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Old July 1, 2014, 12:04 PM   #76
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The whole fiasco was over, what, two sawed off shotguns? In any case, incidents like that get my vote of no to militarization of police.

You're kidding? That whole fiasco was over criminal possession of firearms?
The Ruby Ridge fiasco was over a bit more than that. There is a whole lot more to the story. A LOT more.

And while you are considering the "militarization" of the police, consider also the Federal "police", all those armed agents who work for various "alphabet" agencies. They all have access to military equipment when desired.

Remember Waco?
There's a LOT to that story as well....

A point to remember when you give people military equipment, train them to act like soldiers in combat, and send them on "houseclearing" missions, they are going to act like soldiers in combat. No matter what else their jobs are, or who signs their paycheck, if you are taught you are going into combat, and gear up to go into combat, then what ever the actual situation is, you are going to see it as combat, until and unless something changes your mind.

And by the time that usually happens, the combat is over....
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Old July 1, 2014, 06:56 PM   #77
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Fun fact; our military is planning on putting retired A-10 Warthogs complete with GAU-8's still mounted out for surplus. I'll bet armed Predators start being blown out at surplus-subsized rates before the decade is out. Something to think about (and alternately lament & drool over )

So many really good statements and arguments on this thread; I can see many people have pondered on this as much as I have. Hopefully that in and of itself is illustrative that there just may be something to our worries about authoritarian police. I wish I'd been able to post more frequently throughout the discussion

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I would suggest the MORE dangerous activity is a violent military style raid, endangering innocents and violating rights is far more damaging to society than a drug dealer
This is actually the foundation for our entire concept of government, guys (LEO's especially); pay attention.

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You're kidding? That whole fiasco was over criminal possession of firearms? I'm sorry, weren't those the laws we want enforced more than most any other, as a crime with a firearm is about as heinous and dangerous as there is on a frequent basis in the law enforcement community?
Yup, and by any means necessary. IIRC, both RR and especially Waco were borne out of personal beefs, which escalated to trumped up charges, which escalated to federal involvement, paranoia, and really stupid decisions on all sides (but the most unforgiveable ones were at the hands of the people we pay to know better). BTW, the RR family hadn't committed any "heinous" crime until two government agents surprised the boys in the woods where they had a fatal shootout, or before a sniper blew the mother's head off by accident.

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The image of a black hummer with a light bar on top, slowly cruising my neighborhood streets does not rest well with me.
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I doubt you will ever see a humvee on patrol.

It's okay, right? They were hunting a terrorist, after all (okay, so maybe not routine patrol)

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I find it hard to believe our military would follow an unlawful order to disarm law abiding citizens and violate their constitutional rights; after all they took an oath to “protect and defend” the constitution from all enemies “foreign and domestic”.
Really? Why is a similar oath not sufficient to constrain our officials, nor an agreed-upon pact between them and the people meant to define and limit their authorities? When the order comes, it will not be couched as an obvious violation of God-given rights; it will be in time of panic, under false pretenses, with no consequences (see: every human rights abuse ever)

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Body Armor wasn't a militarization of the police forces? Quite possibly one of the first of them? Is bullet proof glass on the patrol cars also "armor"? Do you object to bullet resistant patrol cars providing them cover? Why does it matter if the "car" was made by Ford, Chevy or AMC?
Because a lightly-armored Crown Vic (or whatever) can't be used to destroy a building, that's why. "Militarization" has little to do with actual equipment and everything to do with choice of equipment and tactics. I suspect that within a few years (if not already) we'll be hearing cops try to justify Stingers for errant drones, and LAW rockets for armored vehicles (which have existed since forever, btw). The police are our stewards; containing and cleaning social messes so they do not accumulate. The military is a destructive instrument used for destroying opposition, and nothing more. There is a reason the latter has trouble pacifying territory while mobilized, and why the former has no business adopting the same tactics.

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I think the litmus test is this: If ordinary citizens (i.e. civilians) are prohibited from owning and operating the equipment, then police (i.e. civilians) can't own and operate that same equipment either.
This is the key. This is the key. Believe it or not, were the police limited to the same means of force (but not scale or authorization) as we peasants, they would be at the very forefront of guarding our constitutional rights. The exemptions were a cunning way to sever their bond to the citizenry (a key "check" against higher authority), and that was the start of them becoming a standing army. The army has lots of immunities and exemptions, too, and that's why they have no business operating on our soil in mobilized capacity.

