Are Militarized Police a Danger?
If you give a man a fish, he eats for a day, if you give a man a tank; he tramples over the liberty of all in his wake. The DOD's decision to unload their older model military weapons upon local law enforcement via Program 1033 was shortsighted and inexcusable. An officer’s role in exacting justice amongst civilians is very different from a soldier’s role on a battlefront.
Policeman nationwide have mistaken the DOD’s charity with military grade weaponry, for a license to abuse at will under the guise of “protecting and serving.” After local law enforcement receive the video game like, fantasy arsenal, it’s the people who need protecting from the police. This reversion of law enforcement responsibility exacerbates the need for heightened scrutiny of federal weapon transfer programs.
Most would agree policeman should be equipped with resources capable of thwarting violent uprisings in a given locale. However, that support does not possess transitive properties whereby citizens also offer blanket approval of peaceful towns to be converted into military green zones.
The OC Register editorial board acknowledged, “We live in a time where SWAT raids are common and the sight of heavily armed police is no longer as unnerving as it once would have been.” That statement perfectly outlines and is indicative of the problem. Desensitization of overly aggressive law enforcement and special ops worthy weaponry, is dangerous. Observing someone walk past toting a machine gun should evoke feelings of unease and discomfort, rather than blindly accepting a society that more closely resembles the streets of Fallujah.