the military whether they make incorrect decisions or not. That is, however, a separate issue from the police.
Anyone who is going to fire 10 or 20 shots in response to a glint of light off a cellphone shouldn't be allowed within a mile of a gun.
Not to mention that anybody who only hits a human-sized target 8 out of twenty times shouldn't be allowed within a mile of a gun.
In another city near where I live, a few years ago there was a "shootout" in which two police officers and one suspect apparently fired one shot each. Only one of the bullets hit its target, the suspect, non-fatally. My first thought was, "What a waste of two bullets". My second thought was that the officer whose bullet did find the target needs a refresher course on the gun range.