Militarized Police, Not Weapons

(courtesy motherboaard.vice.com)

TTAG reader TD writes: “The anti’s are trying to frame the argument that the weapons like the one pictured above are military in origin. Check out the Stainless Steel barrel and the machining on the receiver–this is a civilian rifle like you would see at any public range on any given Saturday. Do not let them get away with saying this sort of weapon belongs only in the hands of the military.”

comments

  1. avatar Buzzy243 says:

    Amen! Preach it, brother!

  2. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    I’m also seeing a 5 or maybe 10 round magazine…
    Interesting

    1. avatar NYC2AZ says:

      But it’s black and has a pistol grip and shit… That makes it moarz deadleeee… or something.

    2. avatar Gunr says:

      But the “mothers” would tell all, that a 5 round magazine, means 5 dead children!

    3. avatar Taurus609 says:

      Possibly a 308 or 338 Lapua (SP).

      1. avatar seans says:

        308 possibly, but not a 338

      2. avatar Anonymoose says:

        Looks to me like a .223 with a 10-round PMAG. It sure as heck isn’t a .338, and that scope would still be ridiculous on a .308.

    4. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

      That’s not exactly a 1x red dot on top. I’m not sure you need 30 rounds in a sniper rifle.

      1. avatar Gene says:

        No, but the red dot is on the other side at a 45 degree cant. I’m guessing this guy isn’t mall ninjaing it, rather this is his one rifle for all purposes. That’d explain the light bolted onto it, too.

        1. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

          That or they had a contest to see who could put the most gizmos on their AR and he won.

    5. avatar Spaceman Brown says:

      I can think of a few practical reasons for this. The lower capacity magazine is lighter, he could be trying to save some of the weight that big ass optic and heavy profile barrel adds. It’s also more compact, so he wouldn’t have to set the bipod up so damn high, and he wouldn’t have to arch his back so much when shooting from prone.

      1. avatar Skeptical_Realist says:

        The rifle in question is most certainly a DMR setup (Designated Marksman Rifle).

        As such, the primary concern with magazines is not capacity, but the ability to go prone, as you noted.

        Almost all DMR rifles are set up with 10 or 20 round mags.

    6. avatar DBM says:

      Tom, That rifle is configured to be used as a sniper weapon. 30 round mags can get in the way.

      I would like a closer look at the receiver though to see if its full auto.

    7. avatar Mark says:

      Small cap mags on these are for prone firing so the mag does not interfere with the rifle position. There are pics on the internet of this guy glassing the people demonstrating. Personally that would make me VERY nervous and quite possible put him in a position of a round going his way. Bad things can happen when you point rifles at people.

  3. avatar tfunk says:

    Was actually just having a conversation with a friend of mine about this last night. It’s the mindset, tactics, and ways equipment are actually being used that I would characterize as the militarization of the police.

    And honestly, militarization is somewhat of a misnomer. When I was in the Army, if I’d done half of what many police have done I’d be in prison. But I’m not sure what else to call it.

    1. avatar Jim R says:

      Jack-booted thuggery?

      1. avatar tfunk says:

        For sure…but that doesn’t quite roll off the tongue. 🙂

        Imperialization? Doesn’t seem to conjure up the image militarization does…

      2. avatar Jus Bill says:

        “Police Riot.” Google it.

    2. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

      You had the UCMJ, they have the union.

      1. avatar whatever says:

        They also have the police chief, the DA, the mayor and the other elected officials who enable and direct this thuggery.

        I said it once and I will say it again: Hold the elected kingpins accountable at the polls.

    3. avatar PhilWilson says:

      Yes, the poster makes a good point. I was initially very happy to see Democratic politicians ready to speak out against police militarization. My first thought was “Wow, Democrats speaking out against abuse of government authority? Maybe we are finally ready to begin putting the Progressive authoritarian nightmare of the last 50 years behind us, finally time for some freaking sanity!” But they really are just focused on the tools again, not the abuse of authority per se. Unfortunately, we must carefully question the motives of all politicians.

  4. avatar Kevin L says:

    He has a tripod, AND a bipod on the rifle. I guess for if he gets off the vehicle? Also he has an offset optic, flashlight and cheek rest. Talk about tacticool.

    1. avatar The Brotherhood of Steel says:

      Made me think of that ISIS picture with one of them holding an AK with two bipod grips and a scope way to big for any AK on it hahahaha.

