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The Winnipeg police have been busy defending the Long Gun Registry—against the wishes of both retired cops and Canadian gun owners. Both of whom see the Registry as intrusive, ineffective, onerous and expensive. Even as the po-po say no-no to efforts to make the Long Gun registry go-go, they’ve cleared their officers to conceal carry their weapons to and from work whilst dressed in whatever police consider to be “civilian” clothes. Previously on “Who Wants to Carry a Gun?”, no uniform, no weapon. Why the change? “Police Service officers have been given the right to wear civilian clothing as they carry guns while travelling to and from work because threats against them have been escalating,” the head of the police union told the Winnipeg Free Press. What threats?

Mike Sutherland, Winnipeg Police Association president, said officers were being threatened by people who spied on them or threatened them, especially around the Public Safety Building.

“We deal with people who have a tendency towards dangerous and violent behaviours and they’re not always kindly disposed to police officers,” he said.

Police officers have had themselves and their vehicles photographed, said sources.

“It’s increased in intensity in terms of serious incidents.”

“(They’ve) made threats, gotten into encounters. There have been scenarios where people have been surveilling our members, have been armed with weapons with the full intention of conducting some type of criminal act against them.”

“There have been instances where officers have been either confronted or approached, or there’s been vehicle damage and so forth,” he said.

Does that sound like unquantified (i.e. anecdotal) evidence to you? I’ve got nothing against off-duty police carrying weapons. Nothing. But this stinks of cod exceptionalism. In other words, the police are trying to say that their off-duty officers need to conceal carry guns to deal with dangerous situations, but non-police don’t. Because . . . they’re not police.

But this is just to and from work, right? For now . . . Meanwhile, a law-abiding Winnipegian who wants to carry a piece can go sing.

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