I was tweeting a bit a couple of days ago, especially about one of my pet topics – gun safety in the US. As a result I felt the need to do a short post to include a few of those tweets. You’ll have to excuse my solipsism here – there are quite a few of my own tweets in this post.

As I said in my last post, the New Zealand Police have killed less than fifty people in the last century. It seems that all (as far as I can find out) had weapons, though not all those weapons were firearms. One controversial case a few years ago I particularly remember the young man had a machete, for example.

With that number of deaths, which I’m sure readers in the US will consider very low, many New Zealanders are still complaining that some police officers are acting like Rambo. That’s because they’re not comparing our Police with US Police, but with British Police. Our rate of police shootings is about the same as that in Great Britain despite the huge difference in population. (New Zealand has about 4.5 million people, Great Britain has about 65 million.)

Of course, not all New Zealanders are critical of the Police. Plenty are neutral, and we have our own revolting characters too. We had a police shooting just a couple of days ago. The head of the right-wing Sensible Sentencing Trust, Garth McVicar had this to say on Twitter:

Really? “One less to clog the prisons!” and, “Congratulations …”? I already had a pretty low opinion of McVicar before this. He thinks hard labour is a good idea, for example, and that prisons should be harsher. But tweeting a congratulatory message for killing someone? How low can you go?

I have every sympathy for the officer who felt the need to take this action. Killing someone must be an extremely difficult thing to deal with, whatever the circumstances. Our police are pretty well trained and undergo personality tests before being accepted for training to try to weed out those who are likely to show poor judgement. That’s no guarantee against them getting it wrong, but it does make it more likely that they can reasonably justify their actions in controversial situations.

And the killing is being independently investigated. The officer can’t, for example, just say that he felt threatened and get away with what he did. That is not a justification.

One big problem though is that our police still aren’t wearing body cameras. All sorts of people are wearing body cameras here. In some cities, even the parking wardens have them. Ambulance officers routinely wear them too. All prison officers wear them, and reports are that they have significantly reduced violence both against officers and in general.

I can see no good reason for our police to continue to avoid the wearing of body cameras. Assuming they are acting fairly and recounting events honestly, which I think most of them do, body cameras can only help them. There have been calls for our police to wear body cameras for some time, and they get louder with each police shooting. It’s time they heeded the call.

 

Political Tweets

I endorse this completely.
(Via Ann German.)

 

I just have this to add …

 

Ha ha!
(Via Ann German.)

 

Oh dear! I didn’t retweet this, but I felt the urge to use it somewhere all the same.
(Via Ann German.)

 

A responsibility of leadership: providing an example for kids.

 

SCOTUS Tweets

I can see a need for this section coming. I’ve felt that the rule of law is under threat in the US for some time, and that feeling keeps getting stronger. A Trump presidency makes the threat much worse, and the longer he is around the greater the threat. Extreme partisanship leads to both sides doing things they wouldn’t normally consider, but I see the far right as more dangerous as they have the greater proportion of authoritarians.
(Via Ann German.)

 

Gun Safety Tweets

Well, this one was pretty popular …

 

It’s amazing how the change in topic can change the approach.

 

What do you think of this dude’s sign! I love it, of course.

 

One of my regular arguments on why background checks will work.

 

Just sayin’.

 

 

Hunters say they need assault-type weapons. That needs a “please explain.”

 

A visual comparison between school shootings and politicians.

 

It’s the guns, stupid.

 

Human Rights Tweets

This is very cool.
(Via Ann German.)

 

Yet another cruel prejudice. I didn’t know there were people being killed and maimed for their body parts because of this superstition. I thought I couldn’t be surprised by the level of ignorance that still exists, but I am. The good news is some people are trying to do something about it.

 

Some very brave young women in Iran!

 

Religion Tweets

If you’re looking for blog recommendations, Egberto Willies is one I’d give a strong endorsement. He’s an atheist, but a religious background means he can put out pieces like this too.

 

Wow. Just wow. Hanging his hatred out there for all to see. And it’s amazing how many have “bravely” felt able to crawl out from under their rocks since Trump became president.
(Via Ann German.)

 

Ha!
(Via Ann German.)

 

 

Ha! again …
(Via Ann German.)

 

What religion has done to the women of Afghanistan. Also notice the gloves – it probably means she has painted nails. Any type of glorification of the hands must also be hidden from other men in the strictest interpretation of the Qur’an.

 

Science Tweets

Or is it a religion tweet?

 

WTF is Wrong With the World? Tweets

I don’t believe I’m reading this headline!

 

One of the responses it got …
(Via Ann German.)

 

Scenic Tweets

Spain.

 

Fun Tweets

This is brilliant. (Pinched from WEIT)

 

I’m surprised no one did this before!
(Via Ann German.)

 

I love the “God” Twitter account!
(Via Ann German.)

 

Other Animals Tweets

I know people who can (and do) do this!
(Via Ann German.)

 

This has to be one of the best hedgehog tweets ever!

 

Cool initiative.

 

Cat Tweets

There’s something about cats and kittens.

 

What a cutie!

 

That kid’s getting a good start in life!

 

I’d shut the bedroom door tonight if I were you! That cat’s getting you back!

 

Poor kitty!

 

I want a kitten that’s going to grow up to look like this …

 


 

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