As a nation we have barely started to climb out of the aftermath of last Friday’s terrorist attacks on Paris and Beirut yet the debate over what course of action has already begun. The biggest issue facing us this week, it seems, is the controversial ‘Shoot to Kill’ policy. For years we have shunned it, calling it an excuse to take lives instead of merely saving them, yet in the wake of IS’s latest attack it would seem some are eager to get our fingers on a trigger. I must point out that, for most of the time, I support Corbyn’s views on matters revolving around National Security. Yet in the wake of the devastating attacks last week I can’t help but feel that we may need a firmer hand when it comes to fighting terrorism. Every now and then we must question our own morals and views just in case they show weaknesses that our more callous enemies might exploit.
Corbyn announced that he did not support the notion of our police force or military using such severe force simply because he fears that war may spill over onto our streets. “I think you have to have security that prevents people firing off weapons where you can”Corbyn stated when questioned about the possibility of ordering the police and military to embrace the ‘shoot to kill’ approach. This appears to be a rational evaluation given that our ‘special friends’ across the pond seem hell-bent on arming their police and military forces to the teeth which accidently causes more gun related deaths in their country alone than the rest of the world put together. However we cannot simply judge our own policies based on America’s methods when faced with a freshly inflicted attack just across the channel.
Corbyn’s thoughts that the ‘shoot to kill’ policy is ‘dangerous and counter-productive’ certainly holds some truth; as a developed nation we should strive to be diplomatic and resist succumbing to the simple method of silencing any threat with gunfire. Yet unfortunately while we still reel from Paris and Beirut’s co-ordinated attacks it seems we only see the death and violence before our eyes. It is this that makes Corbyn appear to be an idealist in the simplest way while the more realist Cameron opposes such thoughts and has even asked Corbyn to reconsider his stance. Cameron seems to believe that we do not live in a world where idealist thoughts allow our nation to win or even survive against the militant Islamic State. He even correctly states that “there is no government we can work with in Syria, let alone that part of Syria” which makes the optimistic approach of civil diplomacy all the more unobtainable, let alone when discussing IS.
The thought of our pacifying police force wielding such deadly weapons may seem daunting yet in the face of a new and violent world we very well may have to get behind that thought, lest we find ourselves in front of an opposing firing line. After all, if a crazed radical is prepared to blow themselves to smithereens what threat would a stun gun and some mace be?
By Tom Simpkins