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Sunday, March 5, 2017
This past week a man was seen by police driving erratically and was made to pull over. He stepped out of his car and started talking gibberish and acting strangely. Then he suddenly produced and air rifle and fired a shot at the policemen. No one was hurt as the man simply drove off but the policemen, demonstrating great bravery followed him as he led them to his house and barricaded himself inside.
The police discovered that he was a man who was suffering with severe mental problems that he kept under control by taking his meds, but obviously he was off his medication which was making him act with diminished responsibility. The house was surrounded by armed sharpshooters and a negotiator took over trying to get him to lay down his weapon(s) and to surrender. Negotiations went on for hours until the man finally was worn down and practically fell asleep when police charged the house and brought him out where he promptly did fall asleep in the back of the police car.
The force of men were then stood down and neighbours allowed to return to their homes without anyone having been killed or even hurt. All congratulated one another on the successful outcome and the man has now been returned into care as he is clearly a danger to members of the public and to himself.
Same man, same scenario but if it took place Anywhere, Unites States of America the man would have most probably been gunned down where he stood when he fired at police, or if he did make it to his home it probably would have been razed to the ground by heavy machinery and he would have died from so many bullets he would have been full of lead. The Spanish are not best known for their patience but my impression of the security forces is that they are highly disciplined and the use of deadly force is exceptional, rather than the rule.
Police forces in The United States suffer from rather bad press principally because of the shootings of black men in the street, many of whom have not been armed. When demonstrators have to wave signs that say "I am a Man", and "Black Lives Matter" something is very, very wrong.
Of course the fact that Americans believe they have the right to bear arms and based on that they actually do own guns is at the heart of so many problems. I am not going to enter that debate but it does have many unhappy ramifications for gun owners and those who prefer not to arm themselves alike.
It is for that reason, among others that I am happy and content to live in Spain where cooler heads prevail.
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