John Stossel (courtesy thefederalistpapers.org)

“Government always grows, and government is force. Force is always dangerous.” – John Stossel in Conservatives, libertarians and liberals should all worry about the militarization of police [via foxnews.com] [h/t ShootingTheBull410]

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134 Responses to Quote of the Day: Anti-Police Militarization Americans Unite! Edition

  1. This is a topic that really, truly, should unite us. Liberals and conservatives can all agree that we’re building a domestic occupying force, but no one, no one in government, that is, seems to have the courage to stop it from growing. Anything that Fox News, Bill Maher and everyone in between agrees on should have major public and political traction.

    • It should unite us but there are an awful lot of boot-lickers on all sides who think that force will work for them against their enemies. Sort of how Fudd’s love disarming the unwashed masses as long as they get to keep their side-by-sides and 700 WinMag.

      People are largely simple, petty and vindictive so they’re going to wholly embrace a mighty gun-toting, all-seeing, fear-wielding government.

      To borrow a line from the anti’s: government is the extension of their withered and limp members. It’s the tonic for their inadequacy.

      • I agree, except it has not always been this way. I blame the chief divisive officer Obama. His brand of politics from the day he first took office was to divide Americans. It has become Us vs Them and a all or nothing game even if take government force to do so. Unlike past Presidents who tried to unite a nation, this president has nothing but divide us.

        Lets take a look at the latest stunt shall we. — the whole tax loophole ‘inversions’ — a myth about how extensive the problem is and sure stunt well knowing that the bill proposed will never pass the house and there international legal issue even if it does. They are putting up the bill one and one purpose only — when it fails for legitimate reasons he can use it as a talking point about “those damn republicans”

        Between Occupy Wall Street, gun control, Obamacare etc. etc. he has done nothing but create a culture of divide not unity.

        • BHO is a horrible president.
          But I don’t get this notion that we’re more divided now than before. Libs hated W. at least as much as conservatives hate Obama and found him just as polarizing.
          Just going by how we’ve voted as a nation, only 4 presidents, since records begun being kept in 1824, has won more than 60% of the popular vote (3 of them in wartime elections):

          Warren Harding- 60.32%
          FDR (2nd term)- 60.80%
          LBJ- 61.05%
          Nixon (2nd term)- 60.67%

          That’s part of who we are as Americans. We pick a side and tend to ride with it no matter what.

          Just as an example, during Bush’s second term the left was in a continous state of seething outrage over W’s presidential over reach, prosecution of the “war on terror” and civil rights violations.
          Obama comes in and outshines his predecessor on all those fronts and then some. The left’s reaction: Don’t say anything about our Nobel peace prize prez. He’s doing what has to be done and I’m sure feels bad about it.

          Politicians like BHO aren’t the disease, they’re a symptom.

        • I’m with Alpo, BHO is perhaps the worst yet, but he hardly invented us-against-them politics.

        • … BHO is perhaps the worst yet, but he hardly invented us-against-them politics.

          True. But he refined it to an art form. He singlehandedly trivialized human rights in America. He’s the only Nobel Peace Prize recipient who has been accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity for his droning. And he put real teeth in domestic espionage and the NDAA. And he presided over the creation of the Knockout Game/Polar Bear Hunting and Wilding, in addition to evaporating the Southern US Border. This is not counting the Government scandals.

          But you’re right, W started it all…

        • Polarization is more than just how many votes the President or any other politician gets. It’s also about how many issues the sides can agree on (i.e. “I voted for X because he’s closer to what I want, but I still agree with Y on A, B and C”). But mainly it’s about how one group of voters perceives the other group of voters. And yes, USA is at a historic lows there, probably edging closer to the split on slavery in the 19th century:

          http://www.people-press.org/2014/06/12/political-polarization-in-the-american-public/

          The most telling is the “negative view of the other party” graph. Of course, it’s always going to be somewhat unfavorable, but the strength of the feeling changed. In 1994, 16% of Democrats said that they were “very unfavorable” of Republicans, and 17% of Republicans were “very unfavorable” of Democrats. Now it’s 38% and 43%, correspondingly. Given that “very unfavorable” is basically a polite euphemism for “hate their guts”, the real picture is decidedly not nice.

          And yes, of course it didn’t start with Obama. The roots of it arguably originate even before Reagan, but it became a clear trend in the last years under Clinton, and bloomed under Bush. Bush’s second term, and the election of Obama, are the consequences of this split, not its causes.

