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Excerpt: "School police departments across the US have taken advantage of free military surplus gear, stocking up on mine-resistant armoured vehicles, grenade launchers and scores of M16 rifles."

School districts are being given armored vehicles. (photo: AP)
School districts are being given armored vehicles. (photo: AP)


US School Districts Given Free Machine Guns and Grenade Launchers

By Associated Press

18 September 14

 

Calls to hand back weapons and gear, from M16 rifles to mine-proof vehicles, obtained under Pentagon scheme

chool police departments across the US have taken advantage of free military surplus gear, stocking up on mine-resistant armoured vehicles, grenade launchers and scores of M16 rifles.

At least 26 school districts have participated in the Pentagon’s surplus program, which is not new but has come under scrutiny after police responded to protesters in Ferguson, Missouri, with teargas, armour-clad military trucks and riot gear.

Amid that increased criticism, several school districts have said they will give some of the equipment back but others plan to keep it. Nearly two dozen education and civil liberties groups have sent a letter to the Pentagon and the justice and education departments urging a stop to transfers of military weapons to school police.

The Los Angeles unified school district, the nation’s second-largest at 710 square miles with more than 900,000 students enrolled, said it would remove three grenade launchers it had acquired because they “are not essential life-saving items within the scope, duties and mission” of the district’s police force.

But the district would keep the 60 M16s and a military vehicle known as an MRAP used in Iraq and Afghanistan that was built to withstand mine blasts.

District police Chief Steve Zipperman told the Associated Press that the M16s were used for training and the MRAP, parked off campus, was acquired because the district could not afford to buy armoured vehicles that might be used to protect officers and help students in a school shooting.

“That vehicle is used in very extraordinary circumstances involving a life-saving situation for an armed threat,” Zipperman said. “Quite frankly I hope we never have to deploy it.”

Law enforcement agencies around the country equipped themselves by turning to the Pentagon program, which the defence department has used to get rid of gear it no longer needs. Since the Columbine school shooting in 1999 school districts have increasingly participated.

Federal records show schools in Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Michigan, Nevada, Texas and Utah obtained surplus military gear. At least six California districts have received equipment, state records show.

Democratic congressman Adam Schiff said while there was a role for surplus equipment going to local police departments “it’s difficult to see what scenario would require a grenade launcher or a mine-resistant vehicle for a school police department”.

In Texas, Tina Veal-Gooch, executive director of public relations at Texarkana ISD, said the 2012 school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, led the district to acquire assault rifles and it had no plans to return them.

In Florida, Rick Stelljes, the chief of Pinellas county schools police, said the county possessed 28 semi-automatic M16 rifles. They had never been used, and he hoped they never would be, but they were “something we need given the current situation we face in our nation. This is about preparing for the worst-case scenario.”

School officials in Utah’s Granite school district and Nevada’s Washoe county school district said they did not have any immediate plans to give back the M16s they received.

San Diego unified school district said it was painting its MRAP white and hoping to use the Red Cross symbol on it to assuage community worries, said Ursula Kroemer, a district spokeswoman. The MRAP had been stripped of weapon mounts and turrets and would be outfitted with medical supplies and teddy bears for use in emergencies to evacuate students and staff, she said.

Jill Poe, police chief in southern California’s Baldwin Park school district, said she would be returning the three M16 rifles acquired under her predecessor.

“Honestly I could not tell you why we acquired those,” Poe said. “They have never been used in the field and they will never been used in the field.”

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+100 # riverhouse 2014-09-18 08:56
This country has gone batshit crazy.
 
 
+51 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2014-09-18 10:09
I first thought this article was satire. You know, Andy B. humor which makes a point. Wow! It is not!
I have a wife in China. We are working on her Visa. When I return to China, Wuhan City, Wen Li and I can drive for miles (kilometers, OK we are in China) and not see, observe a police officer. Those you do see carry no mace, handcuffs, billy clubs, tasers, hand guns and typically do not have radio gear, but some do. They look friendly. They look like but of course not dressed like a typical U.S. school crossing guard. Yes, if something serious breaks out, the guy or guys in a black trench coat show up. And it is not the best way to get formally introduced to the latest police, military fashion in trench coats. Chinese citizens typically operate on the "honor system."

