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Dads > Why do Police have guns?
Mrs_Hos's Avatar Mrs_Hos 02:35 AM 02-22-2007
I'm a very proud wife of an Air Force Cop. He carries a gun every day he is on duty. He just returned from a 6mo deployment (where he missed the birth of his son) to help protect our country from the 'drug war' (he was in the Carribean)...before that (only 1.5yrs ago) he returned from Iraq--Camp Bucca where we both feared for his life...the prison was a mad house--those people were fighting eachother in prison--the guards had to threaten with their guns just to get the prisoners to stop killing eachother. They very much used their weapons to promote peace--as odd and 'off' as that sounds.
The life of a soldier, airman, marine, or seaman is very hard. I think it is one of the hardest and heaviest in our country. We ask them to leave their family and put their lives in harms way--to protect us. The hours suck, the money sucks, but I'm thankful for it all--and I'm very proud. We are poor, but my husband is a hero.
I wish we lived in a world where he was put out of a job...but even if America 'backed down' and decided to help no one--the world out there would continue to fight and it would get worse until our boarders were attacked...oh wait...that's already happened...oh crap! :

Sorry--didn't mean to get on my little soap box...I'm just very proud of my gun carrying, protecting, serving, hero of a husband...


BurgundyElephant's Avatar BurgundyElephant 03:18 AM 02-22-2007
The police carry guns because the criminals have them. If a cop doesn't have a gun and the criminal does, then he is going to get shot. If you take away all the guns, then the police don't have to have them.




That's never going to happen in the USA.
BurgundyElephant's Avatar BurgundyElephant 03:18 AM 02-22-2007
That's a funny story, Laggie.
Cersha's Avatar Cersha 04:26 AM 02-22-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by BurgundyElephant View Post
The police carry guns because the criminals have them. If a cop doesn't have a gun and the criminal does, then he is going to get shot. If you take away all the guns, then the police don't have to have them.




That's never going to happen in the USA.
That is a bit naive. How would use propose to rid the world of ALL guns? Criminals don't get guns legally. Make them illegal, and you will have the same situation as the "war on drugs".

No. It won't ever happen in America, because people like ME aren't going to give up our second amendent right (and responsibility) That amendment is there for OUR protection from the *government* as well as others that would do us harm (a right that we did NOT have when we were under British rule). I hope and pray that someone never tries to take that right away, otherwise, I would be at the mercy of the federal government.
JWSJ's Avatar JWSJ 04:33 AM 02-22-2007
Years ago I went to Europe (Brussels, Belgium) for holiday and saw police officers in the street carrying submachine guns (H&K MP5). There was no terrorist threat and it was before 9/11.

Made the whole arguement against US police carrying handguns seem like a joke.
PareMesAlt's Avatar PareMesAlt 07:48 PM 02-22-2007
I see that I may have offended some people. Please excuse that. It is not my intention.

The conundrum I see is that in a flawed world where there is violence, do we teach our children that violence is a valid answer?

Some people agree to take on jobs where they believe that violence is a possible answer to the evils seen in this world. I am sure 99% of soldiers and police, do not want to kill and use their weapons on people. However, they have agreed to the possibility of using violence to secure society.

Generally speaking soldiers do perform many non-violent acts, but the main purpose is to exert a monopoly of violence in a particular geographic area our government has decided to control. I am not saying this is for good reasons or bad, but soldiers have agreed to be used in this way. Police have a somewhat different purpose. Generally speaking they agree to uphold the law in a place where government control is taken for granted. One of the tools that our society has granted them is lethal weaponry.

I am not saying soldiers and police are honorable or dishonorable. Only that in an imperfect world, do we teach our children they need accept and come to terms with violence, or do we say it could be better?

Soldiers and Police accept violence as a possible answer to violence.
FancyNancy's Avatar FancyNancy 10:04 PM 02-22-2007
They're not only to protect themselve but others as well in only the most extreme circumstances... and because other people have guns.
UUMom's Avatar UUMom 10:34 PM 02-22-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by JWSJ View Post
Years ago I went to Europe (Brussels, Belgium) for holiday and saw police officers in the street carrying submachine guns (H&K MP5). There was no terrorist threat and it was before 9/11.

