Saturday, July 24, 2010

Should the Police Bear Arms?

Malicious violence involving weapons doesn't really occur in American Samoa. I've been told that guns (other than hunting shotguns) are basically unheard of here. So, when a police officer was shot dead in the line of duty outside the Court House in Pago, Pago yesterday, the territory was shocked. This has sparked the debate on island about whether police should carry arms while on duty. The last time a police officer died in the line of duty was 15 years ago, when the officer was trying to save a drowning boy. Before that, it had been another 15 years prior when the officer was trying to break up a bar fight that got out of hand (a bar fight void of arms). The head of the department of public safety is fighting for his police force to carry arms. I wonder, though, if that would invite more malicious violence to the island.

If you're interested to read the Samoan News story about the incident click here.

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