Ooops, I mean he announces restrictions on scary stuff for cops.
I woke up early this morning because the wife had a training class for her job, which meant I had “get the kids on the bus” duty. I packed lunches, did all my Mr. Mom taks and plopped in my chair with my coffee to wait until it was time to leave. I took my first sip of coffee and looked at my phone, and was greeted by the headline “Obama announces restrictions on distribution of military-style equipment to police” prominently displayed on the Fox News app on my phone. Say what? I started to read but it was time to go, so getting pissed at Obama, again, would have to wait.
After returning from the bus stop, I fired up my computer, sucked more coffee down and read the article.
Only a few sentences in, I was struck by something (again – seem to get daily reminders): what a conniving, two faced jerk the president is. Just last week, this same man gave a speech at the capital during National Police Week where he feigned concern about the officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice for this nation, and where he pretended to be concerned about our safety, where only weeks before he was castigating us on national television while siding with “protesters”. And here he is now, again, only days later, putting a halt to the federal government providing gear to law enforcement agencies, some of which is very valuable in keeping officers safe. You will have to excuse me if I am not buying what he is selling.
Enough of me hating on Obama, let me examine what is actually being discussed in this article. So he is putting a halt to distributing the following items to local law enforcement:
– grenade launchers
– “certain” armored vehicles (later specified as tracked vehicles – think M113 APC)
– “weaponized aircraft”
– “firearms or ammunition of .50-caliber or higher”
– camouflage uniforms (gasp!)
Now, let me see if I’ve got this right. We no longer will be receiving Cobra and Apache helicopters? No bayonets? What about all those bayonet charges we had been planning? No more 20mm cannons? Does this mean no more ICBM’s too? Holy crap, how are we going to function???
Ok, enough being silly. Let me address this with at least some sincerity.
Those “grenade launchers” that agencies received are nothing more than a 40mm launcher, but “grenade launcher” just sounds more scarier. Agencies, at least to my knowledge, are not using 40mm HE (high explosive) ammo. I know of no instances where cops were lobbing grenades and blowing up people or stuff. What they are using those launchers for is a huge variety of less lethal ammunition that is designed for crowd control use and various types of chemical agents which are used for both crowd control and for barricaded suspects. A number of those 40mm less lethal munitions can be seen on Safariland’s website (impact and chemical). I mean really, God forbid the feds provide law enforcement agencies with obsolete military gear that can be used as less lethal options for resolving situations. That would be horrible…
Bayonets? I am not even going to address that, unless of course someone can provide me a single picture of an on-duty cop anywhere in the US with a bayonet affixed to his rifle. Until then, this is just plain stupid.
Moving on to those nasty armored vehicles. I honestly do not see what difference it makes if the vehicle is wheeled or tracked. Is tracked more evil or deadly? It is not as if agencies have been given M1 Abrams tanks (the scary “T” word that media keeps using when referring to armored cars). Armored vehicles serve only one purpose for law enforcement, and that is to provide cops with a bullet proof/resistant vehicle to use in high risk scenarios, such as riot control and barricaded suspect/hostage situations. Throughout this article, they continue to refer to Ferguson as an example, yet the majority of the armored vehicles I saw there were in fact Lenco Bearcats, not military handouts, and definitely not tracked vehicles.
“Weaponized aircraft?” Again, not even going to address this idiotic notion other than to say it is not even happening. The fact that it is even mentioned just shows that this is all nothing more than a song and dance to placate the loudly screaming, uninformed idiots.
As for the “firearms and ammo of .50 cal or greater”, I am a bit confused. I suppose that some agencies may have possibly received an M2 at some point, and I concur that a Browning M2 machine gun has absolutely no use in law enforcement, but is it such a widespread issue that it needs to be addressed by the president, on a national stage? How many of those are out there? How many have been deployed on the streets? What other firearms or ammunition is law enforcement receiving from the feds that are larger than .50 cal? Again, more great sound bites to quell the yelling masses.
Finally we get to the clincher, that one thing that will solve all the law enforcement related strife in the US; those damned camo uniforms! You know, because so many cops are running around in camo on a daily basis, and doing camo things with their camo clothing… Camouflage uniforms, as far as law enforcement is concerned, are typically only worn by one group of people, and that is the SWAT team. The problem is the media and cop haters both take about a zillion pictures of SWAT personnel in camo and plaster those photos all over the internet, making it appear that the cops are all out there in military camo, which is far from the truth. While camo has very little useful application in riot control, it actually has does play an important role in many of the things that SWAT units train for, such as hostage situations and barricaded subjects. From a simple logistics standpoint, it does not make any sense for SWAT to have five different uniforms to choose from, which is why their tactical uniform is typically some sort of camouflage, and for larger agencies, is usually purchased by the agency anyway, not surplus.
Let us take a quick look at the bigger picture here. There has been no documented “misuse” of any of these items listed here. Please point me to a news story that discusses any sort of grenade launcher use, bayonetting, attack helicopters, etc. Yes, you will probably find story after story talking about how scary “tanks” and that evil camo are, but find me one where the actual usage was documented. This is all about appearance, about image, about playing a card and nothing more.
Now, for my personal take on this (pulling on my tin foil hat). This action by Obama is yet another sleight of hand to appease the useful idiots. He has been taking little steps, one at a time, toward a national police force, something he actually called for from the beginning in his campaign, and this is just another rung on that ladder. He has even had his buddy Al Sharpton out calling for a national police force. If you do not believe that is Obama’s goal, don’t take my word for it, take his:
Now, for a final point to ponder: If you think having local control of law enforcement is bad, just imagine how great a job the feds will do.