The situation described (beat Officers attend a random call at an address, unaware of what is waiting for them behind the front door) occurs every day, all over the country, by unarmed personnel. Would carrying sidearms have saved the lives of the two GMP Officers? No. Given the vitriol aimed at Police Officers who have lawfully drawn weapons and engaged a legitimate target in recent incidents - usually from areas of society who know nothing about firearms or law enforcement - it is not surprising that many Officers are cautious about being issued a loaded gun. Certain communities already feel alienated by the Police or do not feel comfortable providing help or information that Officers rely on to conduct investigations, so issuing gun is not going to help that situation. A Taser, on the other hand, is a more favourable option; the mere presence or threat of its use is often enough for a suspect to back down and remain compliant.
Likewise I do not agree with the knee-jerk responses regarding capital punishment. While I admit that the penal system needs a significant overhaul - i.e. suspects who pose no threat to society should not be remanded, in order to make space in already overcrowded prisons - I doubt execution of criminals would act as a deterrent, given that crime levels (especially the murder of Police Officers) in countries that do have the death penalty show no definitive sign of diminishing.
On a positive note, there has been a campaign by serving Officers from around the UK to provide duty cover for GMP Officers who wish to attend the funerals of PCs Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes. It started as a blog idea by "Constable Chaos" and it has taken off with considerable enthusiasm. So much so that the Force has been inundated with offers of relief officers, with a press statement released by ACC Gary Shewen GMP. Google "#CoverForGMP" for more about this initiative. :salut:
Sound reasoning about firearms SPB, but I can't agree about the death penalty. I agree that it doesn't seem to serve as a deterrent, but it would at least spare the government the burden of cost of imprisoning scum like this.