June 5th, 2017

Even now, why do only one in ten London police officers carry guns?

To me this is surprising, considering the enemy the Brits now face:

…[M]ore than 90 percent of the capital’s police officers carry out their daily duties without a gun. Most rely on other tools to keep their city safe: canisters of mace, handcuffs, batons and occasionally stun-guns.

This is no accident…

Giving everyday police officers guns sends the wrong message to communities, so this thinking goes, and can actually cause more problems than it solves.

British police apparently have a philosophy of engagement that comes from a lengthy tradition of not carrying guns. They do have specially trained gun-wielding police units which are called to the scene if needed, which seems to me to involve an almost inevitable delay. And every time they fire a gun and injure or kill someone, the incident is investigated to the hilt:

Some police have complained that officers are reluctant to sign up for firearms training because they fear being dragged through years of lengthy investigations in the unlikely event they have to use their weapon.

“Officers have seen what happens to their colleagues who have had to use lethal force to protect the public,” outgoing Metropolitan Police Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe told reporters last month. “Increasingly, they seem to be portrayed as suspects, based, I can only assume, on an underlying belief that they must have acted in a criminal fashion if someone has died.”

It appears that British police have reason to fear that they will be considered guilty till proven innocent. Fortunately for them (and the terrorists), the British citizenry also has a very low incidence of gun ownership, and so the police can often get away with not having firearms themselves and not get blown away by armed criminals.

There also seems to be a philosophy, even among police, that a certain amount of terrorism is acceptable, and that this is a fair trade-off to make for the sake of having a kinder, gentler police force, at least according to the following quotes:

While British officials have long since accepted that [a terrorist] attack is “highly likely,” they believe that intelligence-gathering and stronger links with the community — rather than gun-toting cops — will do more to keep the city safer.

“In a free and democratic society, there is going to be a balance between democracy, freedom and openness, and a police state — and none of us want to live in a police state,” said Brian Dillon, former head of the Met’s firearms command who now runs the counterterrorism consultancy Rubicon Resilience.

“Therefore at some point some attacks are regrettably going to hit home, that’s inevitable,” he added. “Not everything can be stopped.”

It’s an odd definition of “police state” that equates it with police officers having guns. To me, out-of-control surveillance and intelligence-gathering runs a greater risk of turning a place into a “police state,” but I guess the Brits don’t see it that way.

So, how many terrorist attacks are acceptable to the British? There have been two major ones in just the last two weeks, and one a few months ago. I think the British attitude towards this represents a pipe dream, a dangerous case of wishful thinking and a failure to come to turns with the reality of the world they now face.

In the London Bridge attack on Saturday, it took the police eight minutes after the first call to come to the scene and kill the terrorists. Some people have suggested that’s a very short time, but it seems to me it’s a relatively long time in a big city like London that has many police. In fact, there were apparently police on the scene much earlier than that, but they were hamstrung by their lack of lethal firepower. For example:

A British Transport Police officer who was seriously injured in the terror attack at London Bridge has been hailed for his “outstanding” bravery.

Armed only with just a baton, the unnamed officer tackled the attackers and suffered injuries to his head, face and leg.

“Although he is seriously unwell, he was able to recount how he faced the attackers armed only with his baton, outside London Bridge station,” Crowther said in a statement.

“It became clear that he showed enormous courage in the face of danger, as did many others who were at the scene and rushed to help.”

So British authorities think it’s a good idea to bring a baton to a knife fight? This seems like madness to me. Why should this officer be in the position of defending himself and the crowd with such an inadequate weapon?

Some civilians seem unaware of the extreme unlikelihood of the police in London being armed:

“As [the terrorists] left [a pub] I was going “Oi, oi, cowards!” Vowles said. “I was just trying to get their attention by throwing things at them … I thought if I throw bottles or chairs they can come after me. If I can get them to come to the main road then the police can stop them, they can obviously shoot them.”

They could obviously shoot them—if they were armed with guns, that is. Otherwise, it’s not so obvious.

And if you read this account from eyewitnesses, some describe the amount of time the attackers were rampaging as having been ten minutes or more. That’s a long time, and there were a lot of injured people; the terrorists had time to go into many restaurants and pubs. What’s more [emphasis mine]:

A chef from Fish restaurant said: “I saw two men with big knives downstairs outside Roast. They were stabbing people. The police were running away, they were normal officers, they were running away.

