John McLellan: Gun culture isn’t confined to the US

A little girl laughs as she hands a sweet to soldier Tom McMillan in the nationalist Ardoyne area of Belfast.
A little girl laughs as she hands a sweet to soldier Tom McMillan in the nationalist Ardoyne area of Belfast.
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The News reported an exchange about guns between US-born councillor Amy McNeese-Meechan and Edinburgh police commander Chief Superintendent Richard Thomas, in which she said that in her experience as “possibly the only councillor who’s had a gun pulled on them” armed police response units didn’t “contribute anything to a sense of safety on the street”.

What the News didn’t report was the response of my colleague Phil Doggart, who was brought up in Belfast.

“Speaking probably as the only councillor who grew up on British streets where there was a gun culture, I can assure you that peace-loving subjects valued the presence of armed police and indeed soldiers, who protected them from those who intended to do harm,“ he said.

“The cost to police and soldiers, including many Scottish soldiers, is measurable across the country in cemeteries. I welcome the security provided to citizens in the more peaceful environs of Edinburgh.”

Quite.

READ MORE: Dani Garavelli: Police Scotland firearms policy lacks scrutiny