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Old March 6, 2013, 02:47 PM   #1
HarrySchell
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ACLU to look at "militarization" of local police

This may well be off-point but it occurred to me it is related the the "gun control" push as follows:

The sudden push on “gun control” and the militarization of police are intellectually incompatible to me.

First, the trends increase the imbalance of force available to citizens, compared to police, from where it already is.

Second, police seem to think they need lots of weaponry to deal with existing or probable threats adequately. I am my ONLY line of defense until and unless police arrive at wherever I have been confronted by a criminal (the same criminals they are arming up for). How can anyone tell me I to disarm or reasonably should not have similar weapons available to me wherever I might meet with criminal action?

Implicit in the second point is why it doesn't matter how police are armed, until they reach my location. That they have all this nice gear is meaningless when they aren't around.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/0...tml?1362577121
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Old March 6, 2013, 09:26 PM   #2
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Police have been far too militarized post 9/11, and they're given toys they don't need just because the DHS feels like it.
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Old March 6, 2013, 09:31 PM   #3
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About time.

I sorta lost my wild-eyed believer view in the ACLU when they repeatedly threw the 2nd Amendment under the bus.

However, if they pursue this with thier usual vigor, they may regain some lost ground and mend a tarnished reputation.
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Old March 6, 2013, 09:32 PM   #4
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The problem with the militarism of the police is one of mind set. As they adopt the more aggressive tactics of the military, the police move from one of protect and serve to a weapons free attitude.

There is a need for SWAT units in police departments. They do an excellent job but they are costly. The bean counters must justify the expensive training so they start to utilize the unit for more mundane task were their hard charging aggressive tactics may not be appropriate.

In Pima County AZ a former Marine was woken up in the early morning. He grabbed his AR-15 to investigate the noise and was Killed by a SWAT sniper without warning. Per the Tucson Papers.

A simple uniformed Officer (with backup) could have knocked on the door and made the arrest. In stead the unit went through elaborate unstealthy preparations and the shooting resulted.
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Old March 6, 2013, 09:58 PM   #5
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Re: ACLU to look at "militarization" of local police

If the ACLU fought half as hard for the 2A as the do for the 1st, we would all be issued modern assault rifles from the federal govt just like the Swiss. There would be nationally sponcered shooting days where the govt picks up the ammo tab.

The ACLU is a joke in my onion.
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Old March 6, 2013, 10:42 PM   #6
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Good post, interesting angle.

this isn't the typical rail-against-the-better-armed-cops-i-might-have-to-oppose-when-the-govt-turns-tyrannical type of rant. Turning that tired diatribe on its head, if the cops "need" body armor, automatic weapons, hi-cap mags, etc to fight crime, then it is axiomatic that we the citizenry "'need" the same, since in a self-defense scenario we are really the first responders, aren't we? Long before the cops show up, god bless them, even before there is time to call them, we would have to confront/repel the same criminal element they face.

God knows, if i ever reached the decision to pull the trigger, i'd want the best and highest capacity arms available. Just like the police do.
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Old March 6, 2013, 10:59 PM   #7
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Daugherty
Yes the cops need effective fire power and access to heavier gear, but there is a reasonable limit.

Why not give out 155mm artillery, or surplus cruise missles, or what the heck lets declare open season and pass out W88's to every police force. We have 1000s in stock.

Does "Americas nuttiest sheriff" need a self propelled howitzer:

http://www.google.com/search?q=joe+a...vGALwAl40MM%3A

A big part of the problem is the DoD 1033 program where <derogatory_term_omitted> like joe arpaio lobby for and get military equipment they don't really need. And guess who pays maintenance on all this ego-acquired gear?
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Old March 6, 2013, 11:41 PM   #8
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I think if you brought together all SWAT units from across the US, they wouldnt have trouble toppling a small country in Europe.
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Old March 7, 2013, 12:13 AM   #9
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The sudden push on “gun control” and the militarization of police are intellectually incompatible to me.
It's not hard- you just have to accept that "Some animals are more equal than others."
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Old March 7, 2013, 12:25 AM   #10
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I am my ONLY line of defense until and unless police arrive at wherever I have been confronted by a criminal (the same criminals they are arming up for).
The problem is, you/we may become the "criminal" that are arming up for.
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Old March 7, 2013, 09:29 AM   #11
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If the ACLU fought half as hard for the 2A as the do for the 1st, we would all be issued modern assault rifles from the federal govt just like the Swiss. There would be nationally sponcered shooting days where the govt picks up the ammo tab.

