The harrowing events which took place in Sandy Hook, Connecticut on the 12th of December 2012 – where 26 people died after a lone gunman went on a rampage through the normally peaceful town – only serves to reiterate the world’s view that the United States is the only country that has a problem with gun crime. Unfortunately, this is not true.
UK Firearms Offenses
The UK has seen a significant increase in firearms related offenses over the last two decades. As a result, gun crime is now a very real and present threat for many people, especially police officers, in some parts of the UK.
Shooting in Northern Ireland
Exactly a week after the shocking events in Sandy Hook, an off-duty police officer in Bangor, Northern Ireland was shot with his own weapon when he confronted two men who were trespassing on his property and acting suspiciously around his car. The incident happened at around 7.30 pm on the 19th December 2012, when the off-duty officer pulled on some lightweight Body Armour and armed himself with his Glock personal protection pistol before going to investigate. Once outside, he was overpowered by the two intruders and shot in the chest with a bullet fired from his own gun. Fortunately, the bullet-proof vest he was wearing stopped the round from seriously injuring him.
Although incidents like this are thankfully still quite rare; they clearly illustrate just how vital bullet proof vests can be to police officers.