The question on everyone's mind isn't whether or not guns deter crime --> I'm sure they do.
The question that really matters is whether or not guns deter crime less than they encourage crime.
I saw some clips on CourtTV recently, where they were saying that in some places where it's very much more likely that the clerk behind a counter of a shop will have a gun, armed robbery is less likely, because the crooks in question will opt to just walk in, pull out their gun and shoot the clerk in the face before they have a chance to react --> If not that, then there were a few clips that had people go get a cup of that insanely hot gas station coffee, and throw it in the clerk's face.
I find it hard to say one way or another if giving everybody a weapon is a good idea.
I'm pretty sure most UK cops still don't carry guns.
yeah it's a pretty low amount of UK police that carry guns as far as i know. A lot of them carry plastic bullet guns and recently there was a report that they were being given a supply of 1000 taser guns or something. Which all work perfectly well in halting somebody.
i guess guns aren't SO much of a necessity in the UK as they are in America though. They'd be encountered a lot less, as it's still mainly knife crime that is seen.
To protect themselves and the community. Guns don't deter crime guaranteed, people will always make stupid decisions whether their opponents are armed or not. Being armed only does two things to a person: deters or makes them take risks. Like Pretzel said, they may just walk in and shoot before saying anything to prevent the gun from getting in their way.