Civilian armed response to terrorist incidents?

#1
An interesting article on the beeb this evening:

Devon and Cornwall police chief in armed civilians row - BBC News

If you had a firearm at home would you arm yourself to protect others? What are the pros and cons?

Not having had any combat firearms training I'd probably leave it in the safe. I've shot at paper on and off for a few years but this is a different skill set. That said, if someone was knocking on my door with a big blade and lots of determination......

I find the responses from DCC Netherton a bit worrying in two areas:

"As was seen in London, we responded immediately", which is fine in a large metropolitan area. In the wilds of rural Devon and Cornwall(or South Wales where I spend a lot of my time) it's another story. There may be a single ARV covering a very large area with few fast road links. A response time of 30 minutes plus would not be a surprise.

"If you're carrying a gun we will deal with you and deal with you immediately." makes it sound like they'd have a "shoot them all and let God sort them out" approach. Yes, if an armed officer turned up you're more likely to be shot if you are holding a weapon in such a highly charged and probably confused situation. That said, surely the normal rules of engagement would apply and summary execution not SOP.
 

Guns

ADC
Moderator
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#2
There are posters on here who would wet their pants at the thought of "going tooled up" and jumping in to kill Mooslems and other "dark skinned" people.

Jesus could you imagine the carnage.

Now TA for armed back up - thinking old Royal Irish - could be an option. Sort of like lifeboat crews - pager goes off and you leg it to the TA centre to then fill out paperwork, draw keys, draw more keys, get ammo, work out which rifle you zeroed, find a sling, get a cleaning kit, dress up, ring for white fleet to get you there, fill out timesheet to get paid.

That aside in remote areas the response time has already been tested by Derek Bird. I would suggest we may see a need for a nation response unit (police or paramilitary) and they would need access to helos and transport. It could be a roll for the military - would need funding lines and clear lines of C2 with associated C4 links.
 
#4
I would make the point that although response times might be lower in rural areas, so are population densities. Takes plod longer to get to the scene, takes the killer longer to get to his next victim.
 
#5
I somehow doubt that either Devon or Cornwall are high on ISIS's target list.
That may be the truth. On the other hand, slaughtering significant numbers of innocent civilians sends a message and garners the publicity wherever it takes place.

If the police can't respond adequately to such a scenario, and they probably can't for a number of reasons including budget constraints, the professional military should be tasked for the job.

Why not something like a platoon strength from each battalion/commando on a rota basis being distributed to rural area's around the UK. It would give them a role where with the appropriate training, they could be very useful if an event did happen.
 
#6
I would make the point that although response times might be lower in rural areas, so are population densities. Takes plod longer to get to the scene, takes the killer longer to get to his next victim.
Michael Ryan had no bother finding victims or dealing with the police response, especially considering the amount of shotguns in the area.
 
#7
I was under the impression civilians already had the legal rights to use deadly force to save thier or other peoples lives, where it be be with a knife, fire arm or frying pan.
This does not cover going around tooled up on the off chance of stopping a crime.

If the police are looking at using civilians as first responders then there is a lot to be discussed and investigated and debated in a grown up manner.

A few off the top of my head:
Will they be trained as Special PC's?
Liability insurance?
Regular firearms training?
Types of firearms that can be used?

And above all, will there be enough take up amount the shooting community to make it worthwhile.
 
#9
Michael Ryan had no bother finding victims or dealing with the police response, especially considering the amount of shotguns in the area.
1. Michael Ryan killed in Hungerford, a small town not a remote rural area. Things have changed since 1987 including the availability of ARVs.

2. Ryan had easy access to firearms. For good or ill firearms legislation in this country makes it infinitely more difficult to carry out a Paris style attack. Try running round Hungerford with a cook's knife on Saturday night and I'll wager you'd get a lower return than those ******* at Borough Market did.
 
#10
I would make the point that although response times might be lower in rural areas, so are population densities. Takes plod longer to get to the scene, takes the killer longer to get to his next victim.
I was being slightly tongue-in-cheek. The commissioner was specifically talking about rural areas and for very much the reason that you mentioned. However the reality is that even if there is an attack on a rural town (unlikely but not impossible) then there aren't tooled up citizens ready and willing to jump to the country's defence (think Totnes not Texas).

I suppose that if it were to happen in my home town in Dorset I could always run home, dig through the clutter under the stairs to gain access to the gun cabinet, realise that I have forgotten the cabinet key, rummage through the key draw to find it, free the trusty side-by-side from its cupboard home and jog in back to town to take down the terrorist scum. By which time they will either a) have run out of ammo, b) blown themselves up, c) made haste for the next sleepy country village on their hit list or d) died of boredom.

It simply isn't practical.

Of course if I just happened to be driving past with my gun in the boot of the car then I would take a pot shot and live with the consequences (no jury in the land...etc. etc.). It just seems a bit silly for a civilian police commissioner to making these comments.
 
