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Forums > Social Discussion > Police and Lethal Weaponry

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Sethis
BRONZE Member since Mar 2017

Sethis

Pooh-Bah
Location: York University

Total posts: 1762
Posted:I was wondering why police ever carry lethal weaponry around. I know it's much more common in the states than it is here in the UK, and I was musing about it.

Out of curiosity, what situation do they actually think will happen where they will be required to use lethal force? Say someone is mugging someone with a gun (the mugger has the gun, rather than the other way round wink), and the police intervene. Are they going to shoot the guy? Why wouldn't tasers stop him? Hell, tasers would work in just about every situation I can think of, and rubber bullets would work in most of the rest.

I know I feel very intimidated by police carrying either pistols or automatic rifles... It would be so easy to accidently kill someone. Why take the risk? And if we've outlawed capital punishment, then surely there is no ethical justification for killing crimminals at the scene of the crime, with no trial?

The police always seem to me to be members of the community, helping to solve problems and look after residents to the best of their ability. As soon as they pick up asault rifles though, then they become these impassive killing machines that you're afraid to go near or look at. That isn't a helpful transformation to make, in my opinion.

Any opinions?


After much consideration, I find that the view is worth the asphyxiation.
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jeff(fake)


jeff(fake)

Scientist of Fortune
Location: Edinburgh

Total posts: 1189
Posted:I think it's mostly done to 'reassure the public'. Personally I've known a few coppers in my day and whilst many of them were perfectly nice people the though of some of them packing an automatic weapon sends a shiver down my spine.

I think it's irrational to try and seek saftey this way. The last thing I want to see in the high streets is a fire fight.


According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Dynamics, we may already be making love right now...

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Sethis
BRONZE Member since Mar 2017

Sethis

Pooh-Bah
Location: York University

Total posts: 1762
Posted:See, that's just it. I'm not reassured, I'm bloody frightened. Even more so when I read about things like that brazilian guy getting 11 shots into his head and body. I'd be more reassured if they were wearing pink clothing! (on second thoughts, maybe not wink)

After much consideration, I find that the view is worth the asphyxiation.
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TheBovrilMonkey
SILVER Member since Sep 2001

TheBovrilMonkey

Liquid Cow
Location: High Wycombe, England

Total posts: 2629
Posted:Tasers are all well and good, but they've got a limited range.

Also, if the first shot misses, or there's more than one person to be taken down, they take a lot longer to reload for the second shot than an automatic weapon.

Unfortunately, until an alternative is created that performs as well as a firearm, the police'll keep using them.


But there's no sense crying over every mistake. You just keep on trying till you run out of cake.

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Sethis
BRONZE Member since Mar 2017

Sethis

Pooh-Bah
Location: York University

Total posts: 1762
Posted:Well, that was why I made reference to rubber bullets... don't they work just as well except with less blood splatter?

After much consideration, I find that the view is worth the asphyxiation.
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I may disagree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

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TheBovrilMonkey
SILVER Member since Sep 2001

TheBovrilMonkey

Liquid Cow
Location: High Wycombe, England

Total posts: 2629
Posted:They're a bit less acurate and still capable of killing people. Admitedly, there's still much more chance of being killed when shot with a metal bullet though.

But there's no sense crying over every mistake. You just keep on trying till you run out of cake.

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Lurch
BRONZE Member since Nov 2003

Lurch

old hand
Location: Oregon

Total posts: 929
Posted:Actually Bovril most tasers have two shots before you have to reload. That said multiple targets is a serious drawback to them.

Tasers will NOT always drop someone, and rubber bullets most definatly do not stop people if they are at all determined. There is no reason *not* to carry.

Sorry but 'because it scares you' doesn't justify disarming police officers IMHO. They are working with the worst 10% of society 90% of the time. They must assume that everyone is out to get them until proven otherwise, and going home at the end of the day is their #1 priority.

Whenever I hear someone say something like "it would be so easy to kill someone on accident," it tells me there is a very strong likelyhood that (no offence) they have very little to no experience with firearms, and in general have no idea what they're talking about. In general police are very well trained, and they don't draw their sidearm for any ol' reason. There is a use of force scale, and it takes quite a bit to push them up to lethal weaponry. Most police carry some sort of asp, most likely pepper spray and/or a taser.

If you're afraid of their guns its because you don't know about them, not because they are evil killing machines.


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Patriarch917
SILVER Member since Oct 2005

Patriarch917

I make my own people.
Location: Nashville, Tennessee

Total posts: 607
Posted:The whole concept is being able to escalate the level of force as needed. You start with a verbal warning, grappling, pepper spray, baton, taser, small arms fire. Police should be able to match the level of force presented by the criminals.

That being said, the main point of a gun is not using it, it's the ability to use it. If a policeman tells a suspect to drop his weapon and surrender, the suspect is far more likely to comply if he knows the police actually have guns.

The threat of lethal force is a very useful tool that should not be denied to police officers. Some (such as the writers of the American constitution), think that the general population should also not be denied that right as well.

Locally, the big debate is over whether police should be allowed to carry tasers. The argument is that tasers are dangerous, and potentially lethal, but that police are far more likely to use them than they are a gun.


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FireTom


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Total posts: 6650
Posted:I would agree upon disarming the LAPD... anytime! With the NYPD I am likely to fall in the same direction... wink



Sethis: I am with you on this one - ideologically... Practically I just would say impossible as long as criminals have guns... If I project myself into a cop... nope I wouldn't go out into the streets of Inglewood or Harlem, without carrying a firearm...



I would want to say that a) psychological tests have to be VERY accurate and strict upon hiring an officer into service as well as b) ongoing psychological training, review and supervision is needed.



There are infinate lists of cases where innocent have been shot and adused by cops who turn out to be as criminal as the suspects they pursue... Remember Rodney King?



You don't need guns to legally kill someone... a few batons and a uniform mixed with a faulty jurisdiction are just about right...