Think the U.S. is possibly in the process of expecting a major civil disorder, possibly a revolution? I have thought for some time the minorities, blacks, the poor and the middle class, the way they are treated in this country will eventually "push back." Being at times indiscriminatel y shot and killed and being intimidated, ripped off of their voting rights.

If the military gear is dispersed to school districts and police departments around the country, government records clearly indicate where the military gear is located, stored and accessed if needed. Just my thought. Could happen.
 
 
+39 # Glen 2014-09-18 10:36
Riverhouse, this country has gone military crazy. It is not at all impossible this is one more method of garnering military recruits at an early age. Kids are fascinated with all that equipment. Now that recruiters are visiting even kindergarten classes, it follows that exposing those kids to military equipment is just another ploy to get all citizens used to militarization.

Remember, in the U.S., nothing is impossible and no matter how startling, believable.
 
 
+7 # keenon the truth 2014-09-18 17:14
Recruiters are visiting kindergartens?? !! What do they do there?
 
 
+10 # Glen 2014-09-19 06:19
Yes recruiters have shown up in kindergarten classes without any notification to parents. It has been protested by parents, but not all.

The recruiters talk to all kids as if this is a definitely choice for them and it will be fun working as a team. No mention of combat, of course. Recruiters where I live even include their wives, have slumber type parties, and even drive those old enough to sign up, to the office. One couple even drove the kids to where they would be stationed after signing up. The wife counseled the kids to avoid any friends who refused to sign up or made fun of the military.

I know this because of staying in contact with past students and their relatives.
 
 
+58 # Buddha 2014-09-18 11:08
What is even crazier is that we fear Islamic Terror groups as a threat to our nation. We have far more risk of being killed by a fellow American gun nut, or even our own police forces (especially if one is poor and/or minority), than we do by some Islamic Terrorist.
 
 
+37 # Dharmadog 2014-09-18 11:16
The National Defense Authorization Act gives the executive branch of the government the ability to use military resources against American citizens... for the first time in our history. Somehow the local police, and now it would seem, school crossing guards are being armed with military equipment... Grenade launchers, no less! Somehow vast amounts of our tax dollars are spent funding the NSA to extend a cloud of surveillance drones above our heads while sucking our privacy from our cell phones and internet. I hear a bell tolling. Does anyone else hear it? Does anyone dare ask, "For whom does it toll?"
 
 
+61 # QueenBee62 2014-09-18 09:07
I thought I'd heard everything, but no. This is INSANE!
 
 
+46 # Larry 2014-09-18 09:09
Armored vehicles are defensive in nature; designed to safely transport troops to and from combat zones, where they would be exposed to enemy fire and land mines. What kind of mentality concludes that such a vehicle is necessary or appropriate at school shooting where the assailants are one or two kids? Are the shooters going to be stopped by a dozen police cowering inside an armored vehicle? And what kind of message does the Board of Education's armored troop carrier and military arsenal of grenade launchers, and assault rifles send to the community?

Exactly what are these people thinking? Are they thinking at all?
 
 
-53 # arquebus 2014-09-18 09:37
I would say that they are thinking quite well. In. So Calif. most police departments equip their cruisers with both a shotgun and a rifle because they discovered in the N. Hollywood bank robbery that pistols are useless against crooks wearing body armor with automatic weapons. And, an armored vehicle would be an excellent tool to transport children from a fire zone to safety.
 
 
+22 # Radscal 2014-09-18 13:25
"...an armored vehicle would be an excellent tool to transport children from a fire zone ..."

lol. And land mines would be excellent tools for digging ditches. Unfortunately for all those maimed and killed by land mines, those defensive weapons are not used for family-farm irrigation projects.

And armored personnel carriers are used for inserting armored SWAT police into children's homes where they toss flash-bang grenades into babies' cribs and shoot to death grandmothers because some drugged-up informant gave them the wrong address. They are not used to save children.
 
 
+45 # tswhiskers 2014-09-18 09:12
Andy Borowitz, where are you when we really need you? Who with any sense would believe this is real? 26 school districts have taken this stuff? It's appalling enough that police depts. have taken it. What would either the police or schools do if faced with peaceful demonstrations or teacher strikes? I've thought with riverhouse for some time that we've all gone a bit crazy, but now it's obvious that we have become paranoid and even a little weird. Can we all PLEASE calm down a bit and look at situations seriously, esp. public officials like school superintendents and police chiefs, and not go off half-cocked? We vote for politicians expecting them to deal with emergencies by using cool heads and common sense. Even the THOUGHT of keeping an MRAP on or near a playground is insane. Maybe a good question to ask people when they run for local offices like mayors, school supers, and appointed officials would be if they could keep their cool in emergency situations. it's a question that is never asked. That needs to change!
 