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As Peel said, for police to be effective, they need to be part of the community, and the citizen needs to see that they are part of the community.
Unfortunately, we have been pitted against our police specifically by our elected officials, in the hopes of obtaining their loyalty. Why else do mayors insist on appointing police chiefs who demand inflammatory tactics, weapons, policy goals, and special exemptions and immunities? So the police will be accountable to no one but the mayor; that's why. I think the best example of this separation from the community is the police response to one of their officers being killed; time and again it's been shown the entire organization is thrown into a fixed rage with rampant abuses of the public, sometimes even in retribution. Except in towns with the proper police/civic bond, there is rarely such an outcry for a non-LEO being struck down (and there is only a very thin argument to be made that a murderer who kills a cop is more dangerous and 'rabid' than when the same person kills someone on the street)

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You really want to hang your hat on that argument? The same argument that says anyone with an AR-15 is bound to go on a shooting spree because of the mindset that goes with having it?
It's foolish to pretend our choice of kit has no bearing on our mindset. We are limited to very few avenues in order to meet our needs; the police are less so, so we get to see their motivations more plainly. Control, superiority, invulnerability. That is not what we have police for.

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Yes and the police reacted after being out gunned [gangsters] by acquiring sub machine guns and BAR automatic rifles, they have to be armed to meat the threat.
Actually, machine guns of all stripes were exceedingly rare in crimes of the day. A few splashy do-ups like the assorted hyped gangs (mass shooter celebs of their day, btw) and notorious incidents like the Valentines massacre, plus a whole whale-load of contemporary fiction give us the impression Tommy guns were everywhere; they were not (well, not until the police starting buying tons of them). The police of the day actually responded to the growing Prohibition violence (which they were certainly drivers of, same as the drug war now), committed overwhelmingly with cheap small-bore guns then as now, by getting their newly-acquired military-grade hardware banned from legal civilian ownership (the Feds, fresh off the Bonus Army fiasco, were the major driver, of course). I imagine the police had learned their lesson in tolerating civilian acquisition of the last major weapons breakthrough, smokeless powder, and were determined to cap their capabilities once and for all.

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One issue I feel is ignored regularly on when looking at this and similar issues is how funding has slowly changed over time. Years ago, such essential services (fire/police/streets) where funded properly for the most part to ensure a basic level of staffing and equipment. There wasn't a question of not funding these areas years ago.
This is primary reason why the cops having expensive fancy guns, regardless of whether I'd be allowed, is not equitable to my RKBA; they ain't payin' for it, but I'm payin' for both of ours. Anyone here who is aware of their PD possessing an H&K MP7 should raise holy hell over the +6000$ spent on that one weapon. Years ago, officers were a hell of a lot cheaper than now, and needlessly so. Stuff like pistol-grade body armor is far cheaper than funerals and an easy means of preventing them. Same as crash-safe police cars. Just as there is no reason the police should have a monopoly on force, neither should the public over its societal maintenance crew. I'd want my police armed as well as I'd be allowed were I headed into the same areas.

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And if you can't find a nail, you create one so you can use your shiny new hammer.
It will be taken from you as well as your job if you ever run out.

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I do see the police sniper as a valuable resource.
The sniper role is where the modern wave of militarization all started (LA shootout). Which is funny since snipers are a fairly recent military tactic, having originally come from civilian hunters (neither military nor law enforcement). The sniper is a very odd unit as far as military tactics because of this basic difference, as well.

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Some people dont remember the violent 70s when crime was at a high. I wonder why back then the police didnt start carrying rifles and semi-automatic pistols. I wonder how they dealt with things carrying just a revolver. Today crime is at historical lows and people cant see the reasons, but if you were alive during the 70s then you would know.
I, too, have long noticed that paranoid police militarization conveniently coincided with both a certain group's newfound civil rights with regards to police enforcement, as well the new drug boogeyman created to keep enforcement trained on that exact same group.

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The police in Britain have their own special problems.
The lack of physical means, legal permission, or (now) social tradition for the people to defend themselves from criminals plays an enormous role in the true need for a police state over there. That's a lot different than the USA. Same as how Israel's longstanding shooting war fought everywhere simultaneously is the driver for their police state. We are fortunate enough to be peaceful enough that we need not restrict our rights as a matter of practicality (Jefferson was speaking of America specifically when he compared dangers of freedom to safety of tyranny. Brutal environments require brutal solutions)

I noticed the Mods were pruning references to Nazis; can we do the same for the even more ridiculous references to Call of Duty/Red Dawn as well as Mayberry? Robocop, too, if that's been mentioned. At least abusive Nazi police* were a real thing, working at the individual level under the same sort of motivations as any patrol officer (just doin' my job the best I can, for those I care about, to help my community).

