Quote of the Day: Sisyphean Edition

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“We are passionate that the British style of policing is routinely unarmed policing. Sadly we know from the experience in America and other countries that having armed officers certainly does not mean, sadly, that police officers do not end up getting shot.” – Greater Manchester Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy in Why British police don’t have guns [at bbc.com]

comments

  1. avatar the ruester says:

    ” Arming the force would, say opponents, undermine the principle of policing by consent – the notion that the force owes its primary duty to the public, rather than to the state, as in other countries.”

    Do they really think they are anything but slaves because most of their cops don’t carry? A police state is a police state, you wankers, it doesn’t matter how polite the cop is when he beats your rights out of you.

    1. avatar TheBear says:

      Truth.

    2. avatar JeffR says:

      That was the quote that really jumped out at me. The British government has never treated their citizens’ “rights” as anything other than quaint recommendations, which makes the whole notion of “policing by consent” ludicrous.

    3. avatar Bungameng says:

      Nothing can prove this sentence more truthful than the UK’s planned withdrawal from the European Convention on the Human rights: http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/oct/03/tories-plan-uk-withdrawal-european-convention-on-human-rights

      1. avatar fishydude says:

        Actually, the EU Convention on Human Rights is a joke. It s a convention on privileges. This same convention has upheld the right of the German state to confiscate children from families that choose to home school.
        There is no freedom of religion under this convention. No right to self-defense either.
        The convention is an enforcer of dihmitude as well as it places Muslim sensitivities as superior to all other considerations.

        1. I don’t know very much about that but the Brits were smart enough to stay out of the Euro….

        2. avatar Bungameng says:

          That is like pulling Dred Scott v. Sandford and saying that there are no human rights under the US constitution.

          Article 9 – Freedom of thought, conscience and religion
          1. Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief, in worship, teaching, practice and observance.
          2. Freedom to manifest one’s religion or beliefs shall be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of public safety, for the protection of public order, health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

          The ECHR is not perfect, but it provides a higher protection of human rights than UK’s own laws on many levels. The two countries in Europa that are currently considering pulling out of the Convention due to the huge number of unfavorable decisions by the Court are Russia and UK. That says it all.

        3. I would feel more comfortable living in a country that doesn’t let other people write its laws. But that’s just me. The last time I checked elections in the UK were free and fair. So if they like it it’s their problem. I don’t really care how they want to live!

    4. avatar Anonymous says:

      Exactly. What a diverting and untruthful statement. You can’t step out of your home in the UK without showing up on 10 different surveillance cameras. The idea that the cops are unarmed is a complete illusion and is only in place for the “feel good” feelings of the the UK sheeple. They need only make a call and the submachine guns show up. Just because the lowest level of the law enforcement chain doesn’t have a gun doesn’t mean you are not living in a statist slavery.

  2. avatar Bungameng says:

    Yes, and when someone starts cutting a war veteran’s head off in the middle of the street, the unarmed bobbies stand away in safe distance waiting half-an-hour for the cops that do have guns.

    1. avatar Bear The Grizzly says:

      This is my response to everyone who says we should be as “civilized” as them.

      1. avatar Simon says:

        The thing that sickened me most about that scene, was the amount of people who took out their cell phones to record the murder, rather than do anything to try and stop it.

    2. avatar An English Person says:

      No.1 argument for repealing UK laws against personal gun ownership…
      Citizens/Subjects should have right and ability to defend themselves.

      Would never’ve happened in Henry VIII time…

  3. I think something is being overlooked. The UK has about 20% of our population and police there killed NO ONE in 2013 while somewhere around 400 were killed here. In at least one very important way they are more civilized than us. Our police kill too many people. Not saying they are better but we need to improve.

    1. That the police should serve the people first sounds pretty good too. It seems to me that our constitution is geared to protecting the people from the government. The police are an arm of govt so the people’s right to be safe from govt should exceed the police’s right to be safe from the people I think.

    2. avatar T. Search says:

      Who did they kill, tho? And why? Under what circumstances?

      1. Police killings are unavoidable over here but people are also innocent until proven guilty. If the UK can get by with zero then we have something to learn. A great deal has been written on the need to de fang the police force and this is evidence that we can do better.

        1. avatar T. Search says:

          Which is to say that if you are attacked by someone intent on killing you, you will refrain from using deadly force (that is “stopping power”) because they might be innocent? My point was that the number cannot be zero because criminals will ensure that deadly force must be used on some occasions.