    • This is something that really perplexes me. Most liberals I know automatically disagree with me just on principle–but the one thing that we agree on is that we don’t trust the police. It’s one of the biggest logical disconnects I know of. Guns? “No, let the police handle it.” But the very next minute they’re referring to cops as “fascist pigs”. Um, what? It’s stuff like this that makes people call liberalism a mental disorder.

  2. OMG! The police have 1911s? OMG! Run for the hills…panic, run around, run around…flap your arms….scream, pull your hair!!!!!

    Give me a break. The country is falling apart at the seams because of the Kings and Queens of the Amerikan Soviet Party and the Quisling Party issuing mandates from DC and using the Constitution for asswipe. And we are supposed to forget that and be worried about the Pawns of the game?

    Good Lord. Talk about taking your eye off the ball.

    • It’s not about the stock photo of a 1911 in the TTAG post, it’s about the proliferation of no-knock raids on trivial cases.

      • @bobmcd, No, it should be about this:
        “Give me a break. The country is falling apart at the seams because of the Kings and Queens of the Amerikan Soviet Party and the Quisling Party issuing mandates from DC and using the Constitution for asswipe. And we are supposed to forget that and be worried about the Pawns of the game?”

        Worrying about anything less is an utter waste of time.

        • Pawns in the game? You mean the teams of heavily armed people used as the means to carry out infringements on the rights of Americans? Yeah, no need at all to be worried about consistently escalating militarization of what is still, by definition, a CIVILIAN defense force tasked with protecting our rights.

          Regardless, it doesn’t matter what you believe this story SHOULD be about, because that’s not what it IS about.

        • @VML, and that is why the ASP and the Quislings will win the day. Because of short sighted people like yourself who are easily distracted.

        • Distracted by the swat team crashing through the front door at 3am? Removing one threat disarms the other one. Please ignore the MRAPs behind the curtain and focus on the giant talking head that changes every few years!

        • @neiowa, I’m fine. But you might consider the ostritch over your cup of coffee this morning

        • @Avid Reader, wow. That one retired APC could have won the war for Hitler. Not. Or it could have beaten the Taliban for us. Not.

          “Take no counsel of your fears.” – Gen. George S. Patton

          You are taking your eye off the ball.

        • Wow, moving goalposts much?

          Do you deny that MRAPs are being given to municipal police forces? Or do you know it to be true, and must resort to logical fallacy?

        • @Chip Bennett, I don’t see an MRAP on every corner. Perhaps you do. Goal posts? Ghost much?

        • @John Galt, yep…right in the heart of Mordor (i.e., DC).

          Here is the other sad part…Mayors are elected. Mayors usually are the ones that choose the Police Chief. Voters also generally elect their Sherrifs.

          So the finger gets pointed right back at the responsible folk for the installation of their godvernment.

        • John Stossel in a gun shop holding onto a 1911 that the NYPD denied him a permit to buy?

    • Stossel has railed against government overreach from just about every angle. You obviously haven’t watched his show very much or you would know that. Sure the guys at the top are really bad, but they have little if any power without their pawns. Behavior of those on lower levels cannot be overlooked because top men ordered them to do it. If I remember correctly, “I was just following orders” didn’t fly at Nuremberg.

      • @Evan in Dallas, so Evan, do you rid your yard of a poisonous snake by cutting off the tip of the tail and working your way up?

        It seems I recall that the Nuremberg trials occurred AFTER the way was over and the King of the game was toppled….

        • Maybe I’m dense, but your snake analogy doesn’t quite fit. The snake’s tail cannot break down your door and shoot your dog.

          Perhaps you meant scorpion instead?

        • I’m really questioning your argument, not your analogy. In this case you most certainly start with the tail because the King cannot do shit without his pawns.

        • Re Nuremberg, IIRC the “head” was toppled only after the “pawns” who were carrying the guns were dealt with. Sometimes that’s the way it has to work. So maybe that’s not your best argument either, Mac. Which is not to say that you don’t have a point, it’s just not an either/or thing I think.

        • @Another Robert, the Pawns were dealt with terminally when the mission was to topple the King. If you dont’ have the mission at the outset of dealing with the King, then you are wasting your time.

        • You can use condescending passive-agressive quips and imagined pedagoguery all you want in your replies, the fact is a nation does not and never will change by itself in a magical cascade from the top down by itself. It, in fact, makes no sense and has almost 0 basis in history. Please elaborate.

