On the operational tours of duty I did as an Army officer, I was armed with both a rifle and a pistol.

When people ask me why I had two weapons, my stock response is that they wouldn’t give me three.

I had made a pact with myself that if ever I was in any kind of situation in Iraq or Afghanistan which required their use, I would have no qualms doing so.

In the end, when I jumped out of my Land Rover on the scorched streets of Basra and Kabul, those situations were never serious enough to merit discharging my weapons.

The incoming I took came from ballistic missiles and small arms so far away I couldn’t see who was shooting at me nor from where. In a war you can expect such dramas, but you don’t necessarily on the streets of this country.

In recent days there have been renewed calls for our police officers to be armed in the wake of the Paisley chainsaw incident and the ghastly events in the Hainault area of London, in which 14-year-old Daniel Anjorin died and several people, among them police officers, were injured after a man ran amok with a Samurai sword.

But if you ask police officers themselves, especially those in Scotland, their view is the polar opposite.

The perpetrator of that attack is where he belongs: in custody, awaiting the judicial process. Had he been in America, or many other countries around the world, he would without question have been shot dead by the first police officers on the scene.

If he had been shot dead by Scottish police officers, then it would be them facing the lawyers, not him.

"Did you have to kill him? Did you shout a warning? Could you not have used force other than lethal force?"

You can imagine the situation with litigants lining up, sharpening their pencils and planning which Jaguar to buy with the pay cheque. The police officers’ careers would be shattered, on hold for years, their lives altered irrevocably, purely and simply for doing their job and keeping people safe.

Of course, there are incidents which require armed officers to be deployed and their weapons fired, had the Hainault man been armed with an assault rifle, for example.

Instead of guns, should we not give rank and file officers what they want? Equip each one with a Taser and issue them with a body video camera to capture the evidence.

Then what is required, and it’s a huge ask, is the continuing cold courage of officers, for which they have to be congratulated and we should be eternally grateful.