ACLU Investigates Police Militarization

jus13-tdnt-landingpg-town-rel2“American neighborhoods are increasingly being policed by cops armed with the weapons and tactics of war,” the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) latest campaign proclaims. “Federal funding in the billions of dollars has allowed state and local police departments to gain access to weapons and tactics created for overseas combat theaters – and yet very little is known about exactly how many police departments have military weapons and training, how militarized the police have become, and how extensively federal money is incentivizing this trend. It’s time to understand the true scope of the militarization of policing in America and the impact it is having in our neighborhoods.” Well there’s something we can agree upon. What’s somewhat ironic about this . . .

The ACLU is generally considered a left-leaning organization; many members hail from the liberal side of the political spectrum. The fact that their champions in the Obama administration have continued the alarming trend of police militarization may get a pass from its supporters, but the ACLU has finally woken-up to the quiet Rambofication of our nation’s police departments . . .

On March 6th, ACLU affiliates in 23 states filed over 255 public records requests with law enforcement agencies and National Guard offices to determine the extent to which federal funding and support has fueled the militarization of state and local police departments. Stay tuned as this project develops.

The website lists ten chilling examples of police militarization gone wild:

  • Police mistakenly shooting and killing a sleeping nine-year-old girl after they became confused by their flash bang grenade.
  • A South Carolina county sheriff’s department whose equipment includes an armored personnel carrier complete with a belt-fed .50 machine gun
  • Two SWAT teams who shut down a Colorado neighborhood for four hours searching for a man suspected of stealing a bicycle from Wally World.
  • Police in Arkansas who planned to patrol streets wearing full SWAT gear carrying AR-15 rifles.
  • New York Police admitted to using “counter-terrorist” methods to remove Occupy Wall Street Protesters

Obviously, the list of police abuses goes far beyond this. And no matter what you think of the ACLU’s defense of seemingly indefensible behavior, credit where credit’s due: the organization is like a dog with a bone. They will uncover previously hidden information about police militarization. Question is: what happens next?

As RF has pointed out, de-funding is our first best hope to de-militarize the police. The money Uncle Sam funnels to cities and towns that fuels this firearms frenzy (and MRAPs and training). The Center for Investigative Reporting pegs the Department of Homeland Security’s annual spending at $34 billion.

Police claim they need all of this new gear to keep up with the bad guys. Okay, but then perhaps we should allow citizens access to the same gear to keep up with the cops. After all, it’s the citizenry who makes up the militia identified in the Second Amendment, so that citizenry should have access to anything we’re giving our police.

Now, where can I get my hands on an APC with a belt-fed .50 cal?

130 Responses to ACLU Investigates Police Militarization

  1. avatarmlopilato says:

    Real, true common sense is bi-partisan.

    • avatarDon says:

      Ever notice that on the issues where the right and left agree, since there is no “fight” for the media to sensationalize and no side can claim a “win” on their record if they actually fix something, these issues get zero attention and the powers that be just do whatever they want? Militarization of police and the drone program come to mind.

  2. avatarTaurus609 says:

    And the son of one of my best friends who is a member of his swat team and their designated sniper, is leaving for advanced sniper training on the 50 BMG! And the public in general, don’t see a problem with this, amazing!

    I was going to say liberals and the public in general….but there are those on the right that also do not see a problem with this!

    • avatarSouthern Cross says:

      The average SWAT sniper engagement is about 70 metres, so why do they need a .50 BMG? It’s definitely not for the range. And overpenetration will be a big reason why the rifle will sit rusting in the locker.

      • avatarHasdrubal says:

        Barricaded suspect. Chances of it actually happening with that heavy of a barrier are slim, though. Local SWAT only has .308, not even a Lapua. I had a Lapua for a while because I thought it was neat, but sold it when I realized it had sat in the safe for a year.

        When I went through Army sniper school, the instructors weren’t huge fans of the Barrett for anything but anti-vehicle/material.

        • avatarPaul W. says:

          I’d guess because they’re heavy, huge and kick? I mean christ why would you use a 50 BMG round just for a person (barring truly extreme ranges)?

        • avatarDJ says:

          It takes 8 layers of sandbags to stop .50 BMG – that’s quite a barrier.

      • avatarSGC says:

        I know…and why do people need assault rifles anyway? You don’t need those large sodas either…

        Sounds like the DNC in here…

        • avatarTim says:

          Not a fair comparison. The 2ndA states “the right of the PEOPLE to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” LEOs are funded by and (are supposed) to work for the people. I would say the people have a legitimate concern when those who are tasked to “protect and serve” start arming themselves like they are preparing to “divide and conquer”. JMAO.

      • avatarjoshuabynum says:

        I read somewhere that such a large caliber is to destroy a trucks engine block. The idea is that if a group of terrorists had a truck packed full of explosives then the police could stop them with a well placed shot. Does no seem very likely, but there you go. I suspect the police are wanting to be tacticool on another person’s dime.