Made the whole arguement against US police carrying handguns seem like a joke.
I saw that in parts of Italy as well. You never see that in the US.

I think when people haven't traveled, they make a lot of assumptions about things. Even when the assumptions are wrong, they cling to them.

I encourge everyone I know to get on a plane and go somewhere!
heldt123's Avatar heldt123 10:42 PM 02-22-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cersha View Post
No. It won't ever happen in America, because people like ME aren't going to give up our second amendent right (and responsibility) That amendment is there for OUR protection from the *government* as well as others that would do us harm (a right that we did NOT have when we were under British rule). I hope and pray that someone never tries to take that right away, otherwise, I would be at the mercy of the federal government.
I agree.

I wonder how many countries have avoided invading this country because of how many private people own guns? Just a thought. If we didn't have guns...what would stop them? Diplomacy? I think not. I'd love to live in a world without guns, but it isn't practical in the kind of world we live in right now.
UUMom's Avatar UUMom 10:54 PM 02-22-2007
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.

Trust me when I say I am not a gun person! I was floored learning this. I couldn't believe this awesome family, who spoke 4 languages fluently, had guns! I was taught in the US that only the ingnorant, the 'red neck', and the crimminal had guns. It took me a good deal of time to sort this out in my head! I decided it's when we get freaky-deaky about guns, forbid them without true education, and tell children they can ***never*** touch a gun, that makes them far more curious that children in other countries who are educated. And without gun safety respect and instruction, bad things happen.

edited for manic typos
PareMesAlt's Avatar PareMesAlt 12:06 AM 02-23-2007
I see that this post has brought up a lot of auxilary issues like:

Gun Control (which I oppose on libertarian grounds)
How other countries deal with guns
Honor and Safety for those in the Military and Police
Personal Rights and Safety

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?
PareMesAlt's Avatar PareMesAlt 12:13 AM 02-23-2007
Off Topic:

I too lived abroad in Spain for 6 years, where regular Policia Nacional often walked around the cities with large automatic weapons.

It was interesting to note that though they had similar gun control laws to the US, the level of gun related deaths was much lower per capita. It leads me to believe it is cultural differences rather than legal differences that lead to more gun violence.
UUMom's Avatar UUMom 12:30 AM 02-23-2007
Discussing all the points you listed broadens the gun discussion that includes your last point.

Post your thoughts on it.

I am for gun control (Switzerland, ftr, has tight gun control laws...people take their owning seriously and respectfully, fi, and their gun violence rate is low). I am not a libertarian. (Except in the case of vax, homeschooling, land ownership...and more. ) How do you square your belief in no gun control and gun violence in America today?

Does a parent who might forbid any sort of gun anything expect a child to be able to deal rationally with guns in society that he might encounter? Will a child feel shame at his/her curisotiy because he knows he hurts the parent witht his interest? Could that shame keep the child from asking the parent for help if he has encountered a gun? (In an alley, a park, a playmate's home?)

How do you let a child know that the National Guard who comes to your house in a storm (hopefully...) is different from the shoot-to-kill government robot discussed earlier. And how does one help a child to understand that calling 911 in an emergency will (usually) bring police help if your grandfather is having a heart attack...

Is fear and shame- based gun 'education' a valid way to cut down on gun interest/usage?


I'm not a gun person, but these are questions that I ask myself a lot. Having had one little guy who did like those playmobil pirates and their stuff, and who has always been a gentle person and is not as an adult interested in guns, I feel that early weaponry interest is just that...an interest... not a signal that the child will grow to be a raving psycho killer.

I think overreacting, shaming and forbidding is very often a catalyst to a more intense interest. Not always...but I've always been very careful not to impose adutl attitudes and fears on the curiosity of small children.

I would enjoy a non- hysterical (Soldiers are killers!! All cops shoot their guns randomly and often!!) discussion this complicated, multi-facitied issue.