EDITED_BY: FireTom (1140424585)


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Lurch
BRONZE Member since Nov 2003

Lurch

old hand
Location: Oregon

Total posts: 929
Posted:What is with all the hate towards police?

There is absoluetly nothing wrong with firearms in modern society. In fact I'm willing to guess if you're in the states there are a whole lot more armed people than you would imagine walking around. *legally* armed is the key. An armed society is a polite society.

I have a problem with people citing all these stories about police brutality and "accidental shootings." A little bit of common sense and respect would have solved 99% of those issues. If you run from the cops, or try and fight the cops, don't whine to me when they tackle you a little too hard. The world is a scary place, and most people never have to see the dark half of it, but believe me it is there.

You guys need to understand something that most people don't get. In the states at least, the police have NO legal duty to protect you. They have no responsibility to get into a gunfight, show up to break up a gang/bar fight, stop the home invasion robbery going on in your house, or chase down the punk that just pushed your grandma over and stole her purse. THAT is not their job, that is something they do above and beyond their job. If you expect them to put their lives on the line for you, the least you can do is allow them the tools to protect themselves, and protect you.

Sometimes firearms are the only way to get something done. A simple windshield of a car just defeated your tazer and your rubber bullets.


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ducky2108


ducky2108

A little bit of a board whore
Location: Glasgow

Total posts: 147
Posted:Written by: Lurch

An armed society is a polite society.




Now there's a worrying sentiment if ever I've read one.


Ancient wiseman say "It is very strange person, who, when left alone in room with teacosy, does not try it on"

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Lurch
BRONZE Member since Nov 2003

Lurch

old hand
Location: Oregon

Total posts: 929
Posted:As a side note, since you brought up Rodney King...

Most people have only seen a couple seconds of that video, and they don't know the whole story..

They don't know about the 100mph car chase, endangering the passangers in his car, the police, and the bystanders on the street. They don't see the near car accidents, they don't see him fighting with the police, and shrugging off a stun gun. They don't see the two passangers who surrendered immediatly and were magically not struck by police. And they don't see the police stop hitting him as soon as he stopped resisting.

I'm not justifying it, it might have been excessive, I wasn't there though, and I won't judge them without all the facts. By default I have to side with the officers though.


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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:umm Lurch: You seem to live in a different world than me... Disney wonderland or the usual US american black and white movie... confused



Please don't take it personal, but this is a bit state obedient for my taste! Besides: who pays the police?



Next: Rodney King - what happened here?

Some wild and absurd statistics

Doubtful (Amnesty international) Organisations trying to put the blame on poor cops

Beyond US soil



Taken from: http://faculty.ncwc.edu/toconnor/111/111lect06.htm</font><hr</font><hr
br>


Written by:
Nothing defines the central role of police in society better than its monopoly over the unquestionable use of force. Aggressiveness, toughness, relentlessness, and (one might say) a cult of violence all tend to permeate the adrenaline-soaked nature of police work. A couple of horrific examples where the monopoly on force was abused would include the Abner Louima case in 1997, where the aggressive tactics of New York City's Street Crimes Unit (SCU) involved rectal damage on a suspect with a toilet plunger. Over a two year period, the SCU unit processed 45,000 people with their get-tough methods. Another example would be the Amadou Diallo case in 1999, where an immigrant who fit the profile of a serial rapist was shot 41 times after reaching for his wallet. Extreme examples such as this are called illegal use of force, where criminal and civil liability issues arise.



About two million people a year are subjected to police force if we include handcuffing along with physical touching and verbal threats. Weaponless tactics are the most common use of force, and it occurs most frequently when alcohol, drugs, or mental illness is involved on behalf of the suspect. A small percentage of officers appear to be over-represented among the more extreme incidents of force. It makes sense to refer to excessive force as what some individual officers do and excessive use of force as what is practiced on a department-wide basis.



In an average year, 600 suspects are shot and killed by police, while another 1,200 are shot and wounded, and 1,800 are shot at and missed. Black property offenders are twice as likely as any other group to be shot at by police, and another interesting statistic is the growing percentage of cases (over 10%) that involve suicide by cop, where a note is usually found saying "Sorry to get you involved. I just needed to die."





To repeat it: Another example would be the Amadou Diallo case in 1999, where an immigrant who fit the profile of a serial rapist was shot 41 times after reaching for his wallet.



41 times!!!!! To spell it out for you: fourty-one bullets from 4 officers! We're talking about guns, not MP's or assault rifles! You have to pull the trigger each and every time you shoot! This is 4 officers emptying their magazines into the body of a SINGLE man... at a time where he was already on the ground...



mad2



breathe, Tom, breathe meditate



Please don't get me wrong: I regard cops as humans! Not as devils.... but they do carry a certain power that certainly holds a responsibility and they have to live up to it! It's not about fault and guilt - it's about proper subpervision!

EDITED_BY: FireTom (1140429906)


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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:Rodney King

Besides the uproar was NOT about the cops doing what they did, but about the court releasing the cops without charges! (I was in LA at the time of the riots)

And this is ONE case that has in fact been video taped (please read the exact timeline) HOW MANY incidents happened without anyone taping them...???


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Birgit
BRONZE Member since Jan 2005

Birgit

had her carpal tunnel surgery already thanks v much
Location: Edinburgh

Total posts: 4145
Posted:Since one of my best friends is a policeman, and I've heard of some of the situations they've been in, I agree for him to carry a weapon. He's had proper training and is a responsible person. As long as those factors are seen to (I know you'll never get 100% perfection...) I can't see why not.

There's enough cases where apparently harmless situations like controlling someone's driving licence or being called to an argument in a flat have turned nasty. Police do risk their lives to protect us, yet in some countries they have to pay for their own bullet-proof vests.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not for "an eye for an eye" or death penalty, but if someone threatened me with a gun or kidnapped me, I'd like some snipers there, and I probably wouldn't mind if someone got hurt before I did. And if police get threatened for doing their job they should have the right to defend themselves.

For justification of my arguments, I'm with patriarch.