      • avatarMikeK says:

        They are doing it mainly because they can. But if called upon to use those weapons against protesting citizens they will be trained and eagerly willing.

        What else could they be doing this for?

    • avatarol jim says:

      I saw a problem with this first time I saw it in print.

  3. avatarDaniel Silverman says:

    Well I am just shocked. Not that the cops are acting more like a military force, but that the ACLU seems to actually be upset by this!

    • avatarShane says:

      Really, why does that shock you? The ACLU has always been at the forefront of curbing police abuse. It’s the rightwing conservatives who are quick to call for extrajudicial murders of citizens accused of certain crimes. If a guy says, “Whoa, wait there, Bubba, everyone is entitled to legal representation and a fair trial,” Bubba and his friends will curse the pansy-ass liberal and demand a lynching. The NRA and the Second Amendment Foundation have saved the Second Amendment in large measure, but the ACLU has done a great deal to preserve the rest of our rights (ie, freedom of speech, press, religion, the right to assemble, and so on).

      • avatarIdahoPete says:

        What is shocking is that it took the ACLU this long to discover there was a problem. Where have they been since this started in the 1990s with Clinton’s funding for “100,000 new police on the streets”? Sleeping with their heads under the pillow?

        • avatarMikeK says:

          Pete,

          The insidious nature of the police militarization problem has taken place very quietly and incrementally, so much so it has been difficult to see it for what it is. We Americans, including the ACLU, have grown so accustomed to being other than what the USSR used to be that we’ve had a hard time seeing and believing the same thing is happening here — to us.

          But it is.

      • avatarJewishPartisan762 says:

        Police continue to behave as if they are the occupying force of a conquered nation,it will only be a matter of time before the people play their part as the “opfor”.

        This is a truly bipartisan issue,that will define clearly those who love liberty and limited government vs. those who desire tyranny and totalitarianism.

        For the first time,it seems,we can see the reality of who and what controls government in this nation- we have a liberal in the oval office who is directly responsible for the extrajudicial killings of American citizens.
        We watch as he ends conflicts abroad that were perpetrated by the neocon administration before him,only to bring the equipment and tactics home to deal with his political adversaries: the “home grown terrorist” who dare to believe in the Constitution and lawfully limited government.
        We have a neocon created “Department of Homeland Security” that would make the architects of the East German Stasi police state blush being caught over and over again disseminating hot rhetoric and outright propaganda against American citizens.
        This same agency has bought enough anti-personnel (there is a BIG difference between training ammo,and hollow-point bullets useful against people,and before anyone starts up with the “law enforcement ALWAYS trains with what they carry” crap,there ARE similar training loads to carry loads,this is DHS arming for CIVIL WAR,period) small arms ammunition for a 30 year war on the scale of the past conflicts in the middle east.

        Now the latest reports have the Department of Homeland Stasi acquiring the APC’s being brought back from the Middle East,for use HERE.

        Police have been getting federal funding and support for DECADES for this “war on drugs”,which has proven to be a fruitless money pit of a foolish endeavor.

        Now this administration,while heavily arming a federal agency created by the previous administration and which has been howling for “homegrown terrorist” blood since 2008 when it’s leadership changed hands under the new administration,wants to severely limit the ability of We The People to own arms.

        Its good that the ACLU sees the police problem.

        Too bad they fail to understand that what would keep tyranny in check,forever and permanently,is if the Common Man had the same access to arms as the government.

        NOTHING checks tyranny like a good balance of firepower and a lack of a monoply on the use of force.

        NOTHING.

        Liberals- your Anointed Savior is a sham.

        He is as much a tyrant as Bush was.

        More so,even still.

        THEY ARE ALL -ALL OF THEM- POWER HUNGRY SOCIOPATHS.

        Time for America to WAKE UP.

        The only government worth having is one severely limited in its power.

        We need to CHERISH the RIGHTS WE HAVE,even if we ourselves do not always agree with them.

        if we continue down the road of “gun control” with absolutely no limitations on what weapons the government may use on us- were doomed.

        You may say I’m being hyperbolic.

        You may think I’m even a nut case.

        But despite the disagreements as to the particulars,history SHOWS that when government takes a militaristic authoritarian stance and purports to “control” the arms of average citizens-

        EVIL STUFF HAPPENS.

        • avatarsean says:

          Hi JewishPartisan762–I used to run with the “God, Guns, Guts, and Glory” crowd, assuming that showering our law enforcement folks with the latest and greatest weapons and privacy-invading technology was a good thing. I call it my period of intellectual laziness. But I have undertaken an arduous self-study program, seeking truth, and so despise Republicans as much as the Democrats–all politicians who see liberty and individual initiative as a threat to Leviathan. “Men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their own appetites.” Edmund Burke

        • avatarMikeK says:

          Well said — and spot on!

  4. avatarBradN says:

    This is the thing that enrages me about my fellow liberals. They want to fight “the man” but simultaneously they want to disarm everyone. I don’t know how they don’t see the incongruity of this sort of thinking.