    2. avatar Gene says:

      I’ve been thining aboutthat since I saw the picture the ither day.All I can figure is either he’s mall ninjaing his stuff or it’s his one “do all” rifle. I’m kind of leaning towards the one rifle side, though. The camo, however, really doesn’t seem to do much in a concrete-based environment, so that confuses me, but I’m not an operational operator type.

      1. avatar Skeptical_Realist says:

        There is no valid reason for police to wear camo. In fact, it opposes their touted purpose.

    3. avatar seans says:

      The tripod isn’t attached to the rifle, it’s a shooting stand, pretty much all serious snipers use them. It allows you to shoot standing.

    4. avatar lolinski says:

      An offset optic on a scoped rifle is not that tacticool considering most western rifles aren’t made to be used with a scope and iron sights at once.

      Cheek rests are useful for using two different sights like he has. That’s how I do it with AKs, remove cheek rest for iron sights, add cheek rest for scope.

      Bipods I don’t have experience with (I use a sling) so I can’t comment on that. Not defending or taking sides but the rifle he uses isn’t tacticool IMO. Tacticool is IMHO unused rails and equipment/gadgets/accessories you never use.

  5. avatar mercutio says:

    Lots of comments on Rantburg (anti-terrorism news site) about the tacti-cool wannabee-ness of the set-up.

  6. avatar Indiana Tom says:

    A lot of guns are military in origin. So what? Hey Fudds, your bolt action rifle was heavily influenced by Mauser rifles for the German Infantry. Pump action shotguns were developed for the Wild West Military to beat off Indian human wave attacks. 1911 Colt-military. Peace maker- military. .30-06-military. .308 Winchester=military. .223-military. .45-70-military.

    1. avatar tmm says:

      Where does the military turn when it needs these weapons?

      1. avatar Jus Bill says:

        Cheaper Than Dirt?

    2. avatar tdiinva says:

      Wrong. 308 Winchester wad designed for civilian use and the 223 was derived from the 222

      1. avatar Anonymoose says:

        .308 started out as just the civilian commercial trademark of 7.62x51mm NATO, and 5.56 is just a hotter .223.

  7. avatar Indiana Tom says:

    The problem is not so much the equipment, it is the mind set.

    1. avatar Pascal says:

      +10000

    2. avatar Jus Bill says:

      CORRECT!!!

    3. avatar Gene says:

      That free equipment is actually pretty expensive (think operations and maintenance). I’m wondering if that money should be put to better uses like more and better training. I’ve seen pictures on news sites where optics are put on backwards, etc. There is an appearance that just having that free equipment will somehow magically increase survivability in all task scenarios. In fact, if there is inadequate training in use and proper placement in task scenarios, it’s a false sense of security – and an expensive one.

      IMO, money could be better spent on higher quality and more frequent training and more pedestrian equipment. Actually knowing more about the laws that are being enforced would be good, too (again, it’s training). Also, in terms of this riot, why isn’t the Gov calling in te Nat’l Guard? Isnt’t that one of reasons they exist?

    4. avatar TheBear says:

      +230000 I can care less what gear the police have as long as I can own the same thing.

      What concerns me is that police get off the hook so easily for everything now.

  8. avatar 2nd American_Revolutionary from Ferguson, MO says:

    I was there when they were aiming those weapons at us and those weapons aren’t the full auto ones. The St. Louis County Tactical Teams on the ground had a couple

    1. avatar NotoriousAPP says:

      What were you doing down there? Participating in one side of the line, journalism, selling bottles of water, etc?

  9. avatar jwm says:

    Everybody in America, regardless of zip code or occupation should be able to buy and use a rifle like that. Or any other firearm the police use.

    Personally, I don’t like the ar. But that doesn’t mean I think you shouldn’t have one if you wish.

    1. avatar Accur81 says:

      I don’t like the AR either – can’t decide which twist rate is the best 1:7, 1:8, or 1:9. So I was stuck getting all three. Then I wanted more power, so I had to get a 6.8. Then more power still, so a .50 Beowulf. Then more versatility, so a 300 BLK.

      Now I’m going to have to get an AR-10 of some sort, but have to sell my motorcycle first.

      One AR is not all that great, but a whole bunch of ARs sure are nice to have.

      1. avatar v v ind says:

        Better get one in your pistol caliber too, just to complete the collection

        1. avatar Lolinski says:

          Funny part: .338 at 100 meters? That’s silly, at that distance you are so shook up you can’t aim straight thus you need a .50 BMG because even if you miss the shockwave will tear them in half. That is true, scientifically proven and all (read: no, not at all).