TCB

*Which, as far as police operations before the war, were predominantly not much different from any other run of the mill unaccountable police state organization, and highly regarded by many around the world. How that is not relevant today escapes me
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Old July 1, 2014, 06:59 PM   #78
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A point to remember when you give people military equipment, train them to act like soldiers in combat, and send them on "houseclearing" missions, they are going to act like soldiers in combat. No matter what else their jobs are, or who signs their paycheck, if you are taught you are going into combat, and gear up to go into combat, then what ever the actual situation is, you are going to see it as combat, until and unless something changes your mind.
And even if the police conduct themselves properly, they will still look like soldiers and the citizens will react to them as such, distancing themselves, resenting them, plotting against them, and ultimately resisting them. The police as well. It's a stupid idea all around to drive a wedge between us like this.

TCB
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Old July 2, 2014, 02:24 AM   #79
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barnbwt,I guess I did not clearly make my point about Mayberry.

Columbine occurred about 65 miles from my house and I watched the live feed.

It has been a while,but,as I recall,critical time was spent running around outside the building in formation.I do not care what reality was in the heads of the team,the true reality was each time Klebold and Harris fired there was another tragedy.

Yes,it was just a sitcom.But the salt of the earth local constable of character that Andy played would have headed to the sound of the guns to stop the killing of his local kids,and IMO,a good man who was not surprised could have got the job done with a model 13 S+W or a lever action Marlin 357.Of couse,two men is better,but an army of one with even a good 22 rifle would have stopped Klebold and Harris.

I have the idea that the woman who stopped the killer at the New Life Church prefers anonymity and wants to be left alone.I'll not mention her name.She went to the mega-church with her CCW,and was serving as church security.

The bad guy killed coming into the building,wounded some once inside.As I recall,he was carrying an AR,multiple handguns,and approx. 1000 rounds.He was there to rack up a body count.

Dressed for church,one woman with her handgun went to the gunfire and put him down.

IIRC,it was not a SWAT TEAM that put down the first Ft Hood shooter,either.Seems like a woman officer with a handgun had somethind to do with it.She was hit,too.

I used Andy Griffin and Mayberry I could have used Jimmy Stewart in High Noon.

See,I work in a school,an elementary school. No gun. I do have a hardwood mop handle.

If something like a Sandy Hook began at my school,I guess I do not know how I would do.Talk is cheap.

I hope I would do as well as the teachers at Sandy Hook.Its my school,my kids.
Sometimes,"It is a good day to die"

I recall a youtube about an old woman who took on a bear that was mauling her husband.She had a shovel or a broom or something.
She won,when the bear left,she was surprised to find it was her husband.She thought it was her dog.

Then there is the woman who bit the ear off of the pit bull that was mauling her 3 year old.

She did not take time to get on her black suit...and,she risked her own life.

It was her kid.

Many years ago a nut here,next town south,took a waitress hostage in a busy restaurant.There was a standoff.police sniper took a through the glass shot with his .243.Didn't work out.Bad guy killed the woman.

An old guy customer had been hiding in the restroom.He tried escaping out the restroom window.He was an unarmed old guy.In the real world,he was no threat.

But,to some of the officers in the parking lot,in the reality in their head,he was a good reason for a hi-cap 9 mm mag dump.

The old guy took a lot of hits.He died.How come?

Serve and protect,or kill people and break things?

Last edited by HiBC; July 2, 2014 at 02:47 AM.
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Old July 2, 2014, 05:52 AM   #80
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HiBC,
Your last post makes no sense to me. How are your examples relevant to the topic?
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Old July 2, 2014, 07:30 AM   #81
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One problem is that the Gov't in it's generocity gives local police funds for equipment etc .So they form SWAT teams .
Then ?? Well the police think we have to use those things , so SWAT is used when it's not needed ! Down the road to ruin !
BTW the agent who killed a civilian at Ruby Ridge was also at Waco. He was a member of FBI HRT - Hostage RESCUE Team ! Every cop I asked said without any doubt Ruby Ridge was murder !!
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Old July 2, 2014, 09:31 AM   #82
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Fun fact; our military is planning on putting retired A-10 Warthogs complete with GAU-8's still mounted out for surplus.
And you think local police forces are going to just pick one up at the auction?

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which escalated to trumped up charges
The violations of the NFA were trumped up? They didn't actually have the grenades and full auto weapons they were charged and convicted for at Waco?

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Because a lightly-armored Crown Vic (or whatever) can't be used to destroy a building, that's why.
I'll bite. How can a lightly armored HMMWV destroy a building that a lightly armored crown-vic can't?

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and LAW rockets for armored vehicles (which have existed since forever, btw)
Which interacts with them not already having them how? As you point out, armored vehicles have existed for quite some time, yet we don't see that many LAWS rockets on patrol yet, do we?