    We need firearms in case law enforcement decides to step it up and actually put some bite behind their barking and ladies and gentlemen they’ve been barking quite loudly as of late.

    • avatarGyufygy says:

      A-freaking-men.

    • avatarPyrotek85 says:

      This. I don’t see how they can harbor such distrust towards the police (rightfully oftentimes) yet we’re supposed to trust them with a monopoly on force.

    • avatarJoke & Dagger says:

      Liberalism is full of incongruities.

      • avatarBradN says:

        Conservatism has its logical fallacies as well. It’s best to employ both ways of thinking when appropriate. Following any sort of ideology in a blanket fashion is not logical.

        • avatarJoke & Dagger says:

          I didn’t say anything about Conservatism. You need deprogramming Sir. Spend a couple of hours over on Zero Hedge. You’ll thank me later.

        • avatarensitu says:

          I support the US Constitution, give it a try sometime

      • avatarBradN says:

        I don’t need any deprogramming. I’m fully aware of what’s really going on. I’m merely pointing out it’s illogical to dismiss an ideology entirely without admitting any of its validity in certain circumstances. It is irrelevant that I mentioned conservatism as I didn’t imply that you were a conservative.

        I don’t go around dismissing ideas in their entirety without investigating if they have any worth and most times you’d be surprised how many facets of ideas you may disagree with have some validity.

        • avatarJoke & Dagger says:

          Brad, our disconnect is that you apparently believe in exploring “ideas” and “idealogogies”. For me, God and the Founding Fathers did all the heavy thinking. We just need to live our lives without any more interference.

    • avatarShane says:

      BradN, if you ever figure this out, please put me on your mailing list. Liberals should be as pro-gun as any conservative. It is the liberal who values diversity and the rights of minorities. Disarming the public makes the minorities defenseless against mob rule (“democracy” without the Bill of Rights).

      • avatarIdahoPete says:

        Not to mention the fact that the roots of modern “gun control” started in the ex-Confederate states in the 1870s as a way to keep guns out of the hands of the newly-freed slaves.

      • avatarBryan says:

        Many liberals today at the federal level are extremely hypocritical. I don’t see them as the voice of the minority as they claim to be, but rather power hungry individuals who like absolute control over the governed.

  5. avatarLTC F says:

    The only reason I haven’t retired yet is because twice a year I get to fire about 200 rounds from a Ma Deuce, and four rounds of 120mm APDS-T via the TC override. I couldn’t afford to keep an M2 fed even if they’d let me own one.

    The problem with SWAT teams is if you have one you’re gonna use it. If you dress like an “operator” you’re going to act like one. We used more restraint in Baghdad than the average SWAT team does in Pima County AZ. That’s wrong on many levels. The militarization of police goes hand in hand with the erosion of civil liberties.

    • avatarRedleg says:

      LTC F, I completely agree with you. My town ran an article about purchasing suppressors for their sniper rifles, MP-5s, and ARs. I wrote a pretty persuasive letter to the editor against it and got a call from the Police Chief. I went and met with him and the SWAT NCOIC at the station to discuss my concerns. I said my piece which distilled down from a two hour meeting and several letters was:

      The idea of cops creeping around and stealthily shooting people has no business in America and if they wanted to play SFOD-D operator they should join the military. They stated that the cans were to protect the officers hearing. As an artilleryman I know a thing or two about hearing conservation.

      My recommendation was that since they were facing very large budget shortfalls with talks of laying officers off and since suppressors are expensive and also very expensive to maintain they should go with a high end set of hearing protection. Their response to that was that they wouldn’t be able to hear each other. I said get some high end Peltors that amplify sound and that they’d actually be able to hear each other better. They didn’t like that I was better informed on the subject than them and that they couldn’t rebut my logic.

      In the end they were determined to get their new toys and run around like ninjas all the while complaining of budget shortfalls. I think they invited me to the chiefs office to silence and intimidate me but it didn’t work. In the end I failed in my mission to bring some common sense to my local PD and they are still complaining of budget shortfalls and floating sales tax increases for the police department at every election which fails.

      • avatarRobert Bub says:

        Redleg Google “Police IQ Limit”. Is it any wonder why your argument failed to win?

      • avatarPPGMD says:

        “My recommendation was that since they were facing very large budget shortfalls with talks of laying officers off and since suppressors are expensive and also very expensive to maintain they should go with a high end set of hearing protection. Their response to that was that they wouldn’t be able to hear each other. I said get some high end Peltors that amplify sound and that they’d actually be able to hear each other better. They didn’t like that I was better informed on the subject than them and that they couldn’t rebut my logic. ”

        Actually you aren’t better informed. Silencers cost virtually nothing to maintain. Except for 22LR suppressors, the only maintenance is cleaning the mounting interface periodically as it builds up carbon. And that costs is minimal as it only requires a little carbon cleaner and elbow grease.

