The Labour party Police spokesperson back then was Stuart Nash. He said that such an enquiry needs to go beyond a “purely law and order perspective”.
Nash, now the Minister of Police, was referring back then to whether it was really a good use of Police resources trying to suppress marijuana use.
With the coming referendum on cannabis, this aspect is going to be addressed, at least in part.
This still leaves us with the question of NZ’s gun culture.
Generally, we are a gun safe country. Owners have to be registered and most gun deaths, as I understand it, are suicides.
However, our cops love having the power of life and death over citizens. There’s nothing more thrilling to an adrenaline fuelled plod than a car chase that is likely to end in a fatal crash.
In Christchurch this weekend, the local police have declared a modified form of martial law.
All Christchurch police are going to be carrying guns until some sad sack gang banger on the run gives himself up.
Their excuse for tooling up is that an associate of the wanted man fired at Police in the working class suburb of Richmond.
In returning fire, Police nearly shot some local residents who were at a meeting in a nearby community house.
Arming police in Christchurch is a step too far. It’s clearly a test to see what the community will put up with; a trial run for the permanent arming of all Police.
There are only six countries where police are not routinely armed. It’s no coincidence that those countries have a remarkably low incidence of shooting deaths.
If we allow Police to routinely carry guns, the crims will respond proportionally.
The escalation will lead to more deaths. And the majority of those who die will be poor and brown.
But, hey, it’ll make for better work stories, I suppose.
(Apologies for the dodgy vid quality, but this is the only recording of the Gun Club doing Texas Serenade live. The song is about the killing of one of Jeffrey Lee Pierce’s neighbours, presumably in a police shoot out.)