Monday 13 April 2015

What kills you?

Lots of things. Cars, cancer, cigarettes, cops. Cops?

There's been a few high-profile police shootings recently. In the USA, of course. So I looked up the statistics for police killings, and apparently in 2014, the total was 593, and each year before that, the number is in the hundreds. No doubt some of those were unavoidable; if someone is trying to kill an officer, then a couple of rounds in return seems like reasonable use of the cop's gun. But a disturbing number of police shootings seem to be completely unjustified. Should you shoot in the back and kill an unarmed man running away after a traffic stop?

So I looked at the UK; not a comparable country, but it's where I live, and the figure isn't just for shootings, it's for killings by whatever means. In 2014, one. In 2013, none. One in 2012, one in 2011, ... you get the idea.

Of course, police here don't routinely carry guns, except in airports and places where a terrorist attack is conceivable. So let's look at Germany, whee the police do carry guns.

 One in 2015. One in 2013. Four in 2012. Three in 2011, three in 2010, one in 2009. You get the idea.

I'm *so* glad I live here!


  1. The USA constitution allows citizens to own firearms so many of them do. I'd still rather live there than South Africa. Not that I'm planning to... ;)

  2. There's a lot of countries worse than the USA, that's true. But wasn't ranting about US citizens gun ownership, I was ranting about the massive rate of kills by cops, compared to other countries.

  3. I agree with you, it's an obscene number. My thought was that the cops may be more trigger happy because everyone can carry a gun.

  4. I'm sure you're right. I guess in a society where everyone can carry a gun, there must be a lot of casualties because no-one can ever be sure whether the person facing them is about to pull a gun, so you pull yours out first. But that's the way they want to live; I'm just glad I don't live there.