"vices are like genitals - most are ugly to behold, and yet we find that our own are dear to us."
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Lurch
BRONZE Member since Nov 2003

Lurch

old hand
Location: Oregon

Total posts: 929
Posted:Woah woah woah guys. I'm not saying that abuse doesn't or hasn't ever happened. But things are much better now than they were in the 70's. You can't just take someone out back and beat them for being a punk.

I know what the riots were about, the whole rodney king incidents stinks though, and has been skewed by the public and the media. If king had gotten out of his car, and layed on the ground he never would have been struck. COMMON SENSE. If you fight the cops, you will lose. Hands down, no questions asked.

You can site all the "incidents" you want, but there are other sides to each one of those. If you make sudden movements while cops have a gun aimed at you, or make any aggressive move, chances are the outcome isn't going to be a fun one. Same thing, common sense. If the person you're trying to talk to fits the description for a serial rapist, and they try and run from you, and then reach into their coat and pull something which causes your partner to scream GUN, you damn well better be sure they're going to shoot you. These are not cases of police brutality, they are cases of civilian stupidity, why doesn't anyone have any personal responsibility anymore?

Acting like a jerk is not going to calm the officer any, it's going to put them on edge. If you reach for something, and you have a weapon, or they think you have a weapon, they are going to seperate you from that weapon as quickly as possible. I have no problem with this, I don't know why you guys do.

If you really think your local police are "out to get you" maybe you should move. All the cops I know, and all the shriffs that I work with are awesome guys. I know there are the odd ones of the bunch with authority issues, but thats almost impossible to weed out completely, and it will happen no matter what.

We've gone through some of this in the racial profiling thread..

I hear the 'why do you need own a gun' arguments all the time, and the 'but you'll hurt yourself,' or 'you might accidently kill someone' comments. But those are mostly from people (like I said before) who have little to no experience with guns. If you have propper training, and discipline, than they are safe, and weapons in the hands of civilians, let alone LEO's have stopped more crimes than you would probably imagine, most times without any shots being fired.


If you want a couple more "scary" catchphrases for you.. tongue

I'd rather have a gun in my hand than the police on the phone.
or
I'd rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6.


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Dom
BRONZE Member since Dec 2001

Dom

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Bristol, UK

Total posts: 3009
Posted:Written by: Sethis

I know I feel very intimidated by police carrying either pistols or automatic rifles...

As soon as they pick up asault rifles though, then they become these impassive killing machines that you're afraid to go near or look at.




I notice that these are rather paranoid perceptions that are influencing your opinions. For a start I argue that giving someone a weapon does not make them "impassive killing machines".

In the UK only a fraction of police officers can carry firearms and they're subject to exactly the same laws as we all are and placed under far greater scrunity. And fire arms are not normally produced in an every day encounter with police except in certain areas like central London. So the chances of people being accidentally killed are slim, although I admit it does happen in some chilling circumstances. On the other hand police do get shot at and are faced with agressive people intent on killing them with knives and guns. Both have happened recently within walking distance of my last flat and in crowded public places. What's a better solution than giving the police the ability to call up the ultimate backup?

Tasers don't work so well, rubber bullets are flawed and deadly. If somebody is waving a gun in your direction and you feel they're likely to shoot would you rather try a weapon with a mid level probablity of disabling the threat or one with a high probability? This is why the police carry guns and why when they're used they're used to kill people, not politely disarm them so they can go through the legal system. When you use a weapon to threaten violence against the public and/or the police you've forfited the right to your own safety.

So, in the imperfect world we live in, I think the UK's polices current fire arm policies are a realistic answer to a serious problem.


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ducky2108


ducky2108

A little bit of a board whore
Location: Glasgow

Total posts: 147
Posted:I'm sorry, but those aren't scary phrases. They're just propaganda.

As for reaching for something, what would have been the effect of shooting someone in the shoulder with one bullet on their capability to hold a firearm. I think it'd probably slow them down somewhat. This could be seen as the minimum force needed to incapaitate someone. It's like if they're running away. Do you a) shoot them in the leg, b) shot them in the leg and shoulder, c)shoot them in the torso (bigger area) to hit, so easier.

However, some may still question why it is necesarry to put 41 bullets in someone to incapacitate someone. That is technically known as killing someone.

In answer to another point, does "civillian stupidity" (which, when you've got a gun pointed at you-no matter by who- could also invovle fear and irrationality) automatically mean that you should be shot.

Sadly, it seems that America has a gun culture which will never go away. Whether this is right or wrong is another debate entirely, but I feel that the reason Brits are wary of gun-carrying police is that they are a rarity. Just because we don't have any experience of handling firearms, it doesn't mean that we don't know the damage they can do.


Ancient wiseman say "It is very strange person, who, when left alone in room with teacosy, does not try it on"

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nearly_all_gone
SILVER Member since Aug 2004

nearly_all_gone

Pooh-Bah
Location: Southampton

Total posts: 1626
Posted:Written by: Lurch


There is absoluetly nothing wrong with firearms in modern society. In fact I'm willing to guess if you're in the states there are a whole lot more armed people than you would imagine walking around. *legally* armed is the key. An armed society is a polite society.





No offence, but, not coming from the US, statements like that look ridiculous to me. American gun culture has escalated to such a level that a lot of people wouldn't want to visit the country for holidays etc. The ready availability of lethal, powerful weapons means that, regardless of gun control, the majority of violent/aggressive people who don't happen to have a criminal record will be able to buy a gun when they reach a certain age.



Other cultures make gun ownership legal. I don't know if you watched Bowling For Columbine, just to cite a popular example. I heard a lot of people in the US deemed it "too preachy", but in the UK it was a massive hit because it fits (and expresses very eloquently) arguments and concerns many of us have about American culture.

Written by: FireTom


To repeat it: Another example would be the Amadou Diallo case in 1999, where an immigrant who fit the profile of a serial rapist was shot 41 times after reaching for his wallet.