        • @GuyFromV, I made absolutely ZERO condescending quips to anyone. If you think that history is made by attacking cops, please elaborate. History is full of governmental change from the top down.

        • Lots of change is made violently fighting against the tools of the apparatus. If the foot soldiers are attacked and demoralized, nobody will do the bidding of the ruling class.

          Not an idea I’d like to see play out, but to suggest top down change is the norm is absolutely ridiculous. Tyrants don’t relinquish power or change methods until their ranks are decimated and the peasants are beating at their door. There is INFINITELY more of that in history than peaceful voting for resolution.

        • @RB, “…but to suggest top down change is the norm is absolutely ridiculous. Tyrants don’t relinquish power or change methods until their ranks are decimated and the peasants are beating at their door.”

          Really? Huh.

          One word: Egypt.

    • Hahahahha! Man it’s a treat to read your comments. With all the talk of the “armed intelligentsia” on this blog I was afraid we’d have lost some of my favorite “gun guy” cliche characters, like “uneducated gullible nutjob conspiracy theorist gun guy”. I’m very glad to see he’s alive and well. Always entertaining.

      • @RocketScientist, all you need do is look into that shiny thing you have hanging on your wall inside your bathroom.

    • If someone has a fever resulting from a bout of appendicitis, the fever is treated before/while treating the appendicitis. Not doing so could prove every bit as fatal as not dealing with the appendix.

      • @Chip Bennett, if you don’t remove the ill appendix you will never be free of the fever, no matter how you attempt to cover up the symptom (fever).

        • And there’s the Straw Man. (A Straw Man that, in fact, ignores the actual content of what I wrote.) No one here (as far as I can tell) is arguing thus. It is only you, who is arguing that the fever must be ignored.

          You realize that battles can be fought on multiple fronts, don’t you? Dealing with one issue does not have to come at the exclusion of dealing with another.

          And for the record: appendicitis isn’t really the most appropriate analogy; rather, a tree or a fire would be a much better analogy. Both must be destroyed from the root. (Or, as someone else said: a scorpion.)

        • @Chip Bennett, Strawman what? Whatever bro. The bottom line is, until you are in the fight politically or socially to get this country back on track, you are wasting time chasing real STRAWMEN (ninja cops) instead of dealing with the real issue – DC politics.

          If you want to mount a campaign of a dual or triple front, knock yourself out. Spread your already thin to non-existent assets out as you see fit. Good luck.

        • You do know what a Straw Man is, don’t you? It is an argument falsely presented as coming from one’s adversary, constructed intentionally to be easily demolished. That’s exactly what you’ve done here:

          if you don’t remove the ill appendix you will never be free of the fever, no matter how you attempt to cover up the symptom (fever).

          Nobody here has argued that the encroachment of federal power is not a concern, or that such power should not be resisted. You are the only person suggesting that the inflamed appendix not be taken care of. It is you alone who implies that by addressing another concern – the obvious militarization of local police – the issue of federal power cannot be addressed and must be ignored.

    • Like all LEO defenders, you forget that without the joyful support of LEO’s, politicians have no power at all. Signing a piece of paper means jack, but having over a million armed thugs in blue that are willing to kill anyone who disobeys the commands written on that piece of paper…that will influence people’s decisions.

      • @Publius, are you saying that every LEO in this country is willing to follow orders from on high even if that means killing everyone that disobeys a command? If so, what country do you live in so I can avoid that one on my next overseas excursion.

        • It’s literally their job description to force the will of politicians upon the populace. We have an endless stream of news articles and videos showing that police have no qualms about brutally beating or killing people for the “crime” of simply happening to be in the area. Why do you think that they wouldn’t do it when told to?

        • @Publius, here in America it is the police’s job to enforce the laws of the land. It is NOT to enforce the will of the politicians – who I will remind you are elected by voters. If voters have issues with the police then they have real issues with the politicians and it is the DUTY of the voter to remove said politician. Anything else is folly and wrongheaded.

          As for the country you live in, I can’t speak to that.

        • here in America it is the police’s job to enforce the laws of the land. It is NOT to enforce the will of the politicians

          sigh

          The fact that you’re incapable of realizing that there is no difference between “the laws of the land” and the will of politicians is why I have no hope for this country. Far too many otherwise “good” Americans live in a fantasy world where something being the law automatically makes it right.