 
-51 # arquebus 2014-09-18 09:40
Heck yes....let's disarm the cops. Let's take away their body armor and their pistols. Might as well relieve them of their batons, too. We will give them pepper spray and tasers to go up against crooks with rifles and other automatic weapons. Why not? We will all be so much safer with the crooks in charge of the streets.
 
 
+37 # Madmedic 2014-09-18 09:59
Quoting arquebus:
Heck yes....let's disarm the cops. Let's take away their body armor and their pistols. Might as well relieve them of their batons, too. We will give them pepper spray and tasers to go up against crooks with rifles and other automatic weapons. Why not? We will all be so much safer with the crooks in charge of the streets.


WHAT A FAT STEAMING PILE OF HYPERBOLE!

No one is advocating disarming the police, only removing military grade weapons from the often incompetent (meaning untrained in this context) hands of police whose assigned job it is to police our schools. I am not aware of any MRAP that will fit through the front doors of a school and patrol down the hallways to the areas (classrooms/caf eteria) where these kind of shootings usually occur. MRAPS and even M-16s would have been of no use in either Columbine (the non attacked students were safely evacuated WITHOUT the use of armored vehicles) or Newtown, where most, if not all, of the children were already dead before the police arrived.

Arquebus, please enlighten RSN's readers as to how an MRAP or M-16's would have prevented the tragedies at Columbine and Newtown, or STFU.
 
 
+15 # reiverpacific 2014-09-18 10:35
Quoting Madmedic:
Quoting arquebus:
Heck yes....let's disarm the cops. Let's take away their body armor and their pistols. Might as well relieve them of their batons, too. We will give them pepper spray and tasers to go up against crooks with rifles and other automatic weapons. Why not? We will all be so much safer with the crooks in charge of the streets.


WHAT A FAT STEAMING PILE OF HYPERBOLE!

No one is advocating disarming the police, only removing military grade weapons from the often incompetent (meaning untrained in this context) hands of police whose assigned job it is to police our schools. I am not aware of any MRAP that will fit through the front doors of a school and patrol down the hallways to the areas (classrooms)where such these kind of shootings usually occur. MRAPS and even M-16s would have been of no use in either Columbine (the non attacked students were safely evacuated WITHOUT the use of armored vehicles) or Newtown, where most, if not all of the children were already dead before the police arrived.

Arquebus, please enlighten RSN's readers as to how an MRAP or M-16's would have prevented the tragedies at Columbine and Newtown, or STFU.


Thanks -couldn't ha' said it better myself.
 
 
+10 # Capn Canard 2014-09-18 12:46
I will advocate disarming police completely of all weapons. There just aren't that many dangerous criminals to justify cops having batons let alone a Glock with a 17 round magazine. That is a recipe for cops killing unarmed kids. The best solution is to register all weapons with local communities (NOT FEDERAL Authorities!) just the county or township and then the county can police it. Allowing School District Police(What the f*ck is that ?) to have weapons is a challenge, or an invitation?, to psychopaths with access to weapons.
 
 
-19 # arquebus 2014-09-18 11:44
Recently, LAPD used an armored vehicle to tear out a fence to get at a barricaded suspect.

They wouldn't have done anything for those incidents. But, do you think such weapons might be useful in a barricaded hostage situation where 2 or 3 miscreants are holding a couple of dozen kids? Certainly, the vehicle could get cops up close to the area, maybe punch through a wall.

I worry less about what weapons cops have than how they are deployed.

I suppose the PDs could have gone out an bought semi-auto AR15s for $1,500 a piece or they could get M16s for free. As a taxpayer I prefer the latter. Incidentally,cu rrent crop of M16s (for last couple of decades) are not fully automatic weapons...they are only capable of firing three rounds at most per trigger pull.

As to the National Guard, only the governor can call them out not a local PD. In cases other than riots such as Ferguson, they can't respond quickly enough.
 
 
+13 # Madmedic 2014-09-18 13:05
Keep trying. I'm sure you can come up with some type of scenario where school police could benefit by being given surplus nukes from the US military's arsenal. An MRAP is hardly necessary to tear out a fence, but if it is necessary, I'm certain that the regular police could get one there quicker than deploying one from a central school system motor pool.