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It's foolish to pretend our choice of kit has no bearing on our mindset.
Really? I have an AR-15. I plink away with it. Long term goals include a longer barrelled upper for precision shooting. My mindset in no way includes the idea I should run around in tactical gear patrolling rooftops in the mean streets of BFE ready to snipe at muggers and rapists, like some comic book hero. I've got a 1911, thigh rig, and mag pouch for my other thigh. I have a whimsical half-formed plan to get a shotgun for three-gun. This doesn't mean my mindset involves pulling on some Camo, and all that gear, plus getting a surplus plate carrier, and PASGT if I ever hear a noise in the kitchen at night. Probably good news for one of the guys I live with as he's a midnight snacker.

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the police are less so, so we get to see their motivations more plainly.
I'm confused. You start out strongly agreeing with the idea that police, as civilians, should be treated exactly as we are. Then you yourself separate them out and treat them differently giving them far less of a benefit of the doubt.

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I noticed the Mods were pruning references to Nazis; can we do the same for the even more ridiculous references to Call of Duty/Red Dawn as well as Mayberry?
There was a CoD/Red Dawn reference? I missed it and can't comment on that, however the Mayberry reference I did see, and didn't take it so much as a direct reference to fictional Mayberry as a euphemistic reference to generic pre "militarization" law enforcement, and a decidedly stretchy idea of how an unarmed peace officer would respond to a spree shooting that was all but unheard of at the time. There are certainly other State Police apparatus you could reference for equal effect. The Stasi for example.

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The sniper role is where the modern wave of militarization all started (LA shootout). Which is funny since snipers are a fairly recent military tactic, having originally come from civilian hunters (neither military nor law enforcement). The sniper is a very odd unit as far as military tactics because of this basic difference, as well.
I'm not sure you can call the current wave of militarization "modern" while also calling snipers "fairly recent" as sniping is at least as old as the Crimean if not the Revolutionary War.
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Old July 2, 2014, 10:32 AM   #83
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The violations of the NFA were trumped up? They didn't actually have the grenades and full auto weapons they were charged and convicted for at Waco?
Those charges were vacated on appeal. Koresh may have had some M-16 trigger groups, and the ATF originally got their warrants on the basis of "constructive possession."
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Old July 2, 2014, 11:25 AM   #84
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Minor thread hijack...

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Originally Posted by barnbwt
...our military is planning on putting retired A-10 Warthogs complete with GAU-8's still mounted out for surplus.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JimDandy
And you think local police forces are going to just pick one up at the auction?
I'm certain that they will go to foreign governments, not civilian owners. They'll probably wind up flying counterinsurgency missions in Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa, just like yesterday's Corsairs, P-51's, and T-28's.

AFAIK the US military has not sold significant numbers of surplus combat aircraft (as opposed to transports, unarmed trainers, and light utility aircraft) to civilians since the end of WWII. Some of today's flyable WWII warbirds were sold outright, but the military was wary of creating a light aircraft glut like the one that occurred post-WWI, and they also rapidly figured out that aircraft made great party favors for friendly (i.e. anti-Soviet) 3rd-world governments in the developing Cold War.

Most flyable post-WWII Western warbirds in civilian hands passed through a foreign military owner on the way, and many are actually on semi-permanent loan from the US military.

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.
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Old July 2, 2014, 11:25 AM   #85
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What I read was that the sentences but not the convictions were vacated - i.e. they served no time for them, but still have that conviction on their record. But my source could be inaccurate. I'll have to look further.

As for "constructive possession" that's led to any number of searches and convictions. I haven't yet seen any court case that deems the practice unlawful.

Edit to Add: It's Castillo v US 530 U.S. 120 (2000) Where the question appealed was whether it was proved to jury that machine guns were used, not whether machine guns were present at all. Had machine guns not been present at all, would it have even gotten that far?

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Old July 2, 2014, 01:59 PM   #86
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or before a sniper blew the mother's head off by accident.
You're assuming that was an accident....
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Old July 2, 2014, 02:30 PM   #87
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That's some pretty dark humor, but also a valid point. There was some attempt at prosecuting at least one of the officers/agents involved.
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Old July 2, 2014, 07:31 PM   #88
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"You're assuming that was an accident..."
I truly think it was. If the sniper was aiming to kill anyone, it would have been her husband. I think he was an incompetent idiot (see Waco, also on his resume) ginned up by the earlier fatal shootout, and screwed up royally. There was no logical or nefarious reason to kill that woman the way he did.

