Wednesday, 2 June 2010


Just a thought:

Stop Press: Earlier today a deranged man, armed with a large chef's meat knife, went berserk in a small county town and killed and injured many innocent people, including small children at play in the playground of a local infants school. The first police units on the scene were not firearms officers but never the less valiantly attempted to corner the knifeman as he jogged along the High Street. Several attempts were made to bring him down with TASER but he proved difficult to hit as he kept running and dodging pursuing officers as he moved from person to person slashing and thrusting his knife at anyone near enough. One officer, who attempted to fire a Taser into him but missed his target, was slashed across the throat and was later pronounced dead. An Armed Response Vehicle eventually located the knifeman as he emerged from a local primary school having attacked staff and pupils. After a further pursuit on foot he was eventually shot and wounded by an armed officer, but not before he had stabbed and killed a police dog that was sent after him to bring him down. Police searched the man and removed several knives concealed about his person. They were described by an officer as being the sort you'd see in `a chef's knife kit`. Calls are being made for the banning of all.....chef's knives......?

This didn't happen in Cumbria today, but something equally horrific did.


De Campo said...

What a world we live in.

JuliaM said...

I believe similar attacks have been all the rage (no pun intended) in China lately...

JuliaM said...

In fact, I remember seeing one report (in the Guardian?) showing the Chinese cop's latest weapon for such incidents - a giant net on a pole...

I'd always assumed prior to that that Chinese cops were armed, but I guess not?

Anonymous said...

Thanks Hogday for some sense.

Murder is when you decide to kill someone and then you do. Lack of a weapon merely gives you a few minutes for second thoughts, and then only if it is on impulse, and you are smaller than the target and don't outnumber him. Ban boots anyone?

If you want to do a comparison which is of interest to the average MOP, you need to take out Gang killings, drug-related killings, and suicides.

Add up the rest and you find that the murder rate for a normal MOP is basically the same as here.

An example, (from memory - don't shoot me if I get the number slightly out). Domestic homicide in States where gun ownership in the home is rare:
90% Male kills Female
10% Female kills male.
90% manslaughter or murder
10% self defence.

Where Gun ownership in the home is common:
50% Male kills Female
50% Female kills Male
50% manslaughter or murder
50% self defence.

Totals basically the same.

The domestic homicide numbers, and the way they are sold to the public, tell pretty much the whole story. Gun-control advocates don't distinguish between self-defence and murder, because that makes guns look worse. But the truth is guns are an equaliser. While a man may be able to beat a woman to death by his greater size and strength, if she is allowed to be armed, she has a 50/50 chance.

People know, usually, when they are in a life-threatening situation and know, usually, whether to use deadly force, so the overall numbers of murder + self-defence are basically the same across all states.

powdergirl said...

Near here and quite recently, a deranged individual cut the head off of a fellow bus passenger(seriously, cut it OFF).
I suppose we should also be banning those insensate yet profoundly evil Greyhound busses. Yeah, that'll fix it :-? wtf?

Blue Eyes said...

I think the trick with these horrific events is to remember that even unarmed every human being is *capable* of causing huge damage and destruction if so minded. Banning the "tools of the trade" won't stop someone with serious intention to hurt other people.

That said, someone who does suddenly flip is likely to grab the nearest destructive thing to instantly arm themselves. If it's not a gun it might be a knife, if it's not a knife it might be a baseball bat, etc..

JuliaM said...

"If it's not a gun it might be a knife, if it's not a knife it might be a baseball bat, etc.."

Or a chest of drawers!

Hogday said...

DC: Welcome back to the civilian world. Yes, it was a `Bad Day in Black Rock` to be sure.

JuliaM: Yes, the unpredictability of the human, the most tricky of life's commodities. Loved the link by the way; An everyday story of country folk? `The Archers` it most certainly wasn't.

Ben Liddicott: Thank you for visiting the blog and taking the time to comment. I presume you're from the US. I worked with several PD's over there and have to say I felt no less safe than when I did a typical tour of duty in my home force in the UK. If anything, I felt a little safer because of the required gun awareness one needed to stay ahead of the curve.

Powdergirl: Glad your comments are now getting through. That incident was horrific! I'm surprised it didn't make the news over here.

Blue; I Concur. In yesterdays case he was armed with a .22 rifle and a shotgun, both legally held and by tens of thousands of others in the UK as well. IMO two of the most deadly weapons and ones that would keep a police tactical team very, very worried. He could hit and maim/kill anyone at 200 mtrs with that .22, a range far greater than the ARV crew could have engaged him, unless they had a decent carbine with them. The .22 is a weapon I had more concerns about than almost any other during my time on the firearms teams.