        High end hearing protection is typically very directional. I have two sets of the MSA Sordins (considered one of the best on the market). Yes they are good, particularly when you are facing the person you are talking to, but any sounds outside the 180 degree arc around the microphones can easily be muffled by sounds within that arc. On a shooting line where I need to hear a RO behind me I actually turn my entire headset around so the mics are facing backward.

        But on the other hand I agree with you on the budget, if they were facing a budget shortfall spending $10-20K on suppressors might not have been the best idea.

        But if they have the budget I see nothing wrong with silencers for their long guns. As that won’t turn them into stealth assassins, a typical rifle caliber silencer only brings the noise level down to just below hearing safe.

        • avatarIdahoPete says:

          Since police claim that silencers are actually nothing more than hearing protection devices, they should be available over-the-counter with no ATF check and no $200 tax to any civilian who wants to protect his/her hearing – just like our “civilian” police agencies.

          And guess what? Our Idaho legislature is working on a bill that will make that very point, by authorizing the manufacture, sale and use (in Idaho)of “hearing protection firearms suppressors” as long as they are made, sold, and remain in the state of Idaho. No “interstate commerce” for the ATF to regulate.

          Yo, headin’ for GemTech in Boise when that sucker passes.

        • avatarPPGMD says:

          @IdahoPete
          I am a normal civilian with no LE credentials or whatever, but I have no issue at all if silencers are reduced from a NFA item to either a normal instant firearm background check, or even to make them a normal accessory type item.

          Hell unlike machine guns where any positive changes would kill their inflated value, I don’t think most in the NFA community would have an issue with changing the laws on silencers. There are few collector type silencers (outside of the early Maxim stuff), and the NFA tax actually hurts the resale market as you have to pay a total of $400 in NFA taxes to sell it out of state.

    • avatarCleophus says:

      Tell it, brother, tell it! Let the whole church say Amen!

  6. avatarDyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    This is a wonderful opportunity to make common cause between the predominately right-of-center gunnies and the ACLU, who is often decidedly left of center.

    If we did this, the clowns in DC would say “Oh, crap… we can’t play one off against the other” and actually have to pay attention.

    • avatarRambeast says:

      Funny how things work when divide and conquer fails.

    • avatarSwarf says:

      Absolutely.

    • avatarensitu says:

      They are not Liberals they are Progressive Socialists a form of Commie-Cancer

    • avatarPaul W. says:

      You’d hope so wouldn’t you?

    • avatarDon says:

      The In is a much smaller group than the Out so the In divided the Out into equal opposing forces called the Left and the Right.

    • avatarDr Duh says:

      In my dream world the ‘left’ and the ‘right’ come together around a set of shared common values that I call ‘The Constitution’.

      Unless we can agree to respect and defend all of it, not just the parts or interpretations that we like, we will be divided and conquered.

  7. avatarBHirsh says:

    I’m frankly surprised that they don’t blame the escalation on the fact that “too many people have guns”, and sympathize with the Leviathan.

  8. avatarShenandoah says:

    Ain’t Obama retiring a bunch of nuclear warheads? DHS will soon be distributing the launch codes to a police chief near you

  9. avatarCJ says:

    Who needs an investigation? It’s pretty freaking obvious.

    Has the whole country been asleep for the last decade? “Yes honey they have, now take your blood pressure pills and turn off the computer”.

    They better be careful though, the ACLU might land on SPLC’s list.

    • avatarSwarf says:

      “Has the whole country been asleep for the last decade?”

      Many of the people yelling the loudest for the past four years were reeeal quiet for the previous eight.

      • avatarJim Barrett says:

        Sad but very true. I’ll man up now and admit that I didn’t have that much of a problem with Patriot Act V.1 right after the twin towers dropped. Granted, I was not all that aware of everything that was in it and since then, I’ve certainly not been a fan of the abuses that have been perpetrated in its name.

        Decisions made in the heat of emotion are usually bad ones.

      • avatarDaveL says:

        By the same token, many of the people who were crying blue murder when Bush was gutting the Bill of Rights with his War on Terror went strangely silent when a Democrat won the presidency and largely continued – and expanded – the same practices.

        Far too many.

  10. avatarLeo338 says:

    Wow, I cannot imagine any situation where police would need a belt fed .50 cal.

  11. avatarJim B says:

    What is disturbing to me is that the NRA wants to put these cops in every school in the country. Yeah, get the children used to having heavily armed police around them to protect them from a threat so rare it shouldn’t be considered, at least not in the average school.

    Just as those that were not old enough to fly before 9/11 think the humiliating searches we have to go through every time we board a plane are normal, these kids will think having armed cops patrolling the corridors of schools is not only normal but necessary.

    Americans are unable to asses risk and think the world should be without any risk whatsoever. Most think it is fine to have cops armed as if they are going to war and a SWAT team for every Podunk police force.

    • avatarJoke & Dagger says:

      You have kids in school Jim? I do. And I feel much better with the nice guy with the gun hanging around our campus.