I go back to Swizterland...nearly every male there knows how to use a gun, and owns several, yet they aren't shooting each other. Why is that? What respect to they posess that we in the US might learn from?
UUMom's Avatar UUMom 12:36 AM 02-23-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by PareMesAlt View Post
Off Topic:

I too lived abroad in Spain for 6 years, where regular Policia Nacional often walked around the cities with large automatic weapons.

It was interesting to note that though they had similar gun control laws to the US, the level of gun related deaths was much lower per capita. It leads me to believe it is cultural differences rather than legal differences that lead to more gun violence.
And what are those cultural differences? I mean I know they are great...there is no one US culture, either. It's kind of a free for all, wild west. Come make money, lots of it. I have hope that we can get it together, eventually. Fool that I am.
MtBikeLover's Avatar MtBikeLover 02:09 AM 02-23-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by mntnmom View Post
Police have guns to protect themselves and others from people who try to hurt them.
This is what I tell my son too. He asks me this question about 5 times a week and I just repeat that police have guns to protect themselves and us in case someone else is trying to hurt us or them. They only use it if they have to.
taterbug1999's Avatar taterbug1999 02:22 AM 02-23-2007
UUmom,
You make some very good points. As a cops wife, I have to say guns are taught to be respected in our home. Our kids are young (7 and 2) and we of course keep my husbands weapons locked up but they are being taught that they are to never ever touch daddy's guns. My dd who is really the only one of the two old enough to really grasp it simply understands that and has never shown any interest in them at all. I find that with children in almost every issue we have encountered thus far as parents that if you ignore an issue or sensationalize it then you do more harm than good. We simply state the facts that they are for our safety and for daddy's work, but they can be dangerous. We do not hunt but my husband has taught me how to fire his off duty weapon and I would hope someday will teach each of our kids as they mature. I really think that respect of the weapon is a huge key. It is there, it can be dangerous, it can be life saving, it is not for my kids to mess with. If they ever have questions or are curious then that door is always open for whatever they would like to know. Because there is no real enticement I think it is now a non issue for my daughter. Ds is too young to really care.
On a side note my hubbie blew up every kind of army toy you can imagine as a young boy in his back yard and always knew he wanted to be a cop, and we have 3 guns in our home. BUT he is the calmest gentlest guy you'd ever meet. So I don't personally think playing with toy guns or pirates or whatever will be a large determining factor in the adult someone becomes. I like to think that whatever toys my kids choose to play with that my role as a good, kind, loving parent has a much larger long term impact on them. Maybe that is where society (at least US) is taking a downturn. Maybe nomatter what toys they choose off the shelf it is the fact that many of them don't get to come home to moms, dads, anyone who loves them and tries to teach them how to be when they grow up. Anyone?
mike's Avatar mike 05:14 AM 02-23-2007
POLICE have guns to protect themselves from bad guys who have guns for the wrong reasons so basicly its to even the odds.
somasoul's Avatar somasoul 06:47 PM 02-24-2007
You actually let your kid play with army men for a whole day?!?!? The kid is destined to become an agent of big brother and eat babies alive!

As an anarchist I shun all forms of violence. However, this doesn't mean that army men are inherently bad. More often then not, bad guys are gonna come around. They have no interest in hearing your side of things, they have no interest in discussing any issues, they have no interest in behaving like civilized men and women. And when those creeps come calling, the only thing in the world that puts a stop to them is weapons and the men (and sometimes women) who rise up against them using weaponry to kill their enemy.

Stalin had no interest in civilized discourse. Neither did Hitler. Pol Pot, less so. The Hutus killed the Tutsies by the thousands for a reason us westerners can't even comprehend. Over the course of human history people have been rounded up and slaughtered like cattle by evil men and the only way to stop them was with guns.

Let your kids play with the army men. It ain't the killing that's problem......it's the "why" and the "who".
Kavita's Avatar Kavita 10:52 PM 02-24-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by PareMesAlt View Post
For those of you who are close to police officers. If they encounter a suspected criminal with a weapon, what is their training and what is their instincts? Shoot to kill or shoot to wound?

