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Ferguson, MO: A New Twist?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by ExTank, Aug 22, 2014.

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  1. ExTank

    ExTank Member

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    I'll preface by saying that I don't watch network news. I get most of my news from a local talk-radio station, and gleaning by context from various internet sources.

    Having said that, I have been paying attention to the events transpiring in Ferguson, and surrounding communities. I'm a Field Service Technician, and drive all over the greater St. Louis Metro Area on a dailty basis, and have been paying attention lest I accidentally drive into a previously "quiet" part of town that has since erupted in demonstration, or violence.

    My "internet gleanings" of the events have focused mainly on the debate of the militarization of the our various police forces. One thing I've seen is a few anti-gun types "floating" the idea the Michael Brown died as a result of the Second Amendment.

    These people's reasoning appears to be that, with a heavily armed populace due to the Second Amendment, the police are forced to arm themselves in not only likewise manner, but with full-blown military-grade hardware, in order to maintain "superiority" over the American populace.

    And that these now heavily armed police are "quick on the trigger," and wind up killing the Michael Brown's of the U.S., due to having to constantly face the threat of a heavily armed civilian populace.

    To some people's credit, even other anti-gunners that I know are discounting this, and dismissing it as not relevant. My personal suspicion is that someone, with an agenda :rolleyes:, is "floating" this narrative to see if it gains any "traction."

    My question to The High Road is this: has anyone else heard this "Second Amendment" theory behind the militarization of the U.S.'s police forces? If so, where, and in what context?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. rule303

    rule303 Member

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    Since the second amendment has been guaranteeing our right to arms since 1791, I fail to see any correlation with the militarization of civilian police forces in the last few years.
    In fact, even though there are more guns than ever before, as a per capita number it is probably less than it was at the turn of the 20th century. Also, many police forces have access to weapons that we mere private citizens do not. This was not the case in years past.
     
  3. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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    Not really, at least not in any credible source.

    And the idea that the police need to maintain "superiority" in arms over the US population would seem laughable on its face. Very, VERY few local law enforcement agencies can claim to hold more or better weapons than probably hundreds of citizens living in their jurisdiction. That's really a non-issue.
     
  4. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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    I would disagree there. I'm not 100% sure, but we are FAR more affluent now than then and the average person has a whole lot more disposable income. There might have been a somewhat higher percentage of households that contained A gun (maybe 50%?), but I don't think there were very many of those hunters, ranchers, or casual shooters who owned 5, 10, 20, 50... and those numbers are very common in citizen collections these days. They say 30-something percent of households now have guns in them. How many gunnies do you know who DON'T own at least 5-10? I don't think I know ANY. So it's hard to say, but my gut tells me the per capita number is now higher.

    Really? See, I don't think that's so. Yeah, they might have M-16/M4 rifles that are still select-fire, and maybe an MP-5 or two, but really, that's no more effective than the AR-15 you have in your own house, and an MP-5 is just the equivalent of a Marlin Camp Carbine with a "happy switch." These aren't vastly superior weapons we're talking about. (Full auto isn't magic, and is highly overrated.) The rest of the stuff they might have (sidearms, "sniper" rifles in .308 or .223, etc.) are exceptionally common in US households and in fact are easily excelled by things we all own.
     
  5. MEHavey

    MEHavey Member

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    Consent of the governed is the only real "superiority" factor w/ any long teeth.
    Once lost, and violent anarchism emerges, military-level force is not necessarily unwarranted.

    The art is knowing when (which can stop things in their tracks early w/ minimal force), and
    how much when things proceed beyond that point.

    Unfortunately consent-of-the-governed is getting paper thin in certain segments, and political
    correctness is affecting judgement throughout the process.

    We should be very concerned at the trends in evidence across the board,
    and why consent of the governed seems on the wane....
     
  6. Schutzen

    Schutzen Member

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    They are referring to a Huffington Post article by Adam Winkler posted August 19th.

    He is off the deep end for Gun Control and is using this issue to push for more gun control. The comments section generally views him as an "air head".
     
  7. X-Rap

    X-Rap Member

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    The progression of LE armaments are often attributed to the need to keep up with the criminal element in this country whose primary supplier is either theft, purchase of civilian grade weapons.
    In short they need to "keep up with what's on the street" might be a phony claim but it has been used a great deal.
     
  8. Neo-Luddite

    Neo-Luddite Member

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  9. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    I'm with Sam on both counts and disagree.