        2. Tsearch- I know I’ve written more than most want to read today but I really don’t see how I could have given you that impression. Of course police need to defend themselves. I never said otherwise

    3. avatar MarkPA says:

      Mike, I commend you for your insight. We PotG claim that the Moms are closed-minded; they are not sincere in their claim that they want to have a “discussion”. We PotG might be – to some extent – prone to knee-jerk responses, refusing to remain open-minded. What does it cost our civilization to seriously study what implications might be drawn from our British brothers? (I don’t think their system makes sense; I’m simply open to a comparison and contrasting of their choice vs. ours to see what the application of logic and data might reveal.) You, Mike, have begun this discussion.
      Our American system of armed police results in plenty of deaths of civilians. I imagine that the majority of police killings would pass-muster under our laws of self-defense. Nevertheless, most of us believe that there must be at least a few cases of unjustified use of deadly force; and, that much too often such cases are not objectively investigated, prosecuted and tried.
      Our British brothers have made a different choice. They do not hire cops – as agents of the state – to prey upon Her Majesty’s subjects with impunity. Her Majesty leaves thuggery to the private sector which seems well-enough equipped to prey upon the disarmed without competition from the public sector.
      There is a balancing decision to take here. Shall we suffer somewhat more private acts of violence from the private sector in order to spare the commoners from the indignity of paying taxes to be subjected to violence from the public sector? A priori, the choice is not an obvious one. We Americans have chosen to suffer from police brutality to some degree in the hopes that armed police will reduce private violence.
      Can we measure the comparative results strictly by counting bodies? Our 400 vs. the Brits’ zero? Or, should we have a broader measure? What about police brutality short of killing a citizen? What about simple acts of disrespect shown to commoners? If, hypothetically, we disarmed American police would we have a better relationship between the police and the policed? (I’m coming to NO conclusion here yet; I’m simply wondering about the alternatives Americans and Brits have chosen.)
      Looking at the question from another viewpoint, we value our cops’ lives at least to the extent that we pay their salaries. We Americans respect cops right to an effective self-defense. Perhaps the Brits do not acknowledge their constables’ right to an effective self-defense. Maybe our respective choices are each reasonable. The Brits do not acknowledge a commoner’s right to an effective self-defense. The Brits treat their constables and commoners alike. (To be sure, the Brits arm a few cops for special duty. These are very exceptional cases. Apparently, the commoner expects to encounter a constable in nearly all cases on an equal plane: mono-a-mono.)
      Americans, in contrast, take a much different – and more complex – view of the citizen’s “right” to an effective self-defense outside the home. Even in the Shall-Issue States, we live at-risk in “Gun-Free Zones” where the police go armed routinely. We do not expect police to disarm when they enter a GFZ absent an active-shooting incident.
      A much more serious problem is with the Won’t-Issue States where the entire State (apart from ranges) is a GFZ. Here, the sharp distinction between cops vs. civilians is conspicuous. Why do cops have a right to the means of an effective self-defense while civilians do not? In Britain, neither has the right; in America, one has the right while the other does not. What is the philosophical explanation for this different treatment?
      Perhaps there is a practical argument. Cops are trained; civilians are not. Well, this practical argument is readily solved; civilian training equivalent to that required by police academies. What is called for here is documentation and data on police academy training on gun fighting. Maybe it’s empirical data on “bad-shots” by police vs. civilians. Let’s gather the data and compare results. Who knows? Perhaps civilian carry is safer than police carry. If documented scrupulously that would certainly change the “discussion” the Moms demand!
      A complete discussion – that the Moms really want – of guns in society calls for a comparison of the British and American practices of arming cops. Let’s not prejudge the outcome of such an analysis; perhaps it wouldn’t lead to a decision to dis-arm American cops. It might lead somewhere else entirely.

      1. It would take me a week to type all that! But thanks for the very thoughtful response. I think it is obvious that both citizens and police need to be armed but I am not well versed enough in the law to know how to get the legal definitions right. Maybe the police need to use a standard of certainty of death or injury instead of just a threat? Just my opinion but I think disarming the police is a bad idea, American society is too violent. But cops shouldn’t be able to execute people, if innocent until proven guilty means anything. Overall I think that police officers do a fine job and the problems lie in just a few, but I’m thinking that in the interest of constitutionality cops are just going to have to take a few more chances. For instance the St Louis cops who immediately shot the crazy guy with a knife a few weeks ago. I think that they could probably have avoided that.