“Normal officers”—that is, essentially unarmed officers.

There is a plan to increase the number of police officers at stations, including armed officers:

British Transport police said travellers may notice an increased police presence following the attack.

In a statement, the force said: “Members of the public should expect to see extra police officers patrolling stations in London and the south-east following the attacks. You may also see some of our armed police officers at stations.”

I would certainly hope so.

During Saturday night’s attack, the police killed the three perpetrators. But this action by police was actually highly unusual in Britain, so much so that the police feel the need to explain why they did it:

Armed officers responding to the London Bridge terror attack fired an “unprecedented” number of rounds at the three attackers because they were wearing what appeared to be suicide belts, police said.

Eight officers fired 50 shots at three attackers to ensure they were neutralized, said Mark Rowley, assistant commissioner for specialist operations in the Metropolitan Police Service. Rowley is Britain’s most senior counterterrorism office.

The suicide belts were later determined to be fake…

“The situation these officers were confronted with was critical, a matter of life and death. Three armed men, wearing what appeared to be suicide belts, had already attacked and killed members of the public and had to be stopped immediately,” he said.

But “immediately” isn’t going to be so immediate if police aren’t usually armed with guns. And I wonder: if the terrorists had not been wearing fake explosive belts, would the police who killed them have had more trouble justifying their own lethal actions, under British law?

Not only does Britain have extremely strict gun control for private citizens, but it’s only in Northern Ireland that police are regularly armed:

In 2012, the BBC reported that just five percent of officers in England and Wales were authorized to carry firearms. Former Metropolitan Police deputy assistant commissioner Brian Paddick told the BBC that the officers want to appear “approachable” to the public.

This relic of 19th Century philosophy has survived to the 21st Century. Why the exception for Northern Ireland? You’ll have no trouble whatsoever guessing: their experience with IRA terrorism.

Some more history:

The issue of routine arming in Great Britain was raised after the 1952 Derek Bentley case, in which a Constable was shot dead and a Sergeant severely wounded, and again after the 1966 Massacre of Braybrook Street, in which three London officers were killed. As a result, around 17% of officers in London became authorised to carry firearms. After the deaths of a number of members of the public in the 1980s fired upon by police, control was considerably tightened, many officers had their firearm authorisation revoked, and training for the remainder was greatly improved. As of 2005, around 7% of officers in London are trained in the use of firearms. Firearms are also only issued to an officer under strict guidelines

And now, as noted earlier in this post, the percentage of armed police in London is up again but only to 10%. Part of the reason the number is still so small is quite obviously the fear of accidental killing of innocent civilians. These days the armed police are brought to the scene in an Armed Response Vehicle. Originally, the weapons were kept locked and needed special orders to be distributed to the officers, but more recently, the officers have finally been allowed to wear their weapons.

However, the rank and file police officer is very very much against carrying a gun him/herself:

Surveys by the Police Federation of England and Wales have continued to show police officers’ considerable resistance to routine arming. In the Federation’s most recent (2006) Officer/Arming survey, 82% of respondents were against the routine arming of police…

Perhaps this is one of the reasons why:

As with all use of force in England and Wales, the onus is on the individual officer to justify their actions in court.

To me as an American, the entire situation seems to be a form of extreme denial.

47 Responses to “Even now, why do only one in ten London police officers carry guns?”

  1. Mr. Frank Says:

    As gun people say, when seconds count, the police are only minutes away.

    Firearms are kept by special units who deliver them to the unarmed police when needed. The potential for delay is obvious.

  2. neo-neocon Says:

    Mr. Frank:

    Yes, firearms are kept by special units.

    But no, they don’t “deliver them to the unarmed police.” The unarmed British police never carry arms. It’s the special units themselves that are “delivered” to the scene of the crime, weapons and all. They are the only units who ever carry guns.

  3. Cornhead Says:

    It would be so, so easy for the terrorists to get a significant number of guns into England. When the bad guys have more firepower than the good guys, then it is an unfair fight and a recipe for disaster.

  4. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    They are in profound denial.

    The inimitable Daniel Greenfield puts his finger firmly upon today’s denial of reality in the West.

    RUN, HIDE AND DENY IN LONDON

    A society that refuses to face reality and whose adults refuse to protect its children has no future. A society that refuses to fight when under attack has no future.

    Does anyone imagine that jihadists are not smuggling weapons into the UK and Europe?

