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Why do Police have guns? - Page 4

post #61 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by karma_momma View Post
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!
Well said.

My hubby also carries his weapon off duty for the same reasons.
post #62 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by anarchamama View Post
Solidiers and police have guns for the same reason, to enforce the will of the state, and those in control of the state. The question is really just weather a) you agree with the state's right to enforce anything or b) you agree with the existance of the state.
(SKIP...)
Sooooo while this thread is not about the merits or demerits of cops and soldiers it is most certainly not true that the only reasons cops have guns is becuase they are protecting the good guys. They are most certainly protecting somebody, its a matter for debate how "good" those somebodies always are.
That's pretty much what I was trying to say in an earlier post. It's not as though police or soldiers are just individuals who decide, out of the blue, to get a weapon and go around fighting crime and injustice, like Batman. They work for the state. What the police/military do depends on what the state wants from them, not on whether the individual officers are good people or not. They may be ordered to do things which are legitimate ways of defending the public; or they may be ordered to commit atrocities; or anything in between. Taking offense on behalf of loved ones who are soldiers is missing the point. Soldiers do what they're ordered to, and they're not personally responsible for the government's agenda.
post #63 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamabadger View Post
Soldiers do what they're ordered to, and they're not personally responsible for the government's agenda.
I understand what you are saying, and don't want to get bogged down in semantics here.........

But, if a soldier/policeman/defender of the state came to my house and, I dunno, killed my kids or something, I'd take that personally. And you best know, so should whoever did such a thing.
post #64 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by PareMesAlt View Post
I explained to him that a Soldiers job is to kill people that their government wishes them to kill (aka enemies), usually on a battlefield during a war, and that was why they have guns. I did not want him playing with soldiers, because of this.
I cannot even believe you told a child this. Way to ruin the way he thinks of an entire group of people, many of them young men and women college aged who joined to learn skills and get college money and maybe even protect citizens like you and your child. Since you brought him up first I will use Hitler as an example, remember that the people who fought Hitler's soldiers (AKA enemies) were ours and our allies soldiers, I wonder what the world would be like if they didn't?
post #65 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by PareMesAlt View Post
These are important points, however, my main issue is not concerned with these ideas, but more about how we are so willing to accept violence as a fact of life. That to survive we must accept that someone has to have lethal weaponry, if not ourselves than some authority must have them. If we accept this, what does it tell our kids? We are powerless, without lethal weaponry?
You know, I am not sure how to address that question. I think the best we can do is to be real with our kids about the violence that is out there, and teach them through example about ways to make peoples' lives better. As one thought, I often think about what life might be like if doulas were available to at-risk teens: would a positive birthing & breastfeeding experience ultimately lead to a better adult? If moms were taught bonding and nutrition steps (via BFing), would their babies grow into more secure adults? I think so. Anyway, that's one idea about how to address reality, but show kids that there are ways of making the world better in the hopes of making reality nicer. KWIM?

That said, I'm the proud wife of an LEO. To me, his firearm is part of the insurance package that his agency provides ME and our daughter. As a peace officer, my husband enters into a covenant with the public to protect and serve. His gun and his bulletproof vest are tools to help ensure he comes home to us every night.
post #66 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by shannonc View Post
I cannot even believe you told a child this. Way to ruin the way he thinks of an entire group of people, many of them young men and women college aged who joined to learn skills and get college money and maybe even protect citizens like you and your child. Since you brought him up first I will use Hitler as an example, remember that the people who fought Hitler's soldiers (AKA enemies) were ours and our allies soldiers, I wonder what the world would be like if they didn't?
No offence but just because the US has a draft on the poor doesen't mean A)those people want to be there b)what they do is right c) the existance of a standing army is right. I tell my kids in a child appropriate way exactly what I think of cops and armies, that there are good people and bad people who do those jobs like any jobs. But that those people work within a system that I think is wrong and obligates them to do things I think are wrong. And more importantly I think I try to model and surround them with people who will let them see how I believe a better world is built not just keep the scary world at bay. I also try to explain who the "bad guys" are and why I think they are bad, what forces people to the point of criminal violence.
post #67 of 144
[QUOTE=PareMesAlt;7324000]All I can think of is that they should not have guns and that they have them intimidate people. Perhaps, the best reason is that they have guns to wound people not kill them. Any thoughts?
QUOTE]

Since it was brought up a couple times, I'd like to touch on the intimidation factor. EVERY time my husband draws his gun, he's fully prepared (mentally) to fire it. He does NOT use it to "intimidate" anyone. It is for his protection as well as the public's.
And he would never shoot to wound, ALWAYS shoot to kill.
post #68 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by UUMom View Post
When I was in Switzerland, staying with a fellow grad sutdent of my dh, I was shocked at the number of guns in the home. The father was a surgeon, the mother was a painter & poet, and the son was a PhD engineer, but both males were trained in gun use, and practiced often at the local gun club (there are many). People aren't afraid to be real and learn to use these guns. They don't hide them from the children and get all secretive -- which I think makes it more likely that kids will be silly and stupid when/if they do 'find' a gun in someone's house.

edited for manic typos
This is common in Switzerland. They have one of the highest, if not THE highest, levels of guns per capita in that country. Makes you wonder what's wrong with US, eh?

