Saturday, September 06, 2014

The Future War Zone

 I started to write this blog about 6 weeks ago when I read the article about the equipping of police departments with war surplus vehicles. I knew that was happening because I've read such info over the past three years. In Canada our police get new equipment, but military vehicles for police use are nothing new. And until now I think most of us just thought it's keeping us safe so let the chief have his budget. Well the time has come to say, in grand Belfast style, "Feck that!"

NYT: War Gear Flows to Police Departments

You see along with the increased armament, and the increased sense that there really is a very present danger, everywhere in to-day's world, goes an increased 'sense' that police are more in danger than other people. A 'bunker mentality', that I've written about before , makes police even more alienated for the 'society' they are paid to "serve and protect". Ancillary to all that is the fact that police are not expected to be any more intelligent or educated or enlightened than they have ever been since red caps were looking for work after WW2. Police are 'paramilitaries' in the worst sense of the phrase. They see themselves as 'akin' to soldiers without the training,  the military discipline or the expectations of some kind of 'sacrifice' or 'service'. They even describe themselves as 'veterans'.

In a recent story, the Pentagon decries the disinformation about their the arming of police forces. We didn't do it!  At least in the case of the warfighters of Ferguson  - nosiree,  they got it (except for a couple of Humvees and a hot dog trailer, they did get) from the National Guard - a totally unrelated organization - or they even bought it themselves, from somebody.

Where DO they Get It?

Whether they get it free, or buy it used, or even commission private enterprise to furnish them with the latest in 'crime-fighting security equipment',  police are armed and dressed like soldiers - full military assault gear - with exception of rations pouches for, most of the time, they will be home for lunch, or supper. Using military gear and military weapons - gone are 'sporting shotguns' -  the latest are all 'extra load' and 'pickitinny gizmoed'. They even use weapons that would land a military in contravention of the Geneva agreements - it's not a real war they're fighting - on drugs or crime, eh? So they only have to worry about some rights.

Here's another - about 12 000  surplus bayonets and 7 000 combat knives.

Stop that terror boys!

The sad and concerning thing is that police have been paranoid citizens for a long time. And now, tasked as they are, with possibly confronting 'terror',  they're more paranoid than ever. Nobody wants to die for his country and there's even less reason to die 'serving or protecting' the source of your paycheck. The 'Police Funeral' is only good if you can walk away from it and the group mentality seems to be approaching that of white slave owners in the antebellum south. Even though more carpenters are killed on the job, there's no reason why police shouldn't be armed,  armored and allowed to shoot first should they feel endangered.

And that is a privilege and responsibility (tongue in cheek), vouchsafed to only a few.

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