    What happens when the jihadists start targeting unarmed police? Start using suicide bombs? Start daily attacks with grenades?

    So easy to sit in the back of a crowded movie theater and roll a grenade down the isle… while exiting to the bathrooms in preparation for playing one of the victims…

    What happens when our young snowflakes can no longer hide because there are no ‘safe’ spaces?

    The carnage has just begun for Europe.

  5. Griffin Says:

    The big question for them is when does it get bad enough that they change their way of thinking on these matters? For an awful lot of the powers that be I suspect the answer is never.

  6. -k- Says:

    [My wife’s family are British and live in London. They never understood why the US allows firearms and why I was licensed to carry. Perhaps they do now.]

    Yes, 90% of London police do not carry firearms … by design. The number is probably higher in smaller villages and towns. And, yes, my relatives know that few officers carry firearms, and they are proud of it. I haven’t asked them in the last couple of months if they are still comfortable with that approach.

    RE: Because almost all citizens do not have firearms, the police didn’t feel they needed them.
    Yes, because the worst they were likely to encounter is a man with an edge weapon. They are learning that a firearm is needed to reliably stop a person with a knife. It will take time to train more armed officers.

    RE: “It took the police eight minutes after the first call to come to the scene and kill the terrorists.”
    Which is really good time, but not good enough. Old saying is still true: “When seconds count, the police are only minutes away.”

    RE: “There is a plan to increase the number of police …”
    Better late than never.

    RE: “Eight officers fired 50 shots at three attackers to ensure they were neutralized”
    Probably lots of misses. It’s understandable: they were scared.

    RE: Officers who took on the suspects without a firearm
    Very brave.

    What should be done immediately:
    1. Realize that in a free society, incidents like this are always possible.
    2. The police deter crime by their presence and by arresting after the crime. Terrorists don’t care about getting caught. If terrorists see police or soldiers, they will pick another time or another target. I would deploy soldiers with pistols and armed police in plain clothes.
    3. Official action by police will not solve this because they would have to be very lucky. The citizens will need to take action, as they did that night. The citizens are in every crowd. However, they need help:
    (a) Citizens need to be encouraged and supported by politicians. The UK only recently started to acknowledge the right of self defense. Citizens and police need to know that is they take action that they won’t be prosecuted (persecuted).
    (b) Citizens need training. I applaud the cab driver. If your enemy is driving over innocent people, box them in with your car so that they cannot continue. When they exit the car with knives, other cars should flatten them. Don’t throw chairs or barstools: use them as clubs. Beat your opponent. Throw hot coffee or boiling water. Build barriers or choke points that are easy to defend. If you’re in a restaurant, you have knives, too. Attack in groups: you go low, and I’ll go high. There may be ten of us for every single bad guy. Change tactics accordingly.
    (c) Realize that restrictions on knives and other tools only help the bad guys. Citizens should be allowed to carry knives, collapsible batons, and pepper spray.

    On 9/11, small groups of terrorists took over planes filled with Americans. The State failed to protect those people, and it cannot protect them now. If someone tried to hijack a plan now, the passengers would counter-attack because we know that it is up to us.

    What the citizens of the West need to realize is that even in a restaurant in a major city, the tactical situation is very similar to that in a airplane at 30,000 feet. It may well be up to us to defend human rights. Prompt countervailing can save lives.

  7. Griffin Says:

    It’s also faulty thinking to say that since the public has few guns then the police can have few guns. Better way to look at is you should want your police force to be better armed than the most realistic threat they will encounter. So if they are somewhat likely to interact with crazy knife wielding terrorists then having guns is the most effective counter to that.

    But I’m afraid that Europeans are so invested in the anti gun thinking that they will never go against it. Would have to admit maybe they were wrong and all that.

  8. neo-neocon Says:

    Griffin:

    But the weird thing is that in Northern Ireland, all the police carry guns and have for years. That’s because of the IRA terrorist history.

    So why does Islamic extremist terrorism not elicit the same response?

  9. neo-neocon Says:

    Geoffrey Britain:

    Speaking of denial of reality, see this.

  10. Griffin Says:

    Neo,

    Guilt, maybe, mixed with some sort of warped paternalism, I don’t know. Western Europeans seem to be forever paying penance for real and perceived sins from colonial days so maybe that explains the hesitancy. Plus it seems to me that the British never had any problem showing their disdain for the Irish which as an American somewhat unfamiliar with the situation has always confused me.