41 times!!!!! To spell it out for you: fourty-one bullets from 4 officers! We're talking about guns, not MP's or assault rifles!



It's things like that which make us come to this conclusion. Did you know that the NYPD threatened to boycott Bruce Springsteen because of the song he wrote about this - 41 shots (American Skin):

Written by:
The song has quickly won the ire of New York's police chief, its mayor and the head of the state chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police, who publicly labeled Springsteen a "[censored] dirtbag." The Patrolmen's Benevolent Association has called for a boycott of Springsteen albums and concerts.



From HERE



All he did was write a song about the victim of a unlawful killing. The one section which was outright criticising the police goes:

Written by:


Lena gets her son ready for school

She says "on these streets, Charles

You've got to understand the rules

If an officer stops you

Promise you'll always be polite,

that you'll never ever run away

Promise Mama you'll keep your hands in sight"





The violence and strength which he was met with for exercising his "God-given" and constitutional right to free speech is shocking, when he's only singing about something which appeared in all the papers and on every TV news, but that's a bit OT.



All I'm saying is that American culture glosses over, and is in fact pathologically opposed to acknowledging, the fact that it has the highest rate of gun crime in the world, as well as some of the most readily available guns (through its combination of a huge consumer culture, paranoia and glamourising violence in its entertainment industries). It's not hard to see that less guns would mean less gun crime, and perhaps tougher controls on gun ownership would be a step towards this.



Y'know, that, and taking guns out of supermarkets ubbidea shrug



Anyway, armed police... necessary in cultures where guns are readily available. Like I said, it's escalation. You need to be able to combat those who turn certain weapons against you, and the only effective way to combat someone with a gun is to point one back at them. But that's for the POLICE, who are highly trained and practised, as well as belonging to a community which (by and large) is responsible in its use of firepower, and (supposedly) psychologically monitored for their suitablility to bear arms. Regardless of this, you're always going to get some psycho pulling the trigger in a uniform, that's unfortunately just an unavoidable aspect of human nature which no amount of psychological evaluation can stop.



What I am opposed to, however, is things like the Bruce Sprinsteen example where the police feel they have a right not to acknowledge (and learn from) the mistakes which every group of people makes. The fact is, if you have to give a group of people the amount of power they need to effectively combat the power criminals have access to, they will eventually make mistakes. The best answer is to make it more difficult for the criminals to access that sort of power, so the police can downgrade their response to it as well.



Easier said than done, but like I said, if you're talking about the US there are a few steps I can think of that would help!


What a wonderful miracle if only we could look through each other's eyes for an instant.
Thoreau

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newgabe
SILVER Member since Mar 2005

newgabe

what goes around comes around. unless you're into stalls.
Location: Bali

Total posts: 4030
Posted:I have lived in the UK, the US and Australia.
I found the gun carrying culture of the USA deeply scary, especially when coupled with the 'entertainment' industry where 'law'=guns=shootemup=resolution. Even the children had access to guns in the family I stayed with. One day a shop I was in was suddenly being held up by a gunman. I have never felt relaxed there...knowing that anyone around me could just pop one out and play bullet games. But that is to do with general gun culture.. back to the police...

I lived in some dodgy parts of London and felt in general safe...guns were very rare, the police were amazing.. fast responding, courteous and reasonable. Highly effective, and mostly unarmed. In Australia the cops carry guns...even wandering around a festival where the most dangerous thing that would happen is a fairy might drop her icecream. I feel unsafe every time I am around the cops here. You are right Lurch, I am unused to guns, and I hope it stays that way all my life, and my childrens.


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Sethis
BRONZE Member since Mar 2017

Sethis

Pooh-Bah
Location: York University

Total posts: 1762
Posted:Written by: Dom

I notice that these are rather paranoid perceptions that are influencing your opinions.



I'm afraid you might have mis-interpreted what I was trying to say. I wasn't saying that they become killing machines as soon as they pick up a gun, but rather that I become a lot more alienated from them. When I see an officer on patrol with a baton, then I feel alright walking up to them to ask about parking restrictions. I don't feel alright walking up to the same officer when they are carrying an assault rifle.

Lurch: You seem to be mostly of the opinion that: "If you censored with the police, then don't be suprised to get your ass capped." My issue with this is that 1. Police make mistakes just like everyone else. When they have batons, this is police brutality. When they have guns, this is murder. 2. What is the ethical justification for shooting someone? I'll show you:

Possession of a knife, and assault: Max 6 years.
Threatening a police officer with a weapon: Maybe 8 years.
Theft: Depends on the type, but not normally exceeding 5 years.
Drug dealing: Depends on the drugs, and America is much harsher on this than the UK. In the UK then maybe 12 years for Grade A (and lots of it).
Murder: 25 years in jail. ("Life" does not mean life any more)

None of the above crimes are punishable by execution in the UK. Why then is it alright to shoot someone who is commiting said crimes? How can you say it's alright to kill someone who is comitting a crime that would normally get them 6 years in prison? Is that justice?

With all respect Lurch, I do know a little about fire arms. I know that the vast majority of armed american civilians have little training in their use, and commonly keep them in their bedside drawer. I think the last statistics I saw was that you were 18 times more likely to cause the death of a member of your family than you were to shoot an intruder.

Another issue (don't know what it's like in the US) is the attitude of officers armed with "above average" weaponry. The Independent did a bit of interviewing and found out that police officers trained to use assault rifles were more prone to posing and bragging than they were to treat their weapons seriously. An ex-SAS officer had a look round the place (at the newspapers request), and the most common question was "Hey, what's it like to shoot someone?" accompanied with comments along the lines of "Wow, that must have been cool".

ALSO I don't know how much you know about the incident I referred to in my first post.

Jean Charles Menezes lived in a flat that was under surveillance. He was followed by officers that had been watching the flat.

Original Police Version: He was wearing a bulky jacket and carrying a backpack. He jumped the barriers to the tube and ran towards a train. Police officers ordered him to halt, but he did not comply. He reached the train, where he was shot dead.