          Serious part: ain’t worried about resupplies. If I find a cop that I can take ammo from, he is dead (a living person sharing ammo in a crisis? No effin way). If he is dead and has ammo on him/in his car then the gun is gonna be there. Either you find gun+ammo or you don’t find anything. At the very least don’t rely on taking ammo from corpses… Consider it a bonus.

      2. avatar lolinski says:

        Way too complicated IMO.

        My go-to rifle is an AK.

        Really flexible, changing a mag can change it’s role (kind of). A 20 round mag of Lapua/match ammo turns it into a decent DMR kinda thing out to 400-500 meters. 75 or 100 round drums loaded with whatever ammo you can find is good for suppression/firepower. Subsonic ammo is self-explanatory (especially the soft-points). 30 rd mags + FMJ is good for generally everything, then again I use M67 which tumbles. I don’t have to mention that I use scopes (6x is nice for the AK if you supplement with the iron sights). Instead of changing uppers I just change the ammo and/or mags. Then again, this depends on good ammo sources or a reloading bench.

        Might/probably will not work for you but it works for me and I am happy with it.

        Will probably get one with an aluminum wrapped 12 inch barrel (any match barrels for AKs?) with permanently attached suppressor in the future. Also, does anyone know where I can get a leather AK sling (not just the tabs, the entire sling)? Somebody that can ship to EU.

        1. avatar DBM says:

          “Might/probably will not work for you but it works for me and I am happy with it.”

          I like your attitude. People on these sites get so romantically involved with their particular favorite firearms that they will defend them to the death. In reality everyone has different and what works for you doesn’t for others. Practicality is essential.If you live in a city where max engagement ranges will be 200 meters (most under 100) do you need a .338? Ammo – how available is it and do you want to have to buy 1000’s of rounds each caliber? I have friend that is not a fan of .40 cal but has several .40 pistols. I asked him why and he said that if the balloon ever goes up every cop car will be a resupply point.

        2. avatar lolinski says:

          Funny part: .338 at 100 meters? That’s silly, at that distance you are so shook up you can’t aim straight thus you need a .50 BMG because even if you miss the shockwave will tear them in half. That is true, scientifically proven and all (read: no, not at all).

          Serious part: ain’t worried about resupplies. If I find a cop that I can take ammo from, he is dead (a living person sharing ammo in a crisis? No effin way). If he is dead and has ammo on him/in his car then the gun is gonna be there. Either you find gun+ammo or you don’t find anything. At the very least don’t rely on taking ammo from corpses… Consider it a bonus.

          NOTE: Could Admin please delete the (almost) identical post above. I meant to reply to DBM but pressed the wrong reply button.

  10. avatar Ken says:

    Okay, this gun is not a military gun so what. What is your point? Since this gun was not a military weapon that none of them are? Really? That rifle is mounted on a tripod. Is that tripod possibly attached to an armored vehicle and the picture conveniently cropped? Chances are he is carrying a Glock and not an M9, so what!

    This picture is ludicrous and has nothing to do with the argument. This is akin to posting a picture of an armed robber and saying, “See, nobody should have a gun.”

    My question is this, how many of these armored vehicles, full auto rifles, and other goodies are going to sheriffs that believe in the Constitution and their oath? We know that some of these will be used against us but we can only hope that some are being held in reserve to protect us.

  11. avatar Scrubula says:

    As long as police are stuck with the same weapons civilians can buy (no post FOPA machine guns) I don’t care what they use. The SWAT teams roaming the streets in MRAPs are the biggest concern.
    There are many LEOs that read these articles. I doubt many of you are currently in SWAT teams but some may be trained for them. Whatever. I want police and gun owners to unite as one. Splitting up on issues creates the anti-gun police chiefs and cop carve outs in gun control laws. United we stand, divided we fall.

    To cops who think they will never be disarmed, look at great britain.

    1. avatar NDS says:

      The St. Louis County officers that serve my town (Wildwood) have PWS 12″ select-fire machineguns. Just because “they” can afford them, I guess.

    2. avatar Kyle says:

      There will always be some division due to politics. Police chiefs are mostly anti-gun because the have to be. They answer to the mayor who could fire them and the city council who could demote them. And because the governments of these cities are almost always solidly left-wing, the gun politics are going to be mostly anti-gun, thus leading to most police chiefs being anti-gun.

  12. avatar Taurus609 says:

    Isn’t it ironic, that the liberal left is all up in arms (pun intended) about the “Militarization” of our police forces. But in their constant railing against law abiding Americans owning and having firearms, their argument has always been that only police and military should own these types of weapons.

    1. avatar Jus Bill says:

      The bee did not land in their bonnet until the cops roughed up a couple of liberal journalists. And an AJA crew too.