"...our military is planning on putting retired A-10 Warthogs complete with GAU-8's still mounted out for surplus."
"And you think local police forces are going to just pick one up at the auction?"
What? No. Screw the police; I'm talking about me . I could maybe afford a parts-kit, at least

I'm dead serious on the Predators, though; I think their re-deployment is as plain as day already (since one or two precincts have already purchased their own). Much like police helicopters and wildly expensive fire trucks, they will be a preposterous waste of taxpayer resources, which are unnecessary more than 99% of the time, while eating expensive service/fuel contracts until something big finally breaks and it then sits idle forever more until being surplused at auction years later. In my experience, the worst offending agencies in this regard are suburban ones, especially ones that are growing; they/city govt. are all convinced the boom will turn them into the adjacent metroplex, 'so they better gear up in advance' and buy the same toys and capabilities as a city five times the size with three times the crime rate

And we've only been talking about visible shows of force up to now; many police are rapidly acquiring straight-up signals intelligence, integrated surveillance, and electronic warfare capabilities. To tell you the truth, the little miniature FLIR turrets popping up atop squad cars give me the most worry for tomorrow. If they all aren't already, those cameras will be collecting 24-7, tagging faces, license plates, and GPS coordinates --all of it perfectly legal, individually-- and either storing the data for later evidence, or more likely, distilling it into dossiers which make accessing the data more convenient. With significant development of the technology along its current direction, suspicious behavior could very easily consist of significantly deviating from your daily routine, and elicit a walk-up by an officer as your phone is jammed --again, perfectly legal, and quite arguably justifiable since a deviation from your daily routine is more likely to end in deviant behavior. A brave new world of proactive policing, but do we really want to live in one?

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As for "constructive possession" that's led to any number of searches and convictions. I haven't yet seen any court case that deems the practice unlawful.
It's completely lawful (abusive behavior by authorities typically is until overruled, if you notice ) but pretty much the sleaziest way to build a case short of cutting leniency deals with criminal informants. The term is usually spelled "constructive possession" but in practice a more accurate phrase is "constructed possession." The prosecution can prove nothing more than physical means to commit a crime, and the bureau then defines "intent" as pertaining to physical configuration of certain objects so the criminal prosecution can go forward. For example, with machine guns, a statutorily-legal firearm that shoots only one bullet per trigger pull but the lack of ATF-defined 'denial features' that make full auto conversion slightly more difficult, transmogrifies the weapon into a machine gun defined as firing multiple bullets per trigger pull. Until recently, possessing a short barrel along with a barrel-less rifle action was considered an SBR, even though any legal-length rifle can be sawn down in the same amount of time as the former's unlawful assembly. The presence of the parts together was considered intent by the ATF agents acting as expert witness for the court.

For low-level crimes like hunting without a magazine tube plug, I can see constructive intent (lack of a plug or possession of hi cap mags outside the rifle) being acceptable when the issues are simple and explanations sparse. But for NFA items the penalties are positively Draconian, the rules the epitome of Byzantine, and that's when there are rules. The ATF can still decide at any time to prosecute you regardless what you have done or made, so long as they believe a case can be made against you; there is no legal definition, direction, or case law in many areas of the gun building hobby, and you must fly blind and low lest you attract the dragon's gaze. Their experts are given enormous leeway by ignorant judges, rarely questioned, and practically incontrovertible by outside opinions. The H&K G3 trigger pack is simultaneously subject to the harshest semi-auto conversion criteria, widely available in legal full-auto format, has at least three different ways of being registered as a machine gun, is still convertible to full auto fire, and in original full-auto form can still be fitted into the legally-compliant and denial-featured receivers. It is the definition of Kafka-esque regulatory insanity.

Fortunately, up to now the ATF has been reticent to use this often-questionable tactic against people except as an added/base charge to other serious crimes like outright machinegun manufacture, illegal sales, or drug charges. I personally see it as unacceptably close to trumping charges, and would greatly prefer their prosecutorial authority be curtailed to cases of actual possession, which has no room for abuse of enforcement in this manner. Imagine if merely buying a rope and shovel at Home Depot could get you nailed for attempted murder.

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The violations of the NFA were trumped up? They didn't actually have the grenades and full auto weapons they were charged and convicted for at Waco?
IIRC they had a Hellfire or some such rapid fire mechanism (later ruled to be a MG after the fact, also IIRC). I never read about grenades, as anything other than a suspicion or constructed intent;
"A UPS driver described a package that had broken open on delivery to the Branch Davidian residence, revealing firearms, inert grenade casings, and black powder" --Wikipedia, crappy source but whatever
Not that the BD's were blameless, but the 'precursor grenades' were hardly the source of danger in the attack (rather, the CS gas grenades were), nor their alleged machine guns. I also don't see the circumstantial evidence recovered, after the very tenuous initial suspicions, after the very questionable investigator conduct, or the very provocative enforcement response to be much justification for the whole affair, even if it had been found ahead of time through legal means. This whole thing started as a personal beef between the Branch and trunk cults/groups that was exploited by local/federal authorities in order to rid themselves of that no-good weirdo Davidian cult compound that hadn't gotten along with the police for some time. Like many unjustified displays of excessive government force, it got out of hand and had terrible consequences when the citizens resisted. Ruby Ridge was a smaller scale, but actually had far worse blantant abuses IMO, since the Davidians' paranoia was at least half the problem in Waco and made the situation irreconcilable.