Leaked documents (confirmed by CCTV and eyewitness accounts) Version: He was wearing a light denim jacket. He did not jump the turnstile, he used a travel pass to go through normally. He picked up a free copy of a newspaper. He only started running when his train pulled up to the platform. He sat down on the train. He was shot 8 times. 7 times in the head, once in the shoulder, and the other three bullets missed. A plain clothes police officer had just emptied the clip of his handgun into Menezes' head. The officers did not shout a warning, or tell him to stop.

The public enquiry continues.

This man could NOT have been carrying a bomb. He did NOT commit any criminal acts. He did NOT refuse an order from the police. He WAS shot 7 times in the head.

Written by: Lurch

An armed society is a polite society.




No, an armed society is the one with the proportionally highest murder percentages in the western world.

Written by: Lurch

A simple windshield of a car just defeated your tazer and your rubber bullets.



And the problem with chasing/taking the numberplates of the car is...?

Written by: FireTom

This is 4 officers emptying their magazines into the body of a SINGLE man



Not quite, if we assume that they were carrying standard issue 9mm pistols with 11 shot magazines, then 3 of the officers had one bullet left in their pistols. Or maybe it was one officer with 3 bullets left. Whatever. wink rolleyes

And I agree with kevlarsoul about the escalation issue.

Surely people could design a better system of alternate weaponry...?


After much consideration, I find that the view is worth the asphyxiation.
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newgabe
SILVER Member since Mar 2005

newgabe

what goes around comes around. unless you're into stalls.
Location: Bali

Total posts: 4030
Posted:Well written Sethis smile



There is indeed a skin of politness in the 'Ma'am, sir' approach to communication.

But overall, an armed society is a polite society?

As in, eg Somalia, Aghanistan, Florida? m*f*kin no way!

*drags self back from general armed populace discussion*



And there isn;t much more I can add to the armed police discussion that hasn;t been said, so]..

good night to you all...











hug


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TheBovrilMonkey
SILVER Member since Sep 2001

TheBovrilMonkey

Liquid Cow
Location: High Wycombe, England

Total posts: 2629
Posted:Written by: ducky2108


As for reaching for something, what would have been the effect of shooting someone in the shoulder with one bullet on their capability to hold a firearm. I think it'd probably slow them down somewhat. This could be seen as the minimum force needed to incapaitate someone. It's like if they're running away. Do you a) shoot them in the leg, b) shot them in the leg and shoulder, c)shoot them in the torso (bigger area) to hit, so easier.







You already mentioned why police aren't trained to shoot people in the shoulder - the torso is an easier target. They're trained to shoot to stop people shooting back. If they go for a shoulder shot and miss, then they're probably going to get shot at.

Also, being shot in the shoulder doesn't automatically make you drop what you're holding.



Written by:


However, some may still question why it is necesarry to put 41 bullets in someone to incapacitate someone. That is technically known as killing someone.





I think that it's a little misleading to ask why 41 bullets was needed - each policeman had to choose to fire by himself, without looking to see what the others were doing. A hesitation could have meant being shot, so they make up their own mind.

As an answer to why they each shot 10 times, it's not unheard of for people to be shot 5 or 6 times and still be able to shoot back.



If the police are pointing their guns at someone, then they think he's armed. If he then suddenly goes to pull something from a pocket, how do they know if it's going to be his wallet or a pistol? Waiting until it's pulled out and being waved at them's too late to make the call - they could be dead before have a chance to stop him firing.


But there's no sense crying over every mistake. You just keep on trying till you run out of cake.

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onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield

Total posts: 3252
Posted:Written by: Sethis



Jean Charles Menezes lived in a flat that was under surveillance. He was followed by officers that had been watching the flat.

Original Police Version: He was wearing a bulky jacket and carrying a backpack. He jumped the barriers to the tube and ran towards a train. Police officers ordered him to halt, but he did not comply. He reached the train, where he was shot dead.

Leaked documents (confirmed by CCTV and eyewitness accounts) Version: He was wearing a light denim jacket. He did not jump the turnstile, he used a travel pass to go through normally. He picked up a free copy of a newspaper. He only started running when his train pulled up to the platform. He sat down on the train. He was shot 8 times. 7 times in the head, once in the shoulder, and the other three bullets missed. A plain clothes police officer had just emptied the clip of his handgun into Menezes' head. The officers did not shout a warning, or tell him to stop.

The public enquiry continues.

This man could NOT have been carrying a bomb. He did NOT commit any criminal acts. He did NOT refuse an order from the police. He WAS shot 7 times in the head.




This incident was the nail in the coffinn for me when it comes to the wisdom of police being routinely armed.

I accept that police not being armed will result in cases where officers are shot- this is unavoidable.

However, I believe that, on the big picture less officers will be shot if the UK does not routinely arm its police.

And there is no doubt whatsoever, that less members of the public will be hurt.

To many in the UK, the USA's bizarre atitude to guns is sick.

My vote is no guns for UK police (except for specialist, well-trained firearm units whose task is to deal with reported firearms incidents).


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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spiralx


spiralx

veteran
Location: London, UK

Total posts: 1376
Posted:"An armed society is a polite society"

Of course the trouble is that in the US, something like 75% of all deaths from firearms occur in the home, from accidents (often involving children) or family members killing each other. When you've got a gun to hand a moment's anger can turn fatal, and this happens with depressing regularity in the US.


"Moo," said the happy cow.

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jeff(fake)


jeff(fake)

Scientist of Fortune
Location: Edinburgh

Total posts: 1189
Posted:Written by: TheBovrilMonkey
If the police are pointing their guns at someone, then they think he's armed. If he then suddenly goes to pull something from a pocket, how do they know if it's going to be his wallet or a pistol? Waiting until it's pulled out and being waved at them's too late to make the call - they could be dead before have a chance to stop him firing.



The police should err on the side of civilian safety when it is a choice between civilian safety and their own saftey. As an officer it is their duty to acept risk in order to protect the population.


