Greg O’Connor’s latest push to arm cops & 5 reasons not to

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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.

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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?

18 COMMENTS

  1. 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.

    Sad, but very true.

    If anybody questions this they ought to examine any of the collections of police transgressions that, thanks to the internet age, are now readily researchable and no longer kept out of sight of the general public. I provide below a link to one of several to be found on-line.

    Such lists make for depressing reading, no matter what your viewpoint is on the integrity of the NZ police.

    http://laudafinem.com/2014/10/10/new-zealands-most-powerful-political-force-is/

    • When reading such lists serious questions arise:

      Are police recruitment and vetting procedures so lax that a high percentage of unsuitable applicants make it into the force only to later offend whilst under oath of service?

      If recruitment procedures are not lax, and it can be concluded that offending officers are turned bad whilst in the job – is this due to so-called ‘police culture’ or due to something else? If something else, what, if anything, are the police doing to turn it around?

  2. As soon as I heard Greig O’Connor calling for guns (again), I thought of that wrongful tasering case.

    One good thing about the tasers over guns – they have video and the people (mostly) lives to give their side of events.

  3. There are a few other reasons that spring to mind…

    6. With no right to sue, how do New Zealanders get redress for wrongful shootings, injuries, and predictably, killings?

    7. If we arm police, will the Minister for Police resign when the first innocent bystander is shot?

    8. If the Minister of Police does resign over a wrongful killing – will that bring the dead person back to life?

    9. How many innocents deaths will there be before our esteemed Prime Minister is no longer “comfortable” and “relaxed”?

    10. How many NZ police will be killed by their own firearms, as currently happens in the US?

    This is from the FBI website, and makes for interesting (if chilling) reading;

    Weapons

    Of officers killed in 2011, most (63) were killed with firearms. Of these, 50 were killed with handguns. (A breakdown of the types of weapons used in these slayings is provided in Table 27.)
    5 officers had their weapons stolen.
    3 officers were killed with their own weapons.
    10 officers attempted to use their weapons; 17 officers fired their weapons.
    21 officers were slain with firearms when they were 0-5 feet from the offenders.

    (2011 stats)

    http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/leoka/2011/officers-feloniously-killed/officers-feloniously-killed

    If the FBI website tells us anything, carrying handguns does not make police safer. It simply escalates the police/criminal arms-race.

    • lol, what a link.

      “…. “There’s some sort of myth that police are easy on their own. But lawyers will all agree police are harder on their own than they are on the members of the public,” O’Connor said.

      Police have spent more than $1.7m on repairs after these accidents, but O’Connor said the amount was “low”….”

      Sort of myth.

      (that’s O’Connor-speak for the sort of myth based on a large dollop of truth)

      lawyers will all agree

      (there you have it folks, lawyers will all agree!

      So it must be true…

      …and anyway the $600K p/a repair bill is well low)

  4. Police chases are my hobbyhorse. In my area we recently had them chase a stolen car with 2 passengers, one of them a 10 year old child. Of course the car crashed but luckily no-one was injured. Why that child isn’t considered a hostage I don’t know. If she was a hostage held by someone with a lethal weapon (car) they’d have expert negotiators calming the hostage taker. In this case they put on sirens, lights, and caused him (I’m assuming the driver was a him) to make even more dangerous manoevres.
    If my car got stolen I hardly think they’d put much effort into the investigation but they’re willing to risk the lives of the 3 people in the car, their own lives, and innocent drivers for the sake of a stolen car. Really???

  5. Fortunately NZ is relatively free of gun crime. Greg O’Connor seems to be intent on changing this as there is nothing surer than that arming police will bring about an increase in armed criminals.

  6. The coppers will tend to use guns as compliance devices just as they do pepper and taser. Taser in particular was meant to be a final step and substitute for lethal force aka guns in certain violent and difficult situations. Actual lethal force as a ‘last resort’ is used inappropriately often enough without giving a shooter to every blue belly in a Commodore.

    Negotiation skills and community relationship building pursued by the few modern thinkers will soon be discarded and all the problems with an armed force from other countries will soon be here. How many kiwis will die unnecessarily each month of police inflicted “lead poisoning”? The record on car chases resulting in death is bad enough.

    • I completely disagree. The poorly trained police in high pursuits coupled with an infallibility complex is leading to the preventable deaths of NZers every year during Police chases. No other public service could kill that number of NZers every year without serious scrutiny of the policies that are driving those deaths.

      • I have often wondered why police helicopters are not used to pursue those who run from the police, as opposed to chasing them by road, resulting often in death. If it is a question of budget then how do they justify their use to randomly scour the countryside looking for ´pot´ plants.

    • Completely agree.

      These clowns make the decision to run on their own, likely because they’re high and/or stupid. Best they’re taken out of the gene pool as quickly and easily as possible.

  7. If these clowns become armed I think it will be necessary to also become armed. Why now when crime is supposed to be in decline? Do the PTB know something we don´t. Another GFC is being predicted, much worse than the last. Perhaps the shit is about to hit the fan.

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