        1. avatar MarkPA says:

          I recommend Ayoob’s course on the use-of-force. The standards for use of lethal force are pretty close to the same for cops and civilians. One difference is that cops have a duty to enforce the law so they can pursue in cases where a civilian – with no such duty – would not have the same liberty to pursue. I don’t think that the legal standards are much of a problem. Instead, the problem is that great deference is usually given to cops whereas civilians are too often prosecuted unjustly. It’s pretty rare for a civilian to shoot and then get prosecuted; so, this part of the problem isn’t especially severe. Moreover, if we PotG got better at socializing the information on the laws on use of lethal force we could largely solve our own problems.
          There is, I believe, a huge perception problem with respect to the police. Those cops who spend their time policing precincts populated by belligerent people habituate themselves to treating their civilians harshly. What other outcome could we expect? Do we think we can hire enough saints to police the inner cities? Inevitably, a cop will shoot a civilian. Was it a “good shoot” or a “bad shoot”? From the viewpoint of the local population it’s a bad-shoot no matter what. We PotG are usually able to see through the BS and tell that the cop probably has a good case much of the time, but the perp’s neighbors are convinced that it was murder. There is no simple cure for this problem.
          Where we are really concerned is with the cops who make a bad-shoot. The only way to ensure nearly-zero bad-shoots by cops is to dis-arm the cops (as the Brits do). I’m no more eager to do this in America than you are. The best I think we can do is to improve training of both civilians and police. Civilians need to learn to behave in ways that will reduce their risk of getting shot. (Here, I’m thinking of the old guy who got out of his truck and reached for his cane in the back. Cop thought it was a long gun and immediately shot the old guy.) Cops need training – and lots of it – to reduce the number of mis-precived threats.
          The UK vs. US differences are, I think, fascinating mostly from the viewpoint of getting a discussion of guns-in-society started. What exactly is it that makes OC a good/bad phenomena depending upon whether the carrier’s clothing is blue or some other color? If we can get this discussion going American society will learn a lot.

        2. If we can get the job done by training and awareness that’s fine by me. Maybe there would be a chage in attitude if we just reeled in the use of no knocks and questionable search and siezures. And snipers on top of armored vehicles. The constitution is not about the welfare and authority of the police force.

  4. avatar janitor says:

    “i think middle aged english men are so emotional that they lactate” ~my lovely wife

    1. avatar the ruester says:

      Lol

  5. avatar Garrison Hall says:

    In a country like the UK, not arming police officers just makes them handier targets. While that’s a no-brainer for anyone facing reality, gun-control ideology in the UK isn’t based on reality; it’s based on politics and symbolism. In fact, handguns are a part of the UK’s underground economy which, for literally centuries, has involved smuggling. The phenomenon is called “patterned evasion of social norms” and occurs when traditional behavior like gun ownership is proscribed by laws. When this happens, people figure out inventive ways to do what they’ve always done. Think whiskey stills, radar detectors, and, of course, dope. Despite the laws, handguns are freely available in the UK as well as other countries with draconian gun-control laws.

  6. avatar Accur81 says:

    I’d rather be an armed cop in a free country than carry a wooden stick amongst slaves and cowards.

  7. avatar JohnF says:

    I would not copy the British, but two principles he stated make sense to me. IF you are going to disarm the populace, (and I’m not saying anyone should) the police should be disarmed too. Conversely, if cops feel they need to carry guns, then to me that is a clear case that the populace should be able to defend itself also.

    The second point I agree with is that policing should be “by consent” and it’s primary duty should be to serve the public, not the government. But that is disingenuous in the case of Britain. Their police enforce laws for the good of the government as much as they do for public safety.

    I have a ton of respect for our LEOs, except when they enforce unconstitutional and unjust gun and self-defense laws. I do not buy the “it’s my job” defense. That sounds too much like the Nuremberg “I vas only following ordars!” defense. Officers are pledged to “Support and defend the Constitution.” I cannot reconcile that with helping violate 2A.

    1. avatar MarkPA says:

      The problem is somewhat more severe than merely “I was just following orders”. Our modern life is mostly one in which each of us regards ourselves as serving as merely a cog in a great machine; e.g., a clockwork. Take the Shaneen Allen case. The cop arrested her because he was following the law. He didn’t feel he had the discretion to let Shaneen Allen go; that discretion belonged to the DA. The judge was denied any discretion by the legislature; even if he were so inclined, he was forced to follow the letter of the law. It’s very likely that the State assemblymen and senators felt as if they were cogs in the political machinery of their caucuses. Once the majority caucus decided to pass draconian gun laws the back-benchers felt they had no choice but to go along. Only the DA had discretion; but he too is a kind of cog in this machine. Perhaps he had ambitions of appointment as a judge or a DA appointment in a more prestigious county. He may have concluded that it was in his political interest to throw the book at Shaneen (and let Ray Rice off with a slap on the wrist) because that would advance his car rear. Gone is any care whatsoever for intentions, proportionality, reason. We are all just doing our jobs.
      Observe that Governor Christie didn’t “order” the head of the State police to order patrolmen to enforce the gun laws. Nor did he order the DA or judge to do anything in particular. Everyone was very well trained to play his role according to the script he was handed.
      Today’s juror knows nothing whatsoever about civics; the school system has seen to that. Jurors are just cogs in a wheel told by the judge what they can decide. So, this conscious of the people has been neutered.
      We, as voters, created this monster. Read the comments from PotG on the Shaneen Allan case. I’m shocked and appalled at the number of PotG commentators who blame Shaneen for not knowing the law. They might not have believed it just to send her to prison for 3-6 years, but they (I fear) would have followed the judge’s instructions to apply the law as written. As distasteful as it seemed to send her to prison, they might very well have done so because they – and nearly all of us – are so accustomed to playing our roles.
      This situation isn’t going to change until we demand that our legislators change it. And, we won’t do that. Once an elected representative has some seniority we expect him to bring home the bacon to our home district. It’s too big an incentive to keep voting him back each election to build up more seniority so he can bring home more bacon. We are all much too addicted to government bacon.

      1. avatar John Galt says:

        Very well articulated.

        “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

      2. avatar JohnF says:

        The Shaneen Allen case is a perfect example of what I’m talking about. The cop could have said, “Shut up, go that way on that street ’til you get to PA and don’t come back. We never had this conversation.” He knew what he was putting her in for by not doing that and either he agreed with that outcome or he lacked the courage to do the right thing. It is always easy to blame some other part of the system, the legislature, the DA, the governor, the judge. But everyone just wants to pass on the blame. The easiest path to justice at that moment, rested with that cop.

        1. avatar MarkPA says:

          Absolutely! The easiest path would have been with the cop sticking his neck out and doing what seems to dispassionate observers to be the solution. A NJ State patrolman did so with me recently; he ticketed me for one infraction and told me about another but said he would waive it. “The System” gives its cogs a little bit of discretion; but only so much. And, waiving a felony gun charge was far more than the cop (probably) felt he had. So, in the interest of preserving his career, he left the decision up to the DA.
          What motivated the DA to give Ray Rice PTI but deny it to Shaneen, I have no idea. I imagine that each of these decisions was somehow in the best interest of his career. “The System” probably would have punished him severely – or withheld some benefit like the next opportunity for a promotion – if he had let a gun felony slide no matter how meritorious. Unfortunately, the DA was the only party in the chain – until you reach the legislature – where there was any discretion.
          Blaming the cop doesn’t really do any good; he’s the smallest cog in The System. Blaming the DA is worth-while; he is the cog with the responsibility to do justice. But even focusing on the DA doesn’t do much good. Until we punish our legislators for the laws they pass nothing can improve.
          NJ is in the mess it’s in because the mob of voters elect legislators who do their bidding. The US is in the mess its in because the mob of voters elect legislators who do their bidding. Nothing will change until we vote the bastards out.

  8. avatar Hannibal says:

    “In addition, Paddick adds, front-line officers would not be keen to face the agonising, split-second decisions faced by their counterparts in specialist firearms units”

    This is something I’ve seen from the gun control crowd here. Decisions are hard, so we’d prefer decide now not to be able to make them so we don’t have to worry about it.

    Sure, you might end up getting killed but who cares, you’ll be dead. And sure, you may end up just watching while some guy gets his head chopped off while you wait for a response by people who are willing to make a choice, but you can blame that on the policy. It’s just easier.

  9. avatar former water walker says:

    NOTHING about the British makes sense to me. They’re 1 or 2 crises from “V for Vendetta”. I just hope we don’t have to rescue our totalitarian cousins again. ‘Murica 🙂

  10. avatar Ralph says:

    Disarming British cops actually makes them safer, mostly because — in the eyes of the armed criminal — the cops aren’t worth a bullet.

  11. avatar Stuart says:

    after their actions during the Scottish referendum, I wouldn’t trust those bastards at the Biased Broadcasting Corporation to report on the weather.

  12. avatar JuanCudz says:

    The only thing that our crappy gun laws protects is our crappy government. Returning soldiers, bomb throwing anarchists, labour movements, the great depression and social upheaval. It took them 100 years, but the banners are patient. You all have to remember NOT ONE INCH!

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