      • avatarNEIOWA says:

        I heve kids in elementary schools. Know several to the town cops by first name but I don’t want them hanging out at the school eating donuts. Guarding ANYTHING is not the job of public employees. If they don’t have legitimate law enforcement duties lay them off (and a town of 6000 does not NEED 15 full time cops).

        Further, ONE man doesn’t protect diddly squat. Think about how the Army pulls security.

        The NRA is wrong to even propose this throwaway idea. I think was just pitched to make put a wedge between cops and the gun banning libs.

        • avatarJim Barrett says:

          Don’t underestimate the power of deterrence. Granted, one or two cops facing several trained men armed with rifles is hardly a fair fight, but it beats no armed people facing several trained men with rifles.

          I’m not sure if we need full time police officers, but the idea of someone in a school having the ability to shoot back can make a world of difference. Go check out TTAG’s writeup of the school shooting experiment that they did back in January for details.

        • avatarStinkeye says:

          Wouldn’t you get the same deterrent effect by allowing school staff to carry concealed weapons? Actually, armed teachers would probably be a better deterrent, since a bad guy would know if he takes out the lone cop at the school, it’s back to a “gun-free zone”. If a dozen teachers are carrying, the bad guy isn’t going to know where the return fire could be coming from.

          Bonus: you don’t have to pay a cop’s salary to stand around all day just to be a deterrent, and the lesson kids learn isn’t “you must depend on the government for protection”, it’s “responsible citizens can protect themselves and others”.

        • avatarShane says:

          Stinkeye, a few months ago, I would have disagreed with your argument. I’m a teacher, and I think it is unfair to ask teachers to take on yet another responsibly, and an awesome responsibility at that. But there is no way that this country can afford full-time officers at every school building. If teachers had the option to serve in this capacity – if they were given the proper training – and if they were paid a fair stipend for this additional responsibility – then I think this idea might make sense. The teaching profession is already one of the most vetted professions. Even sealed and expunged records are visible to school boards via FBI arrest records, which almost every state now requires for hiring teachers.

    • avatarJim Barrett says:

      I hear what you are saying, but go to Wikipedia and look up the Beslan Massacre. This sort if thing is coming to America. The fanatics have promised it and I tend to believe that they will pull it off sooner or later.

      When that happens, I’m not so sure that I wouldn’t want some armed cops in my kid’s school. That said, there is no reason the school police need to be heavily armed. Simply having police armed with pistols would go a long way to deterring an attack either from terrorists or from some crazy depressed kid. In both cases, the prospective perpetrators fear failure and having to face even a police officer armed with a pistol magnifies the chance of that failure.

    • avatarCleophus says:

      The NRA has been currying favor with the police ever since 9/11. Is anybody here old enough to remember the NRA’s campaign, I think in the middle ’80′s, where they referred to the police as “jack booted thugs” and decried the militarization of the police force? And G. Gordon Liddy, during the first “assault weapons” debacle, telling Americans that if any police came to confiscate their arms, to “shoot them in the head when they came through the door, because they wear body armor?”

      • avatarSGC says:

        Armed teachers works great in Israel…where they have compelled military service. I don’t know what teachers you know…but I wouldn’t trust any of them armed around my children. The gun would just get taken away and used against them…

      • avatarRay says:

        As I remember the ‘jack booted thugs’ reference was specifically about the BATF. And true.

  12. I’m with the ACLU on this one for sure. Correct me if I’m wrong, but this seems to be more of a small town issue than a large metropolis issue.

    Here is Chicago, our PO’s sometimes have to wait to respond to a call because they don’t have a vehicle. It’s especially bad around shift changes because there are so few operating vehicles that the PO’s going on the clock have to wait for the ones coming off. So if you’re planning on committing mayhem, do so around shift change. Oh, and do so tomorrow night when all the temporary Irish drunks are trying to flip cars over in Wrigleyville.

    Illustrating Chicago’s Murders, Homicides, Violence and Idiocy at heyjackass.com

  13. avatarDale says:

    I used to tell my ACLU friends that someday we were going to wind up on the “same side of the street”. They all sniggered, rolled eyes, and said “yeah right, the day we side with the 2A folks is the day hell freezes over”.

    Brrrrrrrr, seems like the temperature is dropping.

  14. avatarGyufygy says:

    Awesome.

    I think there is more common ground between the Tea Party and OWS & Co than most people realize. Significant differences, yes, different vocabulary, yes, but some strong similarities as well.

  15. avataranonymous says:

    The police are becoming an unaccountable military force?

    It’s a good thing we have all those American “Don’t Tread On Me!” gun owners fighting this tyranny.

    Oh, wait…

    • avatarJoke & Dagger says:

      The time is not yet here, Anonymous. We are trying to work within the system first.

    • avataranonymous says:

      > The time is not yet here

      Militarized police have been breaking into people’s homes and murdering them for decades.

      If that‘s not the line, what is?

