Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Kenya cops and their guns

You know, I do rather wish that Kenyan police officers would keep their automatic weapons pointed at the ground a bit more often.

I'm sure you've seen the scene in Pulp Fiction, when Samuel L. Jackson is a bit too casual with his handgun and ends up spraying gore out of the back of the kid in the backseat's head. Well, on more than one occasion, a cop has sat down next to me on a bus with his gun clutched across his chest. It is very disconcerting to have a gun barrel waggling around inches from your temple as the rickety old bus jiggles over potholes. I have this strange desire to keep my brain inside my skull, rather than splattered all over the grubby windows of a KBS banger. Call me picky if you like, but that's just the way I feel.

Equally, having two officers sauntering in front of you in a busy shopping center with their guns slung over their shoulders, the barrels swinging around jauntily at head height, makes me feel a touch uneasy. Such moments are the only point in my life I wish I were at least a head shorter. It isn't like the guns are exactly modern either, and who knows whether the safety is on.

Every day you read that the police have bravely shot dead "suspected" criminals in a variety of situations. I do wonder how many of those deaths were of the "my gun went off when I was picking my nose too vigorously and blew a hole in the forehead of a 79-year-old blind cripple, who has just become a notorious criminal" variety.

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