        • @Publius, and it’s folk like you that make me want to pull my hair out because you fail to realize the PEOPLE’S responsibility to elect good representatives and hold them accountable.

        • It’s also the People’s responsibility to resist and throw down tyranny, by force of arms if necessary. Militarized law enforcement is a symptom of tyranny and a growing police state. It’s entirely appropriate for the People to speak out against it. That’s what’s happening here.

        • @John in Ohio, speak out against it all you want. When you get serious though, hold those in positions of authority responsible and kick their ass out of office.

        • @John in Ohio, what is serious is the lack of concern by gun owners and the mouth breathing public to not hold elected leaders responsible for their actions or lack thereof.

        • @El Mac:

          what is serious is the lack of concern by gun owners and the mouth breathing public to not hold elected leaders responsible for their actions or lack thereof.

          This assertion is specious, at least with respect to gun owners. Please cite evidence of a lack of concern of gun owners to hold elected leaders responsible for their actions.

        • @El Mac:

          how does it not? You might try Google

          It’s your assertion. You have the burden of supporting it with fact. I’m not going to prove your assertion for you. That’s not how logical argumentation works.

    • 90% of the people who know about them, most likely. There’s a significant number of the population that can’t tear themselves away from whatever banalities the Kardashians are up to this week. Oh yeah, and someone is going to sing some shit on American Idol, can’t miss that.

      • Triviality and banality are much more accessible and easily consumed. It’s hard and takes effort to critically think.

        • A most excellent point.

          Sometimes, I cannot help but wonder if the ease with which triviality and banality is delivered now is not intentionally done so precisely to steer people away from the harder critical thinking.

          One of the best things I’ve ever done in my personal life is get rid of my television. My children are growing up without TV in the home.

          When they DO get to watch TV, it’s kinda cool to them at first, but the novelty and interest wears off pretty quickly.

          It’s simply amazing what world exists outside of being glued to a television!

  3. I’ve always loved listening to Stossel ever since my “stossel in the classroom” days in highschool.

    He doesn’t say everything I might like him to say, but he’s admitted that he’s still evolving, and in his environment in media he can only go so far(right now) unfortunately.

    • John Stossel is the best news man in mass media today. And I’m not just saying that because he’s a Libertarian. He actually finds and develops real stories that affect our lives and communicates the information in an a very effective and often entertaining fashion.

      On the local news level, there was Ben Swann with the Fox affiliate in Cincinnati with his excellent “Reality Check” segment. Unfortunately, that was pulled off the air about a year ago. He’s been producing Internet content since then.

      • I loved his book “Give Me a Break” and his “Give Me a Break” segments when he was on 20/20.

        Just like John Lott and just like TTAG tries to do, they all try to use facts and logic to show how something really happens to be. He goes beyond the emotion to the actual truth — regardless if you do not like the truth he tries to expose it

      • (Warning: A bit OT reply follows.)

        Yep. For a while, I thought WXIX was waking up… then Ben Swann left and now it’s talking heads as usual. Robin Williams did a short piece about Nigeria which included two local UC students. He had asked, “What can be done?” I sent the following email about that question to Mr. Williams. Of course, I never saw a follow up and they never even bothered to reply. It’s MSM business as usual at Fox19.

        Good Morning Mr. Williams.

        I caught a piece aired this morning on FOX 19 Morning News that featured you and two UC students discussing the kidnappings in Nigeria. I particularly noticed a pause in the conversation when you asked what could be done in Nigeria. Well, sir, what can be done in Nigeria has been largely ignored by the media and the Nigerian government. Our own nation was formed with the core value that a free people are armed. This always has been and will continue to be the best solution to these situations; be it in the United States or Nigeria. People in Mexico recently took to arms and rid their province of a major drug cartel. Now, the Mexican government is in the process of accepting these citizen into specialized police units to continue combating cartel violence.

        A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
        -Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America.

        The people of Nigeria are awakening to the fact that government cannot solve all of its citizens’ woes and that only a free people are afforded the individual right to keep and bear arms. I strongly implore you to investigate the following two articles and consider doing a follow-up piece as to this aspect of the issue. It has been, by and large, ignored by media.

        http://ends.ng/governor-kashim-shettima-give-your-people-guns-to-defend-themselves/

        http://ends.ng/media-largely-ignoring-nigerian-plea-for-guns-to-defend-themselves-examiner/

        Thank you for your time, sir.

