There’s just something odd about the idea of an unarmed police officer to an American mind. After all, we arm our police all the time. Even the ones scooting about on a Segway or peddling down the sidewalk on a bicycle are armed, for crying out loud. How else would we expect police officers to deal with violence should they encounter it?
But it’s important to remember that what’s the norm here in the U.S. isn’t necessarily normal everywhere. Especially when it comes to firearms.
The U.K., for instance, doesn’t arm many of its police officers. However, one U.K. politician thinks it’s time for that to change after the most recent terrorist attack in that country.
The former Ukip leader said all British police officers should be given firearms or tasers during his LBC radio show on Sunday.
The MEP’s comments follow the latest attack in London at Parsons Green Tube station on Friday morning, which left commuters fleeing in terror after a homemade bomb partially detonated on a train.
A total of 29 people were injured following the blast, sparking outrage from Mr Farage, who said the UK was “constantly playing catch-up” and that the Government was “not doing enough to protect us from attack”.
He said: “My view on all of this is that our Government and governments right across Europe have been very, very reluctant to face up to the severity of the problem in front of us.
“If we’re going to take this threat seriously we absolutely have to routinely train and teach our police officers, whether it’s a gun or a taser or both, but we have to have armed police.”
Of course, he’s right, but that will only work to a point. It will help, that’s for sure. Just look what happened in Spain where armed police officers killed five terrorists who were attempting to launch an attack by plowing vehicles into pedestrians. In that attack, only one person was killed. Admittedly, it’s still a tragedy that anyone lost their lives, but it could have been much, much worse.
Armed police absolutely make sense throughout Europe.
What also makes sense is something the U.K. is unable to do right now, and that is to allow armed citizens to also act as a check on terrorist aggression.
The British people don’t lack in aggression. That should be clear by a bar patron looking a terrorist in the eye and saying, “F*** you, I’m Millwall” before engaging the jihadi while unarmed. There’s plenty of fight left in them.
What’s not left is the means to effectively combat terrorists.
While grit will certainly help–see the Millwall gentleman for an example–it can’t do everything. No amount of courage will stop a speeding automobile heading toward unsuspecting crowds. It won’t necessarily do a whole lot against terrorists armed with blades of any length either. Especially when there’s more than one.
So yes, do arm the police. They need to be armed and properly trained in the use of firearms.
But it’s also time for the U.K. to rethink their policy of keeping their citizenry unarmed. More guns will make terrorism a far less likely event.