  11. neo-neocon Says:

    Griffin:

    Yes, there’s much less fear of anti-Irishism than fear of Islamophobia.

    I do think, though, it has something to do with the fact that the police in Northern Ireland were armed back in a time before people got quite so deluded and leftist.

  12. Cap'n Rusty Says:

    The earliest American settlers knew they were living amongst savage animals, and had only themselves to rely upon. Self-defense has been part of our culture ever since.

    Europeans and Britons must realize that they are living amongst savages, and have only themselves to rely upon.

  13. Dave Says:

    I was born and living in Hong Kong in the 80s thru mid 90s before the handover and even back then all male officers carried firearms, can’t fathom how the police of the colony were assigned guns but in contrary the police force of its sovereign country didn’t.

  14. Dave Says:

    There is no better way to train how to probably handle a gun than carrying a gun everyday. Jesus liberals are so freaking stupid, do you really want to assign guns in time of emergency to the policemen who ain’t familiar with guns at all.

  15. neo-neocon Says:

    Dave:

    As I wrote in a comment above addressed to Mr. Frank, in Britain the only police who use guns are actually very familiar with them and highly trained. The regular police are not given guns.

  16. CV Says:

    I spent time in Rome last year visiting my daughter, who was teaching in an international school. In traveling around the city, I noticed that pairs of heavily armed military officers were stationed at most metro stations, large churches, museums, etc. Even my daughter’s school, which was located in a quiet, remote neighborhood on the edge of the city limits, had armed military stationed outside. I recall wondering if this was common elsewhere in Europe. I guess not in London.

  17. Griffin Says:

    Neo,

    There is something to be said for really old countries getting stuck in ‘that’s always the way it’s been done’ syndrome and having a hard time adjusting quickly. I think this is very true of the UK and I fear the US is heading that way also.

    Nimble we ain’t!

  18. parker Says:

    “Approachable” struck me as absurd. I routinely come up to chat with cops and county deputies. The fact that they are armed is not something to fear, thank goodness they are armed. As far as firing 50 shots at 3 savages is concerned, adrenaline takes over in these situations which does not make for excellent marksmanship.

    Europe is doomed. Disarming the peasants leads to only two conclusions: when the barbarians invade there will ultimately be a mass slaughter or you will find yourself living in a real police state. I am a member of the Iowa Gun Owners. We are throwing a lot of resources at a Constitutional carry law. In other words I don’t need no stinking permit or my name as an armed citizen on a readily accessible public database. If I want to carry I carry and will do so without the permission of Des Moines.

    I just don’t grok the mindset that the latest attacks were unpredictable, the liberal/progressive mindset is a public mental health crisis when it comes to the threat of jihad, males in female bathrooms, lockerrooms, and the absurdity that it is possible to be transgender no matter what you might achieve und the plastic surgeon’s blade. One is XX or XY (except for a tiny number who are born XXY).

  19. Julia Says:

    8 minutes.

    That is an eternity when people are being slaughtered. My heart breaks for those people.

  20. Julia Says:

    And I can’t blame the cops for being against carrying if they’re guilty until proven innocent. It’s tough enough in this country, and the populace is relatively pro-gun/pro law and order.

    People have been arrested for self-defense in the UK.

  21. Mr. Frank Says:

    Britain has a substantial amount of armed robbery. I wonder how the unarmed police deal with that.

  22. parker Says:

    Julia,

    In the UK you have to flee your home if your home is invaded. So much for the old, non PC concept, that one’s home is their castle. UK ‘leadership’ has a Chamberlian or perhaps Quisling disease. The rough beast slouches.

  23. groundhog Says:

    I’m not sure I like the idea even if it can be done effectively, but the ability to remotely kill a running motor would be useful.

  24. Dave Says:

    If you wouldn’t ban trucks just because some bad people used a truck to kill innocent people, what is liberals’ logical argument to suggest that we should ban all guns just because some bad people used guns to kill innocent people. Don’t give me the “because guns have no other usages except killing people” bs.

  25. Dave Says:

    it is not the job of the government to decide if something is useful.