I suspect it has something to do with gun culture. Switzerland has a POSITIVE gun culture, wherein children are trained to respect and use guns, they have shooting contests all the time, and shooting is practically their national pasttime. However, they have one of the lowest gun crime rates in the world as well. Contrast that to the U.S., where we have FEWER guns per capita but three times the gun crime. Also consider that most Americans get their knowledge of guns from TV shows, and you begin to see the difference.
post #69 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by lildevil77 View Post
My dh is a police officer in a 'bad' town. It is always shoot to kill. The only time they draw their gun is when there is no other choice. Yes there are less lethal solutions but with someone who is on drugs or just not right in the mind those means don't always work, my husband has used a tazer on a man who was on crack and it barely fazed him, same with pepper spray. We tell our children that he carries a gun to keep him safe and keep good people safe. His town has a set of peace officers that do not carry a gun, those guys have it much harder, as pp said just seeing a gun is a deterent for some. My dh hopes he never has to use his gun and I do too but if it comes down to it, I'd rather him come home alive.
Yep.

I am a police officer. There is no "shoot to incapacitate" or "shoot the gun out of the bad-guy's hand". The aim is into centre of mass and if that doesn't work (body armour or drug effects, like cocaine psychosis) then protocol says one to the head.

Police officers are tasked by society to be the response to the threat. We are the first line, after us come SWAT and the special tactics groups. I have to carry the tools I need in order to address a wide range of problems I will encounter during my day. Speeder? Got my ticket book. Two drunks fighting? Got mace and a Tazer. Crazed gunman shooting up Vermont Tech? Got my gun.

A $1000 less-than-lethal setup isn't effective outside of 20' and inside of 20' is a killing zone. Cops aren't expendable, so we have to deal with the problem from outside of the KZ. Ergo gun.

It's fine to be a pacifist and to want to shelter your child from the realities of the world. But the truth is that soldiers don't carry guns to kill people, they carry a tool to effect their job, just like carpenters carry hammers. Did you know more people are killed (in Canada) by hammers each year than by purposeful gunfire? Should we outlaw hammers?

We have to carry the tools our adversaries carry in order to do our jobs. In an ideal Utopian world, no one would have guns, and we could all wander around like British bobbies, but even they are getting armaments.

And yes, everyday I go to work, I pray that I won't have to shoot anyone. But I also know that I am ready to do so, if needed to protect myself or my people.

Please help your kid to see that guns are tools. Used properly and by people qualified in their use, they are safe and effective. Guns are a part of American culture, in fact worldwide culture. By preventing kids from learning about guns and learning the safety rules, you create a rabid curiosity and when your boy sees a real gun for the first time (and he will... at a friends house or find one abandoned by a gangbanger in the park), he'll pick it up, point it and pull the trigger -- unless he's had the safety rules, and knows what he's SUPPOSED to do.

To all my blue-line brothers and sisters at MDC, stay safe, come home to your families. 1*
post #70 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by karma_momma View Post
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.


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!

Bolding mine- and I will be the voice of dissent- but I don't think tasers are "fun". I think they are a horrible weapon- yes weapon- because they HAVE been known to kill and while police typically do get a 1-3 second taser on their body during training of them, they have most likely never been tased the full amount of time. Nor 3 times in a row by a taser happy cop that thought it was "fun" to see my husband twitching on the ground. And don't say DH should have deserved it. It was completely uncalled for. I think cops learning that guns are not to incapacitate but to kill is absolutely not cool. If someone holds a gun towards a cop the cop should shoot at the knee, thigh, arm. Anything but the chest or head. I have no faith in the American Police force and see no reason at all for them to carry guns or tasers.


