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Old May 30, 2009, 04:22 PM   #1
Dust Monkey
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Boston Mayor Rejects Idea to Arm Police Officers With Military Assault Weapons

I opined in another thread that citizens would eventually wake up and assert their views on the issue of the militarization of police. Well. This just might be the first of many such cities just saying no. When citizens realize that they control the purse strings and the elected officials, things will change.

http://http://www.foxnews.com/story/...est=latestnews

BOSTON — The Boston Police Department wants to arm neighborhood patrol officers with high-powered military assault weapons, but the mayor doesn't think it's such a good idea.

Boston Mayor Tom Menino said Friday he will not approve a police department plan to put semiautomatic M-16 rifles in the hands of regular patrol officers. But Menino says he's open to giving them to "specialized units."

The police recently obtained 200 M-16s free of charge from the U.S. military and had planned to give them to dozens of officers for their patrols after training them to use the rifles.

However, some community leaders criticized the lack of public notice and questioned the reasoning behind arming district officers with M-16s when the city's SWAT team already has such weapons.
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Old May 30, 2009, 05:17 PM   #2
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I guess the question I have is: when would they be used? I know of a few PD's that have AR-15's but they stay in the trunk of the police car unless the SHTF. And these are not SWAT units, these are just patrol cars. Essentially, they replaced shotguns with AR's.

Now if a beat cop is walking around the streets of Boston carrying an AR-15, that is a whole other kettle of fish. But I don't have any problem with them in the car....
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Old May 30, 2009, 06:03 PM   #3
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I dont have a problem with the rifles being in squad cars or in the trunks of squad cars. I am just pointing out that citizens can do something about the increasing militarization of police. Citizens can say no. They can pressure local elected officials not to sign off on it. Its not about police having ARs or not. Its the fact that maybe, just maybe, citizens are waking up.
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Old May 30, 2009, 06:30 PM   #4
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I'm one for the police not needing rifles. In the rare chance that there's a situation that warrants the need for battle rifles and automatic submachine guns and such, it would be bad enough to let the highly trained SWAT teams take care of it. Not bashing on the street cops, but they have a hard enough qualifying with their pistols. They don't need more on their plate for the rare chance that they might use it maybe.
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Old May 30, 2009, 06:50 PM   #5
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Tell that to the officers in LA who had to go against bank robbers better equipted than the officers. It takes time to roll out SWAT and time means lifes, civilian and police.
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Old May 30, 2009, 07:02 PM   #6
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I am fine with police officers being permitted to be armed as well as citizens. I could keep an AR-15 in my trunk or even openly carry it, although this might cause some unwanted attention. No reason for the police not to be allowed. They are citizens without felony records after all.
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Old May 30, 2009, 07:14 PM   #7
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Let him watch the N. Hollywood shootout and then say patrol officers shouldn't have rifles. Before that shootout occurred the Police had requested patrol rifles and that was denied if I remember correctly.
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Old May 30, 2009, 08:11 PM   #8
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Let him watch the N. Hollywood shootout
Quote:
Tell that to the officers in LA who had to go against bank robbers
No offense guys but, this example is getting quite tiresome, if this is the only situation in 13 years that has pitted street cops against an unfair advantage then I would submit that perhaps the need is not that great.

I have no problem with officers being issued AR-15s as a trunk gun, sometimes a handgun just ain't enough, But, I cannot see the need to issue M-16s to street cops. FA fire should not be that "necessary" for peace officers.
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Old May 30, 2009, 09:33 PM   #9
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I am confused. The article clearly says "M-16", but it also describes them as "semiautomatic." I'm not exactly sure what they mean by a "semiautomatic M-16." Maybe it's the writer's mistake, or maybe they are converted to semiautomatic only.

Outcast, I agree somewhat with you. Full auto has a very narrow application in law enforcement. I wouldn't call it a "need" for a patrol officer to carry a fully automatic weapon, but I certainly wouldn't expect them to turn down ones that were donated.

I could see where one would think the potential for misuse is high, but a police officer already has a full compliment of tools (up to and including a pen) that if misused could ruin someone's life. If you are well trained and know where and when to use "da switch" why should you be limited in the amount of firepower you have access to? It is hard for me to say that Bob can't have it because Steve might screw it up.

To SteelJM1, your logic is the same used against private gun ownership and carrying: none.

Quote:
I'm one for the police not needing rifles.
Ha, we agree there. I'm for them not needing them as well. I think what you mean is you are for the police not having them.

In the rare chance that there's a situation that warrants the need of your home defense or concealed carry weapon, better let the police handle it. Just pray that they don't need rifles to handle it.
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Old May 30, 2009, 10:30 PM   #10
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All cops should have rifles. Easier to hit with and those hits usually give a better result.

Handguns should be a last resort, not the first option.