  26. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    “Europeans and Britons must realize that they are living amongst savages, and have only themselves to rely upon.” Cap’n Rusty

    If by now they haven’t realized it, then a barrier exists that prevents recognizing the obvious. That barrier is their multicultural, transnationalist, progressive belief system. Demolishing that barrier requires Western Europeans admitting to themselves and publicly to each other that they’ve been wrong about nearly everything. Which means the sacrifice of their pride.

    Relevant dialog from the movie “The Wild Bunch”

    Pike Bishop: A hell of a lot of people, Dutch, just can’t stand to be wrong.

    Dutch Engstrom: Pride.

    Pike Bishop: And they can’t forget it… that pride… being wrong. Or learn by it

    We are witness to modern examples of two ancient truths; “pride goeth before the fall” and “those the gods would destroy they first make mad”.

    The hubris is so deep that the adults are willing to sacrifice their children and children’s future to their delusions.

  27. Ann Says:

    Maybe things will start to change in this regard — see this in today’s Guardian: When I joined the police, I resolved never to carry a gun. But I’ve changed my mind

    A very sobering last paragraph: “It would take at least five years to arm all suitable officers. That means it is now time to get this debate into the open, so whatever we decide, we can start the process soon.”

  28. Mr. Frank Says:

    A few months ago there was a vehicle attack on Westminster bridge near Parliament. A policeman guarding the Parliament was killed. At the time I wondered how a guy with a knife could kill a cop. I did a little research just now and leaned the cop was unarmed. Guarding a high value target unarmed. That’s nuts!

    From the paper account.

    He then crashed his hired Hyundai SUV into the railings in front of Parliament Yard before bursting through the gate to the Palace of Westminster with two large knives where he fatally stabbed unarmed Pc Keith Palmer, 48.

  29. AesopFan Says:

    neo-neocon Says:
    June 5th, 2017 at 4:10 pm
    Mr. Frank:

    Yes, firearms are kept by special units.

    But no, they don’t “deliver them to the unarmed police.” The unarmed British police never carry arms. It’s the special units themselves that are “delivered” to the scene of the crime, weapons and all. They are the only units who ever carry guns.
    * * *
    SWAT-lite.

  30. Richard Aubrey Says:

    I’m not sure what a “baton” is in Brit cop language. A piece a foot and a half long of dense wood is formidable.
    It can break a forearm–or a skull–and used as a thrusting weapon with the user’s full weight behind it can be lethal, or certainly immediately disabling.
    Takes training.
    But, I fear, by the time the thing is big enough to be useful against a knifeman it will be said to be ‘fearsome” and not allowed.
    Read up on Rotherham, rape, and diversity. Fourteen hundred young women offered up to assimilate to Islam.

  31. AesopFan Says:

    parker Says:
    June 5th, 2017 at 5:55 pm
    “Approachable” struck me as absurd. I routinely come up to chat with cops and county deputies. The fact that they are armed is not something to fear, thank goodness they are armed.
    * *
    It may be a matter of what they are used to. Americans are used to seeing armed police, and (contra-#BLM) we know that the police don’t pull out their guns and start shooting randomly.

    It’s more a matter of history.
    IMHO, because I can’t find any article confirming this, Robert Peel’s “Bobbies” would not have been authorized as a policing organization by the gentry/nobility if they (distinctly lower-class) had worn the arms of a gentleman.

    And since the populace had no arms worth worrying about, it worked for generations.
    The world has changed.

    Wikipedia: “Sir Robert Peel, 2nd Baronet, FRS, PC (5 February 1788 – 2 July 1850), a British statesman and member of the Conservative Party, served twice as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (1834–1835 and 1841–1846) and twice as Home Secretary (1822–1827 and 1828–1830). He is regarded as the father of modern British policing and as one of the founders of the modern Conservative Party.”
    “Peel’s Metropolitan Police Act 1829 established a full-time, professional and centrally-organised police force for the greater London area known as the Metropolitan Police.[6] Legislation in the 1830s introduced policing in royal boroughs and many counties and, in the 1850s, policing was established nationally.
    The Peelian Principles describe the philosophy that Sir Robert Peel developed to define an ethical police force. The principles traditionally ascribed to Peel state that:
    Every police officer should be issued an identification number, to assure accountability for his actions.
    Whether the police are effective is not measured on the number of arrests, but on the lack of crime.
    Above all else, an effective authority figure knows trust and accountability are paramount. Hence, Peel’s most often quoted principle that “The police are the public and the public are the police.”
    Nine principles of policing were set out in the ‘General Instructions’ issued to every new police officer in the Metropolitan Police from 1829. However, the Home Office has suggested this list was more likely authored by Charles Rowan and Richard Mayne, the first and joint Commissioners of the Metropolitan Police.[7][8]
    The police historian Charles Reith explained in his New Study of Police History (1956)[7] that these principles constituted a philosophy of policing “unique in history and throughout the world because it derived not from fear but almost exclusively from public co-operation with the police, induced by them designedly by behaviour which secures and maintains for them the approval, respect and affection of the public”.[9] This approach to policing became known as “policing by consent”.[8]”

