Saturday, August 23, 2014

Buried under the idiocy...

...this guy has a point.

"Militarization of the police" arguments from Team 2A need to be carefully crafted, and not just "zomg look they have AR-15s!" because to an outsider, it looks more than a little crazy to be talking about how normal and wholesome your "Modern Sporting Rifles" are one minute and then flipping out about the cops having them the next.
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43 comments:

wolfwalker said...

Agreed. The difference between automatic M-16s and semiautomatic AR-15s is subtle enough to escape the average low-information voter. On the other hand, the attitude that meets peaceful demonstrators with a wall of cops in full battle gear, or sends a SWAT team in full costume to raid a poker tournament, is something that anyone can understand and oppose.

Tango Juliet said...

Yep.

Anonymous said...

Notice how the new narrative at HuffPo & Co is the gilding with tinfoil and crazysauce of "libertarians?"

You see it all the hell over Reddit, as well.

Good thing I'm used to not fitting in.

Joel said...

It struck me as a carefully crafted strawman, and not much else. If cops are really arguing that they need to be armed like the first infantry division because ZOMG there are 300 million rifles in America, clearly they see 'civilians' as the enemy. That doesn't disprove the 'libertarian' argument MacGillis talks around: More like it makes it for them.

I don't hear very many people claiming cops shouldn't have guns, only that every disturbance of the peace isn't the frickin' Battle of Falluja.

Yrro said...

Just want to add that there are few things as awkward as talking to a bunch of cops on a gun forum about what you'd like to see change about the attitudes and practices of police :)

Anonymous said...

Firstly if I can buy exactly the same thing the police are using without a tax stamp that's fine by me and it not militarization. That should include everything from flash bangs to grenade launchers and NVGS and title 2 firearms.

So by that measure the police are significantly militarized already. M-16s, not effected by magazine restrictions and title 2 weapon exemptions.

Secondly it is the attitude. That is the far bigger problem.

Earl Harding








Alan J. said...

I'm OK with the police having ARs, it the fully automatic guns, armored vehicles, and SWAT teams killing grandma and family dog that ticks me off. I want to live in a free, high-trust, relatively safe country - not some third world style thug police state. On a related note, cops should welcome body-cameras, dash-cams, and the public filming them. It should inspire professionalism on their part and sympathy from the public when we see what they deal with on a daily basis.

Walter Zoomie said...

The issue to me is not that the cops have M16s/ARs.

It's that the cops are leveling their M16s/ARs at the chests of people who do not present an immediate threat.

The idiots need to understand the meaning of "low-ready."

Richard said...

I have to say that this didn't surprise me. I was more encouraged by the comments which about 3:1 lambasted the article even though NR is a lefty publication. Probably incoming traffic from RCP rather than native NR readers.

Bobsyeruncle said...

As a police officer I've noticed that folks are thrilled to see officers in full riot gear when the "peaceful protesters" are looting their business and burning their homes. Less so when they might be engaging in a bit of "peaceful looting with a bandana around yer face demonstrating". Put yourself in that situation. Do you want to face that mob in a t shirt and flip flops? Or would some "full battle gear" be mighty cozy and comforting?

Rick O' Shea said...

Again, it should be less about the equipment, and more about the usage of said equipment.
Defensive? Offensive? Inappropriate? Criminal?

Rick O' Shea said...

Again, it should be less about the equipment, and more about the usage of said equipment.
Defensive? Offensive? Inappropriate? Criminal?

Rick O' Shea said...

Again, it should be less about the equipment, and more about the usage of said equipment.
Defensive? Offensive? Inappropriate? Criminal?

Jack Spadoni said...

For what it's worth, I disagree. I have less of a problem with police having AR15/M16s and other HKs etc. and more of an issue of when they are using them. Whereas, .gov doesn't want us to even possess 'evil black rifles'.

leaddog said...

The problem with giving them these toys is that they start to contrive all manner of excuses to use them. Have some over due parking tickets? Why send Barney when we have a perfectly good SWAT team that has flash bangs, door breachers, and all sorts of other tacticool stuff and they have not had a change to play with their toys lately. A little dynamic entry practice. What could go wrong?

Jack Spadoni said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Derfel Cadarn said...

The police, our servants, should be armed accordingly with their citizen masters, us.

Anonymous said...

Funny, small town here in Ohio seems to enjoy the 1030 program Uncle Sam has for the Police.

A lawyer is talking about it on the radio. They collected 1.5 Mil from traffic cams and are being sued. Judge says hold cash till outcome. They have one full time officer but 20 M-4's troop carrier that gets 6mpg and Night Vision. Elmwood Ohio pop 2,000 people, and 20 part time Officers.

armedlaughing said...

As Earl said...
It's about attitude, MINDSET.
Before I got my Police Science degree (in 1975) they taught us the roll of the peace officer was to protect the rights of the suspect, witnesses and bystanders.
Now they only seem interested in protecting themselves.
The JBT meme is becoming true!

gfa

sepulvedasrevenge said...

