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America 'Has Become a War Zone' 875

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the local-weed-dealer-mines-front-yard dept.
An anonymous reader writes, quoting Business Insider: "Eight different law enforcement agencies in Indiana have purchased massive Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles (MRAP) that were formerly used in Iraq and Afghanistan, Mark Alesia reports for the Indy Star. Pulaski County, home to 13,124 people, is one of the counties that have purchased an 55,000 pound, six-wheeled patrol vehicles, from military surplus. When asked to justify the purchase of a former military vehicle, Pulaski County Sheriff Michael Gayer told the Indy Star: "The United States of America has become a war zone."'
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America 'Has Become a War Zone'

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  • Junk (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 09, 2014 @07:21PM (#47199185)

    Most of the MRAPs are junk. The only thing they're really good at is absorbing a blast coming from under the vehicle. They're unstable and they guzzle fuel because of their weight and lack of aerodynamics. The citizens should be more concerned about how much of the municipal budget is going into fueling these pieces of shit.

  • by Mashiki (184564) <mashiki&gmail,com> on Monday June 09, 2014 @07:46PM (#47199335) Homepage

    This is why I constantly fear for my life and don't ever go out after dark in the multicultural hell hole of violence and degeneracy that is Canada.

    You must live in Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa, London, or Saskatoon then. They're all at varying points of degeneracy and violence, some of them are almost to detroit levels from the 90's. An example: Saskatoon(pop ~260k) has a murder rate than NYC(pop ~8.4m).

  • by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Monday June 09, 2014 @08:46PM (#47199667) Homepage Journal

    Exceptionally good example of logic.

    Call me less disciplined, but I am convinced that increased gun ownership actually causes crime to go down. Strict rules of cause and effect be damned - empirical evidence weighs in on my side. Time and again, when cities and states make gun laws stricter, crime increases. And, repeatedly, when gun laws are relaxed, there is a short initial period of increased violence, followed by a decidedly downward trend in crime.

    Many criminals are just plain stupid, but not all. The criminal who is not outright stupid understands the risk of assaulting an armed citizen. Like any corporate shark, the common criminal is going to minimize his risks whenever possible. If he's pretty sure that 50% or more of his potential victims are armed, he is going to get very choosy about which victims to hit. Heck, even stupid people seldom WANT to be shot!

    Further, the most dangerous cities to live in today, are precisely those cities with the strictest gun control.

    The preponderence of evidence is enough for me.

  • by chihowa (366380) * on Monday June 09, 2014 @09:00PM (#47199757)

    I got pulled over for speeding through a notorious speed trap in a little town with 400 residents and the cop walked to up me with no less than four 30 round magazines for his M4 strapped to his belt. There is quite literally no crime in this town besides people speeding on the stretch of highway that runs through it and he feels he must have immediate access to 150 rounds for a rifle. The mind boggles.

    I couldn't help but actually laugh out loud at him when he waddled up to the window (which didn't help my suave talk-myself-out-of-the-ticket routine at all). It was almost comic in an over the top disturbing way.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 09, 2014 @09:36PM (#47199943)

    Police shootings are not violent crime. The prisons are full. The sooner local government bands of thugs can wipe out a city block at a time, the sooner the National fascists can back to the job of not caring. You Americans really deserve this. You have your armies acting like police and your police acting like armies. How is THAT for a relevant point?

  • by Shadowmist (57488) on Monday June 09, 2014 @09:51PM (#47200019)

    Lastly, and more of a concern than the two previous is that a majority of police training today is geared toward attacking the public. There have been ample leaks from DHS training materials showing this to be true. Military and Law Enforcement agencies are using material claiming that "Patriots" and "Tea Party" type groups are potential terrorists.

    This is not an unfounded concern. America has had periods where every now and then it became fashionable for whackos to gather in para-military groups put together frequently in reaction to progressive strides the country had made. In the post Civil War period it was the Klu Klux Klan drawn originally from Ex-Confederate troops. In more modern times there were Fascist and Nazi-Sympathizer BUNDS that would form for pretty much the same motivation only with anti-Semitism and anti-Catholicism spiced with a good deal of anti-immigrant hatred. When you put this together that the largest recent surge in gun ownership was not driven by a reasonable fear of crime, but the unreasoned fear by the election of a Black President, lots of things tend to add up. These studies aren't targeting the Tea Party, they are a recognition that the Tea Party DOES draw in a lot of the extreme whacko type among it's members. Gun ownership and crime are harder things to track, but what we are seeing in a new wave of shootings is a rise of impulse shootings, which have no real clear end to them... not even the survival of the shooters. So when it comes to trying to correlate trends in gun ownership, the real question to be asked is who's now buying guns in greater quantities than before. If the rise is that of the impulse, especially fear or angst-driven buyer than the decrease in crime is DESPITE the increase in gun ownership, not because of it.

