Andri Þór Sturluson, backup member of parliament for the Pirate Party, wants citizens to call the emergency services line every time they see a police officer wielding a gun.
Earlier in the week, he put up a Facebook status in which he equated seeing police officers with guns to spotting any suspicious, armed individuals.
“We who are opposed to the police carrying guns should call the police every time we see one of their officers armed,” Andri wrote. “We should report suspicious armed individuals no matter who they are. If enough of us constantly call the police to report threatening people they will be forced to stop carrying guns.”
He claimed that police authorities would be unable to justify their officers carrying guns if they received “hundreds” of complaints. The status was written in response to the police having decided to maintain an armed presence at all major public gatherings in the future.
The police claims that the change is due to the increased threat of terrorism and that recent events in Europe have proven that this is a necessary step. Critics, however, believe the move is unjustifiable and in fact only helps create fear.
Putting people at risk
Þórhallur Ólafsson, director of the emergency services hot line, said that the unusual protest could put people at risk and take up valuable time, which should be used to help individuals in need.
“Increased pressure on us, means that people in need will be unable to contact us and that can have unpredictable consequences,” he told RÚV. “Andri is encouraging people to put the public at risk. Our message is that the emergency services can’t be compromised for any purpose.”
Since facing public backlash for his status, Andri has defended himself by saying he was just being provocative and that he was not responsible for how people interpreted his words. He admits that his proposal is serious, but that so is arming of the police.
His proposal might have been made in jest, but it is highly ludicrous. It is the equivalent of showing up at the emergency room feigning injury to protest security cameras at the hospital, or reporting drownings to protest the Coast Guard having cannons on their ships.
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