>Bobsyeruncle< T shirt and flip flops? Really officer? I guess beating on unarmed straw men is a hard habit to break for some cops.

In the past I have reflexively taken the side of law enforcement in these types of media dustups but that has changed. It wasn't the media that changed my attitude it was the self proclaimed sheepdogs that changed my attitude.

Fred said...

It's rare for police to even have full auto/burst guns anyway. Even the departments that have M16s typically install a sear block that doesn't allow FA fire.

Bobsyeruncle said...

Sepulvadasrevenge
Straw man?
My point is this. There is a riot in your town. You are responsible for stopping it. The rioters are shooting at you and throwing rocks ( this is NOT a peaceful protest) What equipment would YOU want to have? Why would you deny that same equipment to those that do have the responsibility to do the job?

Darrell said...

I daresay the turning point was when the police were badly outgunned during the LA shootout. I don't mind the weaponry so much as the MRAPS and the attitude.

docjim505 said...

I suggest that "militarization" and "ZOMG! The fuzz are packing' AR-15's!" are two different things. It is, like the whole "thing shoulder thingy that goes up" a focus on externalities instead of the core of the problem. As so many other commenters have pointed out, it is a question less of WHAT our police are using and WHEN / HOW they use it. I don't care if my local police or sheriff's office have MBT's, howitzers and attack helicopters. Indeed, I want them to be well-equipped to deal with the one-in-a-million case of heavily-armed nogoodniks, be they gangsters, al Qaeda or former German terrorists turned international bank robbers.

What I (and many others) DON'T want is to see paramilitary police units doing the job that used to be done by one or two patrolmen with Model 10's on their hips.

Our police should UPHOLD the law, not ENFORCE it. We are, after all, citizens of a free country, not subjects of a king or dictatorship or residents of an occupied territory.

sepulvedasrevenge said...

It's not about gear officer, it's about the rules and the tools. In this case, the tools I'm talking about are the self proclaimed sheepdogs.

Kristophr said...

Agreed.

Training is more important than freaking out about an M-4 and a bullet proof vest in the trunk.

If enough officers have proper training, you don't need a specialized SWAT unit.

More Sir Robert Peel, and less big "L" libertarian chest beating.

The Jack said...

What funny is in the end the above article does concede that a lot of the police abuses don't have to do with the kind of guns they tote. Which is the much stronger point.

With a bit of editing and some focus this article could have made a good point about fears of police militarization are focusing on the wrong types of problems (IE looking at symptoms rather than causes).

But the author wanted to gore his ox about how all guns were bad m-kay.

The Jack said...

There's another thing to keep in mind. While Joan Q Public will look askance at police officers looking like military officers on day to day work...

She will be more forgiving of the idea of policemen having overt armor, shields and the like when dealing with a riot.

The phrase "riot police" exists for a reason.

Bobsyeruncle said...

Can we not see how this is going to play out? You want me to be officer friendly flatfoot with a rusty old model 10. But you don't want anyone to tell you what kind of firearm you can own. You don't want anyone to tell you "you don't need that kind of gun" but you happy telling me "you don't need a SWAT team". You don't want anyone requiring training for you to possess a firearm but you will gladly require some more training for me. Finally, you don't like my attitude. I apologize if my attitude is not in tip top shape. It's difficult to keep the old stiff upper lip when your own kind (gun owners) is calling for reasonable restrictions and common sense rules we can all agree on. I am you. Don't eat your own.

The Jack said...

I wouldn't say no to police having higher standards and training than the public.

Because there's a key difference.

When Joan Q Public goes out with her gun, she *doesn't have police powers*.

I care less about the equipment and more that police have legal means to trespass, steal, and kidnap. IE (enter property, collect evidence, detain suspects).

And thus the manner in which they preform such duties (arrest, warrant service, force confrontation), is very relevant to me.

That cops carry guns is the *least* scary thing about them.

In a fee society just about anyone can do *that*.

No the difference is that cops are empowered by the state to have a lot of other powers and duties that go beyond being able to have a gun at their hip, or slung over their shoulder.

For one they're expected to intervene in physical altercations. So going "maybe you should have extra training for the duties relevant to the job you took" isn't too crazy.

And given that we have a representative government, with nominal public servants. It's fully within a citizen's purview to criticize the attitude of their employees.

The Jack said...

"" You don't want anyone requiring training for you to possess a firearm but you will gladly require some more training for me. ""

Well, it's a fine point. But for you to carry a gun as a citizen, yeah you shouldn't have to have training.

But for you to carry a gun as part of your *job*, a job where you're given extra powers normal citizens don't have...

Maybe that's not so crazy.

Again, it's not that cops can carry guns (in most of the US that's pretty trivial). It's the duties and powers that come with the job.

Anonymous said...

I read on one of the "libertarian" blogs (I don't remember which one and I can't find it again) that the police would be just as well served with revolvers and Winchester 94s.
Whenever I hear arguments like this I want to reply, "You're making the same arguments about the police that the anti-gunners are making about you," but I'm tired of banging my head against a wall.

