It is with some trepidation that I enter this dicussion as I know this area is a hot potato. I have decided to create a new thread as I want to raise an issue that seems to be missing in UK gun debates.
John Lott has written an interesting book called "More Guns, Less Crime". He draws a corrolation between the tightness of gun control and violent crime. The corrolation is extremely strong. Where guns are banned, violent crime is highest. Where gun laws are freeist, particularly with Concealed Carry allowed, it is lowest.
Correlation does not prove causation, of course. However, one can understand that one may be less likely to rob a bank if you do not know which of your follow customers is armed.
So, a legitimate response to Cumbria can be, not that the Police should be armed, but that any individual should be able to arm himself should he choose to do so. But, we hear little of this in the UK press.
(I was in Vermont some time ago and was told by someone I met that not only did he not lock his house at night, but he did not lock it when he went on holiday! Another correlation, but there are few controls on gun ownership there.)