  4. Who do you think puts the bullet in the back of your head when the Amerikan Soviet Party completes the deconstruction, it ain’t the guys in the 3 piece suits…

    • @EagleScout87, nice and short sighted. You might want to learn to play big boy ball – the long game. Otherwise you will spend the rest of your life wanting to stomp ants while your house burns down around your ears.

      • Yeah, thanks, but I know how to play the game. I’m not disagreeing with you that we need to focus on the deconstruction of America by communists in sheep’s clothing at the highest levels of power, BUT that doesn’t mean you let the proliferation of military hardware to local PDs and the use of that hardware on mundane low-risk cases go unfettered. They go hand in hand. Get the right people in power to legislate the demilitarization of PD as part of a greater process to restore Constitutional principals. I would rather not see more 2 year old children blown to hell by flash bangs during no-knock raids, this isn’t Gaza… yet, thanks.

        • @EagleScout87, one must change the government from the top down – else it will not change. That is where the fight is and where the focus should be.

          Again, anything less is trivial and a distractor.

        • Reading comprehension is not your strong suit I see.

          ” Get the right people in power to legislate the demilitarization of PD as part of a greater process to restore Constitutional principals.”

        • @EagleScout87, oh I read you just fine. Just a word of advice, keep your eyes on the prize and don’t get distracted by the bullshit. I think we are tracking amigo.

        • However, changing the government from the top down can ONLY be successful if the culture is changed from the ground up. If the children are indoctrinated to be socialist liberals, they will grow up to vote in socialist liberals. The culture needs to change before meaningful change in government can be achieved.

        • The Center for Self Governance has been teaching that starting at the bottom is FAR more effective than focusing on the top.

          And the people they have been teaching are having a very significant impact in beginning to turn this country around.

          The federal government only governs with the consent of the states, and is influenced by the states.

          As citizens, we have much more leverage with our local and state legislators.

          For example, on the 2nd Amendment front, there have been many, many, many more ADVANCES in firearms freedom at the state level than at the federal level. At the federal level, it’s pretty much stagnation.

          Likewise, repeals of cannabis bans are happening at the state level.

          As more and more states pile on to freedom, it spreads

          —————-

          Center for Self Governance
          https://www.tncsg.org/

          About CSG

          “As citizens we often lack the knowledge, skills, and ability to articulate our desire to make the policy changes necessary to restore our government to its proper role.

          Current liberty-minded civics training only teach theory. We teach concrete ways, through educational training and practical exercises, how to influence legislators and policy.”

        • Regarding marihuana bans I’m all for commercial use of hemp. Paper, cloth etc… but realistically do we need people any more stoned & stupid than they already are. Illegal drugs are used to control the populace & keep them stupid, stoned and controllable. I admit the mentally ill need medication and people with injury or disease need medicine. No matter what ex-hippies, paid voters and gullible “reality T.V.” viewers that depend on the opiate of the masses decide pot is a mind numbing drug.

        • Those same arguments were used in the build up to Prohibition.

          Didn’t turn out so well.

        • @ Retired LEO and J Galt I’m a bit torn on the drug thing in a sense I understand Prohibition was a failure, but I also understand that drugs have been used in the past to subjugate and carve up nations (Opium was used as a catalyst by the British to carve out “unequal” treaties and acquire the port city of Hong Kong against China during the Opium Wars, being a prime example). I personally think that any drug that can be manufactured here in the states (like cannabis) should be left up to the individual states but importation of illicit drugs outside the U.S. should remain illegal. We do not live in a nation where consequences forces people to face the full weight of their mistakes anymore, so I don’t ever conceive a purely Libertarian policies to drug use will ever come about.

        • As I see it the illicit drugs manufactured in this country from weed to meth and especially diverted drugs like oxycodone are used by a small (relatively) portion of the population as a control of a large part of every community. They steal from law abiding people that work for a living to get $$$ for a rock, 1/4oz or pill. Hemp fiber is useful, I have a shirt 70+ years old of hemp out of style but wear it @ least 1x a week (grandfathers)
          But the weed from the 1960-70-80 period is nothing compared to todays. Have you ever met anyone stoned on anything from The Bachelor or Oxy that you would trust to run the country.

          I guarantee CO will see a decrease in I.Q., increase in C.O.P.D. & Lung cancer. We as taxpayers will pay the medical bills via medicaid for these folks. Also, trust a person with a firearm under the influence of any mind altering or controlling substance even alcohol?

