Norwegian police officers rarely use their firearms while on duty, according to statistics released by their government.
The Washington Post reported on the numbers, here are some of the graphs they put together to give one an idea of how infrequently Norwegian police threaten to use firearms, actually fire their firearms, injure people a result of shooting their firearms and kill people with their firearms.
The Washington Post went on to say, “There’s a simple reason for the lack of police shootings. While there are many hunters in the country and gun ownership is relatively common, Norway is one of a handful of European nations where police officers don’t usually carry guns.”
Hmmmm. Interesting. What’s also interesting is that by the Post’s count police in the U.S. have already shot and killed as many as 400 people this year. Yikes!
The implication here is that when officers are unarmed they are less likely to use firearms in the line of duty which results in fewer firearm-related incidents, injuries and deaths. Makes sense…
Of course, there is another side effect to having a force of unarmed police officers. That is, they’re are defenseless in the face of evil. Case in point, Norway mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik who killed 77 people, including an unarmed police officer, in shooting and bombing attacks in 2011.
There is a reason why police officers carry guns in the U.S.. To protect themselves. Personally, as a private citizen it doesn’t matter to me if police opt to put down their guns, but there is a tradeoff to this non-lethal posture that is hard to ignore. No guns = soft target. And it might be the reason why the Norwegian government is reconsidering its position, especially in the wake of heightened terror alerts.