Gun Forums banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,139 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
An article featured at LewRockwell.com:

A Dangerous Game of Dress-Up

by Rob Blackstock

This past weekend found me in Natchitoches, Louisiana, the oldest permanent settlement in the Louisiana Purchase and the home of Lasyone’s, the restaurant which makes the world’s greatest meat pies. The residents of Natchitoches were having yet another music festival (there are more festivals than work days in Natchitoches) and revelers had arrived from all over.

Lined up along one side of the ancient, brick street was an immense gathering of motorcycles and their owners. Nearer to Cane River Lake were several horses accompanied by riders. Looking from the motorcyclists covered in leather, fringe, appropriately logo-ed tee shirts and bandanas, to the horsemen wearing hats, boots, buckles and spurs, it suddenly dawned on me why both motorcycling and horseback riding are so popular: both activities allow grown men to play dress-up.

When I was young, Harley riders were a hard lot. Tattooed, dirty, often possessing a criminal record a mile long, they were people to be avoided at all costs. Today, most Harley riders you see are professionals with a career, a mortgage and 2.6 kids. Riding a Harley and wearing the officially licensed merchandise allows them to pretend to be something they are not; a gang member, feared by decent folk. A desperado of the open road; an easy rider.

Weekend cowboys are no different. If a person honestly loved to be on the back of a horse and that was all there was to it, there would be no reason to spend $100 on a Stetson and a giant belt buckle. Those accoutrements allow the rider to escape reality and assume a new identity; a lone cowboy riding the trail, looking for doggies lost from the herd. Weathered, grizzled. A dangerous hombre.

See? Playing dress-up.

I imagine that many a modern day Heck’s Angel would throw his palm pilot down in complete disgust were he to hear me say such a thing. "Just wait until I finish the Davidson account," he would roar, "and then we’ll see who’s playing dress-up!" Vroom! Vroom!

There is nothing wrong with playing dress-up. If you want to dress like a Confederate soldier and march around a field all weekend, go ahead. There is absolutely no harm in doing so.

My great fear is that there is another group playing dress-up today, and their actions do cause harm.


Source of picture: St. Petersburg Times.

The militarization of the police

How many of you remember the TV show SWAT from the mid 70’s? Robert Urich and his team would roll into a dangerous situation in their big, blue van with the best theme music this side of Peter Gunn blaring in the background. As a child, I loved it. It appears that many other people my age also loved it. Since the early 80’s, the number of SWAT team deployments have increased from approximately 3,000 per year to more than 40,000 every year.

40,000. Really. A 13-fold increase in 25 years. Why?

SWAT teams are now used by police departments to perform jobs that normal, uniformed officers once handled.

* Illegal gambling? People voluntarily coming together and playing Texas Hold-em? Send in SWAT! (see the video here)
* Suspect that a high school student might have marijuana in his locker? Send in SWAT and terrorize all of the students! [The school’s] surveillance cameras and a police camera… show students as young as 14 forced to the ground in handcuffs as officers in SWAT team uniforms and bulletproof vests aim guns at their heads and lead a drug dog to tear through their book bags… No drugs or weapons were found during the raid and no charges were filed. (Source: ACLU)
* Elderly women in their homes minding their own business? Send in SWAT!
Ms. [Kathryn] Johnston, who was at least 88 years old, was killed in a barrage of gunfire after narcotics officers burst through the front door of her home without warning last Nov. 21. Apparently fearing for her life, Ms. Johnston, who lived in a high-crime neighborhood, met the officers with a gun. (Source: NYT)
* Heck, let’s just send in SWAT now and ask questions later! The CATO Institute maintains an interactive map tracking and documenting dozens of botched paramilitary raids throughout the U.S.

But it doesn’t stop there. Once a police department forms a SWAT team, the military attitude is adopted by the other members of the force. Today, we see not just SWAT members, but patrolmen moving about our towns wearing jump boots and flak jackets… just like the military. Unfortunately, once a person adopts the military mindset, the focus is no longer to assist, to help and to be the peacemaker, but rather to intimidate, to force and to destroy.

Look at what happened in MacArthur Park this past Monday. Police in riot gear (read: military garb) decided to disperse an overwhelmingly peaceful demonstration and assaulted with batons and rubber bullets everyone who did not cower and flee at their coming, including the female reporters attempting to film the despicable scene. Watch this video until the end and you will be reminded of China’s Tiananmen Square as paramilitary-police batter a man attempting to support an American flag while another policeman uses his baton on a woman splayed in the dirt.

I fear things will become even worse in the future. The paramilitary-police are now being glamorized on TV once again. But this time the shows are not fiction as they were in the 70’s but real life episodes. Dallas SWAT on A&E TV follows the (surprise) Dallas SWAT team as they carry out no-knock warrants on unsuspecting bad guys. The videos provided in the preceding link allow the viewer to watch the SWAT team pump themselves up, destroy private property and drag dangerous perps from their homes. I’m still trying to understand why the police have a tank… probably to protect us from drug-dealing Soviets.

Nothing good can come of having the military patrolling our streets, and make no mistake, the police are becoming militarized, and doing so with the help of the Federal Government. How long before our towns are nothing more than caricatures of old Nazi movies where citizens rush home lest they be approached by soldiers asking for identification? ("Papers please!" But it must be spoken with a German accent. Also, any movie with "papers please," must also have the line, "You are veak, Fader, Veeeak!")