    http://www.historic-uk.com/HistoryUK/HistoryofEngland/Sir-Robert-Peel/

    “The first thousand of Peel’s police, dressed in blue tail-coats and top hats, began to patrol the streets of London on 29th September 1829. The uniform was carefully selected to make the ‘Peelers’ look more like ordinary citizens, rather than a red-coated soldier with a helmet.
    The ‘Peelers’ were issued with a wooden truncheon carried in a long pocket in the tail of their coat, a pair of handcuffs and a wooden rattle to raise the alarm. By the 1880s this rattle had been replaced by a whistle.”

  32. Dave Says:

    If you are so deprived of courage that even carrying a gun is such a horrifying idea to you,may be being a policeman,the holy guardian of society doesnt suit you

  33. Lizzy Says:

    Not only is this insanity in general to expect an unarmed police force to deal with violent criminals and terrorists, but it really puts their female officers at a disadvantage. At least a female cop in the US can take on a much larger, menacing suspect because she is armed*. Maybe someone needs to ask Britain why they want to put their female cops at such great risk?

    They are completely ignoring that in their diverse, multicultural community are a lot of people whose respect for authority (and women) is lacking.

    *Seem to recall reading that female cops may be more quick to shoot because of being smaller, weaker than a suspect(s) in a confrontation.

  34. Baklava Says:

    Nobody mentions that they were also trying to disarm the Evergreen College cop.

    And she went along with it.

  35. parker Says:

    Lizzy,

    From the data I have read, female cops (per capita) are more likely to use leathal force. The same, interestingly, is true of black male cops. Females in general are not biologically equiped to be cops or frontline combat soldiers. PC once again trumps common sense. Nor do females belong on the close quarters of submarines as boys and girls will be girls and boys.

    PC seeks to normalize ‘transgenders’ instead of providing psychological therapy. All one has to do is look at the suicide rate of this sad, tiny minority to realize all attempts to normalize their troubled claims are filled to the brim with unintended consequences.

  36. neo-neocon Says:

    Richard Aubrey:

    Info about British police batons here and here.

  37. Lizzy Says:

    Parker, I agree with you about female biological differences making them unsuited for front line combat, etc. It just amazes me that in the UK (and likely other parts of Europe?) they would further hobble them while doing such a risky job by denying them a gun. This is denial topped with insanity.

    This video shows how difficult it is to stop one crazy guy with a knife when your police are unarmed. I’m not pro police shooting, but there are moments when stopping an immediate threat is warranted. One also has to consider that in a given situation, there may well be more of them than police officers, so outnumbered and unarmed.

    https://twitter.com/polNewsForever/status/871399902315778050

  38. DNW Says:

    If people refuse to defend themselves, why should I care if they are defended at all?

    Apparently they have assessed the value of their lives and decided to act accordingly.

    Shrug ….

  39. AesopFan Says:

    Lizzy Says:
    June 6th, 2017 at 9:33 am

    This video shows how difficult it is to stop one crazy guy with a knife when your police are unarmed. I’m not pro police shooting, but there are moments when stopping an immediate threat is warranted. One also has to consider that in a given situation, there may well be more of them than police officers, so outnumbered and unarmed.

    https://twitter.com/polNewsForever/status/871399902315778050
    * * *
    That looked like a pack of hounds trying to take down a grizzly. However, a few selected comments (which just happened to occur in this grouping) from the link with my thoughts:

    Seditious Blasphemer‏ @Seditious_B Jun 4
    Basically, if some crazy will rush an entire group of police with a knife, what would they be capable of doing to innocent civilians?

    #MAGA Wiggleman‏ @harleytime1 Jun 4
    18 cops to take down 1 skinny terrorist with a knife. This is the world you voted for, UK. You get what you pay for.

