I was wondering at what point within a 3rd term of National that Police Cheerleader Greg O’Connor would start trying to demand cops be armed.
O’Connor must have thought to himself, ‘if bloody Key can get us and the GCSB vast new spying powers, pass retrospective legislation to cover up any of our cop crimes, lie about mass surveillance, dirty politics and still win a larger majority, then God damn it, we should be able to get guns for cops past the sleepy hobbits”.
And so it has come to pass, O’Connor’s latest brain fart demanding cops get armed.
It’s all ‘blah blah blah’ and is his usual crap. You can look sideways at O’Connor and his response is ‘give cops guns’. Like a brain hungry zombie ordering out at a morgue, any issue with current policing can apparently be solved by handing ill trained alpha males guns.
O’Connor sounds less like a NZ public servant and more like an NRA salesperson.
Let’s just shut this down before it gains any traction shall we?
5 reasons not to arm NZ cops:
1 – NZ cops can’t be trusted: I hate to bring this up in a culture that has an authority worship fetish, but the NZ cops can’t be trusted with them all being armed. Look at this case last week, we had two frontline cops who lied about why they tasered a man, and then had 3 levels of check and balance cops above that – including the Police prosecutor – who knew the evidence was false, but lied and covered up for each other. That was over an illegal tasering, Christ only knows the level of deceit we would start seeing if it was over wrongful shootings.
In short, we don’t have the checks and balances available to us to protect us from these ego bloated alpha males who watch way too many American cop movies.
2 – The cost: Again, what is utterly missed in this debate is the ill trained cops. We would need to embark upon a huge retraining of Police if they are going to be carrying guns all the time. That means fixed shooting gallery time and regular training sessions. Just handing guns out to every cop without the ongoing extra cost of training would be irresponsible in the extreme. How mush ‘safer’ will NZ be for the millions in arming and training the cops with a new toy?
3 – recipe for civilian casualties: NZers are not going to accept cops coming into their homes with guns. You can almost see it in your minds eye, a domestic incident, Police turn up, with guns on their hips, people see the guns, start yelling at the Police to leave their property with a gun, one person advances on the other, guns get drawn, a mix of obstinance and anger results in a shooting. We are not a people who will tolerate big swinging dick cops coming into our personal spaces armed. The guns will become an immediate source of tension, and that tension will get played out time and time and time again.
4 – the militarisation of the police: We can vividly see in America what happens when the police force gets militarised. If the TPP gets signed, expect a flood of US services wanting to make their presence felt, including those who arm cops up to the teeth. Once we start down the ‘arm all police’ road, it never stops.
5 – 100 years of Police philosophy: We have a containment philosophy for NZ policing and we’ve had it for about a century. If a person poses the public or Police a threat with a weapon, the Police contain the situation until specialist trained teams turn up and resolve that conflict. That philosophy is far better in a civil democratic modern state than a pumped up cop force playing soldier boy with all guns blazing.
Allowing every ill trained front line pleb to carry a gun within a work culture that covers up for one another is the single last thing NZ Policing needs. If O’Connor gets his way, it will result in more shootings with NZers becoming the target. Police already kill so many civilians in this country via their ill trained and dangerous high speed chase protocols, do we really want to arm them on top of that?
Don’t the Police kill enough of us annually as it is?