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Old March 8, 2013, 04:23 PM   #26
orangello
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I live near a small town (maybe 15000 people, maaaaybe) amongst some other smallish towns within an hours drive of a couple of small cities/bigger towns. Last night i remembered the last time a local tactical unit or swat-type team was very publicly used; it was a hostage situation with a nutty pedobear holding his step-grandkids and his bleeding-to-death ex-wife (or some similar relations) inside a house with an SKS and a crapload of ammo (probably some other firearms also). It did not end well for the pedobear.

That was a WHOLLY appropriate use of a tactical team/SWAT unit. I don't see such overuse in this area; i am not certain if that is due to the unit being composed of officers from more than one department or if that is due to more discretion on the part of the commanding officers. I don't want to see this kind of unit being used for regular warrants, maybe for a warrant on an in-service meth production house or something, but not for Joe Bloe didn't show up for Jail on time.
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Old March 8, 2013, 06:40 PM   #27
jimbob86
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Define military weapons.
Military Weapon- A weapon used by the military.

Example: Full Auto or Burst M-4. Militarary Weapon that LE can have, and a private citizen can not own.

Private citizens can not own NFA "machineguns" manufactured after 1986.

M-4's were not manufactured back then.

I'm not even going to get into the whole DHS civilian army thing .....
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Old March 8, 2013, 06:47 PM   #28
sigcurious
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and the practical difference between someone who has a registered m16 lower built into an m4 configuration and a carbine that started life as an m4 is?

Kinda hard to argue that we want equal footing with an open NFA registry or better yet no more registry, while simultaneously arguing others shouldn't have access to the same.
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Old March 8, 2013, 07:08 PM   #29
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The days (or rather rounds) of both are numbered..... that 1986 reciever is going to die sooner. It will also cost me tens of thousands of dollars to buy one. Not so for the .gov.

The FOPA of 1986 is a de facto ban on civilian FA ownership ..... it is just in slow motion.

.... that said, you are quibbling: there are many NFA guns the .gov can have that us proles are prohibited. M203 40mm grenade launchers..... the 5.7 PDW ......

The more LE gets separated from the Citizen, the more there will be an "US and THEM" attitude coming from both parties. Sir Robert Peel laid down his Principles over a centruy ago ..... they work. Violating them is a a recipe for failure.

I'm not arguing that the cops should not have FA (though I don't see the utility of it in Police Work- I don't see any utility in ME having it) at all ..... I find the idea that LE thinks they are not "Civilians" and have rights and powers above that of a Citizen to be problematic.
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Old March 8, 2013, 09:01 PM   #30
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sigcurious, we could easily (and not in the least bit hypocritically) argue that there is no reason police officers (who are CIVILIANS) should be allowed weapons that are considered to be military (post-NFA select-fire weaponry, for example).

We could argue, in parallel, that if it is ok for police officers to have them, then it should be ok for the rest of us, too.
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Old March 8, 2013, 10:16 PM   #31
sigcurious
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I disagree that those two arguments can be made effectively in parallel. Perhaps in an ideal world they could be, however in practice, one argument is offering those who would seek to diminish our rights a concession of sorts. By arguing the police who are a subset of civilians should not be allowed certain types of weapons opens the door to the reasoning that no one, or all civilians, should be allowed those types of weapons.

Additionally by allowing a further categorization based on military or non-military use creates more issues based on current and future issued weapons. If we concede that because select fire weapons are used by the military no civilians should have them regardless of LE status, how do we prevent the proverbial camel from coming into the tent based on that. M9s aka beretta 92s are military weapons, m24s aka remington 700s are military weapons etc.

I think the much stronger argument rests in the second line of thought, that if police are allowed these weapons we should be too. While it may not be effective in repealing the NFA or the Hughes amendment(as realistically I do not believe this to be achievable in the near future), it at least staunches the flows of anti-rhetoric which has broadened the target from actual select fire weapons, to those that are similar in design but semi-automatic. By proffering the argument ourselves that police do not need certain weapons, we risk those who oppose general firearms ownership running with that statement to the exclusion of other arguments. In short, I see it as a dangerous gambit to argue that LE should not have something, while attempting to keep the gap between LE/Mil and Regular Joe/Jane, to a minimum, and while attempting to preserve and regain what bits of the 2A we have left.
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Old March 9, 2013, 07:33 AM   #32
MLeake
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Sigcurious, I think it is perfectly ok to say that government enforcers should not have access to better weaponry than the common citizenry.

I don't think that conflicts with the argument that says "if they have it, so should we." I think they go hand in hand, in a "what's good for the goose..." sort of way.

Since I don't see government giving up any of its means of force anytime soon, I also don't see the problem you predict as having any chance of arising.
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Old March 10, 2013, 02:42 AM   #33
Brit
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Quote:
Quote:
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.
Dallas Swat is a TV show, period!

Sir Robert Peel's idea of Police, to keep the Peace? Has gone past that idea, to some extent, but the good Sir Robert, in his time, was not confronted with Terrorists, and Meth Labs.

These threats are, or could be, in any City or Town in the US of A. The average Police Officer, is not trained or equipped to deal with said threats.

In my mind we do need Swat Teams, where they are deployed, that is the big question. Terrorists, and Meth Labs! Case in point! Special training, weaponry, vehicles are needed.

