Ryan Bridge: If a police officer says they need a weapon to do their job, who am I to stand in their way?

The AM Show 20/07/2021

OPINION: We should all be shocked at how violent criminals are becoming in this country.

You've seen the video of the police officer being beaten in the street; bashed in the head as others stand around and film it. 

Last week, a man pulled a woman from her car and allegedly held a gun to her head before fleeing and doing the same thing again - by which time police were able to shoot him. 

Just think about that; a man so crazed, with so little respect for our laws he holds a gun to a stranger's head in broad daylight. Here - in New Zealand. 

Then there was the cop shot in Hamilton last weekend during a routine traffic stop. He pulls over a car, a man gets out, walks towards the cop and allegedly shoots him. 

There's no doubt criminals are feeling emboldened; they're more agitated with police, they're more increasingly likely to be violent towards them. The question: what do we do about it? 

Give the cops guns?

Close to 70 percent of officers want to be routinely armed, according to a Police Association survey. 

But the top brass won't do it because the public doesn't feel comfortable. 

I don't feel comfortable with cops being armed - but I'm not the one out there on the streets every night putting my life on the line. 

What luxury and privilege we have - all of us - to be able to lay in bed at night safe in the knowledge that our streets are kept safe.

If a police officer fighting to keep us safe says they need a weapon to do their job, who am I to stand in their way? 

Ryan Bridge is a fill-in host on The AM Show.