  • by amicusNYCL (1538833) on Monday June 09, 2014 @09:58PM (#47200055)

    might as well snap them up if the price is good.

    That's what I noticed about the list of things they bought at the end of the article. They're getting M-14 rifles for $120 each, .45 pistols for $58.71, M-16s for $120, etc. Hell, if I was getting discounts like that I might buy an armored vehicle also.

    That being said, a sheriff saying that America is a war zone when it is clearly not and using that as an excuse is pretty damn worrying. If you want better equipment, fine, say that. But when I walk outside my house, a war zone is not what I see. Sort of makes you wonder that, if America is a war zone, who are the police fighting against?

  • This is the result (Score:4, Interesting)

    by markdavis (642305) on Monday June 09, 2014 @10:17PM (#47200113)

    This is the result of the militarization of the police:
    http://www.cato.org/raidmap [cato.org]

  • by tquasar (1405457) on Monday June 09, 2014 @10:44PM (#47200207)
    I drive through "Check Points" on major roads and highways in San Diego County staffed by mostly friendly agents who wave me to proceed on my journey. But I am scanned by an array of sensors, maybe as many as fifteen, two miles ahead of the choke point and another array near their location that is kind of intimidating. By the time I get to their station they know more about me than I do! The sites have "Stadium Lighting" at night that is blinding and destroys night vision. There is no "opt out". But I enjoy the attention, thank you for protecting me, I guess....
  • by oobayly (1056050) on Tuesday June 10, 2014 @12:59AM (#47200605)

    While I completely agree with you on the violence being cultural rather than due solely to firearm ownership rates, I do have to disagree with you about Scandinavia having higher ownership rates. According to this [wikipedia.org] the US (89/100 people) has 53% more firearms per person than Serbian (58/100 people) who is second in the list. Sweden and Norway are ranked 10th and 11th respectively with almost 32/100 people.

    This is a list of privately owned firearms, not possession, so state owned firearms (like in Switzerland) are not included. However to bring the possession rate of Sweden up to the ownership rate in the US, the government would have to give a firearm to every 2nd person.

    One of the reasons why gun control works isn't because it stops sociopaths doing crazy things, it works because it's a lot harder to damage with a knife than a TEC-9 in one hand and a shotgun in the other [wikipedia.org]. I was appalled when I came across this page detailing US school shootings [wikipedia.org] while looking up the numbers.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 10, 2014 @01:34AM (#47200689)

    Considering the fact that the USA's major source of violent crime comes from fewer than fifteen counties (that's right,counties...not states), logically, the remainder USA must be a remarkably safe place to be, despite all of the guns, all of the media violence.

    The US has very poor areas with low violence rates, very rich places with low violence rates, and it has places where the very rich and the very poor share the same relatively cramped geography. The trend is the violence is most often found in the latter. My belief is the greatest contribution to violence is wildly varying income disparity.

  • by iserlohn (49556) on Tuesday June 10, 2014 @01:58AM (#47200751) Homepage

    First of all, the level of firearm ownership in an area does have an effect on the firearm homicide rate. It correlates -

    http://ajph.aphapublications.o... [aphapublications.org]

    Violent crime has gone down in most of the industrialized world over the past 3 decades, regardless of whether a country restricts firearms or not -

    http://rgambler.com/2013/11/03... [rgambler.com]
    http://jpo.wrlc.org/bitstream/... [wrlc.org]
    http://www.economist.com/news/... [economist.com]

    However, America's violent crime rate is much higher than most developed countries -

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/201... [rawstory.com]
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C... [wikipedia.org]

    The growing consensus (in public policy circles at least) these days is that it is not gun ownership that is causing this violence, but the American gun culture -

    http://www.businessweek.com/ar... [businessweek.com]
    http://world.time.com/2012/12/... [time.com]
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/t... [www.cbc.ca]

    The problem is that we keep looking at gun ownership rates The Swiss has high levels of gun ownership, but they also have a very strict culture of gun safety and training. Men are required to undergo military training and be in the reserves for 10 years, keeping their sealed army-issued firearm at home or in the Zeughaus, for use in case of invasion. Thus, they have lots of guns, but little gun crime.

    Now, the question is how do you measure gun culture? In America you have this issues with two main groups poisoning the culture - the gangs and the "don't tread on me" types. How can you design a study to measure the effect of this culture on gun crime?

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