Terrorists? Not so much, but Meth Labs are rampant throughout the USA. Unless you want a large hole in a street, where a house used to be, Special Weapons and Tactics teams SWAT, are required. With the updated training needed.
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Old March 10, 2013, 03:01 AM   #34
rc
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Local police love to shoot their machine guns. Yes in Caliofornia machine guns are illegal to the average joe but the police seem to need them so when they enter a building they can make people turn into swis cheese. I believe that excessive force has become the rule rather than the exception.
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Old March 10, 2013, 03:14 AM   #35
R1145
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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.
What about ANY country in Europe...?! Oh, especially if that country had to pay all those public safety pensions...

Local police are professionals doing a job according to the law, and they do a good job 99.99% of the time. They have to recruit from the human race, so sometimes things go wrong, but overall, the US law enforcement community is a model for other countries.

More importantly, the ACLU is NOT your friend. The name of the organization is just a smokescreen for what is a very left-wing group dedicated to a larger government (and, hence, more police, whatever they're armed with).

Finally, some of you guys watch too much TV: Stop picking on SWAT teams (most of them aren't even called that any more). These guys are dedicated professionals doing the best they can in a messy world.
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Old March 10, 2013, 03:36 AM   #36
mrbatchelor
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ACLU to look at "militarization" of local police

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brit View Post
Dallas Swat is a TV show, period!
TV shows are our modern day "circuses" to keep the population controlled. It's not benign. Hollywood is a tool.


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Old March 10, 2013, 11:18 AM   #37
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The ACLU is a double edged sword, I'm not sure who else is standing up for 4th Amendmendt rights

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Last edited by Al Norris; March 10, 2013 at 11:21 AM. Reason: PM inbound
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Old March 10, 2013, 03:09 PM   #38
Fishing_Cabin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sigcurious
Additionally by allowing a further categorization based on military or non-military use creates more issues based on current and future issued weapons. If we concede that because select fire weapons are used by the military no civilians should have them regardless of LE status, how do we prevent the proverbial camel from coming into the tent based on that. M9s aka beretta 92s are military weapons, m24s aka remington 700s are military weapons etc.

I think the much stronger argument rests in the second line of thought, that if police are allowed these weapons we should be too. While it may not be effective in repealing the NFA or the Hughes amendment(as realistically I do not believe this to be achievable in the near future), it at least staunches the flows of anti-rhetoric which has broadened the target from actual select fire weapons, to those that are similar in design but semi-automatic.
Personally, I dont see a distinction (except for current laws), between what a citizen of the USA can own, and what the military can/should have. If a person has a clean background and the funds, they should be able to own what they wish for legal use. Afterall,IIRC the founding fathers were not thrilled with a large government/standing military.

I think the second train of thought about if LE can have them, we should too, is weak. In that why stop there? Instead of US vs LE in respect to the RKBA, it will become US vs Mil then...
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Old March 10, 2013, 04:18 PM   #39
ltc444
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Hopefully, the ACLU will look at the "misuse" of SWAT for missions outside of their designed function.

Effective SWAT Teams are highly trained and very expensive to maintain. In a time of shrinking budgets Police Managers have to find a way to justify a unit which might only be called upon once or twice a quarter.

For this reason they expanded the SWAT Mission to include other duties. Initially it was to serve high risk warrants and arrest. This is a good use but in most jurisdictions still minimal use. Once again the managers had to justify the cost for minimal benefit.

Now many departments have tasked the Swat to serve all warrants and make all planned arrest. This policy justifies the budget but it does a couple of other things. If the Officers go into an ordinary arrest mode, their tactical training degrades. If they affect all arrest in the tactical mode then the public suffers, the departmental relationship with the community suffers, and accidents happen were innocents are killed or injured.

There have been a number of incidents reported were the after action review showed that if the officers had not gone in hard no injuries would have been sustained. The subjects while a repeat offender has all ways surrendered peaceable when a uniformed officer knocked and notified the subject of the arrest. The Police went in hard, the BG thought it was a rip off and responded appropriately until he determined that the Raiders were in fact police.
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Old March 10, 2013, 05:51 PM   #40
MLeake
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Fishing Cabin, I'd agree with you, except that the Supreme Court has pretty well let stand laws that prevent us from owning artillery, explosives, etc, so saying we should have what the military has isn't likely to work.

Arguing that we should have what the police have, on the other hand, does not really fall afoul of any Supreme Court level cases I can think of.

OTOH, I'm not sure what SCOTUS would have to say about flash-bangs....
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Old March 10, 2013, 06:21 PM   #41
Tom Servo
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The name of the organization is just a smokescreen for what is a very left-wing group dedicated to a larger government (and, hence, more police, whatever they're armed with).
Do you have anything to substantiate that? I'm well aware of the ACLU's stance opposing the 2nd Amendment (though some local chapters have broken ranks).

They have defended the civil liberties of folks from both sides of the aisle. Westboro Baptist springs to mind as one example.
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Old March 10, 2013, 06:23 PM   #42
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Well, they have to spend all that stimulus money or lose it. Using terrorism, and domestic terrorism and "keeping people safe" as the excuse they've turned a lot of good tax dollars into military gear, including armor, and not just body armor, armored vehicles.
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Old March 10, 2013, 06:54 PM   #43
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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.
I agree.
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