          The head of the beast has to be removed for tyranny to fall. I really do not think impeaching Obama would solve anything besides being a talking head Biden would become President. Then either Pelosi or Reid named Vice-President. Scares me.

        • What we should or should not do needs not be determined by all this thoughtful consideration of Prohibition or anything else. For 40 years we have spent trillions of $$ and ruined millions of lives on a “war on drugs” or whatever, and today you can buy any drug you want on any streetcorner in America. The war was lost many years ago, time to stop spending the blood and treasure fighting it. Drop ALL laws concerning ALL drugs, and if people die, we did not need them, the world is overpopulated. Open the prisons to say bye-bye to nonviolent drug offenders, fire half the LEOs in the country along with half the prison guards. You get the idea. We have tried, but people wish to buy drugs and will pay more than the rest of us can match to get them. And people will kill each other forever if we don’t just legalize everything.

        • Alcohol causes a whole raft of illnesses, including killing off brain cells.

          Tobacco cause COPD, lung cancer and contributes to a host of other ailments.

          We need to be intellectually consistent.

          Either outlaw tobacco and alcohol, or legalize cannabis.

  5. A very important and simple truth that rarely gets stated as simply as it should be. People engaged in the political process treat the law as if it were an outlet for their opinions. The law, however, is not a place for opinions, our suggestions, or advice, or preferences about how people should live. The law is backed up by force and is therefore the sphere of ultimatums and threats. Before they throw their support behind a law, people should carefully consider what sort of threats they’d be willing to issue to their neighbors to compel their compliance.

    • The Law by Bastiat should be required reading in school. People don’t even know what the law is anymore, and the threat from it being hijacked by groups and twisted for their benefit.

    • Law is always opinion. It is the opinion of the majority, or of those who can coerce their opinion on the majority. Obamacare? Don’t confuse laws with rights.

      • Don’t confuse the source of the law, which may have a great deal to do with opinions, with the nature of the law, which is immutable. Any opinion enshrined in the law immediately becomes an ultimatum or a threat, otherwise it isn’t law.

        • Are you referring to natural law, which is often synonymous with natural rights? “Nature of the law” would suggest that it is derived from something. Laws are based both on principle, such as God’s law (immutable), and values (mutable or mercurial). Right to life or thou shalt not kill, the basis for our laws against murder, is immutable… perhaps. The mercurial element of the law is how we punish those who commit murder (death penalty, life in prison, etc.). However, a law that forces it’s subjects to buy health insurance from it’s government is purely mercurial in nature, in that it is purely derived from the values of the people. Should the people change their mind, the law gets repealed.

        • You’re still misunderstanding what I’m talking about. I’m not talking about Natural Law. What I’m talking about is completely independent of the content of the law, of its origin, or even its underpinning philosophy. All I’m pointing out is that the essence of the law is that the law is “that which is binding”. If it isn’t binding, it isn’t law. And when I say it’s binding, I mean it’s backed by force and the threat of force. Why bring up such an obvious thing? Because people often lose sight of it.

          When a brutal dictator makes law by fiat, we are not surprised that he would be willing to use naked force to fulfill his every whim. That is, after all, the stuff tyrants are made of. However, our system of laws is supposed to be based on things like democracy, unalienable rights, and the consent of the governed. When a common voter lends his support to a law that says, for instance, to his neighbor, “Drop that gum wrapper on the ground and I’ll put you in a cage for a year, and make sure you never work in this town again. And I’m willing to use whatever force is necessary to do that, up to and including lethal force,” it evinces a mentality so far removed from the spirit of his everyday interactions with the same neighbor that we are forced to conclude that either:

          A) He doesn’t fully appreciate what it is he’s supporting; or

          B) He’s a thoroughgoing sociopath.

          It turns out we do, in fact, have many laws on our books of the same character as the above example, and many citizens who support them. Let us hope that this is explained by the former conclusion, rather than the latter.

  6. One of the very few reporters I’ve seen who keeps his finger off the trigger when handling a gun. I’ve always liked Stossel.

  7. @ el Mac, focusing on the “prize” is how we got into this mess. There isn’t going to be an easy fix, it’s going to take a lot of work.