    Frazier McGinn‏ @ManIsFree Jun 4
    Bad example. Police taking an armed suspect into custody with no one getting hurt is a sign of professionalism, not a mark of weakness.
    * *
    All of them are right simultaneously. But (starting with the last), Frazier is right ONLY if we are talking isolated criminal incidents, not concerted and continuing acts of terrorism, because —
    Wiggleman’s observation implies that there aren’t enough cops in Britain to handle multiple attackers or especially multiple simultaneous attacks.
    and —
    Seditious hits the bottom line: the terrorists don’t care if the police kill them so long as they take out the kafirs first.
    What would have happened to our “Police taking an armed suspect into custody with no one getting hurt” meme if he had been wearing a suicide vest or carrying a bomb, or his own gun?

  40. Bryan Says:

    This is really more of a psychological or cultural problem. The solution seems pretty obvious. In order to protect the whole body of the citizenry from random attacks like this, they need to be armed to protect themselves. Recall what happened in Texas when an attack like this was attempted? Two dead terrorists before they were able to do anything. If every citizen, or a significant percentage, in London was armed, these attacks would cease very quickly. Of course SOME citizens should not have the right to carry arms and I’m sure the police have a list.

  41. David Says:

    I used to be proud of our unarmed police force, but we don’t live in a Miss Marple world anymore and Dixon of Dock Green isn’t up to the job. Not only do the police need to be armed, so do the ordinary people and they need the right to shoot to kill if faced with 7th century barbarians.

    I hate the idea, but that’s the crossroads we’ve come to.

  42. Amadeus 48 Says:

    We lived in London 25 years ago. Even then, the Metropolitan Police had become more or less worthless: they investigated crime, they didn’t prevent crime. It has gotten worse since then. They are trained to enforce a politically correct agenda they is heavy on community relations dosed with post-colonial guilt. If you really want to get in trouble, try expressing some doubt about the bona fides of that chap with the beard and the four wives who arrived in the UK and immediately became a farmer of public benefits. You will thereupon become a person of interest to the police. That is what they spend their time doing. I am sure there are many brave officers, but they bring truncheons to a knife fight.

  43. John C. Says:

    “To such depths have the sons of Alfred the Great fallen.” – Col. Jeff Cooper

  44. Mike Perry Says:

    Any word on whether the cops who ran away from this most recent attack will be investigated and punished like they would if they’d had a used guns?

  45. Curtis Says:

    I’ll take Britains cops for 1000.

    I’m sick to death of our cops shooting citizens and walking away without even getting charged with murder, attempted murder, jaywalking.

    I was in for an MRI when the cops decided to take out gunman at Empire State building and only shot 9 NINE innocent civilians who just happened to be there and the cops walked away saying, “good shoot”.

    I’ll say it again, Arm Yourself. Take responsibilty and screw the police losers who don’t know how to shoot straight.

  46. Matthew Carberry Says:

    The comment about the gentry denying the police arms is not exactly correct. Nor was it due to “hoplophobia.” British citizens had, and jealously defended, their historic right to arms. Firearms sales up until the WWI were essentially no more controlled in England (or most of the Western civilized world) than in the US. Anyway, the fear when professional policing came about in the early 19thC was that they could be used as a paramilitary force to suppress dissent if armed. The tradition of the “hue and cry” of citizens rallying to stop criminals was seen as a better model. The police would stop minor public order crimes, policing by consent, but would call upon the armed citizenry for assistence with major crimes. Since their society was fairly peaceful that seemed to work. You can police traditional Englishmen that way, the culture allows it. Change the culture and?….

    Surprisingly, it was only in the 1920’s that the first real firearm licensing laws were passed, due to anti-gun officials lying about crime rates. These regulations were gradually expanded to the bans we see today, buttressed by cultural changes largely impacted by reactions to war and Leftist political influence.

  47. Micha Elyi Says:

    In the UK you have to flee your home if your home is invaded. So much for the old, non PC concept, that one’s home is their castle.
    parker

    Dial down the smug. That’s pretty much the rule in many US states too. IOW, you’re expected to retreat to safety if you can rather than standing and blasting away in the dark. Otherwise you end up with a lot of Texans shooting the paperboy* or the trick-or-treater.

    * often terrified me to porch certain customers’ early morning paper ’cause every few years the paper had a report of that happening somewhere in the USA

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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