As for your later treatise on "military grade weapons" I am fully very familiar with the range of surplus military weapons available on the market today, as well as the three round burst limitation on the current crop of military M-16's. However, neither this article nor any other I've read on this subject specifies what generation the supplied M-16's are from (either full auto or semi auto). As a responsible multiple gun owner myself, I still see no earthly need for the kind of firepower referred to in this article being placed in the hands of school police.

In fact, I don't much like the idea of special "school police" at all. Regular police officers assigned to school duty on a regular or rotating schedule would do the job just fine. As a taxpayer, I am offended by the use of hard to obtain educational (school) funds being diverted to pay for yet another, redundant level of police specifically assigned to schools. To me it smacks of just another way for the US military industrial complex to siphon off taxpayer dollars from an otherwise worthy program.
 
 
+10 # Radscal 2014-09-18 13:34
"I suppose the PDs could have gone out an bought semi-auto AR15s for $1,500 a piece or they could get M16s for free. As a taxpayer I prefer the latter."

lol. You are one of the funniest comedians I've read in a long time.

Or wait. Maybe you learned that these weapons manufacturers have been giving away their "goods" instead of selling them to the Federal Government which buys them with our tax dollars and then gives them to Local Governments, and now School Departments?
 
 
+6 # jsluka 2014-09-18 22:58
When you fire an M16 or AR15, where do the bullets go? Do they always hit target they are aimed at? Do they go through walls or ricochet and hit unintended targets? I suspect that the last thing you really want to do is fire this sort of weapon - automatic or semiautomatic - at people holding kids hostage, since it would probably hit some of the kids. If you MUST fire in such a situation, presumably it is best that a trained police sniper would fire just one or two rounds and not with an M16 or AR15.
 
 
-21 # jcdav 2014-09-18 10:21
Yeah, and yet as citizens we are constantly under threat from the same armed criminals and we are supposed to go unarmed...go figure.
 
 
+26 # Buddha 2014-09-18 11:05
And yet in every developed nation in the world, private gun ownership is severely limited, and yet they don't have a problem with a huge amount of "armed criminals" preying on their unarmed citizenry, do they? In fact, in those nations, their police forces do their jobs, protect and serve, unarmed. Funny that.
 
 
-14 # arquebus 2014-09-18 11:56
Oh...would you send a list of those countries that don't arm their cops?
 
 
+15 # rockieball 2014-09-18 15:27
Okay I will Here are least 12
1.England
2. Wales
3. Scotland
4. Republic of Ireland
5. New Zealand
6. Iceland
7. Norway
8 Switzerland

To name a few I believe their are a few more. Plus some that limit the type of weapon they can have in their department classification.
Also some
 
 
+9 # rockieball 2014-09-18 15:37
Their are 12 if you count The cook Islands, The Falklands, St Helena, and Pitcairn.
Police such as Scotland yard do carry a gun but they have to sign them out and back in and justify their purpose. In England last year guns were fired by a police in England and Wales was 3 times. the last time their was a fatal shooting by police was in 2005
 
 
+8 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2014-09-18 19:24
I travel to China frequently. The police in China do not carry hand guns, mace, billy clubs, hand cuffs, tasers. Most do not have radios. Yes, China has special forces as do most other countries. Bill Maher, HBO, "Real Time With Bill Maher." He stated that in the "whole country, Germany, 2013, the police fired 49 rounds and 40 of them were warning shots." The Book, "One hundred Of The Most Dangerous Places In The World," the U.S. is listed as one of them.
 
 
+16 # Madmedic 2014-09-18 11:55
Quoting jcdav:
Yeah, and yet as citizens we are constantly under threat from the same armed criminals and we are supposed to go unarmed...go figure.


YET ANOTHER STEAMING PILE OF HYPERBOLE BY ANOTHER GUN LOVING LOONEYTOON!

No one here, or in this article, wrote one word about disarming the public. Your gun loving paranoia shows that you are already a victim of gun violence. You obviously can't think straight (the article and most of the comments relate to removing MILITARY GRADE weapons from the hands of SCHOOL police, not the US citizenry) because of your irrational fear.