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As you point out, armored vehicles have existed for quite some time, yet we don't see that many LAWS rockets on patrol yet, do we?
My point was that armored vehicular crimes have been consistently so rare that police have not been able to successfully demand weaponry to defeat them. I think there is a similar case to be made against their demands for automatic weapons, armored vehicles, advanced surveillance apparatus, and electronic warfare tools. Possibly also body armor commensurate with certain tactics (the crazy-tough level 4 stuff you only see worn by masked storm ninjas). We keep getting claims this stuff is necessary, but precious few examples were actually would have made the difference. The Hollywood shootout is certainly one of those (and we'll never know what might have happened if the LEO reaction had not been so strong and reflexive; it may not have escalated so badly for so long, though. We won't know because the one guy they could have taken alive was left to bleed out over like half an hour, since after hours of conflict with two men, the police still did not know if there were more shooters that might reveal themselves)

"foolish to pretend our choice of kit has no bearing on our mindset."
"Really? I have an AR-15. I plink away with it...My mindset in no way includes the idea I should run around in tactical gear...I have a whimsical half-formed plan to get a shotgun for three-gun. This doesn't mean my mindset involves pulling on some Camo, and all that gear, plus getting a surplus plate carrier, and PASGT if I ever hear a noise in the kitchen at night. Probably good news for one of the guys I live with as he's a midnight snacker."
So you listed some guns, kinda dismissively, making me think they aren't your choice...so what is? I am not calling attention to equipment, but choice of equipment for a purpose. Choosing an AR15 for home defense is one thing, slinging up for a walk down the street another. I support your ability to legally do so, but I think such an act is indicative of a mindset geared towards intimidation and civil disturbance. I have a pistol at the bedside; seems adequate for my needs and mindset of low-profile, effective, and simple home defense. Mindset is revealed by choices.

"the police are less so [constrained by laws], so we get to see their motivations more plainly."
"I'm confused. You start out strongly agreeing with the idea that police, as civilians, should be treated exactly as we are. Then you yourself separate them out and treat them differently giving them far less of a benefit of the doubt."
I am building a semi-auto belt-fed weapon; a ZB37. Once it is built, I have no intentions of mounting it to my car, rooftop, or even aiming it at the front door as a primary position of home defense. It will only be transported and used for range fun; that is indicative of a mindset of peaceful recreation. Were I to use it for any of those other legal activities, it could easily be argued I am seeking to intimidate and strike fear in others. How is this not the case for our police officers as well when they parade with heavy weapons and military tactics/vehicles? Because they might actually use them on people?! Talk about counter-intuitive! Contrary to your accusation, I perceive police officers exactly like my fellow non-LEOs; and I would not appreciate a neighbor's public arms race being rubbed in my face either (let alone pay for it). Nor would I appreciate them dressing in all-black with dark sunglasses complete with surly demeanor in order to better 'maintain control' (intimidate) in our casual interactions or conversations. Way too common a sight in the LEO community (seems worst in suburban locales, though)

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Old July 3, 2014, 09:11 AM   #89
JimDandy
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Much like police helicopters and wildly expensive fire trucks, they will be a preposterous waste of taxpayer resources, which are unnecessary more than 99% of the time, while eating expensive service/fuel contracts until something big finally breaks and it then sits idle forever more until being surplused at auction years later. In my experience, the worst offending agencies in this regard are suburban ones, especially ones that are growing; they/city govt. are all convinced the boom will turn them into the adjacent metroplex, 'so they better gear up in advance' and buy the same toys and capabilities as a city five times the size with three times the crime rate
Do you have some source for cheaper fire trucks? Police Helicopters that cost less, in total, than the service they receive?

Fire trucks are monstrous pieces of machinery and sadly cost money to make. Additionally they're made by private companies who can charge market rate for them, and the intellectual property ideas involved in their customisation. Are you suggesting Pierce and other firetruck companies should be required to work for free, and/or provide the raw materials for these trucks on a gratis basis?

Police helicopters are or were frequently military surplus that didn't cost the police departments any more than the cost to pick them up and then the costs to maintain and them. As they'd already been paid for with tax revenue giving them a second life and preventing the cost of MORE taxes to buy a DIFFERENT helicopter for police doesn't stress me too much.