According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Dynamics, we may already be making love right now...

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nearly_all_gone
SILVER Member since Aug 2004

nearly_all_gone

Pooh-Bah
Location: Southampton

Total posts: 1626
Posted:Written by: TheBovrilMonkey


I think that it's a little misleading to ask why 41 bullets was needed - each policeman had to choose to fire by himself, without looking to see what the others were doing. A hesitation could have meant being shot, so they make up their own mind.

As an answer to why they each shot 10 times, it's not unheard of for people to be shot 5 or 6 times and still be able to shoot back.



If the police are pointing their guns at someone, then they think he's armed. If he then suddenly goes to pull something from a pocket, how do they know if it's going to be his wallet or a pistol? Waiting until it's pulled out and being waved at them's too late to make the call - they could be dead before have a chance to stop him firing.



I don't think it's misleading, to be honest. I think that 41 bullets,and a single POTENTIAL assailant, to a trained group of four New York city policemen, is excessive in any situation. I think that the fact he was in clear view, with no weapon revealed and no evidence of having been carrying one or owning one is damn good evidence of the trigger-happiness of this particular group of cops.



If you see 4 bullets go into someone, you can probably stop shooting. 2 shots each is excessive. But 10 each? That's sick, and it's murder. Like you say, 5 or 6 is occasionally needed. But they were surely aware that others around them were firing. And the fact is, even if they panicked, they are supposed to be collected enough to uphold the law, not to totally tear people to shreds for putting their hand in their pocket.



I can understand why the police are often in a mindset to assume the worst, but the fact of the matter is that one person without a visible weapon in full view does not present the sort of threat to 4 armed, trained police officers that 41 bullets is a response to. Everyone makes mistakes, they made a massive one, but the fact remains that the people who a society had placed in control of its response to criminals commited an act of AT LEAST manslaughter through their lack of presence of mind.



If this was an isolated incident, as well, I'd be inclined to let it go. But every month (it seems) there is some mistake on the part of the police which results in someone innocent dying from gunshots. Perhaps they should understand that armed men chasing and shouting at you is perhaps not the most condusive situation to comprehension and a calm, slow response on the part of the person with the gun aimed at their head.


What a wonderful miracle if only we could look through each other's eyes for an instant.
Thoreau

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TheBovrilMonkey
SILVER Member since Sep 2001

TheBovrilMonkey

Liquid Cow
Location: High Wycombe, England

Total posts: 2629
Posted:I've just read the linked article on Amadou Diallo.

He fit the description of a serial rapist.
He ran away when the police shouted at him to stop and show his hands.
He reached for something in his pocket while knowing full well that the police were there.

I'm not saying that those details make everything ok, but they go a long way to explaining why the police opened fire.

Also, he was only hit by 19 bullets. As I mentioned before, the police are trained to keep firing until the threat is removed. As far as we know, he could have still been standing after being hit 18 times. Unlikely perhaps, but not impossible.

I'm fairly worried about the officers' accuracy though - 41 shots fired and 19 hits doesn't bode well for anyone standing nearby.


But there's no sense crying over every mistake. You just keep on trying till you run out of cake.

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Gnarly Cranium
SILVER Member since Feb 2005

Gnarly Cranium

member
Location: San Francisco

Total posts: 186
Posted:Written by: Lurch

An armed society is a polite society.



...Have you BEEN to the US? Do we seem THAT polite to you??

Yeah, we're SO polite that thousands of people every year actually get shot. What, are they saying 'please' and 'thank you' while this goes on? Yeah, that's manners alright.




I made a pretty detailed post about this stuff in the thread about the woman police officer in the UK who got shot:
Written by: Gnarly Cranium

I guess our mentality is some kind of holdover from the Wild West? Hell if I know. It's always been like this, we're used to it. And I guess if pretty much the entire populace is armed, people figure the police should be even with them? It's not a logic that makes a ton of sense to me. I mean what is this, some kind of police vs civilians Cold War mentality?

I personally find it deeply disturbing. Say I have a taillight on my car out, like a couple weeks ago. I get pulled over. The cop comes up to me to ask for my license and registration. Sure, I might be a dangerous nutcase or something-- but how the hell does that justify the fact that this guy next to my car is carrying a -lethal- weapon ready for use? The sole function of that gun is to kill people-- that's specifically what they're designed for. Since when does 'serve and protect' also mean 'and maybe KILL YOU' ? There's no justification for police to carry lethal weapons. They are civilians, and they're here to help, not to hurt anybody. It's not like they even -want- to use them. It makes absolutely no sense. I -like- the police, being able to dial 911 when you catch someone breaking into your house is a beautiful thing-- but the guns still make me cringe.

I think it was last year at New Years, I remember seeing the footage of the different celebrations going on in different cities... in Vegas they had put up 20 foot chain link fence barricades across many streets, erected a 30 foot guard tower in the middle of a main square, and there were military helicopters circling overhead. In my own state, the biggest city has a population of about 1 million-- even there, they had teams of police in riot gear, with armored trucks, fully outfitted with things like AK-47s. They also bring that stuff out whenever there is a protest, or on various other days of the year. And then they make sure to send out reporters to get as many clips as possible of passersby on the street saying things like "Oh it all makes me feel so much safer!" ....Which would be worse, I wonder-- if they were -paying- them to say it, or if the American populace is really so gullible and paranoid that so many of them actually would -mean- it?

Okay, ostensibly the purpose of all these guns is mainly psychological-- but even so, what the hell possible psychological good does it do anybody to create a situation where you have large crowds of unruly people mixing with groups of men outfitted for mass slaughter? ...How does it -help-, to make the general populace -afraid- of the very force that's supposed to be their protection? Are they less 'approachable' you ask-- how the everloving crap could they NOT be? It exacerbates the criminal element's vile hatred and anger at the mere -idea- of police... just the -sight- of them, knowing they're carrying guns, is enough to incite a twinge of some kind in just about anyone. It's a deeply rooted social stigma now, one we've grown up with for hundreds of years, it's even -intended- to have that effect, and even the peaceniks have to agree that even if we -did- take the guns away from the police, just about every criminal in the country would promptly go nuts in delight.