Keep trembling little one. No amount of guns, ammo, MRAPS or M-16s is going to quell the obviously debilitating fear (you are so afraid you can't even comprehend the written words in front of you) you have that someone "out there" is trying to seize your precious gun(s).

Guns in the hands of amateurs are NOT THE ANSWER. THEY ARE THE PROBLEM!
 
 
-17 # arquebus 2014-09-18 12:38
Rereading your diatribe raises a couple of questions.

1) What makes you think that a school cops are amateurs. In my experience they get the same training as city cops.

2) Define military grade weapons? Is an M1 Garand a military grade weapon? How about a 1903 Springfield or a Lee Enfield? Answer....they are all military grade weapons all of which have been in civilian hands for upwards of 100 years and are just as deadly as any rifle carried by a US soldier today.
 
 
+8 # Madmedic 2014-09-18 14:02
Quoting arquebus:
Rereading your diatribe raises a couple of questions.

2) Define military grade weapons? Is an M1 Garand a military grade weapon? How about a 1903 Springfield or a Lee Enfield? Answer....they are all military grade weapons all of which have been in civilian hands for upwards of 100 years and are just as deadly as any rifle carried by a US soldier today.


Sorry arquebus, YOU LOSE AGAIN!

The 1903 Springfield and the Enfield, as well as the M1 and M14 rifles are not in the same league as the M16 or even the current semi auto 3 round burst M16s.

The rifles you mention, as well as the M-1 and M-14 were single shot semi auto rifles where it was anticipated that you would actually aim each shot before you squeezed the trigger. The M-16 in either configuration is a "spray and pray" weapon designed to send an avalanche of rounds downrange as quickly as possible to keep an enemy's head down, not necessarily hit them.

US military tactics as far back as Vietnam have been to seek the enemy, engage them (with small arms if necessary), stay low, and then call in artillery or air support to smash them. In today's real combat, the soldier who has to rely only on their sidearm or rifle to win is usually going to come out the loser!

Oh yes, exactly what is your "experience"
that makes you an expert on the training of school police vs. the training of regular police? Please explain your expertise on this subject to the other readers here on RSN.
 
 
+6 # rockieball 2014-09-18 15:29
What makes you think that school cops require M16, Grenade launchers and armored personnel carriers?
 
 
-11 # arquebus 2014-09-18 12:38
Rereading your diatribe raises a couple of questions.

1) What makes you think that a school cops are amateurs. In my experience they get the same training as city cops.

2) Define military grade weapons? Is an M1 Garand a military grade weapon? How about a 1903 Springfield or a Lee Enfield? Answer....they are all military grade weapons all of which have been in civilian hands for upwards of 100 years and are just as deadly as any rifle carried by a US soldier today.
 
 
+19 # Providence 2014-09-18 10:14
I was pretty sure this was Borowitz. I suspect that money is behind the whole military hardware scheme. It's not that complicated or unusual; give the crap away in order to secure more gubmint contracts to build more that can then be given away .... ad nauseam
 
 
-4 # jcdav 2014-09-18 10:26
the machine guns are M16’s (I have been told (by a swat team leader) they are downgraded to fire only semi automatic- one shot for each trigger pull)….but if there are police (also militarized) why arm the school police so heavily armed? …for that matter if this can be justified on timing issues then why not arm qualified teachers?
 
 
+23 # bigkahuna671 2014-09-18 11:42
I'm a retired Marine AND HS teacher. The school I recently retired from had only a few men who had been in the military and only two of those had ever seen combat. They are the only ones I would have trusted in any kind of situation and they probably wouldn't have needed an M16 to diffuse even a Columbine. You don't always need a gun to fight a gun. There are plenty of weapons right out in sight and a trained military man would know how to use them to protect himself and his students, just as a trained person would have been able to stop some of the hijackers. Just range qualifying someone doesn't mean they're psychologically prepared to fire at another person. Until you've been in the crucible you can't really know how you'd respond, so just handing a weapon to a "qualified" teacher doesn't mean they'd be able to handle what's going on.
 
 
+9 # Madmedic 2014-09-18 13:33
BRAVO BIG KAHUNA! By Jove, you've got it!
You speak the truth as only a seasoned warrior can! Lots of gun advocating "armchair warriors" on these message boards, but too damn few who know the truth about just how these kind of events go down.

Far too many of the gun toting amateur maroons on these message boards would find themselves dead and disarmed before they could even get off a shot in many situations.

