I have been reading the papers, and various news websites, most of which have included letters from the public. I think I shall add my tuppence worth here.
There are a few schools of thought - Arm the police. Keep the status quo. Ban all guns. Bring back the death penalty for those who kill police officers.
Here are a few thoughts on each:
- Death Penalty. Don't be daft. We'll tie ourselves in knots if we get into that one again. Let sleeping dogs lie.
- Ban all guns. Haven't we done that already? Oh, no - we've stopped law abiding citizens from keeping licenced firearms, and enjoying recreational shooting with pistols because they couldn't be bothered to apply the existing laws. Yes, that's a Labour Government we have to thank for that. The populus cannot carry firearms, and so are relying on the Police to protect them, which brings us nicely into...
- Maintain the status quo - well, that clearly hasn't worked in this case... It does seem to work in most cases though. I have to admit, I am still pretty comfortable with this option. Trouble is... what happens if another situation like this occurs... We'll rely on the local police officer saying "Stop! Or I'll have to ask you to stop again!" once again, and when something like this happens again, we will be back here, asking the same questions. I have got news for you people: criminals have firearms, and are not afraid to use them!
- Arm all of the police officers... People seem to have a fear of firearms, rather than a fear of the people (of the criminal persuasion) who have firearms. People seem to have been watching too many films, westerns and perhaps Police Academy, and seem to think that an armed police force will bring about the end of civilisation. Apparently some citizens in Edinburgh felt intimidated simply by the increased Police presence during the G8. Why? Feeling guilty, perhaps? I have worked in the US (Texas) and shared office buildings with SWAT, Vice and Gang units - sharing elevators with armed officers on a daily basis. Did I feel intimidated? No. They were there to protect me. Same with armed officers here. Edinburgh does have a few dotted around. They are here for my protection. Why should them carrying a firearm make me feel any different?
So today, I am not so much angry, as sad.