If you guys in the UK -do- successfully arm your police with guns... you probably -won't- be able to go back. If one of these days here in the US, the mix does go bad, and the police end up shooting a bunch of harmless students or something like they did back in the 60s, there will be an uproar-- which could easily result in -more- riots, and who knows where it might escalate from there. That 'special relationship' is important, else things degenerate into all-out war someday.

The more I hear about how things are going across the pond, the more it worries me. Please, please, -please- you guys, don't let the paranoia and the propaganda get to you, don't end up any more like the US than you already have! Europe is supposed to be smarter than all this!



"Ours is not to question The Head; it is enough to revel in the ubiquitous inanity of The Head, the unwanted proximity of The Head, the unrelenting HellPresence of The Head, indeed the very UNYIELDING IRRELEVANCE of The Head!" --Revelation X

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Patriarch917
SILVER Member since Oct 2005

Patriarch917

I make my own people.
Location: Nashville, Tennessee

Total posts: 607
Posted:Written by: TheBovrilMonkey

I've just read the linked article on Amadou Diallo.

He fit the description of a serial rapist.
He ran away when the police shouted at him to stop and show his hands.
He reached for something in his pocket while knowing full well that the police were there.

I'm not saying that those details make everything ok, but they go a long way to explaining why the police opened fire.

Also, he was only hit by 19 bullets. As I mentioned before, the police are trained to keep firing until the threat is removed. As far as we know, he could have still been standing after being hit 18 times. Unlikely perhaps, but not impossible.

I'm fairly worried about the officers' accuracy though - 41 shots fired and 19 hits doesn't bode well for anyone standing nearby.



Even a well trained person has a hard time being partiularly accurate with a handgun when faced with a moving target in a stressful situation.


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Lurch
BRONZE Member since Nov 2003

Lurch

old hand
Location: Oregon

Total posts: 929
Posted:Oi I've got a lot of stuff to respond to...

You guys keep bringing up Amadou Diallo, which is fine. Yes, it was a horrible incident. I'm not denying that, and an innocent man was killed. It seems that you're not so upset that he was killed though, as that he was shot at 41 times. There was a study conducted after that case and it was found that in stressful situations that average police officer could empty his gun (usually 15+1) in under 4 seconds.

People do not fall down like in the movies, they don't fly backwards. 9mm is not a very large round, and its not uncommon to take 6 or more rounds to make someone stop. Don't get me wrong, I'm not about to go out and go play vigilante, I just think you guys are seeing one side of the culture and not allowing yourself to see the other.

Written by:
Lurch: You seem to be mostly of the opinion that: "If you with the police, then don't be suprised to get your ass capped." My issue with this is that 1. Police make mistakes just like everyone else. When they have batons, this is police brutality. When they have guns, this is murder. 2. What is the ethical justification for shooting someone?



Yes, police make mistakes. I can't deny that, they aren't super human creatures to do our bidding. But they are trained, and some of them are very well trained, up to and beyond military training in various tactics. If you are asking them to protect you, you shouldn't ask them to take away one of the most important and useful tools they have to protect you and themselves. How is that ethical?

If you want justification for shooting someone, I can give you some examples later on, and you tell me how else you would have solved the situation.. Remember, as I said, these people are dealing with the worst 10% of society 90% of the time. They have the right to be on edge. Drawing a weapon is a very serious thing, don't think that they don't know that. They don't *want* to shoot anyone, they're still people just like you and me, we have a natural aversion to killing our own kind. They shoot when they feel they have no other option.

Laws have changed recently in regards to fleeing felons. And no officer should ever shoot you for merely having a weapon. Now if you aim that weapon at them, or make them believe that you're going to hurt someone, then they are going to seperate you as quickly as possible. I don't see the problem with this.

You guys ask them to save your life, get into fights for you, take the rapists, the murders, and the drug dealers off the streets, and you're going to let the bad guys be better armed than the police? WHY?!?

Written by:
With all respect Lurch, I do know a little about fire arms. I know that the vast majority of armed american civilians have little training in their use, and commonly keep them in their bedside drawer. I think the last statistics I saw was that you were 18 times more likely to cause the death of a member of your family than you were to shoot an intruder.



That number of how many times more likely you are to kill you family changes nearly every time someone makes that statement.. Sorry but that is propaganda just the same.

In 1998 there were 900 accidental gun deaths in the US, a very disturbing number. I have no problem with requireing gun safety courses before owning a weapon. I know for a fact they are required nearly everywhere before you can apply for a concealed permit.

900 accidental gun deaths
3,200 deaths from choking
3,700 from fire and burns
4,100 drownings
16,600 fall related deaths and
41,200 car accident fatalities.

Gun accidents are a rarity. Far more rare than the media would like you to think. Hollywood has blown everything up and people are hypersensative to anything gun related it seems.

Legally owned firearms are not the issue, banning guns, and taking them away from legal civilians, and worse yet removing them from the police is a horrible plan. It didn't do anything to calm crime statistics in the UK as far as I know (I'll admit I don't follow those stats regularly but I am reading about it right now) and actually the highest gun related crimes took place AFTER the ban in the UK was already in place. In 2000 (I believe) there were 43 murders, 310 attempted murders, 2,561 robberies all involving illegal handguns.

If you guys are going to start quoting statistics there is a dramatic difference between legal, and illegal weapons, and it is unfair to merely lump them all together.

Written by:
I accept that police not being armed will result in cases where officers are shot- this is unavoidable.


That is a disturbing statement.

Written by:

The police should err on the side of civilian safety when it is a choice between civilian safety and their own saftey. As an officer it is their duty to acept risk in order to protect the population.