    On the first point it might be true that a higher percentage of homes had a gun in it at the turn of the century, but I'm not even certain about that. But the sheer number of guns today is far greater. My father, grandfather and great grandfather owned at most 2 guns for the entire family. Today there MIGHT be fewer homes with at least 1 gun, but most of the folks who do own guns have multiple. Ten or more wouldn't be unusual and many folks in excess of 100.

    On the 2nd point there are very, very few guns actually used by LE officers that are not available to everyone. Virtually all of the AR's issued, or used are semi-auto. Full auto weapons are rarely used, or even allowed.

    If you are talking about flash-bang grenades or teargas, then I agree.

    I have mixed feelings about the militarization or the police. It would be nice if all cops could be like Andy Taylor. But that was fiction even in the 1960's. Things today are much worse and I can see the time and place to bring out the gear. I do think it is over used though.
     
  10. dmancornell

    dmancornell Member

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    But it's not. Violent crime has been dropping steadily for years in spite of the government's best efforts to increase it with the "war" on drugs.
     
  11. Nom de Forum

    Nom de Forum Member

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    I have not seen the ridiculous assertion that the people making use of their 2A rights is the reason why the police needed to militarize their tactics and equipment. It does not surprise me some ignorant anti-gun zealot made this claim. I suspect even the intelligent anti-gun zealots will not support this nonsense because it is so obviously wrong and would only damage their credibility.
     
  12. vamo

    vamo Member

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    You are combining the death itself and the aftermath.

    Whatever opinion you have on the actual Michael Brown Incident it has little to do with police militarization. It was a LEO on patrol carrying a run of the mill handgun by all accounts.

    The police response to the protests and social unrest in the aftermath of the shooting is what has sparked renewed debates on police militarization.
     
  13. kwguy

    kwguy Member

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    The 'militarization' of certain police forces has less to do, I suspect, with the fact that citizens are able to be armed with relatively cool stuff (just like always), and more to do with the fact that everyone wants the coolest, newest toys, to include police forces, if they can get that stuff. I mean, what police force wouldn't want an MRAP, or Eotech on their AR?
     
  14. Red Wind

    Red Wind Member

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    That is absolutely correct. Since 1993, 42% less gun homicides and close to 70% less gun inflicted injuries, according to the Pew Crime study. That is remarkable progress in 20 years.

    The mainstream media rarely, if ever, brings up this salient fact.
     
  15. AlexanderA
    • Contributing Member

    AlexanderA Member

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    No, the theory of blaming the 2nd Amendment for the militarization of the police doesn't hold water. 2nd Amendment protections, as a practical matter, apply to the law-abiding, who are natural allies of the police. The criminal element doesn't care about the 2nd Amendment, any more than it does about gun laws in general.

    The two bank robbers in California, who took on the police with full-automatic AK-47's -- an incident widely seen as the start of the push for up-arming the police -- were already breaking numerous laws. Asserting 2nd Amendment rights was absolutely the last thing on their minds.
     
  16. Officers'Wife

    Officers'Wife Member

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    My brother in law often claims his department "needs" APC's and military because too many people like my Dad have 50 cal "sniper" rifles. Other then that, no sane person has made that little justification in my presence. Most of the sheriff's in this area claim the need because nearby I-65 is a "drug corridor" but never because the population at large has effective weaponry.


    Added thought: the LEO in question used his sidearm after receiving significant injuries from being beaten. If that is being "quick on the trigger" then any use of force in self defense is. Here in Jasper County (Indiana) there was a "gentlemen" that smashed several windows of the sheriff's office and threatened a deputy and a female employee with (I've heard) a 2 by 4. The deputy showed remarkable restraint in using a non-lethal weapon to administer loving Christian correction on the idiot. The deputy had his duty weapon available at the time and would have been more than justified to use it. For someone "quick on the trigger" he is a far better Christian than I feel I would have been in a similar circumstance.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2014
  17. ExTank

    ExTank Member

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    Uhm...no, I'm not. Re-read my OP. I'm reporting on some things I'm reading on the internet. Someone else is using the shooting, the aftermath, and response, in a circular argument to make an anti-Second Amendment case. The argument basically goes:

    1. Because of the Second Amendment, the populace outguns the police;

    2. The police "gun up" and act rashly, maliciously or inadvertently gunning down innocents, in response to having to face an armed civil populace;

    3. When people object to, and protest, being maliciously or just inadvertently gunned down by nervous police, the overly-militarized police use their military-grade hardware on civilians to restore the peace;

    4. Disarm the general populace with more gun control, and the police won't get nervous and inadvertently shoot innocent people;

    5. Then there won't be protests and riots necessitating military-grade hardware to handle the response.

    Note: I am not responding to the HuffPo article or Winkler's argument; I haven't (and won't) read them.