  13. avatar Quinn says:

    Stainless barrels are on NAVSPECWAR Reece rifles as well as the army’s SAM-R rifles. I know what the guys trying to say, but assuming only civie rifles have shiny barrels would be incorrect

    1. avatar seans says:

      Except that they are not on NSW rifles, their isn’t a single rifle used by NSW that has a shiny barrel.

      1. avatar Quinn says:

        My experiences differ from yours then

        1. avatar seans says:

          Well the MK11 and MK12 are gone, been replaced by the MK20 unfortunately. I could maybe give you the MK13 with the suppressor off. And neither the MK11 or MK12 had a uncoated barrel. So unless you know of some rifle that was in the inventory other than those maybe pre 9/11 would love to hear it.

        2. avatar Quinn says:

          Reece rifles aren’t in inventory either. The Reece concept was abandoned for the MK12. Doesn’t stop guys from having their own personal uppers

        3. avatar seans says:

          Have you personally laid eyes on a Recce(and it is spelled Recce not reece) rifle. Cause I haven’t and if you want I can tell you all about the current NSW SOPMOD loadout. Haven’t even heard it, so unless it is considerably pre war on terror, or somebodies personal upper, which wouldn’t make a NSW product, and the fact that it makes no sense to classify rifle upper, I feel this is some sort of urban legend. I could be wrong, so I am going to ask some of the guys I know with around 20 years experience if they know about it.

        4. avatar Quinn says:

          Go for it.

  14. avatar ST says:

    The average person is not going to associate a difference between an AR15 in the hands of a tactically geared up cop and one in the hands of Joe Citizen. As far as they’re concerned, neither cop nor Joe should have them. That’s where the narrarative is going, which is why I’m against this “militarization of police” bandwagon. There’s only one place to go after Joe Officer is disarmed.

    1. avatar Excedrine says:

      No one here is calling for the (complete) disarmament of Joe Officer, though. The entire point of pointing out the radical militarization of the police is highlighting the disturbing attitude PDs have and the alarming trend of deliberate over-reaction, which is why there absolutely should be the utmost equity in arms between Joe Citizen and Joe Officer.

  15. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

    For me the difference between a ‘military’ weapon and a ‘civilian’ weapon would be the civilian is stuck with a semi-automatic rifle while the police and military get select fire weapons. If it goes full auto or burst it’s a military weapon regardless of whether it was gifted to the police by the Pentagon or was contracted out by the PD.

  16. avatar Excedrine says:

    It’s never the tool, but the operator.

    I think sometimes we forget to apply that universal, unimpeachable logic to all our other arguments.

    Conversely, turn-about really is fair play: the gun grabbers don’t like it when we turn their own (non)arguments against them and target them at their precious police, who are for a fact actually much more likely to misbehave with their guns (regardless of what they are) than your average Joe n’ Jane Blow. They always argue (falsely might I add) that we’re just itching for a fire fight. Well, it seems that it’s actually the police in Ferguson, Missouri (and all over the world for that matter) that fit that bill much more perfectly than any of the rest of us ever would.

  17. avatar WI Patriot says:

    That’s one of those “tacti-cool mall ninja” rifles…quasi-military asshole behind it has NO idea how to utilize it properly…anyone worth their salt with a bolt action would be able to “decommission” the rifle and shooter in short order…

  18. avatar Ross says:

    If the guy in this picture is a right-handed shooter (based on how hes holding the rifle), then his offset optic is on the wrong side…kinda reminds me of the backward eotech cop made famous not long ago.

    1. avatar seans says:

      It looks correct, just you have to take a closer look. Looks like it’s on the right side.

  19. avatar scott says:

    it’s not the small arms people are concerned about, its more the bearcats and mraps ect..

  20. avatar Spaceman Brown says:

    Anyone else notice Mr. 5-0 is rocking a JP rifles handguard? Last time i checked, JP was famous for producing parts for *gasp* SPORTING AND COMPETITION RIFLES!!!!

    1. avatar Joe Grine says:

      I noticed that as well. It looks like the entire rifle may be a JP.

  21. avatar Black Deep says:

    My S&W M&P 10 is nicer.

  22. avatar Robert Seddon says:

    I have a scope like that one on a sig .308 ….works real well. the rest of the stuff I might question. One BIG question I have, is does he use that microphone to ask his momma if he can trash it before he pulls the bang switch?

