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i dont think the question should be 'should we give our cops guns' (in whatever city, province, territory, country, whatever you happen to live in), but instead should be 'what sorts of people are we hiring for/to be cops ?'
40 to 60 some-odd years ago, in america, police were courteous, intelligent, helpful and rightfully authoritative (examples; barney fife/andy griffith and the series ADAM-12), .... fast forward to now (plus afew foundational documents which alters police perception of the populace, and combine militarized training, equipping and policy protocol) and you have....
todays american police officer, who knows not so much as a word of the laws he is supposed to be enforcing (of course, we all know that cops enforce quotas and not laws, whether or not said crime or incident actually happened), is (more or less) self righteously racist, narcissistic, egotistical, knows nothing of the ethics of authority, views the populace as latent inevitable criminals (at best), and sees police authority as a carte-blanche free-for-all license to do anything, and basically get away with it, because he knows that if an officer gets into trouble, the police department as a whole will close ranks, do all sorts of closed hearing internal questionings, and then deliver a decidedly tame verdict/ punishment, like paid leave, or something, and then soon enough, Officer batshit will be back out on the beat, beating people to the beat, and then wash, rinse, repeat, repeat, repeat.
also, this isn't /tinfoil, because news investigations have been done (and actual documents found) on this stuff, like how police training has shifted towards being more like military bootcamp, how local and state governments incentivise their local PD's to take handouts for mil-surp equipment, weapons, and vehicles.
so, as long as UK police departments don't suddenly start slumming their criteria for hiring of police officers, im not sure handing the local bobby's a 9 mil of some sort as they leave the back desk, is going to suddenly make them like american cops, who are gleefully inclined beat your ass into a 8 foot radius greasy smear on the sidewalk just for (whatever), and then spend the next 20 minutes tasering said wet smear for shits and giggles, before they even consider to think about calling for a meat wagon (ambulance).