    This is my impression from other sources and message boards.

    It is not my position.
     
  18. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd Member

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    Never. Not once, until now. But I can see where it would be taken advantage of.
     
  19. Cee Zee

    Cee Zee member

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    The militarization of the police, and it has happened to an extent, came about more as a result of the high murder rates during the crack gang wars of the 1980's and early 1990's. Those wars dropped off big time after the Rodney King riots though. A gang summit was held (in St. Louis no less) where the main gangs agreed to stop revenge killings on the level they were happening.

    But our wonderful government ever slow on the scene decided that it would be a good idea to arm the police with surplus military weapons. So we see thinks like armored personnel carriers in many US cities including some small cities. And I have seen, touched and drooled over a full auto M4 that belonged to a local PD and that's in a town of maybe 3000 people.

    But in truth this isn't as new as it seems. In the 30's the public was far more heavily armed than they are now. Machine guns were legal and "Tommy Guns" were pretty common among the bank robber gang set. Clyde Barrow actually used a BAR though because the .45 firing Thompson wouldn't penetrate car doors even back then.

    The fact that so many citizens now own guns has NOTHING to do with the way the police are being armed. The government made it so the military could donate anything they weren't using to police departments and they did it a lot. 9/11 drove this to ever greater heights especially in big cities. But NYC actually had groups of heavily armed soldiers on the streets. They all had automatic weapons too.

    Then came the heavily armed drug gangs in Mexico which made the DEA ever more paranoid and possibly for good reason. And various shootouts where the police were heavily outgunned made things even worse. But those were very isolated incidents. The one in North Hollywood really made the police want heavier arms. Two bank robbers held off a small army of police who were shooting back against the two robbers who had self designed body armor that made the police .38's seem like spit ball guns. Police actually went to sporting goods stores to borrow heavier weapons to try to take down those two. It was horrible and it scared a lot of cops. But it was a very, very isolated incident and it had NOTHING to do with the second amendment. Those were criminals which don't follow laws of any kind. They had full auto .308 rifles which they used very effectively against the police. They were not going down without a fight and wow did they put up a good one (bad one actually). But that was before concealed carry and much of the gun grabbing days of recent years. I could see cops getting scared at the thought of facing a couple of thugs like that but it hasn't happened since then. It isn't an everyday thing that people can design extremely effective full body armor.

    Some police departments have gone too far IMO. They overreacted to obscure situations. But there's no denying we face problems with terrorists and drug gangs which can be very heavily armed. It's a balancing act of course. I tend to think it's ok for the LEO's to have the weapons they want as long as they don't use them to pull people over for spitting on the sidewalk or whatever. Moderation by the LEO's is the key. I'd want the weapons to win a gun battle too but there's no sense in dragging them out for every situation coming and going.
     
  20. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/adam-winkler/ferguson-guns-america-police-fear_b_5688750.html
    Adam Winkler, "Ferguson: With So Many Guns in America, Police Are Trained to Live in Fear", Huffington Post, 21 Aug 2014.

    I see no quotes or references to research showing that POLICE say they live in fear of ordinary citizens who own guns or even of those who carry guns in self-defense.

    I have been stopped once for taillight and once for distractedly running a redlight on a near deserted street (had an emergency call from a family member. not a reason an excuse). In both cases as soon as the officers ran the tags before getting out and approaching me, they knew the car tag was was registered me with TDL number xyz flagged as also having a handgun carry permit. The officers showed no fear, no special precautions, did not even ask if I was carrying at the time. I of course made no furtive movements during the traffic stop, kept both hands in clear view, and talked to the officer in the same tone I would use with a family member.

    Back in the 1970s when I hanged out at my BIL's motorbike shop and shot the bull with a couple of city detectives who were family friends, there was no indication to me that working cops feared private gun owners. They encouraged me to own a gun for self-defense.

    However, when HuffPost started requiring you have a Facebook account to post comments, I quit trying to balance their articles with commentary.

    David Kopel lists Winkler as a "moderate" historian on gun control. I would say moderate compared to Carl Bakal, Josh Sugarman or Tom Diaz. A prior writing was:

    http://www.newrepublic.com/blog/plank/111266/franklin-roosevelt-the-father-gun-control#
    Adam Winkler, "Franklin Roosevelt: The Father of Gun Control", The New Republic, 19 Dec 2012.

