Obama’s police militarization directive accomplishes nothing

Washington DC, (TFC) – The media came to heel like obedient lackeys today and ran article after article touting the President’s new plan that is supposed to be aimed at curtailing the militarization of police departments. Even the Guardian played the role of government stooge. They didn’t even examine the plan. It’s time to challenge the press release.

What does this plan accomplish? It bans the transfer of MRAPs, right? Nope. Grenades that have been used to blow holes in babies? Nope. Automatic rifles? Nope. Surveillance drones? Nope. Explosives? Of course not. All of these things will still be available to your local police department. So what does it ban? Nothing cops are receiving with any frequency, or receiving at all in some cases. This is what it truly prohibits: tracked vehicles, weaponized drones, firearms that have a caliber of .50 or larger, grenade launchers, camouflaged uniforms, and bayonets. Obviously, police departments don’t need this material, but none of these items have been causing problems with the exception of grenade launchers, which are so cheap you can pick them up without a law enforcement discount for about $200. You’ll still be hit with tear gas for exercising your Constitutionally-protected rights.

Tracked vehicles: These vehicles aren’t sought after by law enforcement agencies because the tend to tear up roads. More importantly, there aren’t many of them left in DOD stockpiles to be given away. The M113 was the last tracked vehicle widely distributed to cops. It was distributed after the Vietnam War (30 years ago).
Weaponized aircraft: Despite exhaustive searches The Fifth Column was unable to find a single incident of a police agency using an aircraft obtained from DOD to perform an airstrike. Even NYPD and LAPD don’t typically use Hellfire missiles or Napalm.
Large caliber weapons: M4s, M16s, M240s, M60s (that’s the weapon Rambo used with the belt hanging out of it), and M21s are all still available to cops. It really only stopped the distribution of two weapons: the M2 and the Barrett Sniper Rifle. The M2 is crew-served weapon that is typically mounted on the top of a tank. We could find no instances of an M2 being used against American citizens. The Barrett sniper rifle is a weapon that could actually be useful for law enforcement in a hostage situation. It is a weapon that can only be used in the most deliberate of circumstances and chances for misuse are slim to none.
Camouflaged uniforms: Well I guess they’ll have to order them from Galls or buy them at Wal-Mart now.
Bayonets: I would personally prefer the cops use bayonets. It means they have to get close enough to me to determine whether or not I’m armed before they kill me. That’s been a problem for cops lately.

So what about the grenades, MRAPs, explosives, surveillance drones, and so on? Police departments can still obtain them. They just have to obtain the rubber stamp of the city council or mayor before asking for them. Prior to this window dressing, most departments needed the local government to approve the budget for fueling the MRAP, so it won’t stop the procurement of these vehicles. This is not a victory for the American people, but there is one significant change: now the cops will get trained by the military or military approved contractors. So in reality, this brings the war closer to home.

There is no reason to celebrate this decision. It is only meant to distract the American people and appease them without making any significant reforms whatsoever.  Your hometown will still be subjected to a militarized police department armed with MRAPs, concussion grenades, automatic weapons, and surveillance drones. Nothing changes. Do not celebrate this. Do not lose focus on the campaign to force these weapons off our streets.

The media organizations that ran these articles should be ashamed.

Image: Public Domain

Image: Public Domain