Blue Eyes said...

"I'm surprised it didn't make the news over here"

I think it did Mr H. Maybe it was while you were snorkelling without a care in the world *shudders*.

200m? That is seriously scary.

JuliaM said...

"I'm surprised it didn't make the news over here."

Oh, it did. You didn't think thr MSM would pass up a story like that, did you?

Anonymous said...

Each of our bodies contains about as much energy as the nuclear weapons dropped on Japan. Fortunately, we don't know how to set ourselves off.

I suspect these mad killing spurges have much in common with terrorism, stripped of its idiot politics.

We get the same dross discussed every time an incident happens. Keeping people gone nutter away from guns and explosives is the answer, yet this solution causes all kinds of other problems. A ban on holding weapons at home is probably the best option, making sure people have to sign out weapons for specific use. Arming all police (who would also sign out weapons for duty only) would also help.

Beyond this, we just get dross posturing. If I went nutter, god knows what I could do with a .22. Life certainly makes me feel like taking this kind of action (I'd shoot some real villains). Maybe a less crap society might protect us better? One that stopped us feeling impotent enough to jag off on such a berserk run in the first place.
I drew some adverse criticism for hitting a sword wielding nutter on the back of his head with a convenient pipe once. I'd have shot him had I been armed, or more likely got him to drop the weapon because I could have risked speaking to him.

JuliaM said...

"He could hit and maim/kill anyone at 200 mtrs with that .22, a range far greater than the ARV crew could have engaged him, unless they had a decent carbine with them."

Isn't a .22 a popular sporting calibre? Surely having ARVs not routinely equipped to meet and deal with a ubiquitous weapon is a bit daft...

JuliaM said...

"A ban on holding weapons at home is probably the best option, making sure people have to sign out weapons for specific use."

That'll be ok, so long as they are potential murderers who are too honorable to lie, of course...

Hogday said...

Allcoppedout: I had empathy with every sentence you wrote (apart from me being a nuke waiting to happen! Didn't appreciate that one ;)
I recall having an animated discussion with an ACC over me recommending the introduction of the ASP baton back in the early 90`s. I think I said something along the lines of...`If I thought I was in immediate danger of losing my life I'd hit the bastard with a half brick if I had to`. Needless to say, he didn't get my point.

JuliaM; Thanks again (I think) for another link :(
The .22 rifle is often thought of as `just a little gun` by the un-informed, as they usually think of the little lead pellets fired by a .22 air rifle. ARV crews used to have access to a full bore 9mm carbine which, although larger in calibre, would not have the accuracy of yesterday's nutter, hence my inference that the ARV crews would have been at a disadvantage, unless they had access to an appropriate carbine (short barrelled rifle).

JuliaM said...

"...hence my inference that the ARV crews would have been at a disadvantage..."

Ah, I see. I'm guessing there's no 'standard kit' then. Each force does it's own thing?

I suppose that makes sense, since each will be facing differing circumstances.

Hogday said...

JuliaM: Correct, although there is a degree of standardisation, in that all weapon types and ammunition etc etc acquired by police forces have to comply with the recommendations of the Home Office Scientific Development Branch, a process that can take a very long time in coming, from this small outfit.

Hogday said...

Blue: Re 200metres....Michael Ryan's AK47 had the capability to project a bullet 3 miles with sufficient kinetic energy to kill. Muzzle velocity around 2,800 feet per second. A random discharge at 30-45 degree up-angle could kill an unlucky pedestrian in the next village. So next time you're in one of your favourite exotic Middle East holiday haunts and you hear celebratory gunfire, so common in such places, get inside a building, cos even if they go straight up, they don't exactly `float` down from a mile up :-/

Anonymous said...

Hard to disagree on the liars JuliaM. I kept (legally) a shotgun for a number of years after NI, though didn't disclose the PTSD (whatever it really is) as my reason. knowing it was there helped me sleep at the time.
Don't worry too much about going nuclear Hog - you meed an equivalent amount of anti-matter for that and that's as rare as rocking horse droppings in this quadrant. A day locked in with most farce SMTs might do the job!

The reasons for our cops not being routinely armed on duty are now silly - the presence of so many more guns and threats has changed what the argument should be entirely. In France we were able to choose to use our guns or not. I can't see your average flic being any brighter than us filth.

TonyF said...

You should see what a .22 long case round does to a block of clay. Bloody impressive. 200 meters is a conservative estimate too. If some one was holed up with one of those, you would need 'disproportionate' firepower to shift them. Bring back the SLR...