Old 1811

Angus McThag said...

Something that I haven't seen mentioned.

Unlike a citizen, government needs to show need to the people. With less than 200 LEO deaths from all causes annually since I was born... not really much need there.

Tam said...

McThag,

I thought cops were citizens, too, just like the rest of us? My wookie-suiter buddies need to get together and make up their minds on this shit. ;)

Chem said...

The vast majority of police rifles I have seen were ARs not Select fires. I used to reserve with a sheriff's department who got rid of their mini 14s and M16A1s for modern semi-auto AR15s. They didn't seem to miss them.

Anonymous said...

Well as lawyer said..99% of time Police have no Idea who is in house the Swat boyz hit. Here in Lima Ohio a 3 shot burst killed a baby...oh cause he heard gunfire killing dogs by entry team.
Guy was selling weed.

sepulvedasrevenge said...

Yeah, rusty old model 10s, t shirts and flip flops. And while you're at it work on that folksy Irish accent OK?

Anonymous said...

See?
One reason the number of coppers murdered is low (by the way, what's an acceptable number?) is because they no longer have to rely on Model 10s. Talk to the Niles, IL, copper who had to reload his Glock 21 after hitting an offender 14 times while the offender was firing at him. He eventually prevailed. (Maybe he could have speedloaded or New York-reloaded his Model 10, right?)
By the way, in the Lima, OH shooting mentioned above, which happened in 2008, the infant (actually a 19-month-old toddler) was not killed, but the mother was, which is tragic. Maybe she shouldn't have been living with a felon.

Old 1811

Anonymous said...

I stand corrected! That was the SWAT Leader. Could the four rules have prevented our multi million dollar payout?

Be sure of your target is what I teach my Students. Guess where his M-4came from? :)

Tam said...

docjim505,

"What I (and many others) DON'T want is to see paramilitary police units doing the job that used to be done by one or two patrolmen with Model 10's on their hips."

You want to be careful with that "how it used to be done" argument.

I mean, citizens used to be able to defend themselves with a 5-shot top-break .38 Short, and now they think they have to run around with a fifteen-shot 9mm and a spare mag?

Anonymous said...

By the way, for what it's worth, I am concerned about the militarization of the police, especially using SWAT teams for what used to be routine arrests.
This is deja vu all over again. I'm an old revolver cop. When I was in college in the early 70s, the big controversy was "Why do the police need hollow-point bullets and shotguns? After all, they're outlawed for warfare." (Now---well, I just wish people would decide if the cops shouldn't have war weapons or shouldn't have outlawed-for-war weapons. I get confused.)
When I first stuck my right hand in the air in 1976, I was issued a Model 10 (actually a pre-Model 10 M&P with the old long action, the half-moon sight, and the round-topped grips) and 12 rounds of 158-grain RNL. We weren't issued hollow-points until 1985.
My point is that I know about being undergunned, and while I don't like seeing cops dressed like ninjas on regular patrol (I could tell you some stories), to say that cops don't need rifles and armored vehicles when going into a riot shows either ignorance or malice.

Old 1811

docjim505 said...

Tam - You want to be careful with that "how it used to be done" argument... citizens used to be able to defend themselves with a 5-shot top-break .38 Short, and now they think they have to run around with a fifteen-shot 9mm and a spare mag?

This goes back to my remarks on externals. I suggest that, could we take today's folks back to those thrilling days of yesteryear, they'd be wringing their hands over civilians buying double-action revolvers or self-loading pistols or "high-cap" pump action shotguns; their counterparts would likewise be fretting over the idea of (the horror!) ARMED federal officers. I also suggest that five-shot top-break was the Glock 19 of a hundred years ago.

The point is that some people would be shrieking about "blood in the streets" if the most potent firearm an American could possess was a Tower musket, while others would start to get weak at the knees at the sight of a policeman armed with anything more powerful than a billy club. Both sides miss the point: it's not what either "side" has, but what they do with it. (And God save us from American civilians and American police really starting to think that they aren't all on the same "side"!)

PS - I recall when the type of small revolver that you mention was the notorious predecessor of the Evil Black Rifle, the dreaded Saturday Night Special.

It would be of some interest for a sociologist or psychologist to chart the history of hoplophobia in America, from (in my lifetime, anyway) the Saturday Night Special to "Cop Killer" bullets to the Plastic Gun to to Evil Black Assault Weapons with Shoulder Thingies That Go Up. Why does the boogey man have to change? Is there some sort of time limit beyond which a scare tactic gets stale and agitators have to come up with a new one? Do they focus-group them? Market test?

ww said...

The people burning down buildigs couldn't tell a Pancor jackhammer from a new Dyson. It's not about guns or vehicles. When we went from full dress authority figure police uniforms to navy BDU's, the perception shifted. Now cops look like they can arrest poor people but not bankers in suits, because they rank somewhere between the two.