I'm sorry, but no. Ever officer has a personal responsibility to keep themselves safe. They are not idiots, and they are not your suicide puppets to dive into a gunfight to protect you. I'm not saying they will shoot you willy nilly, and no doubt most of them will put their life on the line for you, but (as I said before) that is not their job, and their goal at the end of the day is to go home, just like everyone else. Don't expect them to die for you.. That is equally as disturbing as the other comment up there.

In the LEO (law enforcement officer) and military community there is a saying about the three types of people in the world. The sheep, the wolves, and the sheepdogs.. I'll actually quote it for you guys, and please don't take offence to any of this I'm not trying to make enemies on here or attack anyone. I just see standard anti-gun arguments, and I know probably won't convert anyone, but maybe I can get you to think a little.


This is taken from a book entitled 'On Combat: The Psychology and Physiology of Deadly Conflict in War and in Peace'
Written by:
One Vietnam veteran, an old retired Colnel, once said this to me: "Most of the people in our society are sheep. They are kind, gentle, productive creatures who can only hurt one another by accident." This is truth. Remember the murder rate is six per 100,000 per year, and the aggravated assault rate is four per 1,000 per year. What this means is that the vast majority of Americans are no inclined to hurt one another

Some estimates say that two million Americans are victims of violent crimes every year, a tragic, staggering number, perhaps an all-time record rate of violent crime. But there are almost 300 million Americans, which means that the odds of being a victim of violent crime is considerably less than one in a hundred in any given year. Furthermore, since many violent crimes are committed by repeat offenders, the actual number of violent citizens is considerably less than two million.

Thus there is a paradox, and we must grasp both ends of the situation: We may well be in the most violent times in history, but violence is still remarkably rare. This is because most citizens are kind, decent people who are not capable of hurting each other, except by accident or under extreme provocation. They are sheep.

I mean nothing negative by calling them sheep. To me it is like the pretty blue robin's egg. Inside it is soft and gooey but someday it will grow into something wonderful. But the egg cannot survive without its hard blue shell. Police officers, soldiers, and other warriors are like that shell, and someday the civilization they protect will grow into something wonderful. For now, though, they need warriors to protect them from the predators.

"Then there are the wolves," the old veteran said, "and the wolves feed on the sheep without mercy." Do you believe there are wolves out there who will feed on the flock without mercy? You better believe it. There are evil men in this world and they are capable of evil deeds. The moment you forget that or pretend it is not so, you become a sheep. There is no safety in denial.

"Then there are the sheepdogs," he went on, "and I'm a sheepdog. I live to protect the flock and confront the wolf." Or as a sign in one California law enforcement agency put it, "We intimidate those who intimidate others."

If you have no capacity for violence, then you are a healthy productive citizen: a sheep. If you have a capacity for violence and no empathy for your fellow citizens, then you are defined an aggressive sociopath - a wolf. But if you have a capacity for violence, and a deep love for your fellow citizens? Then you are a sheepdog, a warrior, someone who is walking the hero's path. Someone who can walk into the heart of darkness, into the universal human phobia (violence) and walk out unscathed.

[...]

Let me expand on this old soldier's excellent model of the sheep, wolves, and sheepdogs. We know that the sheep live in denial; that is what makes them sheep. They do not want to believe that there is evil in the world. They can accept the fact that fires can happen, which is why they want fire extinguishers, fire sprinklers, fire alarms, and fire exits throughout their kids' schools. But many of them are outraged at the idea of putting an armed police officer in their kid's school. Our children are dozens of times more likely to be killed, and thousands of times more likely to be seriously injured, by school violence than by school fires, but the sheep's only response to the possibility of violence is denial. The idea of someone coming to kill or harm their children is just too hard, so they choose the path of denial.

The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He looks a lot like the wolf. He has fangs and the capacity for violence. The difference, though, is that the sheepdog must not, cannot, and will not ever harm the sheep. Any sheepdof who intentionally harms the lowliest little lamb will be punished and removed. The world cannot work any other way, or at least not in a representative democracy or republic such as ours.

Still, the sheepdog disturbs the sheep. He is a constant reminder that there are wolves in the land. They would prefer that he didn't tell them where to go, or give them traffic tickets, or stand ready in our airports in camouflage fatigues holding an M-16. The sheep would much rather have the sheepdogs cash in his fangs, spraypaint himself white, and go, "Baa."

Until the wolf shows up. Then the entire flock tries desperatly to hide behind one lonely sheepdog. As Kipling said in his poem about "Tommy" the british soldier:
Written by:
While it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy fall be'ind,"
But it's "Please to walk in front, sir," when there's trouble in the wind,
There's trouble in the wind, my boys, there's trouble in the wind,
O it's "Please to walk in front, sir," when there's trouble in the wind.


The students, the victims, at Columbine High School were big, tough high school students, and under ordinary circumstances they would not have had the time of day for a police officer. They were not bad kids; they just had nothing to say to a cop. When the school was under attack, however, and SWAT teams were clearing the rooms and hallways, they officers had to physically peel those clinging, sobbing kids off of them. This is how the little lambs feel about their sheepdog when the wolf is at the door. Loot at what happened after September 11, 2001, when the wolf pounded hard on the door. Remember how America, more than ever before, felt differently about their law enforcement officers and military personnel? Remember how many times you heard the word hero?

Understand that there is nothing morally superior about being a sheepdog; it is just what you choose to be. Also understand that the sheepdog is a funny critter: He is always sniffing around out on the perimiter, checking the breeze, barking at things that go bump in the night, and yearning for a righteous battle. That is, the young sheepdogs yearn for a righetous battle. The old sheepdogs are a little older and wiser, but they move to the sound of the guns when needed right along with the young ones.

Here is how the sheep and the sheepdogs think differently. The sheep pretend the wolf will never come, but the sheepdog lives for that day. After the attacks on September 11, 2001, most of the sheep, that is, most citizens in America said, "Thank God I wasn't on one of those planes." The sheepdogs, the warriors, said "Dear God, I wish I could have been on one of those planes. Maybe I could have made a difference."




I'll write more later.


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