    • @Allen, au contraire…losing focus on “the prize” is what got us in this mess. The prize being liberty, values, and principle as espoused by our Founding Fathers and the men they drew from when laying out the Constitution. The prize of leaving a country in better shape than we found it for our children and their children….that is the Prize as I see it.

      • What does “leaving the country in better shape mean?” Therein lies the problem. Whenever a body of people try to improve anything you will always find differing opinions. What you think is improvement others will see it as destruction, and vice-a-versa. Human nature is to push back harder when we’re being pushed. This has created an ever increasing intolerance of the opposition, to the point that we perceive other countrymen as an enemy, making it impossible to find commonality in our ideas.

        • @Solitude, it means what it means. Leave it in better shape. Strong economically, with an educated and independent population not relying on G handouts.

          Some of our fellow countrymen are the enemy. Clearly.

  8. There are more and bigger problems than the militarization of our police forces as El Mac states. I wonder however why they can’t be dealt with simultaneously. Americans were a very large part of simultaneously sending the Nazis and Japanese back to hell and saving the world in the 1940’s. Surely we can still milti-task on a large scale and reel in our increasingly out of control, lawless government while at the same time taking away the cop’s big boy toys and reforming their policies on how warrants are served and raids are conducted among other things.

    • @Allen, it has very little to do with a loss of liberty in comparison to the “leadership” that allowed it to happen.

    • El Mac is right that the problem is a top-down one.
      EagleScout is also right that change at the top has to come from a broad cultural shift.

      The big picture prupose of militarized local police is to keep people from thinking that such a change is possible.

      In fact, and I’ll go out on a limb here, I don’t think the goal of civilian disarmament is to prevent armed insurrection at all. It’s to instill a feeling of defeat and helplessness in people like us.
      They powers that be fully understand that (non-Fudd) gun owners are politically active and that we believe in personal responsibility and accountibility. And that’s much more frightening to them than an M&P15 Sport.

      Over-arming the fuzz while disarming citizens are two sides of the same control the masses coin.

      just sayin

      • Disagree about top-down solution.

        However, agree with your take that civilian disarmament is about disempowering people.

        Training people to be sheep, to be controlled, to be subjects…ultimately to submit.

      • The anti-2nd Amendment crowd basically operates on the following premise:

        1. Continue to allow people to theoretically buy, own and carry guns.

        2. Make it so onerous, costly and dispiriting with “common sense regulation” that people just give up gun ownership altogether.

        Then no one is “taking away your guns”…you’re giving them up “voluntarily.”

        Like training an elephant to stay put with a string.

        Elephants on Strings (and Other Mind Tricks)
        http://interactioninstitute.org/blog/2011/05/25/elephants-on-strings-and-other-mind-tricks/

  9. What do you mean “even liberals”? It’s typically been conservatives who are the cop worshippers.

    • That’s kind of retro, Fusilero. Back in the 70’s the cops were seen as the bulwark against those crazy Commie hippies rioting in the streets. But since many of those hippies have grown up and taken over the government, the cops have become the instruments of statist overreach

  10. things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?… The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If…if…We didn’t love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation…. We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.

    Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

  11. Real police do not want these idiots in the profession any more than you. They are hired by politicians start @ the top with the annointed one. He has been the most useless prez since Mr. Peanut and divided the citizens more than any so-called leader ever. He was not elected to our highest office based on any proven or perceived ability but solely due to skin color & political correctness. Who voted him in? I cannot find more than 7 persons that admit voting for him & of those 2 think he has done a good job. Those who do not vote for any reason have no right to complain as the lose the Constitution to Charmin.

    • Good cops need to start speaking up about the bad behavior, upholding their oath and holding their fellow officers accountable.

      • The ones that try tend to be forced out by politics or have line of duty injuries or get a nice memorial service. I know 3 that got bounced by 2 Mayors even without Mayors having legal authority to have authority over staff.

        • Yep. And well said. When municipal bureaucracies become corrupt they become very sensitive to even slight criticism. And woe betide the hapless fool who actually thinks that pointing out a problem will cause those in charge to fix it. More likely you’ll get punished or shunned for bringing up bad news. Because of their traditional lack of transparency and guardedness, police departments are particularly vulnerable to this. Once corruption starts to take place, it bites deep; a kind of organizational freefall develops where nobody is really in charge beyond being aggressively reactive to criticism from within or without. In this kind of environment it’s virtually impossible to get rid of bad apples and even harder to retain effective managers. If you learn to read between the lines—something Stossel and Radly Balko are doing—you can get a glimpse of just how pervasive this problem is across the country. The over-use of SWAT teams and no-knock raids are just a symptom of a much larger problem. We’re all in trouble.