  23. avatar barnbwt says:

    Is the helmet, body armor, fatigues, and armored vehicle I’ll just assume is underneath the guy something you see at the range every weekend? Jus’ sayin’…

  24. avatar Ebenezer Bowman says:

    Now it could just be the picture, but that scope looks incredibly canted…

  25. avatar Justsomeguy says:

    There are other pictures on the net that are clearer than this one. It looks to be a Mega Arms receiver set and that pretty much means it’s a .308. That and the other details and accessories noted above pretty much indicate this didn’t come out of the military system.

  26. avatar Kyle says:

    It shouldn’t matter if it’s a “military” gun or not. All the basic guns civilians and police use are military or functionally identical, minus a few.

  27. avatar Jim Bullock says:

    “Military weapons for civilians? Civilians already can’t own MRAPs, or APCs. Police departments get subsidies to buy them. … Call me when you see stacks of 6 or more in full body-armor, with full-autos, knocking down doors at some 2nd amendment rally. Oh, wait. That’s the cops, and citizens already can’t get that kind of gear … and BTW don’t do that.”

    1. avatar Jim Bullock says:

      Replying to myself, as this is a second thought.

      Choose your terrain. Choose terrain advantageous to you.

      Once you start talking about details of the scary weapon wielded by the storm trooper in the scary photo, you’ve lost. Talking about the specious details the grabbers try to use to make a hole to reach through – magazine capacity, cosmetic features, and so on – you’ve lost.

      The problem is people trained and geared up to assault known bad guys, using that training and gear when investigating citizens when you don’t yet know what’s going on. You don’t need to act like it’s a free fire zone when it ain’t one.

    2. avatar Joe Grine says:

      I don’t think there are any laws against civilians owning armored vehicles. There are a few WWII / Korean war vintage tanks in private ownership. The guns mounted on them obviously require “paperwork.”

  28. avatar Missouri_Mule says:

    I just want parity.
    Let’s auction this stuff off to the public (that means you and me).
    Remember many of the canon in the American Revolution (First one) were privately owned.

  29. avatar Royal T says:

    This guys a cop? I thought he was just some dude on his way to Chipotle… Yes I did have to slide that one in there.

  30. avatar MSF says:

    “Is the helmet, body armor, fatigues, and armored vehicle I’ll just assume is underneath the guy something you see at the range every weekend? Jus’ sayin’…”

    “I just want parity.
    Let’s auction this stuff off to the public (that means you and me).
    Remember many of the canon in the American Revolution (First one) were privately owned.”

    Ever been to a carbine course? I see three out of four of those things there, but cops aren’t the majority of those wearing and using those things.

    What cracks me up about these “militarization” complaints and desire for “parity”: The same complaints are used by liberals/anti 2A types against gun owners in this country every time, then you turn around and use them against the cops, the majority of which came from the same gun owner crowd and are themselves gun guys. Now they not only have to fight against those arguments WITH YOU against the anti-2A crowd, but then they have to fight against the same arguments against AGAINST YOU when you come at them over it. You sound just like the people you fight against. It’s insane.

    As far as parity and why these militarization complaints come up anyway: You get offended when you see riot police in tactical gear coming out and used… against who? What are they doing? Is it against you or your friends or your family or ANYONE from ANY circle you would associate with? No? Are you sympathetic of the looters and rioters burning down and stealing from stores, and firing at police, and other people amongst their own numbers? Would you EVER find yourself standing side by side with that crowd, whipped into a frenzy over what it was they were rioting over? Do you feel sympathy for the guy that robbed the store and then fought the cop for his gun before he was shot with it?

    No? So you’d never find yourself against those riot police wearing that tactical gear, right?

    Let’s say the cops were disarmed the way you want them to be, just like the anti-2A crowd wants to disarm you. Soft armor and pistols only. Maybe riot helmets, shields, and batons. They’re under-equipped to deal with that riot now. Now the riot overwhelms them, and gets to your neighborhood and starts breaking into houses, taking things, assaulting people, and burning down houses in the process (you all did see how people on Twitter were advising they should riot in “white neighborhoods” instead of tearing down their own, right?)

    I guess that’s okay, because then you get to strap up with your own shit and go to town on the rioters, right? You can finally get it on at that point, because you’d rather take those matters into your own hands, right?

    For the record, civilians can get Class 3 (full auto) and body armor items, so stop saying they can’t.

  31. avatar Seth Hill says:

    Militarization isn’t just about the weapons, it’s about the equipment (MRAPs, etc) and the tactics/training/mentality. No knock raid to serve a warrant over unpaid student loans (http://hotair.com/archives/2011/06/08/video-swat-team-raids-house-over-unpaid-student-loans/) comes to mind.

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