Tuesday, December 14, 2010


So, once again there is a serious assault on a police officer, and once again the police use it as an excuse to give themselves greater access to guns, despite everyone admitting that, just as in the last case, such access wouldn't have helped one bit. But the police's pride is injured, and they have apparently only one response to that: stick a gun in our faces and demand "respect".

Meanwhile John Key washes his hands of the matter and declares it "inevitable", despite the fact that he has the power to stop it. But he professes concern while doing nothing, of course:

Mr Key said he would be cautious about the wholesale arming of police, "where every police officer in New Zealand walks round with a gun on their hip".

"I don't believe that's a step in the right direction and I think it would fundamentally change the relationship between police and the New Zealand public," he said

No shit. An unarmed police force polices by consent; they have no option but to seek the active cooperation of the citizenry. An armed police force polices by fear, using the omnipresent threat of lethal force to "induce compliance". Oh, they might not be sticking the gun in your face right this second, but its visible presence means the threat is always there - a fact that Key himself acknowledges when he calls armed police "intimidating".

This is not a good move for our police force, and it is not a good move for our society. And our Prime Minister should be doing something more about it than just wringing his hands and calling it "inevitable". He has a Parliamentary majority, and if necessary, he should use it to bring the police to heel.