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i don't think it crazy scandalous or anything, but everything that keeps coming out is giving me life
Why British Police don't have guns
The deaths of two female police constables have brought into focus the unarmed status of most British police. Why does Britain hold firm against issuing guns to officers on the beat?
It's the single most obvious feature that sets the British bobby apart from their counterparts overseas.
Tourists and visitors regularly express surprise at the absence of firearms from the waists of officers patrolling the streets.
But to most inhabitants of the UK - with the notable exception of Northern Ireland - it is a normal, unremarkable state of affairs that most front-line officers do not carry guns.
Unremarkable, that is, until unarmed officers like Nicola Hughes and Fiona Bone are killed in the line of duty. There are always those who question why Britain is out of step with most of the rest of the world, with the exceptions of the Republic of Ireland, New Zealand, Norway and a handful of other nations.
Film director Michael Winner, founder of the Police Memorial Trust, and Toy Rayner, the former chairman of Essex Police Federation, have both called for officers to be routinely armed.
A police constable serving in a city in southern England gives his view:
"I have been in the police for 12 years, before that I was in the Army. I would happily carry a gun if the decision was made but it won't ever happen.
"I don't think practically it could work because of the training. Officers in this country are highly trained and this would extend to firearms training, too. But, at the moment, with all the cuts, we can't put enough officers in the cars, let alone give them firearms training.
"Also, the police in this country are always under so much scrutiny. Look at the issue of Tasers, the civil liberty groups think they are one of the most inhumane things going.
"I was previously injured badly in an assault. My colleague and I feared for our lives - thankfully other officers came to our aid. I don't think a gun - or a Taser for that matter - would have helped us in that situation. Communication is one of the best tools, and to be honest, having a gun could make an officer feel over-confident."
"What does a British police officer do if someone comes out with a knife? Is he supposed to get out his knife and fight him?
"Our citizens are armed - even the bad ones. The criminal element here is better armed than the police departments most of the times, due to budget constraints.
"It would be impossible for us to do our job if we weren't armed. I'd have to quit. I worked narcotics for 20 years and definitely in that field, how would you do that job without being armed? Even as a patrolman, you're reactive. The other guy knows what he's going to do. It definitely has to be armed when you have to be reactive.
"The public expects us to be armed - when they call in the cavalry that's exactly what they want. The general public, because of television, they believe that we're a lot better armed than we really are. You respond to a call and they say 'Where's your machine gun?'"
OTTAWA — The sanctity of marriage as the bedrock of the Canadian family is steadily eroding as the country’s social fabric evolves, new census data released Wednesday reveals.
Instead, although married couples are still the norm — about two thirds of families — their numbers are lagging and only increased by 3.1 per cent between 2006 and 2011.
In contrast, the number of common-law couples rose by 13.9 per cent and lone-parent families rose by eight per cent over the same period.
The shift means that common-law couples now account for 16.7 per cent of all families, and lone-parent families now represent 16.3 per cent of the total.
Meanwhile, in another trend reflective of the changing social landscape, same-sex couples are increasingly settling down together. Notably, the number of same-sex marriages tripled between 2006 and 2011, the first five-year period during which they could legally tie the knot in Canada.
WTF is that first sentence?
[Photo: Mitt Romney reads on his campaign bus earlier this year. A 1960s campaign poster supporting his father, George, is behind him.Gerald Herbert/AP]
President John F. Kennedy was in the White House in 1962 when the current Republican presidential nominee's mother sat down for an interview to speak on behalf of her husband, George, who was then making his first run to be Michigan's governor.
Buzzfeed's Andrew Kaczynski posted the video online on Sept. 7, well before the former Massachusetts governor's controversial comments about Obama supporters began to get widespread coverage. Buzzfeed describes the interview as an infomercial. Jon Stewart used a snip of the old footage of presidential candidate's mother on The Daily Show Tuesday. (It starts at about the 4:48 mark.)
George Romney, born into a family that saw its fortunes decline when he was a child because of political unrest in Mexico, where he was born, became relatively wealthy as an adult. He was chief executive of American Motors Co.
This led the 1962 interviewer to ask Mrs. Romney how her husband could relate to common people — given the high station he had achieved.
INTERVIEWER: "There are those who say that since he's a man of considerable means he really doesn't care about people."
What's ironic, of course, is that the same question has been asked about her son ever since his first political campaign in 1994, when he ran for U.S. Senate.
Back to her interview.
LENORE ROMNEY: "You know we've only owned our home for the last four years. He was a refugee from Mexico. He was on relief, welfare relief for the first years of his life. But this great country gave him opportunities.
"The family was poor. He said they lived for a year on nothing but potatoes. He's known what it is to have to work for every dime he's had since he was 12."
The fact that the Republican presidential nominee's mother mentioned her husband's childhood on public assistance as part of her pitch to voters shows, if nothing else, how far the nation has moved on the welfare issue since the 1960s. George Romney won the 1962 gubernatorial election, the first of three he would win.
The story of how young George came to be on welfare is fascinating in its own right and is told in the biography "The Real Romney" by journalists Michael Kranish and Scott Helman.
The presidential nominee's great-grandfather Miles was asked in the late 1880s by Mormon officials to go to Mexico to create a colony where Mormons could practice polygamy far from the harassment of U.S. officials. It was there that Mitt Romney's grandfather Gaskell and father, George, were born into an increasingly prosperous family and Mormon community.
But in 1912, George, then 5, and his family fled, with thousands of other Mormons, to the U.S. — chased out by Mexican rebels and largely leaving their wealth behind.
"The Real Romney" reports:
"Fortunately for the Romneys, the U.S. government, which had once chased Miles to Mexico due to his polygamy, now welcomed the Romneys and other Mormons to the United States. Congress established a $100,000 relief fund that enabled the Romneys and other Mormon exiles to receive food and lodging. Initially, the [Romneys'] stay on U.S. soil was to be temporary. The El Paso Herald reported on October 25, 1912, that Gaskell Romney and his family, including little George, had gone to Los Angeles 'until it is safe for his family to return to the colonies in Mexico.' But Gaskell's family would never return to live there and made only a sentimental trip years later. Had they returned for good, Mitt Romney may never have been in a position to run for president."
Instead, he was in a position to run for president. That's how he came to be in that Boca Raton house at that May fundraiser where he made the "47 percent" comment and others that he's now trying to put behind him.