        • What part of the problem is local agencies are being forced to hire people coming out of the military. Either by direct action under EOE anti-discrimination laws or they are the only ones that apply for a open spot. My old department just ran an advert in a dozen places for a sr officer, part of the ad read must be ethical & will be interviewed by retired officers in addition to management. Got 4 replies pay is 60k a year for a 43 hour week. The thing is large depts. can’t be picky they take quantity over quality. I have talked with officers from other departments that have 15 or more that were in combat have PTSD diagnosis. They had to hire them due to federal law.

          Others hire them because they are supposedly trained they do not distinguish the fact that combat & main street are different. The same thing happened to a smaller degree after WWII but there were enough officers left in place to retrain them. Not the case today, officers w/30 years in are few & that is where they need to be time wise. Add the fact that they simply do not want to change as the corps or basic taught them everything. Citizens are civilians as far as they are concerned. They will not shut up & listen to the few older training officers. Spend all of a shift trying to tell you how Bhagdad was safer. Some places that has a grain of truth, I rode with a 1 year out officer over the weekend and had to tell him to shut
          up. He had no respect for anyone including his self
          These are the ones good cops try & move on to another career. But not a lot of choices.

  12. BTW stop the Mexican cartels maquerading as the government from selling/giving the military hardware provided by the US & Russia & police would not need body armor to stop ap rifle fire. Close the damned border use napalm if needed to stop the flood of illegals. Allow the police you despise to round up illegal entrants and gangbanger/drugdealers of all races to round them up using any means necessary to deport at once for illegals life in prison for legal citizens (politicians included) convicted of crimes against the citizens of the US

  13. Always liked John Stossel. If there was ever a reporter I could like, and mind you I don’t like any of them (for obvious reasons), it would definitely be him — and only him.

  14. I think its a good idea to point out when other independent columnists or bloggers express concern about over-militarization of the police.

    Making it a central theme of TTAG, whether by design or default for slow news day type content demands, like over-doing the cop shooting dog thing, gives TTAG an anti-cop flavor, at least to me- that both diminishes the many many many much more interesting things the writers have to say here, and tends to distance some of the voices I WANT to hear, the cops and retired cops who have real street knowledge.

    NOTE- I am not suggesting that TTAG suppress reader opinion- not at all- if someone gets a little wild, or obsessive, that becomes self-evident after awhile- and even entertaining- anyone remember MikeyB#s? So its a self-solving issue, except in the rare extreme- Burke you lurking bro?

    Anyway, TLDR and all that- YMMV.

  15. “Making it a central theme of TTAG, whether by design or default for slow news day type content demands, like over-doing the cop shooting dog thing, gives TTAG an anti-cop
    flavor . . .”

    And trivializing chronic organizational dysfunction accomplishes what, exactly . . .?

  16. Regarding “police militarization”: When they fall under the UCMJ, then I’ll consider them “militarized”. Until then, they are simply becoming a social class similar to Representatives and Senators – part of the nobility no longer bound by the laws of the nation.

  17. What you call “heavily armed”, I call “heavily protected”. I have been and have family/friends in LE. Given the nature of criminal activity these days, ie the use of body armor, high power weaponry and explosives by criminal elements is of great concern to all save the arm chair warriors that don’t have to face it.

    That said, I do agree that no-knock raids are a danger to BOTH civilians and LE and should be STOPPED. The use of LE to enforce anti Constitutional laws and regs must be stopped as well. But that comes from the voters more so the LEOs themselves. It’s a tough decision whether to enforce something you disagree with or find another way to feed your family. When you vote to put LE in such a situation, you’re the problem.

    And yes, LE needs to “clean house” in regards to “bad cops” and I believe the growing mandatory use of “cop cams” will aid in this.

    As for the “MRAPs”, they are expensive to operate and maintain. Given the increased budget constraints of most departments, I foresee their use as rather limited and/or short lived.

    Just my two bits from the other side.
    Mikel

    • It’s a tough decision whether to enforce something you disagree with or find another way to feed your family.

      I’m not buying that sentence. A disturbingly similar statement could be written about some criminals and their activities.

      It’s a tough decision whether to disobey something you disagree with or find another way to feed your family.

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