Monday, September 01, 2008

Two Great Tastes That -- Um, Maybe Not!

I think very highly of the men and women who work in law enforcement; I respect their Agencies and Departments.

And I'm a gunnie. A sometime recoil-junkie, who upon hearing full-auto fire at the range has been known to remark, "That's the happiest sound I know!"

Still, this is plain nuts. (Go have a peek, then come back). APCs for SWAT teams, okay; they're gonna be takin' fire and it make sense to expose them no more than is needful. APC packin' a Ma Deuce, the combo then named The Peacemaker? Sheriff, were we expectin' a coup? "Peacemaker?" Perhaps in the Roman sense -- Tacitus, quoting a captured Celt anent Roman troops: "They make a wasteland and call it peace." And troops seems to be the right term; let us hope they are as well-drilled and self-disciplined as the soldiers they appear to be.

It's more than a bit over the top. I'm sure somebody's gonna take me to task for bein' critical here but what works in a war zone might not be such a good idea for law enforcement in Anytown, U.S.A. When LEOs went to outshoot their suspects, we got helicopter firebombings, Waco and Ruby Ridge; when peace officers set out to outthink them instead, not such a tricky thing to do, we got the Indianapolis Baptist Temple standoff, a tense and touchy situation you probably didn't even hear about, resolved by a U. S. Marshall who figured the Feds could outwait anybody, without having to resort to any goofy PsyOps tricks or anything other than good old cop iron-assed stubbornness. It worked, too.

Smart works better than strong a lot of the time-- but strong's more temptingly faster. The Sheriff who bought this beast implies it is a weapon to terrible to use. Gee, I've never heard that before.

Found via Radly Balko. Check out the comments at his site!


Anonymous said...

A Browning .50 for local law enforcement? Umm, folks, that's a belt-fed crew served weapon.

I hope the locality reviewed this with their insurers. While local officials CAN be immune to criminal charges in the course of public duties, ya still got liability to worry about.

One thing management consultants to law enforcement are continually reminding, "You're now peace officers, not combat infantry. Act accordingly."

Sounds to me like the localities' other elected officials need to schedule a meeting with said sheriff. And talk to the sheriff's political people.

Anonymous said...

It's illegal for a US soldier (and other signatories of the Geneva Convention) to fire a .50 cal at a human. The .50 is to be used as an anti-material weapon only and I cannot honestly think of a situation that would require the police to have and use such a weapon.

I think the police chief that okayed this watched Die Hard one to many times.


Anonymous said...

The cops need to spend the money on better intel, not M2's. Not to mention a .50 round from an MG is going to go through an entire block of homes in an urban setting. Police already have M16's, SMG's and plenty of other toys. No, I'm not anti cop, not by a long shot, but the police need to back away from militancy; they serve and protect the people.

Anonymous said...

Just another case of them being "better than" the rest of us.

I'm surprised they weren't wearing balaclavas too.

Anonymous said...

"It's illegal for a US soldier (and other signatories of the Geneva Convention) to fire a .50 cal at a human. "

Uhmm... NO. It's perfectly legal to shoot anything up to, and including artillery at personnel so long as it's not an "expanding" bullet", so no explosive rounds(IE Raufoss Mk211), but regular APIT? Sure. There was actually a JAG ruling that you might be interested in, about the Sierra Match King commonly used in sniper rifles is technically a hollowpoint, and was temporirally banned. It was then ruled that the hollowpoint was a remnent of manufacturing, and not so it will expand. It was therefore put back into use.

John A said...

Not entirely new, upscale weaponry. Some months back over at I saw an article about 1920s-era New York City cops with armored motorcycles complete with armored sidecar carrying a Thompson-toting colleague. Post-WWII half-tracks were popular. Milsurp stuff can be [relatively] cheap.

But yeah, a personnel carrier [Bradley?] with a crew-served machine gun does seem extreme.

J.R.Shirley said...

'Course, if everyone had one, it'd be no big deal...

Brass, htrn is right. I've had two lectures from JAG officers about this issue.

This is a M113, not a Bradley.