I am a Military Police Officer. This is my first post on my wife's account. I saw this and was shocked at the question.
First off, I have the luxury of being military and police, so I feel I can comment on both ends of this question.
As a member in the United States Military, I am intimidation. Just like the Police on the streets I hope I never have to shoot anyone, EVER. I do not kill because my Government tells me to, I kill those who try to kill me. I do this to keep my family safe at home. If we were to completely back out of all international operations in the world at once, right now. The entire international community would be in chaos. Do you think if we leave Iraq that the problems would stay in Iraq? Nope. I assure they would not. The media paints a nasty picture of President Bush, but his job is to keep us safe right? Ask yourself, when is the last time we had a terrorist attack? He and we have done an incredible job keeping the US and it's interests safe. A little off topic I know. Sorry
A Police Officer carrying a gun. That's easy. I pull someone over for going 60mph in a 25mph zone, (A school zone) where your kids are, and I approach his window and he shoots me. I have the ability to defend myself.
You go to the mall and some crazy puts a gun to your head, do you want me to taser him? Non-lethal weapons are great, I love them personally, they're fun! But, not as effective as putting a 9mm bullett in someone head/chest.
Non-lethal weapons are not 100% and do not normally work on someone high on meth or crack or coke. If I am on patrol and I drive by an ally and it's your child being raped, or mugged; do you want me to have a gun or something non-lethal. It sometimes sickens me when people complain about us carrying weapons, when you need us and we're armed you are safer. Another thing is those who oppose deadly force have something traumatic happen to them and we're not armed, then they say, why couldn't they stop this. Well, ma'am sir, I could maybe have thrown a stick or rock at them. I mean seriously. We're armed for a reason 99% of you out there are awesome to deal with, but it's that 1% that have an assault rifle who start spraying bullets in a mall. Our weapons come in handy huh. I carry a .45 ACP Para Ordnance with me even when in civilian clothing. If I am at a gas station and it is being robbed and the subject points a gun at you or your child. Better believe I will act with deadly force.
If this is crass at all please don't take it out on my wife Have a good day!
My hubby also carries his weapon off duty for the same reasons.