Are We Responsible For A Domestic Arms Race With Our Local LEOs?

This is a discussion on Are We Responsible For A Domestic Arms Race With Our Local LEOs? within the Law Enforcement, Military & Homeland Security Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I guess we've all pondered whether our own behavior is responsible for the recent ammo shortage. Now, after reading an article in the WJS I ...

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Thread: Are We Responsible For A Domestic Arms Race With Our Local LEOs?

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    Senior Member Array Caertaker's Avatar
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    Are We Responsible For A Domestic Arms Race With Our Local LEOs?

    I guess we've all pondered whether our own behavior is responsible for the recent ammo shortage. Now, after reading an article in the WJS I find myself asking: am I responsible for contributing to an escalation in the armament and mindset of local law enforcement. Personally I don't believe I am, but I'm sure an attorney for the State would spin my behavior otherwise.

    Since the 1960s, in response to a range of perceived threats, law-enforcement agencies across the U.S., at every level of government, have been blurring the line between police officer and soldier. Driven by martial rhetoric and the availability of military-style equipment—from bayonets and M-16 rifles to armored personnel carriers—American police forces have often adopted a mind-set previously reserved for the battlefield. The war on drugs and, more recently, post-9/11 antiterrorism efforts have created a new figure on the U.S. scene: the warrior cop—armed to the teeth, ready to deal harshly with targeted wrongdoers, and a growing threat to familiar American liberties."

    "A study done in 1991 by the libertarian-leaning Independence Institute found that less than one-eighth of 1% of homicides in the U.S. were committed with a military-grade weapon. Subsequent studies by the Justice Department in 1995 and the National Institute for Justice in 2004 came to similar conclusions: The overwhelming majority of serious crimes are committed with handguns, and not particularly powerful ones."

    "Many longtime and retired law-enforcement officers have told me of their worry that the trend toward militarization is too far gone. Those who think there is still a chance at reform tend to embrace the idea of community policing, an approach that depends more on civil society than on brute force."

    I guess when you don't have a civil society in fact, people (citizens or sworn officers) will do what it takes to make it home.

    Rise of the Warrior Cop - WSJ.com
    "I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power, than by violent and sudden usurpations” – James Madison 1788

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    Member Array WINTEJER000's Avatar
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    If you mean we as in law abiding citizen, No we are not, wohever if you mean street thugs how think they are above the law, then yes i think they are. IMHO
    “But now,” he said, “take your money and a traveler’s bag. And if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one!” Luke 22:36 (NLT)

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    Maybe I'm being uncivil, but if you're saying that we have sunk so low as a society as to require warrior cops, I don't buy it.
    My fear is that government is pushing wars (on terror, on drugs, in cyberspace, on crime, on guns, on people you don't like and haven't met...) into the faces of us civilians to scare us. To heighten our fears to play on our fears to expand government. To get us to trade our liberties for our security.
    TSA now manages the ground part of air passenger movement, once the realm of the airlines; Internet and wireless service providers similarly slough off to the government (CISPA) their responsibility to secure our accounts and message content. Because we're afraid. Because we're assured that government is not overstepping its limits.
    But the Patriot Act, with assurance that its powers would be employed only in the war on terror, has manifest its "sneak-and-peek" warrants in the drug war (76% of the total uses of the warrants) more than in the war on terror.
    Images of warrior cops remind us that government exists to serve the wealthy and ensconced and to creep into our lives with background checks, screenings, and finer-tuned means of identification. And each tragedy is a crank of the ratchet.

    Source: Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity. "Congress Exploits our Fears to Take our Liberty" by Ron Paul. Monday, April 22, 2013.
    Americans understood the right of self-preservation as permitting a citizen to repel force by force
    when the intervention of society... may be too late to prevent an injury.
    -Blackstone’s Commentaries 145–146, n. 42 (1803) in District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008)

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    All buyers dip into the same well of supply. In that sense, we all affect availability and prevalence arms/ammo on the open market.

    All violent felons threaten the lives of those around them, those they target. To the extent the breakdown from the prior era (in which respectful social accommodation of our fellow citizens was typical) to the current affects a large swath of the population, they're driving the rest of us (citizens, police alike) to better equip ourselves.

    LE and we need to deal with the rising tide of well-financed and -equipped "cartel-grade" druggie felons out there. We've also got a burgeoning prior-felon population out in society. It's not hard to understand why LE and citizens are better armed, these days.

    However, it's a stretch to say that we several million upstanding citizens are the cause, in any sort of "arms race" with our co-protectors (LE, in addition to ourselves). We have mutual enemies: the violent felons who would harm us all, taking everything we have, including our very lives. Not our doing, as such.
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    Distinguished Member Array shockwave's Avatar
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    It doesn't seem likely that LEO is buying up bricks of .22LR. That's actually a reflection of the secondary market. When ammo prices broke through a certain pricepoint, a fair number began buying in bulk and reselling at a profit. So, capitalism.