      • avatarJoke & Dagger says:

        Coming and taking them from law abiding gun owners. Or trying. Where have you been?

      • avataranonymous says:

        >> If that‘s not the line, what is?

        > Coming and taking them from law abiding gun owners.
        > Or trying. Where have you been?

        So the 2nd Amendment does not protect all other amendments, like the 4th and 5th Amendments.

        That’s what you’re saying, right?

        That American gun-owners will tolerate any type of Police State, as long as we get to keep our guns?

        • avatarJoke & Dagger says:

          Sorry Anon, but my weekend plans don’t include going all Chris Dorner for your entertainment.

        • avatarJoke & Dagger says:

          Sorry, Anon, but me weekend plans don’t include going all Chris Dorner for your viewing pleasure.

  16. avatarDave S says:

    And folks wonder why Senator Paul wanted assurances that we werent going to be drone targets…

  17. avatarLance says:

    First time I agree with the ACLU.

    • avatarShane says:

      Lance, check out some of the cases they’ve fought in the past. I bet you’d be surprised that you agree with them on more than just this issue. Some conservative talking heads will tell us how terrible the ACLU is, but most of us don’t actually fit into the talking-head categories.

  18. avatarArmchair Command'oh says:

    The problem goes well beyond post-9/11 funding. It all started with the war on drugs. With the 4th Amendment, it is really hard to combat drugs. So, over the decades the Supreme Court has permitted the erosion of our rights because unless we bend the rules, we can’t get the drugs off the street. Now we live in a society where just about any search warrant results in a SWAT visit.

    • avatarPascal says:

      I think it is more of that all those toys cost money….and you need to keep raising your budget so you need to use toys in order to justify them. When comes budget time, some spreadsheet pusher just sees that the SWAT team was used X times without questions as to where and why.

      The police does what the chief admin of the town/city wants and he gets to have toys that are funded andt to justify funding they have to use them even if not justified.

      My town has a rolling command center that is reported to have cost $1m. When storm Irene rolled in, the command center did not even work but they have to keep justifying it.

      The ACLU is asking the questions the MSM should have been asking for a long time.

    • avatarThomas Paine says:

      they get the money from ASSET FORFEITURE. look it up. busted violating the drug and cosmetic act? we’re auctioning your house and buying MP5s with the money.

  19. avatarJoe says:

    When your job is, as this site calls it, “serving the public”, running into a building to stop an active shooter looking to kill you and others, then you can get those weapons. Knowing how most of these departments work, they receive specialized training on how to use them. Until you meet both those particulars, you keep on carrying your concealed pistol.

    • avatarJoke & Dagger says:

      Those LEOs with the bat mobile with turret a couple of stories ago don’t look so specialized to me.

      • avatarJoe says:

        Didn’t say they have to look specialized, but they might have specialized training. You can’t judge that book by the cover.

    • avatarStinkeye says:

      In what “active shooter” scenario do you envision a specially-trained officer using a belt-fed .50 cal machine gun mounted on an armored vehicle?

      Also, what part of the Constitution specifies that civilian police officers have a greater right to keep and bear arms than other citizens? I can’t find it in my copy.

      • avatarSGC says:

        Apparently they have less…that seems to be the argument here. Anyone here have an AR and some camo? Guess that makes you militaristic then…? Name one item the cops have that a citizen can’t buy without enough money and being willing to jump through the hoops for it…

        • avatarShane says:

          The citizens of NY can’t have magazines that hold more than seven rounds. I’m sure the cops can.

          Civil law enforcement (federal, state, and local) should not have any weapons that a law-abiding civilian can’t own. If an AR-15 is a “weapon designed for the battlefield … with no purpose except for combat” then why the hell do civilian police have them?

        • avatarJim B says:

          Uh, I hope you’re joking. If not I think you had better read up on fully automatic weapons. Civilians cannot buy any newly manufactured fully automatic weapons, legally that is. If you are talking about jumping through hoops to do something illegal you’re right. If you want a fully automatic weapon legally you must live in a state that allows them (not all do) and then spend a small fortune for one manufactured before the 1986 Gun Control Act, aka, the Firearm Owners Protection Act.

          You said name one that we cannot get. OK, here’s two: The H&K MP7 and the FN P90. There plenty more that are not legally available to civilians but that police forces can and do buy.

    • avatarRRaider says:

      belt fed 50 cal to stop an active shooter in a building? What swat team are you on? And just who is facing those active shooters before the cops get there? Oh the public? Good answer, so why would the cops need more firepower than the public? Think people, this stuff isn’t rocket science.

    • avatarDaveL says:

      Joe, has it occurred to you the reason would run into a building with an active shooter is because said shooter is actively shooting civilians? The term isn’t used to describe someone plinking tin cans. So while your cops run into that building to deal with that active shooter, civilians have already been forced to deal with that very same shooter for several minutes – with no forewarning, and with no backup. So explain to me again why those civilians shouldn’t be armed like the police are?

