"Prime Minister John Key says he would be reluctant to see police carry guns all the time because it would raise a barrier between them and the public.
The Napier siege has reignited the issue and Mr Key said at his post-cabinet press conference today it was a legitimate debate.
Arming the police would create substantial risks, he said, citing international evidence that the weapons were often used against the police themselves.
"And the weapons need to be loaded at all times, there's likely to be a psychological barrier between the police and the public," he said..."
I'm sure he (as are most of us) reluctant to see armed police- but I would be more reluctant to see more dead cops, killed by ARMED criminals. These are the times we are living in.
I firmly believe that the (law-abiding) public would draw comfort from the sight of policemen armed and able to come to their defense immediately. Not in an hours time when the firearms have been issued. Ask the family of any dead shopkeeper.
Now- as for the 'snatched weapon' scenario- there are holsters specifically designed to minimise this threat.
I sure our political masters are comforted by the presence of the armed diplomatic security police who keep them safe...