I could care less if the sight of a rifle makes some people soil themselves and screech. I wouldn't have expected that reaction from "gun people" but life is full of surprises. I guess antis aren't the only ones frightened of scary-looking arms.
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Old May 30, 2009, 10:31 PM   #11
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They can get a full auto surplus rifle from DoD a lot cheaper than they can buy a new AR-15. No reason for them to pay for something they can get very cheap or free.
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Old May 30, 2009, 10:52 PM   #12
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I opined in another thread that citizens would eventually wake up and assert their views on the issue of the militarization of police.
Tom Menino probably did not need any grumbling from citizens groups to reach his conclusion about "military assault weapons." Some of Menino's past rhetoric suggests that he may be an anti-gun true-believer who would disarm the police (except for "specialized units") if he thought it was politically feasible.
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Old May 30, 2009, 11:00 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelJM1
I'm one for the police not needing rifles. In the rare chance that there's a situation that warrants the need for battle rifles and automatic submachine guns and such, it would be bad enough to let the highly trained SWAT teams take care of it.
In the N. Hollywood shootout that's already been brought up in this thread, the shooting went on for quite some time with quite a few officers being injured before the SWAT team arrive and ended it. That only happened so quickly because they were in a training evolution at a nearby location. If they'd had to respond from their station, as is usually the case, it might have taken an additional 30 minutes. In all likelihood many more officers would have been injured and one of the suspects may have even escaped! He was in the process of hijacking a truck when they arrived on scene and stopped him.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelJM1
Not bashing on the street cops, but they have a hard enough qualifying with their pistols. They don't need more on their plate for the rare chance that they might use it maybe.
It's a simple matter to allow only those officers who are proficient with a particular weapon, in this case the AR-15/M-16 carry it. Generalizations like yours, " … they have a hard enough [time] qualifying with their pistols …" are out of place in such a discussion and because they're so general are usually wrong. I never had the slightest bit of trouble qualifying "with my pistol" or any other weapon I carried or had available.

IN FACT most officers find it far easier to shoot a rifle faster and more accurately than they do a handgun.
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Old May 30, 2009, 11:01 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by OuTcAsT
No offense guys but, this example is getting quite tiresome, if this is the only situation in 13 years that has pitted street cops against an unfair advantage then I would submit that perhaps the need is not that great.
What's getting REALLY tiresome is this rather regular sniveling about the "militarization of the police." The North Hollywood shootout is hardly the only example of a situation where rifles carried by patrol officers would have been helpful but it was the impetus for many agencies to get such guns. And it was one of the biggest such incidents. Other incidents are over quickly and often with the officer on the losing end.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OuTcAsT
I have no problem with officers being issued AR-15s as a trunk gun, sometimes a handgun just ain't enough, But, I cannot see the need to issue M-16s to street cops. FA fire should not be that "necessary" for peace officers.
I fail to see much difference. Most of the M-16's that are issued to street officers are set up to fire only on semi-auto. But I see no problem with having the ability to select FA if needed.

What are the objections to this? Why is semi auto OK but FA is not?
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Old May 30, 2009, 11:21 PM   #15
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Why is semi auto OK but FA is not?
Because machineguns are SO much more deadly than normal guns.

Sorry, that was a Brady quote.
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Old May 30, 2009, 11:22 PM   #16
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bigger hammer

Respectfully Sir, You once again attempt to credit me with statements that I have not made, I do not intend to be baited into a genital waving contest over a topic that has been all but declared "verboten" and not under discussion here. Again, please point to any mention of "militarization" by me, in this thread or kindly refrain from dragging me into the folds of your wadded panties.

We have differing opinions and, that is the way it is.

On topic, I cannot see where fully automatic fire would be needed by anyone other than "specialized" Police units , unless they are going to be available to other civilians as well.
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Old May 30, 2009, 11:27 PM   #17
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On topic, I cannot see where fully automatic fire would be needed by anyone other than "specialized" Police units, unless they are going to be available to other civilians as well.
This logic could also be used to argue that even specialized units do not need FA weapons since the numerical superiority of specialized units could compensate for the lack of FA firepower.
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Old May 30, 2009, 11:28 PM   #18
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I never had the slightest bit of trouble qualifying "with my pistol" or any other weapon I carried or had available.
and most officers are not registered on a firearms forum... This is like the 'I kept my AR running in Iraq, so every grunt can' argument. I don't think MOST officers have trouble with their pistols, but there are some who really should not have pistols in the first place, at least not live ammunition.

Quote:
IN FACT most officers find it far easier to shoot a rifle faster and more accurately than they do a handgun.
Probably true, but not many of their handguns have the ballistics of a 223. 9mm doesn't exactly go through frame houses all that well. 223 on the other hand has a lot better chance.

I also agree the west hollywood card is overplayed. I think it is very likely we will not see a similar situation before the zombies/communists/mall ninjas, or even the retired mall ninja communist zombie hoard, take over.
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Old May 30, 2009, 11:35 PM   #19
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This logic could also be used to argue that even specialized units do not need FA weapons since the numerical superiority of specialized units could compensate for the lack of FA firepower.
A very good point.