The ACLU is a joke in my onion.
To be fair, the ACLU has limited resources, just like every other organization, so they have to pick and choose where they spend their time and money. Frankly, the NRA and similar organizations have the Second Amendment pretty well covered. In contrast, how many organizations can you name that are fighting to preserve the *rest* of the Bill of Rights?

The ACLU doesn't think that gun ownership is an individual right. I disagree with them, but it doesn't really matter one way or the other. They're not actively lobbying against gun ownership, and they have taken a pro-2A stance in past cases.
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Old March 7, 2013, 02:35 PM   #12
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I think if you brought together all SWAT units from across the US, they wouldnt have trouble toppling a small country in Europe.
Now that's interesting.

I'm not sure though, may of them have pretty good anti-terrorism units and special forces. Though the SWAT guys could SWARM them.

Crocop would lead the battle!

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Old March 7, 2013, 02:49 PM   #13
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They'd have trouble getting to Europe with all their gear. They'd have trouble with fielding enough anti air and anti armor. Other than that, yeah, they're most of the way there.

Having read Holder's letter to Rand Paul, and no I'm not a fan or a critic of the guy, I felt Holder was dancing around the DHS drone issue extremely carefully..
He sees no plausible, but several extreme examples where President Obama MIGHT order a military drone strike, but the law enforcement organizations are better suited to dealing with US citizens on US Soil. Except DHS is a law enforcement organization. With Drones. The qualifiers get a little too cute for me.
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Old March 7, 2013, 04:18 PM   #14
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I think the "militarization" of local police has an impact on how citizens are willing to interact with those officers. Little Johnnie might tell somebody who looks like a traffic cop that he saw a stranger in the bushes across the street, but he will probably just back slowly away from somebody who is tacced-out like something between a Stormtrooper and Boba Fett.

Quote:
It's not hard- you just have to accept that "Some animals are more equal than others."
It certainly seems that way sometimes doesn't it Jimbob86, good reading.
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Old March 7, 2013, 04:55 PM   #15
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It has occurred to me recently that this militarization of police is itself antithetical to the second amendment. There should be civilian (or rather non-government personnel) involvement and control over this weaponry.

Perhaps it could take the form of a minimum percentage of reserve personnel in actual leadership positions with PDs, who have real time oversight and absolute authority to shutdown any unauthorized or illegal use of force against citizens. This concept has been percolating under the surface with me for awhile. The concept is to structure the command and leadership so that it fulfills the purpose of the 2A: That the citizenry must have equal footing in terms of the disparity of force.
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Old March 7, 2013, 05:02 PM   #16
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I don't see much difference between the Chief and Assistant Chiefs answering to the Mayor and the Joint Chiefs answering to the POTUS.
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Old March 8, 2013, 02:32 AM   #17
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I fully support police officers being able to carry any firearm or gear that we can buy and they need for the job. I'm happy when I see a cop carrying an obviously non-standard issue sidearm or patrol rifle and find out that they care about their own capabilities and duties enough to seek extra training and equipment. I met one LEO at a course who carried a Wilson 1911 and a quad mag holster because he was more accurate with the 1911 than the standard issue pistol. I'm cool with that.

I'm not cool with departments that play fast and loose with their own ROE and protect those who violate people's rights.
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Old March 8, 2013, 06:17 AM   #18
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Swat are small units, yes they have M16s/and snipers, but the Militarizing? of ordinary Police? I don't see it, my City's Police Dept. carry 9mm Sigs, I carry a 9mm Glock.