Maybe I’m overreacting. But I don’t think so. Since the Supreme Court threw out the "knock and announce" rule concerning police who serve warrants, there is nothing to stop SWAT teams from tearing off the side of your home, dragging you and your family out of your beds, seizing your belongings and shooting your pets while giving you little or no notice as to these invaders’ identity. Amusingly (or not), several newspaper investigations have shown that less than half of all no-knock warrants have resulted in contraband or arrests. I’m sure that fact is comforting to people who have watched helplessly as their small children were seized and handcuffed by armed men wearing black hoods.

Until we, the honest citizens, say "no more!" to an armed military in our streets, things will only get worse. How long before we are the occupied territory? How long before we are the ones trapped behind the "blue" curtain? How long before our neighbors are "disappeared" in the night?

Maybe I’m overreacting. But I don’t think so.

May 4, 2007

Source - http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig6/blackstock7.html

- Janq

P.S. - I don't totally agree with this view but IMHO he makes some good points and observations. As such I figured you guys here might appreciate as much.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
191 Posts
He didn't mention the practice of "You're not under arrest, but I'm going to put these handcuffs on you. They're for your safety."

Am I under arrest?
No, you're being detained pertinent to an ongoing investigation.
How is that any different?
I have to file less paperwork.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
191 Posts
Then they should say: Sir (or Madam), procedures require that I place you in handcuffs during the initial part of this investigation until I have determined to my satisfaction that you do not represent a danger to yourself or others.

I don't object to the handcuffs per se, but to the lie of 'for your own protection' part. If they really wanted to protect me, they'd place everybody else in handcuffs. :lol:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,281 Posts
brucelee said:
Being detained and arrested are two VERY different things.
as true as that might be, from the detainees point of view, they dont fully understand. its easy enough to say that, being a friggin cop and all.

and it IS for your safety. if you where delirious and confused and stood up and started walking around or making violent gestures, a SWAT member would shoot you. if your delirious and confused and start making violent gestures, with your hands cuffed behind your back, you just get a boot square in the chest and told to sit the hell down.

its also for everyone else's safety. i dont know but when i see this scenario being argued, i always seem to think about that scene from Inside Man with Clive Owen, when they blow the front doors and EVERYONE inside the bank gets zip-cuffed and 'detained'. in many situations where SWAT is involved, the enemy is not fully known, and everyone in the vicinity is a potential BG.

besides, is it really THAT big of a deal? its not like your getting tortured for information on a 'well it could be him' basis. its an hour of your life tops spent in discomfort so a small group of LEO's can do their job with a little less to worry about.
 

·
Annihilator
Joined
·
4,782 Posts
Nose Nuggets said:
besides, is it really THAT big of a deal? its not like your getting tortured for information on a 'well it could be him' basis. its an hour of your life tops spent in discomfort so a small group of LEO's can do their job with a little less to worry about.
I can understand how it can be a big deal to someone who feels uncomfortable with law enforcement, or someone who doesn't know if they are being detained or arrested (not knowing the difference)... To them, they are being arrested for the moment, and who likes being arrested?

It's not a big deal to me or you as we know the difference and are well versed with our laws/rights and fully understand that the officers are just doing their jobs. If I walked onto a crime scene, I know nothing about it and I need to gather as much info as I can and I need to find out what everyone's role was... If I felt unsafe and that my life or that the crime scene is in danger, I would detain suspects until I gathered the necessary information.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
264 Posts
Getting put in such a vulnerable position (handcuffed) with a bunch of paramilitary cops around would make me VERY uncomfortable. I can understand why innocent people sometimes end up running from LEOs. It's freaky to have to trust someone like that when you've NEVER met them especially with all the fraudulent police crap you hear about.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,143 Posts
Petrus said:
Getting put in such a vulnerable position (handcuffed) with a bunch of paramilitary cops around would make me VERY uncomfortable. I can understand why innocent people sometimes end up running from LEOs. It's freaky to have to trust someone like that when you've NEVER met them especially with all the fraudulent police crap you hear about.

as uncomfortable as it sounds - its far more uncomfortable IRL



CN: McCrackin got tossed onto the hood of a cruizer around 1pm in the mid August AZ summer by a SWAT officer


i had scheduled my CCW class which was that coming weekend - none the less in AZ open carry is permited - which means in your vehicle when an officer approaches the car your weapon must be in the safe condition and in plain view


when i got pulled over coming back from my lunch break - i dropped the mag and emptied the camber and placed all 3 peices on the dash of my lifted desert truck


the SWAT guy was too short to see the dash completely and when it caught his eye - he opened my door and drug my ass outa my vehicle, cuffed me and slammed me on the hood of his dark colored police cruizer


it wasnt fun
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,281 Posts
i suppose it depends on the situation. if i got yanked out of my car or just run up on and cuffed, sure i would probably verbally argue with the officer. but if im in a situation where SWAT is involved, im not sure i would be worrying to much about about the validity of the SWAT members.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,143 Posts
Nose Nuggets said:
i suppose it depends on the situation. if i got yanked out of my car or just run up on and cuffed, sure i would probably verbally argue with the officer. but if im in a situation where SWAT is involved, im not sure i would be worrying to much about about the validity of the SWAT members.

agreed - 2 different scenarios


full swat team = total cooperation


single swat guy = bad times
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top