Quote:
If they all aren't already, those cameras will be collecting 24-7, tagging faces, license plates, and GPS coordinates
And why are you worried about a camera collecting public information? Do these cameras you're so worried about see anything you couldn't if you were sitting on top of this car? Does anyone located where these cameras can see have any expectation of privacy? In other words on a busy public street and sidewalk:

Can people force others not to take their picture?

Is it a crime to jot down the license plate of a car parked on the street?

GPS locations? Really? You have some problem with recording the physical location of a patrol car 24/7?

Quote:
I never read about grenades, as anything other than a suspicion or constructed intent
Somebody was convicted for having one. Constructed intent or otherwise, it was enough to get through the judicial system.

Quote:
I am not calling attention to equipment, but choice of equipment for a purpose.
Yes, you are calling attention to equipment, and then implying to outright claiming they universally reveal specific mindsets. I.e. that police have some piece of equipment- armor, surveillance, automatic weapons- that reveals their mindset includes the desire to act like a rights crushing police state organization bent on genocide, political prisoners, and totalitarianism.
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Old July 3, 2014, 09:20 AM   #90
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On the unrelated topic- the A-10s being retired and surplused out is a Damn Shame, and one I think we will come to regret when we finally realize that the F-35 cannot do the same thing.

I want to separate this militarization-of-the-police thing into two separate categories.

If you want to argue about military-style tactics being used by law enforcement, then feel free. I'm not going to participate in that argument anymore.

But I think it's pretty dumb to argue about military-style equipment being used by law enforcement agencies.

Those arguments typically go like this:

Poster 1: "Why do the police need body armor, military-style assault rifles, and armored Humvees? Nobody needs that stuff! If they get military-style equipment, they'll start acting like soldiers!"

That SAME poster will find no cognitive dissonance in posting in another thread:

Poster 1: "Michael Bloomberg has no right to tell me what kind of rifle I need RAWR the difference between an AR-15 and a Mini-14 is only cosmetic anyway military-style assault rifle is a made-up term by rabid Communist antigunners RAAAAAAAAGE my AK-47 has never killed anybody my modern sporting rifles don't make me some frothing mercenary commando killer WHIIIINE."

Seriously.

Is there military equipment for which there is no law enforcement use? Sure. But 99.9% of what gets surplused out from DoD to local law enforcement agencies has a valid law enforcement purpose. Why are the same people who complain about their guns being judged solely on their cosmetic appearance moaning about police using equipment that differs from non-military law enforcement equipment solely by provenance and cosmetic appearance?

Will you see armored Humvees on patrol in your neighborhood? I doubt it. For one, they accelerate like dying cows, and I've never been able to get one to go much more than 60 mph even with my foot mashed on the accelerator.

Did your local PD get a surplus UH-1? So what? They'll find they don't have the funds or expertise to maintain it, and it'll become a relatively minor example of government waste and inefficiency, not the first step to the blue-helmeted jackboots going door to door asking for your papers.
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Old July 3, 2014, 09:32 AM   #91
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That SAME poster will find no cognitive dissonance in posting in another thread:
I tried making that point already, but not nearly so well as you did. Kudos, and I hope you don't mind if I use that as a road map the next time I want to make that point.
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Old July 3, 2014, 09:53 AM   #92
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But I think it's pretty dumb to argue about military-style equipment being used by law enforcement agencies.
I will always argue that if they can have such equipment, so can I. Police have M16's? Fine, but where's mine, without an NFA required?
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Old July 3, 2014, 10:25 AM   #93
Fishing_Cabin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Madcap_Magician
That SAME poster will find no cognitive dissonance in posting in another thread:
I agree with you and JimDandy as well. Wish there was a like button at times...

Quote:
Originally Posted by motorhead0922
I will always argue that if they can have such equipment, so can I. Police have M16's? Fine, but where's mine, without an NFA required?
Law enforcement are required to use form 5, iirc. Only exception is items loaned from the military which have similar but separate record keeping requirements for the duration of the loan until the item is returned to the lender.
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Old July 3, 2014, 10:26 AM   #94
JimDandy
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I will always argue that if they can have such equipment, so can I. Police have M16's? Fine, but where's mine, without an NFA required?
Why should you get to avoid the NFA when they don't? We've had LEO's on here before talking about the hoops they have to jump through on their NFA arms.
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Old July 3, 2014, 10:46 AM   #95
Glenn E. Meyer
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The NFA fee isn't the crucial problem, it is the ban on new fully auto guns.

If we had to pay the 200 bucks and get them - many would jump at the chance.

That's a different issue from the fee.
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Old July 3, 2014, 10:55 AM   #96
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We've had LEO's on here before talking about the hoops they have to jump through on their NFA arms.
I am a bit curious about this. I must have missed them, but since I don't regularly visit the NFA forum, that's probably why.