They have access to AR15s, I have a Steyr AUG. So I carry basically what the average Police Officer carries.

I do not see any need to worry about the SWAT team, all twenty of them.

Special units normally are deployed to dwellings/Hostage situations, that kind of threat, they are not patrolling the Streets and Highways, stopping speeders.

I once lived in a Country, where the Police went on Work to rule, they went on strike! One town! Lasted for 4 hours!

Local Bikers were driving on side walks, took their bikes into stores!

Am I worried about our City Police, in an anyway shape or form? No.
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Old March 8, 2013, 09:04 AM   #19
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I support ACLU so much in this matter I considered joining and becoming a member but I disagree with them so much on a few other matters I just cannot bring myself to.
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Old March 8, 2013, 10:09 AM   #20
maestro pistolero
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"I don't see much difference between the Chief and Assistant Chiefs answering to the Mayor and the Joint Chiefs answering to the POTUS."
And when none of them answer to the people that is entirely consistent, as well.
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Old March 8, 2013, 10:36 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Brit
Special units normally are deployed to dwellings/Hostage situations, that kind of threat, they are not patrolling the Streets and Highways, stopping speeders.
At the risk of starting a thread hijack about cable TV, I suggest that you- or anyone else interested in this issue- watch a few episodes of the reality show Dallas SWAT. Yes, the SWAT team is often deployed to dwellings, but the show gives one the impression that the team's primary focus is serving routine drug warrants rather than responding to hostage situations and suchlike.

However, the really disturbing thing to me is that a couple of episodes portray deployments to houses where a suspect is believed to be heavily armed. I believe that the current political push for universal background checks may be a Trojan horse for a national gun registry, and my concern is that a registry may result in some police departments routinely sending SWAT to serve any minor warrant at a home where there are more than 1-2 guns.
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Old March 8, 2013, 12:24 PM   #22
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However, the really disturbing thing to me is that a couple of episodes portray deployments to houses where a suspect is believed to be heavily armed. I believe that the current political push for universal background checks may be a Trojan horse for a national gun registry, and my concern is that a registry may result in some police departments routinely sending SWAT to serve any minor warrant at a home where there are more than 1-2 guns.
Not even remotely surprising. Which is really the saddest part about it.
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Old March 8, 2013, 12:36 PM   #23
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I disagree, there are very few places in society where SWAT teams are needed or good choices, a SWAT team is basically a professional kill team armed to the teeth with military weapons,
the whole notion of this kind of force (the great expense borne by taxes) is contrary to what police are tasked to do in society,
you may not know it but in Katrina SWAT teams (or the equivalent) were breaking down citizens doors, holding people at gunpoint, taking their weapons by force, with order to shoot to kill if anyone resisted.
If the police are decently armed but not over-armed they tend to be a little less prone to this kind of activity,
the Founding Fathers warned us of the danger of standing armies,
police today with their level of armament represent standing armies, they are centralized, organized, in the chain of command ultimately under the authority of the Commander in Chief
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Old March 8, 2013, 12:57 PM   #24
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a SWAT team is basically a professional kill team armed to the teeth with military weapons,
Define military weapons. I hope you realize the slippery slope your argument rests on.

Quote:
you may not know it but in Katrina SWAT teams (or the equivalent) were breaking down citizens doors, holding people at gunpoint, taking their weapons by force, with order to shoot to kill if anyone resisted.
Cite proof that they were actually highly specialized and trained teams and not just whatever LE/NG was in the area, and that they had orders to kill.


Quote:
police today with their level of armament represent standing armies, they are centralized, organized, in the chain of command ultimately under the authority of the Commander in Chief
Would you like to detail how local LE become federalized troops?
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Old March 8, 2013, 02:01 PM   #25
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Re: ACLU to look at "militarization" of local police

At the most basic level, power corrupts and giving the police a larger advantage over the average citizen does increase the likelihood of it being abused. At the local level the willingness of the people to approve tax increases provides a natural limit to all this but federal grants for fancy gear shift the balance in an unhealthy way.
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