Home > Social Issues > Why arming our Police is not such a flash idea

Why arming our Police is not such a flash idea

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No more anarchy

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When the National Rifle Association’s  Wayne LaPierre suggested that the “solution” to mass shootings in US schools was to arm teachers, the response of  trhose with more common sense was one of  (a) disbelief (b) dismay and (c) disgust. (See previous blogpost: NRA response; more guns. Common sense sez otherwise. )

And rightly so. Escalation of  America’s internal arms race could not be viewed by any sane human being as anything other than compounding the madness that is part and parcel of  their fixation on guns.

New Zealanders generally shook their collective heads at the sheer stupidity of  Wayne LaPierre’s suggestion.

But it seems that we, ourselves, are not above knee-jerk reactions when it comes to crime, drunken mayhem, Police, etc.

As is usual now with the de-regulation of the booze industry and our laws on alcohol (courtesy of the “free market” and the Cult of the Individual), theend-of-year “festive season” now includes a routine plethora of out-of-control parties and public displays of alcohol-fuelled violence.

As if we should be surprised that the easy availability of cheap booze would have any other consequences?

This year was no different, with several instances of Police having to deal with alcohol-fueled fights and other public dis-order.

The intensity of the violence has taken a new turn, with Police themselves coming under direct attack.

One was particularly nasty,

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Attacks on police lead to call for arms

Full story

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In one, big, reflexive jerk of the knee, Police Association vice-president, Luke Shadbolt, repeated the call to routinely arm police,

Increasingly, members are calling for general arming. And we know, amongst the staff … more and more are leaning toward general arming as well.”

See: IBID

Thankfully, though, others in the Police force were able to exercise a modicum of common sense. Whangarei area commander Inspector Tracy Phillips stated the blindingly obvious,

I don’t know what would have happened [if he'd been armed] but firearms are easier to use than Tasers.

See: IBID

That’s right, folks; one of the drunk partygoers had taken the constable’s taser and had tried to use it on the unconscious police officer.

The complexity of the weapon defeated the drunk idiot.

Now replace the taser with a handgun.

Instead of two bruised and battered police officers, we would have at least one – probably two – dead police; grieving families; and two more names to add to a sad list at the Police College of fallen policemen and women,

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Police Remembrance Day 2012 v3

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In this case, the lack of guns probably saved two lives.

Meanwhile, as if we needed to emphasise the point, in 2010 seven American  police officers were killed by their own weapons that had been taken from them. (See:  FBI Releases Preliminary Statistics for Law Enforcement Officers Killed in 2010)

We have a problem in this country, but it is not with unarmed Police.

Our problem lies with the ubiquitous availability of dirt-cheap booze; a gutless National “government” that has kowtowed to the liquor industry; and an attitude in this country that alcohol abuse is someone elses’ problem.

Anyone who seriously thinks that giving guns to police will solve this deep malaise in our society has probably had one too many.

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Additional

The Press: New liquor laws ‘dog’s breakfast’ – Dickerson (12 Dec 2012)

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= fs =

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  1. Budinski
    27 December 2012 at 12:01 pm

    “he did not think low alcohol price fuelled the violence, but she also blamed other, illegal, drugs.” FUCK OFF Collins. You are a liar and you do nothing but protect the alcohol industry and the police no matter how wrong they are. Just fuck off.

  2. Alan Benton
    27 December 2012 at 12:34 pm

    Was listening to National Radio this morning and that issue came up … flashes of NRA types and the “Sensible Sentencing” trogladytes marching on Parliament to demand similarly insane calls that are being made in the US on the back of the latest incidents…. depressing how such issues can get out of hand and then the argument people start having avoids everything but the reality of what they should be tackling, which as you’ve said is more about the alcohol industry hold on the Government than anything else…

  3. Budinski
    27 December 2012 at 12:52 pm

    Amen. Fuck alcohol.

  4. Matthew Hatton
    27 December 2012 at 1:07 pm

    I dont know if you saw this but an earlier article had Collins saying that ‘alcohol was not the issue, they were on other, unnamed, drugs’. This has since been removed (well i cant find it anyway) not suprisingly

  5. Paul C
    27 December 2012 at 1:30 pm

    The Police culture of extreme denial and self-exoneration whenever they get caught trampling on people’s rights in New Zealand means arming the Police actually puts citizens in significantly greater danger than they already are.

  6. JC
    27 December 2012 at 1:32 pm

    always following

  7. 27 December 2012 at 1:35 pm

    @ Matthew – it would be disturbing if Collins tried to cover the arses of the liquor industry by that kind of deflection…

    @ Paul – precisely.*Thumbs Up*

    • Paul C
      27 December 2012 at 1:38 pm

      Even my own mother, who is almost 70, told me she is now afraid of the Police because of they way they conduct themselves now. She said “they tell so many lies these days, it’s as if they think we are stupid, like we can’t see it”…

    • Matthew Hatton
      27 December 2012 at 1:40 pm

      I wish i could find it Frank, but its been removed from the story it was in

      • 27 December 2012 at 1:45 pm

        Do you still have the link to the article, Matthew?

  8. 27 December 2012 at 1:47 pm

    All this dirt cheap booze is available all over the planet but seems to only cause problems in predominantly Anglo Saxon Countries. In fact Mediterranean countries try to keep the Anglo Saxon tourists confined in certain areas in order to let them do their binging and fighting so that it does not bother local populations too much and all of these countries drink alcohol and have some of the most liberal alcohol laws in the world. It seems to me that laws or alcohol are not the problem but the way the populations in countries in which the Anglo Saxon culture is the predominant one deal with alcohol.