As for school shooter situations, the real heroes are not the "gun totin' teachers" arquebus fantasizes about, but the ones who lead their students to safety out a back door, or hide them in a locked room or closet, or, in the worst situation, try to shield their students with their bodies (tantamount to a soldier covering a live grenade with their body to save their buddies).

A teacher who abandons their terrified students to go "swap lead" with some miscreant is deserting their post (protecting their students). Further, a teacher who would leave an approach open to a shooter so that they can "return fire" only draws attention to themselves and their charges. Attention that could have been avoided if that same teacher had locked the classroom door.

I could go on and on, but no sense in beating a dead horse.

Bigkahuna671, from one combat veteran to another, I salute you for your wise comments here. I am sure that your students were very well served (educated) by your wisdom.
 
 
-19 # arquebus 2014-09-18 11:59
The police in Ferguson never used high powered weapons...didn' t fire a shot which is surprising since people were shooting at them, trying to incinerate them with molotov cocktails and throwing stuff capable of creating injury. The most aggressive thing they did was toss tear gas out to disperse the mob. Even then, it was CS gas not CN obviously.

And, school police are sworn peace officers just like city or county cops. They just walk a different beat is all.
 
 
+12 # Radscal 2014-09-18 13:48
1. The Ferguson (and County) police did shoot many people, including journalists with "rubber bullets" which of course are bullets with a rubber coating.

2. No cops were shot. Two protesters were shot, allegedly by other protesters. So you believe that armed protesters were so angry at the shooting death of an unarmed teen by a cop, that they decided to shoot other protesters angry at that shooting death, rather than the cops. OK. Makes perfect sense.

3. Where are the videos and photos of these molotov cocktails bursting aflame in the police lines? There were hundreds of media cameras and thousands of civilian cameras there. Why not a single image of police being threatened with flaming bottles of gasoline?

Every word you wrote is propaganda.
 
 
+9 # bigkahuna671 2014-09-18 18:35
There were NO videos of molotovs bursting in flames, nor were there any real accounts of protesters firing on the police. One of the so-called proofs of molotovs was actually a tear gas canister being fired into the crowd. This editorial is about school districts receiving the same kinds of military armaments as PDs like Ferguson got, so writing about Ferguson is stretching the topic a bit. My brother was one of the campus cops provided to the Santee, California MS when a student opened up on classmates due to a bullying incident. Because of his responsibilitie s at another school, he was not on campus to deal with the situation. If schools have arrangements with local police departments and sheriff's offices, they have more access to campus cops. My school has had a police officer on campus for the 13 years I was there. You don't need to arm teachers and staff, just have a physical police presence on campus and that will deter violence.
 
 
+3 # Radscal 2014-09-18 22:55
Ummm, yeah. What you wrote about cops being shot or fire-bombed in Ferguson was pretty much my point. No evidence whatsoever. My comment was a reply to arquebus' claims. I didn't bring up Ferguson, but "shot down" every point arquebus made about it.

Perhaps you meant to reply to arquebus?
 
 
+3 # bigkahuna671 2014-09-19 13:41
No, I was agreeing with you and going a step further. I just wanted to reiterate that we don't need to be discussing Ferguson when we really need to be discussing schools having access to these types of armaments. Our society is so screwed up and it seems no matter what we saner heads say, the extremes of both our right AND left want to bring up something else as arquebus did. When NRA nutcases demand guns in bars, schools, public transjportation , restaurants, office buildings, and open carry in public, I start to fear for our society. To think that Wayne LaPierre, their fearless leader, is not even a military veteran and, in fact, avoided military service by being declared mentally unfit with a diagnosis of severe mental illness makes one wonder about the rest of the membership of that organization. I personally know of a number of NRA members who have never served in the military but love to parade around in their cammies and put all their disgusting bumper stickers on the pickups, low enough of course not to interfere with a good view of their rifle racks. I've confronted them about it and they say it's their right. Okay, but not in schools and other public places, but they argue that's their 2nd Amendment right. I ask, where in the Amendment? They reply they're not sure but it's there in one of the paragraphs. That tells you how little they know about the one sentence Amendment.
 
 
+3 # Radscal 2014-09-19 14:15
I see. Cool.

I have serious misgivings about cops being regularly stationed in schools to begin with, let alone with more firepower and armor than most soldiers "in country" have.