I brought this up with an upstate friend of mine, and he said most of his police friends will shoot to kill. Though this is not official policy in that county.
I worked in probation and we had gun training and could choose to carry if we wanted to, also have a concealed carry permit.

Technically, you're not shooting to kill per se--you're shooting to STOP the person. The only justification for deadly force is if the person is using a level of force that will result in death or serious bodily harm to you, or to a third party. This was specifically addressed in my training--that if you ever get in court and are asked if you intended to kill, you are not supposed to say that you shot to kill the person, but that you shot to stop the person. This is a subtle but important difference.

If you pull a weapon, it is only because your life or someone else's life is in imminent danger, because the person you are pulling the gun ON has the ability to kill (for example, the other person has a weapon and is threatening someone) and you have seconds to act. If you shoot in that kind of stress situation, from a distance, you are basically aiming for the chest and hoping that you cause enough internal damage that the person bleeds enough to collapse and stop being a threat. Obviously, a lot of the time this person will end up dying as a result of being shot. But if you were in a situation where, for example, you shot somebody and they dropped their weapon and collapsed and stopped being a threat, you are now supposed to call them an ambulance. Not go over and finish them off! So your intent is not to kill--it's to stop.
Cacapon's Avatar Cacapon 04:31 PM 02-26-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by PareMesAlt View Post
Hey, Hitler was nice to the kids of his circle; does it make him a little good?
: are you serious???

you seem to be caught up in some serious black-and-white thinking.

it is cool that you are against guns and all that, but that is politics. there is a time for politics, and a time to be sensitive to nurtuing the emotional development of a child.

when a kid that age wants to play with guns, it is not about guns and violence and death in the way we think about it. it is about a child trying to master/understand/order/organize/deal with her/his own feellings of anger/aggression/sexuality (yes, i said it!!).

so cutting off the gun tips and painting the tanks to look like fire engines may have served your needs to feel like a suffciently pacifist mother, but your child is still left with those feellings and no way to deal with them.

of course - educate your child about the safety and consequences of gun use. but let that child be a kid and learn and grow and develop through unstructured (and uniterrupted by you!!) play.
amyb15's Avatar amyb15 04:52 PM 02-26-2007
It's hard to explain to the children why force has to be utilized. Some humans just cannot be tamed, so they must be harmed to learn.
mamabadger's Avatar mamabadger 06:50 PM 02-26-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by somasoul View Post
It ain't the killing that's problem......it's the "why" and the "who".
Sorry, I just couldn't let that one go. No, the killing is a problem as well! There's no "why" or "who" that simply makes homicide okay. At the most, it can excuse killing, not make it morally good.
Besides, most of the biggest mass murderers in history killed with what they considered excellent justification.
amyb15's Avatar amyb15 06:57 PM 02-26-2007
That is a good point... justification for mass murders. Our society... gosh
somasoul's Avatar somasoul 11:09 PM 02-27-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamabadger View Post
Sorry, I just couldn't let that one go. No, the killing is a problem as well! There's no "why" or "who" that simply makes homicide okay. At the most, it can excuse killing, not make it morally good.
Besides, most of the biggest mass murderers in history killed with what they considered excellent justification.
Killing is always bad. But there comes a time when a person must defend himself, or others, with the most extreme applied force.
karma_momma's Avatar karma_momma 01:30 AM 02-28-2007
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!
memz's Avatar memz 01:50 AM 02-28-2007
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!
:
DragonflyBlue's Avatar DragonflyBlue 02:37 AM 02-28-2007
Recently we had a gunman at one of our malls. He was walking through randomly shooting people. Five people were killed, numerous other wounded. (can't recall exact number)

An off duty police officer, who was armed was able to help stem the gunman's rampage.

I don't even want to think about how many other people may have been killed had this officer not been there.

This is just one example of why police officers are armed.

Janis
JBaxter's Avatar JBaxter 11:03 AM 02-28-2007
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 your service
Houdini's Avatar Houdini 01:29 PM 02-28-2007
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!
:
anarchamama's Avatar anarchamama 04:41 PM 02-28-2007
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!
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