AEIdeas

The public policy blog of the American Enterprise Institute

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Discussion: (32 comments)

  1. Steven Hales

    Warrior Pigs

    By all objective measures we are now living in the most peaceful time in our history yet our police are more heavily armed than ever before. Who are they afraid of?

    1. And why do we tolerate it?

      1. morganovich

        well, at least we do not have secret courts that are taking away our rights in secret opinions that are not subject to review or appeal.

        oh, wait…

        1. Benjamin Cole

          Spying? If you give power to a government, that power will be expanded and abused.

          The power to tax, the power to regulate…and the power to spy.

          The drug war has created an entire class of snooping, from wiretapping, to secret cameras, to e-mail stealing, to bugging, to opening packages send by mail or courier, to plainsclothes or undercover cops, to snitches and informants, to coerced “witnesses” and on and on.

          You never heard of Hoover? This entire spy apparatus can be used for ideological or political ends.

          You think only the IRS can be abused?

          All this is true for the NSA also.

          We live in a world where the “enemy” is a few punk terrorists.

          It is reasonable now to be more afraid of government than terrorist or some potheads.

          plus you are paying taxes up the wazoo to support all of this….

    2. Citizen Buddy

      Why do we tolerate “Warrior Pigs”?

      Paramilitary officers checking on potential underage drinking by UVA co-eds or food and alcohol restaurant inspections seems intolerable.

      Is it tolerable to have warrior cops ready to confront real threats? Is it justified to train and arm cops for potential warfare in the course of their work of patrolling communities or serving warrants?

      If semi-automatic weapons is the level of tolerance for general carry by the citizenry, then the police need at least that level of lethality.

      1. Citizen Buddy

        The episode that contributed the most to the tolerance of arming police more heavily is the North Hollywood, CA bank robbery, Feb. 28th, 1997.

        From “5 Gunfights That Changed Law Enforcement”:

        “The Los Angeles officers who found themselves under a barrage of heavy machine-gun fire from the North Hollywood bank robbers quickly realized that their 9mm pistols and shotguns were ineffective against the armored gunmen.

        Officers responding to the Bank of America branch along Laurel Canyon Boulevard on Feb. 28, 1997, engaged Larry Phillips, Jr. and Emil Matasareanu from the cover of a locksmith shop across a four-lane thoroughfare. Officers typically trained at 25 yards with 9mm handguns fired from 70 yards, attempting to answer the military-style rifles—a full-auto Romanian AIM AK-47 variant, Norinco Type 56 S-1, semi-auto HK91, and modified Bushmaster XM15 E2S—used by the suspects, who had loaded 3,300 rounds of ammo in box and drum magazines in the trunk of their white Chevy Celebrity.

        Nine officers were wounded, and one LAPD Crown Vic squad car was hit at least 56 times during a gun battle that lasted 44 minutes. During the blistering gunfight, 650 rounds were fired at the suspects, who fired 1,101 rounds at officers.

        With his troops outgunned, Lt. Nick Zingo authorized officers to head to nearby BB & Sales Guns to acquire rifles to match the ones fired by the suspects.

        1. The police weren’t outgunned, the criminals were up-armored. This did present a problem for police using firearms and skill levels designed for un-armored, unskilled civilians. Question, how often do police encounter up-armored criminals?

          But then, the Honolulu police found themselves in a similar situation when they attempted to use light, but lots, of 9mm ammo against Tyke when he went rogue in Honolulu. Should police also carry elephant guns?

          1. Citizen Buddy

            “Question, how often do police encounter up-armored criminals?”

            If up-armory is semi-automatic guns then it is a chronic happening.

            Police should not have to run to the local gun store to meet and overcome the lethality of criminals in a hostile situation.

            “Should police also carry elephant guns?”

            Ask the travelling circus if their pachyderms are packing.
            That will tell the tale for you.

      2. Cit

        Paramilitary officers checking on potential underage drinking by UVA co-eds or food and alcohol restaurant inspections seems is intolerable.

        There’s a difference between appropriate response to a dangerous situation and positive actions such as serving warrants and checking kid’s IDs. I don’t think anyone would fault police for responding to a threat as they did in the North Hollywood bank robbery, but I think you’ll agree that was a fairly uncommon event that we don’t likely see often. After all, the robbery failed.