Quote:
not many of their handguns have the ballistics of a 223. 9mm doesn't exactly go through frame houses all that well. 223 on the other hand has a lot better chance.
And given we are discussing an urban environment,I would think that FA .223 fire would be very cumbersome with respect to controlling overpenetration.
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Old May 30, 2009, 11:38 PM   #20
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I also agree the west hollywood card is overplayed.
I also agree that West Hollywood is overplayed... but for different reasons.

In a highly urbanized environment, we generally expect a large number of police to be able to respond to a situation in a short period of time. West Hollywood was a rare example where that type of response did not work well. However, in rural environments (such as some of the sparsely populated Western or Plains states), backup may not be a realistic option, the bad guy may (probably) have a rifle and a long approach field of fire, and a patrol rifle may be the only viable option.
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Old May 31, 2009, 11:40 AM   #21
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Given that "assault weapons" are rarely used to commit crimes, I don't see a com,pelling need for every officer to have a FA weapon.

When you consider that the nominal hit rate for police with handguns is about 1 every 6 rounds fired, I don't like the idea of an FA weapon as first response to an incident, the calm collected mind to fire in short bursts doesn't seem to be a trait the average LEO would acquire, given what they do with handguns. But there is a lot I don't know about the subject.

However, we are likely closer than before to a Mumbai-type engagement, where M4's or M16's might be crucial. I think that scenario is a long way off but who knows. The drug cartels have brought such violence to our borders.

One of my firearms instructors took down a very crazy guy with a knife from about 7 feet with a single burst from an MP5. In the circumstances, it was the best path, and the other officers on scene held fire. A 12 Guage could have done the same, but the suppressor on the MP5 likely kept anyone else from shooting. This guy is really good.

Motorcycle officers around here carry M4's on their bikes. It is not comforting to see, if there really is that much danger out there, why can't I have a carry permit (I am in CA)? And are these guys schooled well enough to handle the weapon so to exert just enough force to stop an incident, since the rounds carry 2-300 yards? Or will they go to spray and pray?
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Old May 31, 2009, 12:24 PM   #22
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The West Hollywood shootout proved only one thing: cops make horrible choices when it comes to their firearms. Well, that and they can't take headshots. They actually went to a gun store that I used to frequent (B&B) and they got some rifles to "level the playing field". B&B has pretty much any gun you could imagine. What did they choose out of the nearly limitless possibilities? AR-15's. This was about the dumbest choice they could have made, in my opinion. Not because your typical AR isn't accurate enough to make the headshot that was needed, but because these idiot cops didn't seem interested in taking careful aim and ending the deal quickly. It seemed to me that they would rather put lots of bullets on target but none of them accurately enough to get the job done. All they needed was two headshots to end the whole thing. Remington 700, Ruger 77, Win 70, any decent quality deer rifle could have ended this thing quickly. Their 12 gauge shotguns aimed at the head feet or hands could have ended it quickly. I remember watching it at home thinking "I could DRIVE DOWN THERE and pop these guys in the head before these idiot cops will get the job done."

I know I know, there were officers down everywhere and the guys had automatic weapons and blah blah blah. All of that doesn't change the fact that SOMEWHERE during the confrontation a single shot to the head of either of the robbers would have ended the whole thing. Eventually it did. As I recall they both had HUNDREDS of rounds in their body armor, and when it ended there were only two shots really mattered: one perp was shot in the ankle which finally brought him down where he bled out on the street from other wounds, and the other one was stopped by a single shot to the head. After the 45 minute debacle there were awards given and there was a lot of news in SoCal about how traumatized the cops were. Ridiculous...
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Old May 31, 2009, 12:49 PM   #23
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Looks like I gave the police a little too much credit in my last post. I was just reading some articles online and apparently one of those guys offed himself with a headshot.
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Old May 31, 2009, 01:10 PM   #24
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They are semi-automatic M16s. My local agency has a few dozen of them, old M16A1s. There is a kit to remove the full auto function. The department armorers converted them all. There is also a part made that fits between the grip and the lower receiver that has a metal projection that blocks the selector from going to the FA or Burst position. Of course, that isn't "cop proof" It can be removed in the field with a screwdriver and some time.

Last month a local cop armed with a handgun was ambushed by a dirtbag with an illegal SBR AR15 and a few dozen other rifles, including a Barrett .50. The officer lost his eye in the shootout, but survived. It happens all the time, just because it doesn't get the North Hollywood publicity, don't assume it never occurs.
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Old May 31, 2009, 01:22 PM   #25
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He put the 9mm under his chin and shot himself, simultaneously he took a cross torso shot I believe that went through his spinal cord.

Had the bad guys actually aimed their weapons and not just sprayed in every direction there would have been a lot of people killed.

If the officers would have been allowed to have 12ga slugs it could have ended a lot sooner IMHO.
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