The "chicken hawks" are the worst of the pro-war, pro-2nd Amendment types. Most of the NRA members I know are vets, but in addition to LaPierre, they have Madman Ted Nugent who literally shit his pants during his pre-induction physical!

I had much the same discussion you relate with a co-worker. He was downplaying the "well regulated militia" part and I simply recited the entire Amendment (as you know, not much of a feat) and he tried to say i was misrepresenting it, so we looked it up and he saw I'd quoted it word-for-word.

Then he tried that "mystery comma" argument. lol

Now mind you, I do believe it gives citizens the right to bear arms as the Heller case stated it. Which is to say that it is and always has been constrained by reasonable restrictions.
 
 
+12 # reiverpacific 2014-09-18 10:35
Remember the transition in "Former" times from the S.A. to S.S. to Gestapo and "The Gestapo had the authority to investigate cases of treason, espionage, sabotage and criminal attacks on the Nazi Party and Germany. The basic Gestapo law passed by the government in 1936 gave the Gestapo carte blanche to operate without judicial review—in effect, putting it above the law." (Sources, William Shirer's "Nightmare Years")
While Germany armed itself heavily in preparation for war and world domination.
I don't think that even Hitler went as far as arming schools but then he did have the Hitler Youth, propagandized since infancy with the poison of National Socialist blinkered, racist and censored mindsets to perpetrate the Master race ("We're#1).
Does any of this sound familiar yet.
And remember the arrogant Alexander Haig's statement "Let the march in the streets as long as the pay their taxes"?
Is this a final push towards the Totalitarian Corporate/Milit ary state?
 
 
+7 # mayordoug 2014-09-18 21:49
I have read many books and articles where German citizens just didn't understand how their country became the depraved Nazi land it evolved into. It is frightening to think we in the US are headed downhill into such a condition with so few recognizing the slide. Arming the police and now even school police with this firepower should be abhorrent to every citizen in this nation. Sadly it seems most are blind to the direction we have been heading since G.W. and his handlers have taken over.
 
 
+4 # Radscal 2014-09-18 23:03
Congress approved the transfer of military gear to police departments during the Clinton Administration. The total amounts, both in number of items and the dollar value of them has skyrocketed during the Obama Administration.

I consider this militarization of the police (and other public employees) to be terrifying. But, it's been a thoroughly bipartisan plan from the start.
 
 
+16 # mudwoman 2014-09-18 10:37
I thought at first that this was an Andy Borowitz column! Sadly, it is not. To quote Lily Tomlin: "No matter how cynical you become, it's never enough to keep up."
 
 
+17 # vt143 2014-09-18 10:50
Nothing like a grenade launcher to keep unruly elementary school students in line.
 
 
+22 # fredboy 2014-09-18 10:54
I can't blame them: Imagine what would happen if a clutch of rowdy first graders TURNED ON THEM?

I think the top growth industry since the 9/11 allowed attacks has been PARANOIA.
 
 
+16 # Jaax88 2014-09-18 11:39
arguebus has been thoroughly and rightly dissed.

The comment by Providence is the most interesting to me. I have been thinking along those lines and have wondered why some investigative reporters have not looked into the issue while the government has given away all the military hardware, how much new stuff has the Pentagon being buying and/or receiving in the same period. My suspicion is that the main motivation is not the safety of the police or the public, but just another way to feed the industrial/mili tary beast.
 
 
-17 # arquebus 2014-09-18 12:02
Well....there are M16s and then there are M16s. The military has been carrying them for 50 years and they have been extensively modified. The M16 of today is not the same one used in VietNam.
 
 
+9 # Madmedic 2014-09-18 15:19
Quoting arquebus:
Well....there are M16s and then there are M16s. The military has been carrying them for 50 years and they have been extensively modified. The M16 of today is not the same one used in VietNam.


THERE YOU GO AGAIN arquebus! The M16 in use today is the same platform that was used in Vietnam. There are lots of accessories that can be added on, making the rifle look different, but the basic platform; lower, upper, bolt,bolt carrier, and magazines are basically the same, allowing for interchangeabil ity between today's versions and earlier (VN War)versions.

Yes, there are varients of the rifle available for special purposes, such as Special Forces, close quarters combat, grenade launcher adapter, etc. The flash suppressor and stock may look different, the magazines may be thirty rounds (instead of twenty)and the receiver may not have the old carry handle, but the cartridge is still 5.56 and the parts are, for the most part, still interchangeable

The assertion that today's M16 is not like those used in VN is an easy mistake to make for one who gets their information from war movies and military recruitment ads displaying the latest whiz bang add ons to the M16 platform.