#11
I was being slightly tongue-in-cheek. The commissioner was specifically talking about rural areas and for very much the reason that you mentioned. However the reality is that even if there is an attack on a rural town (unlikely but not impossible) then there aren't tooled up citizens ready and willing to jump to the country's defence (think Totnes not Texas).

I suppose that if it were to happen in my home town in Dorset I could always run home, dig through the clutter under the stairs to gain access to the gun cabinet, realise that I have forgotten the cabinet key, rummage through the key draw to find it, free the trusty side-by-side from its cupboard home and jog in back to town to take down the terrorist scum. By which time they will either a) have run out of ammo, b) blown themselves up, c) made haste for the next sleepy country village on their hit list or d) died of boredom.

It simply isn't practical.

Of course if I just happened to be driving past with my gun in the boot of the car then I would take a pot shot and live with the consequences (no jury in the land...etc. etc.). It just seems a bit silly for a civilian police commissioner to making these comments.
Then again, have you seen Hot Fuzz? Mrs Miggins from the Village Shop with her trusty Bren under the counter would be a valuable deterrent.

And about as plausible as the silly moo who came up with the idea in the first place.
 

greyfergie

MIA
Book Reviewer
#12
I was being slightly tongue-in-cheek. The commissioner was specifically talking about rural areas and for very much the reason that you mentioned. However the reality is that even if there is an attack on a rural town (unlikely but not impossible) then there aren't tooled up citizens ready and willing to jump to the country's defence (think Totnes not Texas).

I suppose that if it were to happen in my home town in Dorset I could always run home, dig through the clutter under the stairs to gain access to the gun cabinet, realise that I have forgotten the cabinet key, rummage through the key draw to find it, free the trusty side-by-side from its cupboard home and jog in back to town to take down the terrorist scum. By which time they will either a) have run out of ammo, b) blown themselves up, c) made haste for the next sleepy country village on their hit list or d) died of boredom.

It simply isn't practical.

Of course if I just happened to be driving past with my gun in the boot of the car then I would take a pot shot and live with the consequences (no jury in the land...etc. etc.). It just seems a bit silly for a civilian police commissioner to making these comments.
Completely, which is why this pathetic tier should be abolished imho
 
#14
Civilian gun owners responding to...is she mad?
Firstly, bolt action rifles and shotguns?
Secondly, a bunch of individuals who haven't trained together running around and getting in each other's way?
Exactly why I shot that suggestion down when someone on my residents association wanted to get everyone with a firearm into a neighborhood emergency response...something.
 
#15
That may be the truth. On the other hand, slaughtering significant numbers of innocent civilians sends a message and garners the publicity wherever it takes place.

If the police can't respond adequately to such a scenario, and they probably can't for a number of reasons including budget constraints, the professional military should be tasked for the job.

Why not something like a platoon strength from each battalion/commando on a rota basis being distributed to rural area's around the UK. It would give them a role where with the appropriate training, they could be very useful if an event did happen.
They'd be a bloody liability. Being able to fire a gun in no way equates to being able to apply the law and conduct policing.
 
#16
They'd be a bloody liability. Being able to fire a gun in no way equates to being able to apply the law and conduct policing.
Exactly.
Having groups of untrained civilians running about with firearms would lead to disaster.

An alternative would be to bring the group into the Police as SPC's and provide the training. This will add to the police budget.
The training will also need to be continuous to stop skill fad.

I am not sure the police would want trained SPC's sitting on their arse doing nothing after their costly training. Would they then be used for regular policing.
 
#17
Civilian gun owners responding to...is she mad?
Firstly, bolt action rifles and shotguns?
Secondly, a bunch of individuals who haven't trained together running around and getting in each other's way?
Exactly why I shot that suggestion down when someone on my residents association wanted to get everyone with a firearm into a neighborhood emergency response...something.
Surely the Neighbourhood Watch Alliance was well up for it? Everyone is packing heat in the country.


That PCC is well worth her 70k a year.
 
#18
They'd be a bloody liability. Being able to fire a gun in no way equates to being able to apply the law and conduct policing.
Did you miss the bit where I said the professional military? They wouldn't be police officers. They would be a rural based professional soldier rapid reaction force to a terrorist attack. Something that with the right training, any competent infantry soldier should be able to deal with.

They wouldn't be there to conduct law enforcement. They would be there to engage terrorists in the absence of trained armed anti terrorist police officers not being available for whatever reason.

Exactly.
Having groups of untrained civilians running about with firearms would lead to disaster.

An alternative would be to bring the group into the Police as SPC's and provide the training. This will add to the police budget.
The training will also need to be continuous to stop skill fad.

I am not sure the police would want trained SPC's sitting on their arse doing nothing after their costly training. Would they then be used for regular policing.
See my above........
 
#19
I'll have some of that!
 
#20
I'll have some of that!
Might take you a while to get here though, I suspect it will be all over by the time you get off the plane
 

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