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ThePilgrim

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There was a time when most police were trained to view everyone as citizens deserving a measure of respect. Confrontations were something to be avoided, if possible, and if a confrontation occurred the police were trained to try and de-escalate the situation by remaining calm and helping others to calm down.

Today most police are trained in a more military manner in which everyone is viewed as probably guilty, probably a threat, probably an enemy. They are trained to be aggressive, both verbally and physically, as a means of dealing with those they come in contact with. This naturally leads to more confrontations and more and quicker escalations of confrontations than before.

While police training once included instruction on using their firearm only for defense of life matters (themselves or others), today police training is more along the lines of shoot first and then think about the situation. This is why we see so many videos of officers doing things while they know they are on video that we can't understand why they would do that knowing others will see it. They do so because of their training which instills in them that they are the authority, they are right, "suspects" are the enemy and a danger to them so any means necessary to gain full control is right. They are trained to believe they are fully in the right to use even lethal force when such isn't necessary.

Not all cops take this militant training to extremes, but as this type of training is provided over and over again it's coming to reflect a growing percentage of police who do.

Do we want peace officers or law enforcers? That's been a major debate for decades now.

Along with this is the debate as to what is a crime, how will we deal with those guilty of various crimes and what is just punishment. Do we ramp up use of the death penalty, streamline a court system for only such cases so executions are swift? Do we hand out much tougher and longer prison sentences to those who commit horrible crimes but don't rate or receive the death penalty? With the idea these two actions will remove and mostly keep off the streets the most terrible of criminals.

Do we legalize some or all drugs and change the laws in this area?

Do we return to a system of trying to get certain prisoners to see the error of their ways and repent and work towards beneficial restoration into society?

Do we continue the warehouse system with the revolving doors where vile gang members and other evil-minded criminals may pass through many times over years or decades before they finally receive a sentence which keeps them off the streets for any real amount of time?

Do we change the laws so the known most dangerous criminals can be targeted and their evil empires brought to destruction?

There are many factors at play. One thing is certain, the current way isn't working and things seem to be getting worse. Something needs to be changed with a serious aim at improvement, both short term and long term.

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Makes me glad we don't have armed police on our streets. We do have specialist armed squads such as the anti terrorist squad and the diplomatic protection group, and armed response units but the ordinary copper on the beat doesn't carry arms except at times a taser, but even they have killed people,

We went to France for the day last week for my wife's birthday. To explain, we have an agreement with the French, that the UK frontier force has checks in Calais and the French have posts in Dover.  In Dover, the French usually just wave you through, if there is anyone there at all.  But if they are being awkward they can inspect everything and slow you down.  When we returned last week in Calais the French Poiice Frontiere slowed things down somewhat and the car in front of us, a Mercedes was held up/.  They checked his documents thoroughly, spoke with him a long time then eventually a young police woman  with a gun on her hip for him to open the back of the car end went though all his luggage, When it came to our time they just waved us through,  A few yards later at the British Border Force, they went through his car again, this time three border force officers with no guns but wearing yellow jackets wen through his car again, not only the back but got him to open all the doors and rummaged through it all, even under the passengers legs.  They just checked our passports on their computer. 

Some years ago we were in a French supermarket when we saw a young Gendarmette with a gun on her hip, doing her shopping.  We thought that hilarious as you don't see such a thing in England,

 

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On the other hand, something like the Hungerford massacre would never have happened in the USA. Guy goes on a casual killing spree for about an hour because neither the local constabulary nor anyone else has any guns and the nearest armed officers are 40 miles away.

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I have just read reports of the Hungerford Massacre. And it doesn't seem that armed police would have made any difference. 

Oh, and how about an armed public? In researching this incident I am at a loss to understand why you think armed police would not have made a difference. The news articles I read only mentioned a lone policeman trying to tackle the shooter. What if he had been armed, why do you think that would not have made a difference?

Just perhaps if that policeman had been armed he would not have lost his life.

Edited by Jim_Alaska
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Oh, and how about an armed public? In researching this incident I am at a loss to understand why you think armed police would not have made a difference. The news articles I read only mentioned a lone policeman trying to tackle the shooter. What if he had been armed, why do you think that would not have made a difference?

Just perhaps if that policeman had been armed he would not have lost his life.

He was shot as soon as he appeared.

Armed public? Not on your nelly.

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You must be reading about a different massacre, Invicta. At Hungerford, several times policemen saw the guy and fled for fear of getting shot. One officer got away by driving over the village green, stopping on the way to warn picnicers that the guy was in pursuit.

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You must be reading about a different massacre, Invicta. At Hungerford, several times policemen saw the guy and fled for fear of getting shot. One officer got away by driving over the village green, stopping on the way to warn picnicers that the guy was in pursuit.

Must have been a different report.  It makes no difference. An isolated incidence doesn't warrant an armed police force.  I have come across armed police several times and their attitude is not pleasant.  Regularly in the City of London when the police escorted the bullion vans from the Bank of England, and once when the then PM Blair travelled though our town to visit our offshore wind farms.  I wouldn't want regular police to act like that. Police should be our friends, not our enemies as they seem to be in the US.

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Of course Invicta, you would never consider that the circumstances that these police were encountered in might have some small effect on their attitude? It just has to be the guns doesn't it?

Protecting a huge shipment of bullion or protecting the PM of a country is deadly serious business and highly stressful. Under these circumstances the police have an important and highly dangerous job to perform that might, just might, affect their being sociable to the public, or even their attitude!

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Each nation is unique and should establish their policies based upon what they deem best for them.

Carrying a gun does tend to change the attitude and behaviour of those in authority carrying such.

Studies have been conducted which prove the old proverb that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

In the studies, conducted in various places with different people and resources, it was consistently shown that an unarmed authority tends to be more polite and open to talking things out. However, give that same authority a weapon (a variety of weapons were tested, from blackjacks, to clubs, to guns and a few others), and tell them they can use those weapons and their attitudes and interactions changed. The more intimidating and powerful the weapon, the more confrontational and demanding their attitude.

Training of those in authority should take such things into consideration but that's usually not the case.

Different approaches and methods work better in some countries than others. What works in Japan, would not be as effective in America, for instance.

In England, where gun possession and gun crime is limited, a lightly armed police force can serve well. In America, where gun possession is very high and gun crimes are exceedingly high, police must be armed with guns in order to be effective. The training of police in America needs to be improved, but there is no way the police in America could serve effectively if unarmed while criminals are well armed. Part of the problem in all this falls within the fault-filled criminal justice system that allows violent career criminals to plea away their crimes, serve lighter sentences and return to streets to resume their violent criminal ways sooner...and doing this over the course of years before a serious charge is finally prosecuted against them and they get a longer sentence.

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