Two thirds of Birmingham Mail readers believe police should be routinely armed on the streets, according to our online poll.
Calls have been made for dramatically more officers to be armed following the terrorist attacks in Paris that left 129 people dead.
But the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson said a “serious discussion” needed to take place before a decision on whether to increase the numbers of armed police on patrol.
Of those who took part in a Birmingham Mail online poll, 68 per cent agreed that police officers should be routinely armed, while 32 per cent disagreed.
Reader Kyle Street commented: “No need for debate, arm the police. Get more police officers.”
Robert Byrne added: “I’d prefer police to be armed rather than wait for special forces. At least then the police could help defend people rather than being helpless.”
But a number of readers said the UK should resist a “knee-jerk” reaction after the events in Paris,
Bobby Jones said: “The police in America are armed to the teeth and look at all the crime and murder they have over there. More weaponry on the streets is not the answer.”
Clare Field also commented: “We have specifically trained armed police where needed. If anything we need to stop cuts to the police and reinforce the importance of policing at a community level.”
Yesterday Birmingham MP Jack Dromey (Lab Erdington) accused David Cameron of “living on a different planet” after the Prime Minister claimed cutting police funding was leading to more police on the streets.
Speaking in the House of Commons, he said: “It would be the worst possible time now to proceed with the biggest cuts to any police service in Europe, which will have a serious impact on neighbourhood policing, vital to intelligence gathering, the eyes and ears of counter-terrorism in local communities.”
Last week, West Midlands Police discovered it will lose £28 million in funding following a government miscalculation.