    TNR is about as liberal progressive doctrinaire as you can get. The unfulfilled dream of FDR was a national gun registration and tax scheme, and it was only by the evil, demonic influence of the NRA that the 1934 NFA was restricted to so-called "gangster weapons".
     
  21. IlikeSA

    IlikeSA Member

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    Police in places where arms are relatively few in number are still, and can be, militarized. Examples include South Korea, Japan, certain European countries, African countries, and historically Nazi Germany.

    The increased militarization of the police force stems from several roots: ease of access to military surplus and funding for that surplus, preparation for worst case scenarios, increasingly better armed and dangerous criminals, and the idea of "use it if you got it."

    After 9/11, funding was given by the federal government to individual law enforcement agencies for counter-terrorism training and tools. With the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, there was easier access to surplus military vehicles, and if one has the funding, why not spend it on something that may or may not be needed someday.

    Thirty-eight caliber handguns used to be the issue weapon to police officers. During the 1920's-30's, there was an increase in violent and heavily armed criminals. Police countered by bettering their armament to Thompson sub-guns and BARs. The 38 Super was introduced, and better vehicles were sought. Legislation was passed with the tax stamp for automatic weapons.

    SWAT teams were introduced in the late 1960's, and soon every agency needed one to keep up with other LE agencies. If you have a specialized unit like that, use them, is the thinking. We have the same thinking: what would be the point of a 500 HP car if your grandmother only uses it to drive to the store. In addition, tactically police departments have developed more uses for the SWAT team and regular officers because of mass casualty incidents like school shootings and heavily armed robberies.

    I think the idea of the militarization of the police force in response to the second amendment is ludicrous. It has developed for the factors mentioned above.
     
  22. Potatohead

    Potatohead Member

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    This may seem off topic but Im trying to get at the "superiority of arms" that the police do or dont strive for over the civilian population.

    My question, are automatic weapons definitely, 100% better (more lethal) than semi autos? Is their a real advantage to fully automatic? Ive never been in a war zone but it seems semi auto is not the worst thing in the world and could possibly advantageous, by conserving ammo, and making more well placed shots. Is my thinking wrong here? Like maybe it's hard to make "well placed" shots when you're getting shelled by fully automatic fire?

    Or to try and not get to far out of THR bounds here, how big is the strategic "gap" between semi auto and full auto?
     
  23. ridgerunner1965

    ridgerunner1965 Member

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    brown died because he beat a police officer so bad it caused a orbital eye socket fracture of his skull. he litterally caved in the officers skull with his fist. this is a serious injury and prompted the officer to shoot him to save his own life.

    it has nothing to do with the 2nd or anything else. the officer had no choice but to shoot or be beat to death.

    i dont know how many shots were fired but the fact that the officer hit brown 6 times with one eye streaming blood and possibly some degree of a concussion speaks well of his training.

    have any of you ever been hit by a 300lb man? i have and i got to a gun as fast as i could and it repulsed the attack.it didnt end up fatal for either of us luckily. the mere presence of a gun ended the conflict. this was in my own home also.the attacker was a stranger.

    i stand behind this cop.
    i would say no member here would of done any different.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2014
  24. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Potatohead.

    No.

    Full auto fire is very hard to control accurately without extensive training & experience using it.

    It is used very sparingly, even by the military, and only when your position is being over-run, or as suppressive fire during a final assault.

    The average cop has NO Business with a full-auto firearm in the same vicinity of needing to use a weapon in a civilian encounter.

    The very likely Collateral damage behind, beside, and or over the intended target is just too great!

    Perhaps a few SWAT team members who have almost unlimited ammo & training time is capable & has a legitimate need for FA fire, very, very occasionally during a raid.

    BUT that's it, IMO.

    As for the news reports you may have been seeing lately?
    Those cops using the machine-guns reported by the breathless TV talking heads?

    Are using semi-auto AR-15's just like yours & mine.

    rc
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2014
  25. barnbwt

    barnbwt member

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    Seeing as there are plenty of scenarios in which lethal force is justified on an unarmed assailant (and that this may be exactly one of those), I fail to see how more/less guns elsewhere has any bearing whatsoever on an officer's potential calculus. If someone's fists are raining down fear of death and severe bodily injury, you can stop them with lethal force. How does this fact change with an armed vs. disarmed populace (answer; the punks might have instead been held at gunpoint at the kwik-e-mart they robbed until police arrived, and everyone goes to bed safe, if not at their home). I suppose a more well-armed populace could have opened fire on the officer after he shot Brown, but that's about the only way others' guns could have come into play if we keep the unarmed Brown as a fixed variable in the altercation.

    TCB
     
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