Are you saying that LEO's who are issued full auto firearms go through the same background checks and WAIT as private citizens? Does the dept pay the $200 tax every time they issue the gun to someone else? I don't think so.

While LEOs who personally own full autos should be just the same as everyone else (private ownership), they probably have a leg up when it comes to getting the CLEO sign off.

But Dept. owned weapons? Aren't they different (ATF process)? Issued arms are not "ownership transfers", are they? I don't think they are, and I don't think the officer being issued the weapon goes through the same process as those who privately own full auto arms.

Really, I'd love to see the situation where officers who are going to be using full auto weapons on duty have to wait the same months/years for BATFE approval, and pay the transfer fee out of their own pocket that "civilians" do, before they can take possession of that M4, or whatever, and put it in the patrol car....

IF, somehow, you could force them to have to live under the same rules and laws as the rest of us, you just might see some return to sanity in gun laws.

Of course, I'm not holding my breath...
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Old July 3, 2014, 11:06 AM   #97
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Are you saying that LEO's who are issued full auto firearms go through the same background checks and WAIT as private citizens? Does the dept pay the $200 tax every time they issue the gun to someone else? I don't think so.
Are you saying the NFA firearm is their property? When you rent a full auto firearm at a range, do you have to go through the NFA paperwork, and wait in line for months to get the tax stamp to use it?

As for the tax stamp, I'm not sure if the department pays it or if it's not paid at all. I just remember someone mentioning they had all sorts of NFA paperwork to do when the department gets this stuff in. Regardless, the department owns the firearm, and does whatever is legally required, not the officer. Nor does the officer get to keep it when they're no longer an officer.

Quote:
IF, somehow, you could force them to have to live under the same rules and laws as the rest of us
But that's not what you're asking for. You're asking for them to live under more strignent rules. Or was I accidentally correct and anyone renting a full auto firearm at a range or gun show (with a range) has to wait 6+ months for an NFA stamp?
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Old July 3, 2014, 12:43 PM   #98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 44AMP
Are you saying that LEO's who are issued full auto firearms go through the same background checks and WAIT as private citizens? Does the dept pay the $200 tax every time they issue the gun to someone else? I don't think so.

While LEOs who personally own full autos should be just the same as everyone else (private ownership), they probably have a leg up when it comes to getting the CLEO sign off.

But Dept. owned weapons? Aren't they different (ATF process)? Issued arms are not "ownership transfers", are they? I don't think they are, and I don't think the officer being issued the weapon goes through the same process as those who privately own full auto arms.
Lets go to the ATF FAQ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ATF FAQ
Q: Are there any exemptions from the making or transfer tax provisions of the NFA?

Yes. These are noted below, along with the required form number, if any, to apply for the exemption. Completed forms must be approved by the NFA Branch prior to the making or transfer:

1.Tax-exempt transfer and registration of a firearm between special (occupational) taxpayers: ATF Form 3 (5320.3).

2.Tax-exempt making of a firearm on behalf of a Federal or State agency: ATF Form 1 (5320.1). Tax-exempt transfer and registration of the firearm on behalf of a Federal or State agency: ATF Form 5 (5320.5).

http://www.atf.gov/firearms/faq/nati...-firearms.html

So it is tax exempt, as are other typical government purchases. Non-NFA firearms also are typically tax (FET) exempt as is ammo.

As to if the wait time is different, no clue. My take on the ownership/transfer is that it is not a change of ownership when the firearm is issued because it would still not belong to the officer to do as he/she wishes. That is just a non-professional opinion though.

As to the loaned firearms from the military it would vary on the state office handling it. Generally speaking has to be physically inventoried by taking it to the state office annually to be inventoried. Doesn't matter of it is restricted or not. Even a lowly pump shotgun gets inventoried and treated the same as it is on loan.
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Old July 3, 2014, 01:36 PM   #99
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The lack of physical means, legal permission, or (now) social tradition for the people to defend themselves from criminals plays an enormous role in the true need for a police state over there. That's a lot different than the USA. Same as how Israel's longstanding shooting war fought everywhere simultaneously is the driver for their police state. We are fortunate enough to be peaceful enough that we need not restrict our rights as a matter of practicality
The UK a police state , I am not sure were you got that from. Since when was the UK a police state. ? the majority of police are not even armed. As for peaceful enough Americas murder rate is higher than most EU countries including the UK.
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Old July 3, 2014, 02:28 PM   #100
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The militarization of police is wrong.

US police departments were militarized to fight the "war on drugs". The "war on drugs" is a abject failure that has cost the US very heavily. After fighting the "war on drugs" for 40 years more dope is coming into the US today than ever before. Americans have an insatiable appetite for the stuff.
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