    Another culprit is every single person on this board and on all other gun boards who has posted ridiculous stories about the "president coming to take your guns." And the NRA activist wing, on every cover of America's 1st Freedom, hasn't been helping either.

    You really shouldn't yell "fire" in a crowded theater, because it never takes much to get people panicking and acting all crazy-like.

    As for the militarization of police forces, we're seeing too many cases of SWAT teams deployed to the wrong houses, with tragic results. And SWAT being used for petty affairs like serving papers, kicking down doors with no-knock warrants (or no warrants at all). We definitely need a re-think on this.
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    If you consider upgrading from a S&W Model 10 .38 Special and a rusty 12 ga. pump an arms race, yeah, we are responsible for arming LE with modern weapons.
    PEF and thephanatik like this.
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    ...back in the early 70s, a cop was looked at as strange if he "geared up" much...I was the first on my dept to carry speedloaders...first rechargeable Streamlight, first Second Chance, and first Prosecutor...I even caught flak because I carried two sets of cuffs...but others followed suit after a few conversations...the squad had an old 870 in a rack...often rusty, dirty, and I quit using it when I found a chicken bone in the chamber...checked out one from the armory and kept it till I quit...that was a slick trick and unauthorized...and to think of a rifle in the squad was unheard of...no SWAT team...I remember folks squealing when the deputies were found to be carrying .30-.30s or an M1 carbine...not unusual for a citizen to loan a high-powered rifle to a cop if needed...my how times have changed!!!

    ...now I see AR-type rifles and shotguns in most squads, and enough ammo on most belts to keep the dogs at bay till help gets there to see what all the noise is...I'm for it...the better armed a man is, the better his chances of going home at end of shift...though most officers go an entire career and never fire a shot in anger...

    ...the change happened where I was when drugs got to be common, and we'd find teenagers better armed than we were...I remember one kid 17 found asleep at an intersection with a loaded UZI across his lap...common for a cop with a revolver to mix it up with two or three druggies with hi-cap 9s...they made more money in a week than most cops did in a month...and had the money to arm up heavy...

    ...Federal grants began to flow like water, and the gun salesmen came with them...the rest is history...

    ...I don't mind seeing cops with ARs, though I personally don't believe they're necessary except possibly for SWAT...fully automatic's a lot of firepower...

    ...what gets me upset is with all that armament, tactics, and training, communications beyond comprehension, and hi-tec listening/viewing devices, they too often hit the wrong house...that's my biggest fear of law enforcement...that they'll hit me striking for the thug on the next street over, and what a life-changer that would be...

    ...now, on the matter of the government coming to take our guns...if the words from the prez's mouth and Holder's, news of what's happened in Katrina, and the whole gun-grabbing movement in Congress don't make you believe that we have serious threats to our peaceful possession of guns, you're not paying attention...but reporting the facts of what they say and what they're doing is NOT ridiculous...it's wise...
    ...the truth only bothers those who have an agenda...

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    MJK
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    Why do these agencies need SWAT teams? Call me skeptical at the very least!


    "A number of federal agencies also now have their own SWAT teams, including the Fish & Wildlife Service, NASA and the Department of the Interior. In 2011, the Department of Education's SWAT team bungled a raid on a woman who was initially reported to be under investigation for not paying her student loans, though the agency later said she was suspected of defrauding the federal student loan program."
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    MJK what's your source for the quote? I'm interested in reading more.

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    Quote Originally Posted by diver1102 View Post
    MJK what's your source for the quote? I'm interested in reading more.

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    Questions surround feds' raid of Stockton home | news10.net
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    The often-told "our police are outgunned" lie is responsible for the arms race to which the OP referred.
    No, Mr. Vice President. Cops Today Are Not 'Outgunned.'
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    Distinguished Member Array SCXDm9's Avatar
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    I would have to say yes we are.

    I think since most weapons used on the street are stolen from people like us, every time we step it up... the trickled down effect adds our weapons to the street.

    With the latest run on AR15's it just a matter of time before these guns are stolen and thus find their way to street thugs and gang bangers.

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    VIP Member Array Snub44's Avatar
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    ...no doubt some guns on the street are stolen...I doubt anywhere near most are...maybe current LEOS can share what they're finding with us...my experience is from just this side of cap'n'ball days...
    ...regardless of their source...since so many AK and AR-type weapons ARE in criminals' hands on the streets, it's good that private citizens can be adequately armed when they come calling...
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    Quote Originally Posted by MJK View Post
    Why do these agencies need SWAT teams?
    Because they can.
    Retired USAF E-8. Remember: You're being watched!
    Paranoia strikes deep, into your heart it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid... "For What It's Worth" Buffalo Springfield

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