      • avatarJoe says:

        I do agree with everyone that the 50cal is completely unnecessary and the purpose of it in this configuration will never be necessary other than some sort of deterrent…although even that is not practical…

        Civilians are the police and the police are civilians. Initial uniformed responders might not have rifles and will make do with pistols. Some CCs would engage immediately and should be honored for doing so. They may or may not be effective in eliminating the threat, but if more and more people come to overcome the subject, then let’s bring what we can. We should be thankful that we can own and carry them, unlike some countries (or the State of Illinois – Land of Stinkin’), a lot of with no prereqs. My reasoning for the turret is that I would not feel comfortable with some Schmoe that never shot a gun using that rifle, but as long as someone receives training and can demonstrate proficiency with it, then they should utilize it. I should have explained that better in my initial comment.

  20. avatarTGugs says:

    Internet, Idol, Dancing with Stars, Marijuana dispensary’s, Sports fans, state sponsored media, Guns are bad, drugs are good, everyone is either asleep or stoned or so stupid that total Gov’t control will be assumed. Obedience….Now… Obama is a Sith lord and a Douche.

  21. avatarniceguns says:

    Cops are Dicks, they are so stupid and egotistical that they don’t even realize they will be the first targets in a SHTF situation. They may train but they better find away to morph…

    • avatarJim Barrett says:

      Let’s be careful about painting all police with a broad brush. Those sheriffs who have been standing up and saying they will refuse to violate their constituents’ 2A rights are cops too, and I for one am glad to have them.

      • avatarniceguns says:

        And the cops that stand for the second amendment won’t be at your door than would they? thus the broad brush. If Americans would stop trying to be so politically correct we would all be better off. Save the passivity.

  22. avatarRandy Drescher says:

    Yeah, Fondulac is a hotbed of criminal activity alright, someone was probably speeding in their cornvertible, Randy

  23. avatarSixpack70 says:

    So they need a .50 cal to keep up with criminals that statistically use small caliber cheap handguns? Sounds legit…

  24. avatarSilver says:

    Funny that we’ve come to a point where “liberal” people are in favor of large, oppressive governments. I don’t think that word means what they think it means.

    • avatarRRaider says:

      They always have been. Our “liberalism” is nothing more than communism and look at how oppressive every single communist government has been.

  25. avatarKevin says:

    Funny, there was an article today in the local fish wrap about the cops using APC’s.

    http://www.registerguard.com/rg/news/local/29578112-75/vehicles-armored-county-sheriff-military.html.csp

  26. I recommend that people check out Radley Balko’s work; he’s a libertarian independent journalist currently publishing at HuffPo, and his “beat” is entirely this kind of thing: police militarization, excessive force, and all things connected with it.

    He has a book out soon on the topic, of which I expect good things given his online writing.

    Warning: reading his stuff will rile you up unless you like jackboots and the stomping of them on innocent faces.

  27. avatarJo-soul says:

    the only new gear my lil town has gotten lately is a couple of Tahoe Interceptors.. the ol swat truck is just sitting in the parking lot collecting dust.

  28. avatarAnmut says:

    Something is happening in this country. Everyone can feel it. Everyone senses it. Nobody can pinpoint it.

    However it seems that there is an escalation of prepping on the side of government and from the citizens. Whether or not these escalations are cyclic in nature and only are rising because they feed off each other equally is to be seen and debated.

    Personally, if it looks, walks and quacks like a duck – it’s a duck. Or in our case, if it arms itself to the teeth, pushes extreme civil disarmament and creates generations of government dependents, then it is tyrannical. But what is the reason behind WHY they want us controlled?

    • avatarJim Barrett says:

      that one is simple. A controlled population will do whatever the people in power tell them to do. An uncontrolled population is likely to remove people who cross the line from power.

      • avatarAnmut says:

        See I believe that a reason of “to simply stay in power” is too thin. Politicians have mastered that ability for over a century now.

        No, there seems to be something more complex in the works. It may not even be something sinister but it is something that the government believes will require a lot more control over the masses.

        A Super Depression?
        An armada of alien ships slowly tracking towards earth?
        A giant space rock just out of range of all but the most powerful government space telescopes?
        CIA spies believe that we are on the brink of nuclear war?
        Mole people?

        • avatarStinkeye says:

          They don’t just want to stay in control and maintain the status quo. Just study a little history – those who have power always seek to expand their power. It’s inevitable. It’s human nature. It’s why there’s a repeating cycle of abuse and revolution throughout history.

  29. avatarensitu says:

    The ACLU is a tool of the Crypto-Commies. This is likely a smoke screen so that the ACLU will determine that Po-Pos are Under Militarized

  30. avatarWA_2A says:

    “There is no earthly reason, for these PDs to own weapons of war…”

  31. avatarjwm says:

    First, I tend to come down on the side of the rank and file cops. But there’s no, and I mean No, reason for any police force in America to have a belt fed .50 bmg in their bag of tricks. This truly is a weapon of war and has no place in our cities. Period.

