Steve mentioned a bizarre news story out of a small town in Norway, where an apparently deranged individual armed with a bow and arrows killed five people and wounded three others. The case is now generating controversy because police were quickly alerted to the threat, but were unable to stop the murderer because they were unarmed:
Norway on Saturday announced it will hold an independent investigation into the actions of police and security agencies following a bow-and-arrow attack that killed five people and injured three others. Police have been criticized for reacting too slowly to contain the massacre, acknowledging that the five deaths took place after police first encountered the attacker.
…According to a police timeline, the first information on the attack was logged at 6:13 p.m. and Andersen Braathen was caught at 6:47 p.m.
Police were quickly on the scene, but were unable to do anything:
[P]olice officials say the first officers on the scene observed the suspect but took cover and called for reinforcements when arrows were fired at them. The officials have acknowledged the armed suspect got away and then likely killed the five victims between the ages of 52 and 78 both outdoors and inside some apartments.
Norway is one of the few dozen countries in the world where law enforcement officers don’t automatically carry guns though they have a rapid access to guns and other weapons, depending on the situation. Authorities in a statement said police were unarmed during their first encounter and armed during later encounters with Andersen Braathen.
So the police were called, but had to take cover when the suspect pulled out his bow and shot arrows at them. Not exactly a fine piece of police work.
You can get away with having unarmed police officers if you assume there is no violent crime, and Norway doesn’t have much. But if officers are outgunned and have to hide behind trees when confronted with a bow and arrow, you might as well count on random civilians to maintain order.
Of course, one thing dumber than having unarmed police officers is not having police officers at all. The only thing worse than disarming the police is defunding the police, as many Democrats want to do here in the U.S.