Just my two cents- I'm a bit bitter as you can see and will likely not be posting back to this thread to save myself some UAVs.
post #71 of 144
well ambrose,
what did your husband do so a cop had to taser him?
and secondly, before you go saying something about someone pointing a gun at a cop and he should just aim for leg or something you should think twice. a chest is a lot faster to point at in a moment like that. you say you have no faith in the american police force. just because you had a bad accurance with a cop (and we dont know why) doesnt mean they are all bad or dont do their job. i hope you have car trouble someday and no cell phone service, will you flag down a cop? or still be bitter.

good for you karma momma's husband. im glad you stood up
post #72 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by anarchamama View Post
Solidiers and police have guns for the same reason, to enforce the will of the state, and those in control of the state. The question is really just weather a) you agree with the state's right to enforce anything or b) you agree with the existance of the state. Now for those of you who have loved ones who are cops/soldiers there is a whole complicated set of mechanism at play that we could debate. But I am cerytainly NOT going to tell my kids that cops have guns cause they are the good guys and to protect themsleves agaginst bad guys. First becasue it would be a lie, not even an oversiplification. When I was a kids I saw the cops put my dad over the hood of a car and club him for walking a picket line. As an activist trade unionist I see (and my kids see) cops routinely rough people up on picket lines. As an activist I have been ter gassed pepper sprayed and shot and hit at close range with a tear gas cannister (which I might add it is illegal to shoot at people) as a cyclist participating in critical mass I and my kids have seen cops run people of the road, use totally unnessasary pain compliance and pepper spray and arrest to intimidate cyclists. As a person with lots of poor but beligerant friends and family mambers I see the cops intimidate people, look for fights, and abuse their power every day.

Sooooo while this thread is not about the merits or demerits of cops and soldiers it is most certainly not true that the only reasons cops have guns is becuase they are protecting the good guys. They are most certainly protecting somebody, its a matter for debate how "good" those somebodies always are.

Also while I am sure being a cop is a highly unpleasant job at times, it is in fact not an especially dangerous one as jobs go. Dramatic sure, but cops don't have a particularily high workplace mortality rate. At least in canada the most dangerous industries are fishing and trapping, mining, quarrying and oil rigs, logging and forestry, and construction. So make sure that when you use products produced by these industries you tell your kids that workers die becasue the BAD capitalist don't care enough about workers to follow proper safety standards. : : But of course we don't prosecute in those cases, because well those bad guys are ummmm......different. They don't have guns........

Flame away!
So, if you were being threatened, or harrassed, or robbed.. you wouldn't call the police?
post #73 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by karma_momma View Post
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!
Thank you for all that you are doing. You are in my thoughts.
post #74 of 144
Police officers have guns to protect themselves and others.

My Dh is a police officer in a city with a serious crime and drug problem. Its not an area I like, and my husband is there every day. I don't particularly like guns, but it makes me feel so much safer and less worried to know that he has the ability to protect himself when some of the seriously disturbed people he arrests attack him. They have lost 2 officers in the last 6 months - one of them was sitting in his car at a stoplight and a guy came right up to the car and shot him through the window. People on drugs often commit crimes, and some drugs make the user unaffected by reason or by less violent means of takedown. I have heard tales of crack users and meth users attacking officers with knives and being tased, and not being affected in the least by tasing or mace or physical force. Dh had a case recently where the perpetrator was on cocaine, and he was attacking another person. THe cops came in and treid to wrestle the guy down, hit the guy 25 times in the legs with his nightstick, and finally had to tase him. Nothing even made a dent. This guy would have killed this other person if the police officers had not used 'violent' means. Luckily they were able to take him down without using guns, but it took 4 officers using all their capacities - and he only had his fists. What if this guy had a weapon and attacked the officers? We would have had another 4 dead cops and a violent person on the loose. Is that a worthwhile sacrifice?
If a person is coming at my husband bent on killing him for no other reason than the fact that he is a police officer, I am happy to know he's got a gun ( 2, in fact) on his person to save his own life. A lot of people dislike police officers, most of them because their opinion of cops has been formed by a bad egg or 2 in the bunch ( and there are bad eggs in every bunch, no matter if you're a cop or a priest or a doctor or whatever) or because they are criminals. Police officers do not shoot people for no reason. They shoot when they have no other alternative.


Please excuse the tone of this post, but this is something I feel very strongly about.
post #75 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by nextcommercial View Post
So, if you were being threatened, or harrassed, or robbed.. you wouldn't call the police?
For me that would depend on whether or not I could keep enough distance to make a call! A friend of mine was severely beaten by a guy who was loaded on something, and she emptied an entire can of pepper spray in his face, with no effect whatsoever. It took several men to pull this guy off her, and then she was afraid to press charges because in that state your address became public record when you pressed charges. Nice to know the guy would know where to find her, huh?