    As for the ACLU, until I see them at the national level standing up for the 2a rights of all I will not call them a legitimate civil rights group. Period.

    • avatarAnmut says:

      I would be willing to have a conversation about these weapons of war that the police have. That is – if cops can have belt-fed 50′s then we should all be able to buy them. At Walmart. With no background check. And free ammo for all.

      • avatarjwm says:

        Anmut, I’ve always said the citizen should be able to buy any weapon that the cops can buy. I don’t believe civil police in a civil country need belt fed heavy mg’s, rpg’s, mortars, etc.

        But if the police can have full auto weapons, we should have the same right.

        • avatarSGC says:

          Which PD has a belt fed .50 HMG? I missed that part somewhere. A Barrett 50 is a semi auto rifle…right?

        • avatarDonS says:

          Apparently, the Richland County (South Carolina) Sheriff’s Department.

          According to this article, the department has “an armored personnel carrier complete with a turret-mounted .50-caliber belt-fed machine gun for its Special Response Team”.

          No mention of it being a Barrett. Perhaps it’s an M2.

        • avatarSGC says:

          Holy $hi+

          Ok, I stand corrected. Yeah, that is ridiculous. I could let a 50 BMG slide, but a M2? WTF…you win on that one.

    • avatarint19h says:

      Wait, so groups like SAF are civil rights while only supporting 2A, but ACLU is not because they support a bunch of other stuff, just not 2A?

      ACLU is a civil rights group, albeit with a focus narrower than it might have been. But they still defend freedom of speech and of religion, and security in your homes and personal belongings against government intrusion, and many other things. If you want to see those things protected, the only logical choice is to support them. If you also want 2A to be protected – which they, indeed, don’t do – then you also support SAF etc. What’s so strange about that?

  32. avatarRon says:

    To a cop with a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

  33. avatarDrVino says:

    I’m gonna be a bit of a contrarian here:

    If ARs are in common use, what is wrong with them being issued of LEOs?

    And if criminals are so well armed, should not the LEOs be able to match the firepower?

    • avatarMark N. says:

      The problem is that the police are getting both full auto ARs (M4s) and semiauto rifles, while the federal government and a bunch of state legislatures are trying to ban the ownership by civilians of semi-auto ARs and AKs. So there is nothing wron with police having ARs, but there shouldn’t be anything wrong with everyone else having them either. But another issue is the .50 BMGs. The only thing civilians use them for are long range competitions, while the police apparently intend to use them for short range sniper work where they are overkill and run a high risk of collateral injuries to bystanders.

  34. avatarDon says:

    The police are militarized because we programmed more soldiers than we had wars overseas for them to fight in. We’ve never figured out how to deprogram a soldier, so we keep them as cops and they do as they’re trained for war, except in civil society where we are the next best thing to enemy combatants.

  35. avatarMark says:

    Let law enforcement borrow the military equipment from the local militia if and when they actually need it.

  36. avatarMatt in FL says:

    Now, where can I get my hands on an APC with a belt-fed .50 cal?

    Now, where can I get my hands on the cash to feed a belt-fed .50?

  37. avatarYawner says:

    What’s the matter with everyone? The DHS just issued their yearly assessment stated that terrorism from outside is no longer their main concern. It’s ‘terrorism’ from within that is now their focus. All they need to do is dis-arm us and the plan is in place. Wake the hell up!

  38. avatarniceguns says:

    So the cops have fully automatic weapons, do you know how fast they would be empty? Practice your well placed shots!

  39. avatarAce says:

    I think it’s great to find common ground with the ACLU. One day we may even persuade the national org on the 2nd Amendment!

    But what is ‘ACLU’s defense of seemingly indefensible behavior’? It’s all in the Constitution last time I checked?

  40. avatarBlake says:

    A belt fed .50 cal? No need for no-knock raids. Just open up and remove the house from its foundations.

    Sheesh.

  41. avatarDave S says:

    I am of the Mayberry school of policing.

    the police are here to protect and serve

    police ask to chat with you.

    If they serve a warrant at least one officer is in usual uniform.

    And the standard speech goes:

    Yes sir, I am sure you can beat/stab/shoot me. But if you do that, I will crawl out and summon help. Again, you might be able to defeat us. But then, we will crawl out
    and summon more help. And you know, eventually we will take you in.

    But since its such a nice day and we both have other things to do, why dont you just come quietly with me and we will get this over with as soon and as painlessly as possible.

    Sometimes it works, other times you get to call in help.

    But starting with an armored vehicle doesnt do much for letting folks deescalate the situation. It also encourages folks to study up on IEDs.

  42. avatarRodeo Jones says:

    “We need to get these weapons of war off our streets!” -DF

  43. Pingback: SWAT team throws stun grenade:lands in baby crib - Page 11 - US Message Board - Political Discussion Forum

Leave a Reply

Please use your real name instead of you company name or keyword spam.