  9. Leonard Bloksberg
    27 December 2012 at 1:49 pm

    I strongly disagree. Alcohol is just as cheap and just as available in most countries in the world; that is not the difference. The difference is that in most countries, people who get so drunk they lose control are considered weak, stupid, losers. Most countries consider it Macho to “hold your liquour”, (means you can have a few drinks and still remain in controll of your faculties). For some reason, New Zealand is unique in that here if you get so drunk you lose control, make a mess, and hurt people, you are considered a hero and the life of the party. In most countries, a party is considered a success if everyone had fun, but New Zealand is unique in that a party is considered a success if people got so drunk they did something they regret. I don’t get it.

    • 27 December 2012 at 2:40 pm

      I think there’s merit in much of what you say, Leonard. Societal attitudes towards intoxication here in NZ seem to play a major part in alcohol-fuelled problems.

      The easy availability of cheap booze then compounds the problem. In my view, anyhow.

    • recluse
      30 December 2012 at 2:54 pm

      Right on the money Leonard, I know that some years ago when I was in Europe for a family reunion there’s an obvious difference in the drinking culture. You’ll find as a party went on the folks would get merrier, someone would pull out an accordion then singing and dancing would erupt, this would go on for the remainder of the evening. In the end everyone has an enjoyable time. I know others who mentioned a similar experience at Oktoberfest and remarked that if so much beer were present at a party here there would be arguments and fighting.

      From experience I consider the following factors to contribute to this country’s ugly drinking culture:

      Lack of food while eating. You’ll find typically at a party in Europe a decent spread of food at the table, with those attending partaking both in food and drink. Here you’ll find in many parties people solely intent on drinking.

      Elsewhere you’ll find a party would typically go on through the evening and end perhaps at midnight or one in the morning latest, whereas here you’ll find some “parties” are more like weekend long drinking sessions going on until four or five in the morning and resuming when everyone awakes.

      People’s inability to express themselves constructively. I know of many an occasion here when the only time someone can get a problem off their chest is with a gut full of booze. When they’re done making a complete ass of themselves and sober up, you’ll hear the same pathetic excuses; “I can’t remember” or they blame the alcohol “I was drunk”.

      If you consider low wages, high unemployment, reduced opportunities and rising prices, where is the incentive to be sober when this country is progressively decreasing its standard of living through negligent policies? I know personally having been an ardent teetotaller, I find myself having an occasional drink now and again over the last three or so years due to the deteriorating conditions in this country. If you can just make enough money to get by, with what little funds that remain what opportunities do many have to build a future? If you consider house ownership to be a dream for many due to high prices, whatever money people have spare many probably use to stupefy themselves to quench their increasingly hopeless predicament of living in this country.

      The ugly drinking culture in this country harks back to colonial times where life was tough and full of despair, where many early settlements were townships abundant in brothels and saloons. Shows how far this country has progressed.

  10. JS
    27 December 2012 at 2:00 pm
    • JS
      27 December 2012 at 2:01 pm

      But ignore the histrionic headline…that’s just for the shock value.

  11. 27 December 2012 at 2:19 pm

    I totally relate to what you’re saying Frank and Paul. As a longtime protester and activist, all I have seen is robotic and devious behaviour from the cops. They are a law unto themselves and use their power in an indiscriminate and arbitrary fashion that astounds me. Giving them guns is like giving petrol and matches to a pyromaniac.

  12. Matthew Hatton
    27 December 2012 at 2:20 pm

    Thanks John yes that’s it… got that Frank?

  13. J'nette Saxby
    27 December 2012 at 2:22 pm

    Yup I heard our MP Ms Judith Collins call people morons. It is in my opinion, this kind of arrogant posturing that creates contempt for law makers and law breakers.

  14. Paul C
    27 December 2012 at 2:25 pm

    Their culture under this government is disturbing and deliberately antagonistic, which happens to mirror Judith Collins’s style. I suspect that is not a coincidence. She has given them more than an inch and they have taken more than a mile with people’s rights.

  15. 27 December 2012 at 2:48 pm

    Alcohol is not cheap!

    • Budinski
      27 December 2012 at 2:55 pm

      Really? 12 beers for $15 sounds pretty frickin cheap to me.

    • recluse
      30 December 2012 at 10:53 am

      That can be true if you consider the locality, where I live in a small rural town the prices are higher than what you’ll find in the city or a larger town.

  16. Budinski
    27 December 2012 at 2:57 pm

    That’s $1.25 for a standard drink. How much cheaper can it get? That’s cheaper than Coke, water, or juice.

  17. 27 December 2012 at 3:26 pm

    **update**

    Duty Minister Judith Collins says police already have access to guns, but if the officer in Dargaville had a gun instead of a Taser they could have been killed.

    She also said government alcohol restrictions will come into force next year. She did not think low alcohol price fuelled the violence, but she also blamed other, illegal, drugs.

    Source: http://news.msn.co.nz/nationalnews/8585371/attacked-cops-had-pepper-sprayed-child

    Which contrasts to this report,

    The officer was attacked after being called to a church where two men had told churchgoers they were “going to hell” and damaged property.

    He found the men at an address where about 20 people were drinking.

    Source: http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/8120686/Attacks-on-police-lead-to-call-for-arms

    (Acknowledgement: Matthew Hatton & John Speak)

    Which appears to suggest that Collins is covering for the liquor industry?

  18. Clive @ large
    28 May 2013 at 9:41 am

    Arming the police will be an unmitigated disaster. People will die. And worse still, no politician will take responsibility for the fatal consequences.

    Be careful what you ask for New Zealand.

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