Obama bans transfer of military equipment.

Last week, President Obama announced an executive order banning the transfer and use of certain military equipment for police departments. The ban was enacted because, “…the substantial risk of misusing or overusing these items, which are seen as military in nature, could significantly undermine community trust and may encourage tactics and behaviors inconsistent with the premise of civilian law enforcement.” If I were a member of law enforcement I would find this especially insulting. Mr. Obama makes the assumption that police officers and sheriff’s deputies are either too incompetent or too barbaric to handle military hardware responsibly or differently. The ban includes armed aircraft, tracked armored vehicles, bayonets, grenade launchers, .50 caliber or higher ammunition, and camouflage clothing.
This latest executive order is disingenuous since many of the banned items aren’t even used by law enforcement. Law enforcement doesn’t, and has never utilized armed aircraft, tracked armored vehicles, .50 caliber rifles or bayonets at any time. Armed aircraft are, if I’m not mistaken, illegal for law enforcement, tracked armored vehicles are too expensive to maintain, .50 caliber rifles are unnecessary
for shots of 400 yards or less which is covers the vast majority of hostage situations, and bayonets can’t be used defensively. The only piece of military equipment police officers and sheriff’s deputies use are grenade launchers but, those are used differently by law enforcement. The army and navy utilize grenade launchers to kill people with fragmentation or concussive explosives; the police use grenade launchers to fire teargas and other non-lethal ammunition such as beanbag rounds. Despite what politicians and those in the media may say police officers and sheriff’s deputies don’t go on “search and destroy” missions.
The president went on to say, “…we’ve seen how militarized gear can sometimes give people a feeling like there’s an occupying force as opposed to a force that’s part of the community, that’s protecting them and serving them. It can alienate and intimidate local residents, and send the wrong message.” This statement is dishonest and infuriating. His statement is dishonest for he gives the impression that armored vehicles and police officers dressed in riot gear are routinely patrolling poor neighborhoods. In reality, armored vehicles and body armor only appear during hostage situations, serving dangerous arrest warrants, and of course during civil unrest. I have friends and acquaintances who are serving in the military and in law enforcement so, I know this to be true. Apparently, President Obama believes police departments use military hardware the same way as military personnel, they don’t.
The aforementioned executive order will also place stricter controls on other equipment provided by the federal government such as wheeled armored vehicles, manned aircraft and drones, specialized firearms, explosives, battering rams, riot batons, helmets and shields. Beginning in October, police will have to get approval from their city council, mayor or some other local governing body to obtain such equipment, provide a persuasive argument why it is needed, and have more training and data collection on the use of the hardware. Another disingenuous action. Law enforcement agencies have required civilian approval since this country was founded. Do you know of any police agencies that have never been able to purchase equipment or hire employees without civilian approval? You know why not, because it’s up to city councils and other similar bodies to approve all funding! This action is also disingenuous because it won’t prevent large sheriff’s and police departments from obtaining such equipment; just the smaller departments. Large departments have been purchasing such equipment long before 9/11 and this transfer program. Does anyone sincerely believe this executive will do anything to reduce the animosity between the police and the public? This executive order is nothing but slight of hand! President Obama must think we the people will believe everything he says or does. Police agencies don’t use the banned military equipment and don’t arrest or kill people indiscriminately. In addition the majority of law enforcement aren’t incompetent either. I for one am glad the police are there to protect and serve.


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