I had a stalker once, and in response I took karate lessons twice a week, made sure my 2 chows were in the house with me when I wasn't walking them, and I kept a loaded gun nearby at all times. This guy came tp my home, my workplace, and many public places, he chased down friends screaming either that he hated me, or accusing them of being in my bed. Because he was a 'good time charlie' most of our mutual acquaintances looked the other way and pretended not to notice his behavior. A policeman friend advised me to get a restraining order, but he also told me it was only to establish a paper trail in case I prosecuted him. Everyone knows how much weight restraining orders carry in the real world.

I moved far away as soon as possible, and years later when I was in town for a wedding one of those friends updated me on his latest violent tendencies and apologized for her earlier denial. He escalated to the point where he no longer tried to hide his stalking and abuse as he had been able to before. Until you have been terrorized you really can't know how you might react, but rest assured that when you are in fear for your life you will be glad someone on your side has a gun, even if that someone is you.

It's sad that guns are a necessary evil, but I'm glad there are trained professionals who know how to use them, and they are the first people I'd call as long as I was able. If I am attacked and can't call, though, I will fight tooth and nail, and make a lot of noise, and if possible, injure them enough that I can get away to make that call. We live in a violent, crazy world, and it is really important that our kids know what to do if something happens to them. Yes, call the police, but if that isn't an option, make noise, defend yourself to your best ability, and given the opportunity, run like hell.

(A side note, I got rid of my gun when my oldest started to crawl, but not that the kids are a little older and we live in the middle of nowhere, I'm looking into buying another one. And yes, they will be taught gun safety, but the gun will still be locked up. In all the years that I had my gun, I NEVER pointed it at someone in anger, and I have a particularly bad temper. They are for protection, period.)
post #76 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ambrose View Post
If someone holds a gun towards a cop the cop should shoot at the knee, thigh, arm. Anything but the chest or head. I have no faith in the American Police force and see no reason at all for them to carry guns or tasers.

Just my two cents- I'm a bit bitter as you can see and will likely not be posting back to this thread to save myself some UAVs.

It's not that easy -- if the bad guy would stand still, not wave their arms or legs around then sure, I suppose I could hit their arm or leg to stop them from murdering a school full of children.

Try this: On the next breezy day, tie a helium balloon to a tree branch. If the wind is blowing hard enough to simulate a moving target, gather a handful of stones or pinecones or marbles or whatever. Now, stand 20' away. Heck, stand 10' away to make it easier. Now, one at a time, throw those objects at the balloon as it bobs and weaves and blows around in the wind. I dare say you wouldn't hit the baloon with any of the objects.

If you did, now imgaine that the baloon is throwing pinecones back at you, trying to hit you in the eye.

And remember that bullets are 1/20th the size of a pinecone.

So yeah, I'll keep practicing to stop gun-toting bad guys. If the bad guys suddenly all lay down their guns, I will too. Until that happens, I'll keep mine, praying that Vermont Tech or Columbine or Taber Alberta doesn't happen in my city.
post #77 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ambrose View Post
Bolding mine- and I will be the voice of dissent- but I don't think tasers are "fun". I think they are a horrible weapon- yes weapon- because they HAVE been known to kill and while police typically do get a 1-3 second taser on their body during training of them, they have most likely never been tased the full amount of time. Nor 3 times in a row by a taser happy cop that thought it was "fun" to see my husband twitching on the ground. And don't say DH should have deserved it. It was completely uncalled for. I think cops learning that guns are not to incapacitate but to kill is absolutely not cool. If someone holds a gun towards a cop the cop should shoot at the knee, thigh, arm. Anything but the chest or head. I have no faith in the American Police force and see no reason at all for them to carry guns or tasers.


Just my two cents- I'm a bit bitter as you can see and will likely not be posting back to this thread to save myself some UAVs.
If a cop uses his gun it is has a last resort. That means that his life or the life of someone else is at risk. So if he has time to aim at the knee or arm then it means that the use of his gun was not the appropriate choice for the situation. When you shoot you shoot to stop the action RIGHT NOW and the quickest way to do that is to aim center mass.

Just my two cents
post #78 of 144
Not all soldiers kill people. Peacekeepers carry weapons to protect themselves in areas of conflict while helping others, etc.

While I also would have removed the guns from the toys, I would have personally left them as soldiers and produced some other explanations for their weapons.

**Edit to add, this is the 'Big Furry Scotsman' speaking, not my wife.
post #79 of 144
Hello All,

Just a friendly reminder to keep this thread on track. Over the years, many gun-related threads exploded into a name-calling flamefest. It is easy to step over the MDC lines when it comes to passionate issues, so please consider what you are saying and how you say it in order to keep this thread active.

Thanks!
post #80 of 144
Why do police have guns?

Why, to threaten people who don't obey the law of course!!!!

That person could be a violent criminal or someone who chooses not to pay their taxes.
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