I could go on about other AR/M16 adaptations, such as the AR10, 6.8 SPC, Grendel 6.5, .50 Beowolf, etc., which represent real departures from the basic military M16 AR platform, but I tire of having to correct your erroneous assertions here on RSN...
 
 
+14 # tomtom 2014-09-18 12:20
Surplus? They were paid for with our taxes. Hire a professional sales team to sell these weapons to governments that can't afford the new, top of the line models. Then, use the money toward paying off our National Debt, which was partially caused by buying these weapons, in the first place. It would be interesting to know how much money we spent on all these left-overs, originally?
 
 
+6 # Corvette-Bob 2014-09-18 14:32
Everyone needs weapons. Scalia said that people should be able to have ground to air missiles. I thought about starting a foundation. I would provide AK-47s for kids. What do you think? Good idea?
 
 
+9 # reiverpacific 2014-09-18 14:56
Quoting arquebus:
Oh...would you send a list of those countries that don't arm their cops?


You can start with the UK where I grew up and hope to return to (Scotland) and New Zealand.
But the point is that most civilized countries have strict guidelines for gun ownership and those in which the police are armed -admittedly more than not- only carry light weapons and don't have to become more and more militarized. Many have heavy vehicles and weapons in reserve with specially trained officers in case of a national emergency.
I know of no other country that has anything like the NRA and it's heavily-finance d, powerful lobby, who would have us ALL armed to the teeth and the cops would need even heavier weaponry in an escalating circle of fear and paranoia.
Neither do I know of another country in which gun-ownership is such an overwhelming issue and almost a rite of passage for kids, especially boys; maybe Canada but they don't have the murder rate and barely suppressed anger at "Something" that the US has.
 
 
+4 # jsluka 2014-09-18 23:11
Just for general information, in New Zealand 'everyday' cops don't carry guns but they do have tazers and pepper spray. They don't wear bullet-proof vests, but they do wear stab-resistant vests. The unarmed cops are backed by the Armed Defenders Squad, who look and are armed pretty much like an American SWAT team, but they don't have any armored vehicles. I believe that the police sergeants or shift supervisors have guns in their vehicles so they can be quickly distributed to the regular unarmed officers if they need them. Finally, New Zealand has strict gun ownership laws. I would guess this is similar to what you find in places like the UK and Ireland.
 
 
+9 # futhark 2014-09-18 19:01
The students at my local high school spend quite a bit of their time in the computer lab playing "Killing Floor", in which they pursue each other through a 3-D cyber battleground and attempt mutual assassination with a variety of weapons. During homecoming week there is even a tournament in which the classes compete against each other in teams.

Now with the school potentially able to acquire real military hardware and the students already in principle adept at handling it, as well as comfortable with the idea that humans are legitimate targets for lethal recreational target practice, there may be little standing in the way of a escalating series of holocaust events that could make the Columbine High School massacre look tame by comparison.

"Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning?" -- George W. Bush, Florence, South Carolina, Jan. 11, 2000
 
 
+4 # Radscal 2014-09-18 23:13
Great post. And thank you for tying together the violent video games with an increased likelihood of actual violence. I do not understand why so many people want to deny that.

Last week I read an article about some private college offering scholarships for what it called "e-athletes." Yep. up to $60,000 scholarships for video gamers!
 
 
+2 # Glen 2014-09-19 12:05
Yes, futhark, kids are losing contact with the world around them, instead of engaging in activities outside and with sensitive real people. Their parents have also lost touch. No more environmental awareness and no situational awareness. Only a closed mental world of the ego.

Thank you for the George W. quote. I had all but forgotten that.
 
 
+3 # psutton@du.edu 2014-09-19 09:36
When I read this at first I thought it was a Borowitz satire piece. Wow. Grenade launchers for school districts. The big irony to me is that conservatives are worried about a government takeover and they simultaneously support this sort of madness. Yikes.
 
 
+1 # elizabethblock 2014-09-20 08:32
I'm reminded of the beginning of the film "Canadian Bacon." The Cold War is over, and the US military is selling off unneeded weapons - somebody buys a Cruise missile for $25 and takes it home on the roof rack of his car.
 

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