        As far as I know, most police patrol units now carry semi-automatic weapons as well as, or in place of a shotgun, and additional firepower is available for backup.

        1. Citizen Buddy

          “is”

          OK Ron, make that: is not tolerable.

          Ron, what if we were members of the task force enforcing co-ed underage drinking or neighborhood restaurant health raids?

          We could be collecting fat pensions for confronting lethality of push-up bras and aprons. You would have gotten extra pay for being the training officer and I for overtime. :-)

          1. We could be collecting fat pensions for confronting lethality of push-up bras and aprons. You would have gotten extra pay for being the training officer and I for overtime.

            Cit, I agree. I understand the incentives, but don’t underestimate the trouble you can get in because of push-up bras. :)

            By the way, at the conclusion of the North Hollywood shootout it’s reported that the ambulance was unable to reach the 2nd bank robber who was lying in the street wounded for over an hour. That is most likely true, but my police sources tell me the delay was due to the police at the scene denying EMTs access to Matasareanu until he had bled out from his 20 gunshot wounds.

            Not sure whether I’m upset by that or not.

  2. “2. Related to #1? Chicago gun violence soars: 67 Shot, 11 Killed in Chicago over July 4 weekend.”

    Well, it’s certainly related to the War on Poverty and the War on Guns.

    These aren’t middle class, white picket fence homeowners slaughtering each other in the streets.

    1. Paul

      Well, it’s certainly related to the War on Poverty and the War on Guns.

      These aren’t middle class, white picket fence homeowners slaughtering each other in the streets.

      How do you know that? Perhaps I didn’t read the article carefully enough, but I don’t recall any description of the victims or shooters beyond age, gender, and type of wound. I’ll reread the article to see if I missed something. :)

      1. Ron,

        “How do you know that?”

        Because although it’s politically incorrect to say it, it’s the same problem demographic in Chicago and every single city in America with a violent crime crisis. It’s why Stop-and-Frisk (although a violation of civil liberties) is a smashing success in NYC and other cities that try it:

        http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/01/02/us/chicago-killings.html?_r=0

        1. morganovich

          paul-

          so just to be clear here, you are fine with tossing out the constitution if it seems expedient?

          1. Morganovich,

            No. I’m not “fine” with it, but let’s not pretend the murder rate won’t skyrocket again in NY if Stop-and-Frisk type policies are outlawed. It’s quite easy to scream about profiling from our gated communities in lily white suburbia.

            And speaking of the Constitution, it’s already been tossed. The unconstitutional War-on-Poverty has for several generations now paid the least intelligent, most irresponsible members of society to breed out the same. Also, unconstitutional gun control leaves good responsible citizens at the mercy of murderous criminals.

            So no, I’m not fine with tossing the Constitution. I am, however, against only enforcing part of it. Once we go down that road, the only way to save civilization may be to violate it further via unsavory tools that clearly work like Stop-and-Frisk.

          2. morganovich

            paul-

            that seems like a very dangerous line of reasoning.

            we could likely reduce many sorts of crime by allowing police to arrest people and hold them indefinitely without charges or to allow police, without a warrant, to enter any dwelling or business at will and search and seize anything they want.

            that hardly seems like a good reason to permit such activity.

            trampling basic rights to achieve expedient outcomes is not worth it. once it starts, where does it end.

            arguments that the constitution has already been thrown out are an appeal to practice fallacy and 2 wrongs make a right thinking.

            your argument is self defeating.

            if you wish to uphold the constitution, then work to eliminate the laws that violate it, not to add new violations which take us even further from it.

            such an argument is aching to saying that because you robbed ron, i can rob mark.

          3. Morganovich,

            “that seems like a very dangerous line of reasoning.”

            Totally agree. I don’t do it lightly.

            “we could likely reduce many sorts of crime by allowing police to arrest people and hold them indefinitely without charges or to allow police, without a warrant, to enter any dwelling or business at will and search and seize anything they want.”

            Sure. i get that.

            “trampling basic rights to achieve expedient outcomes is not worth it. once it starts, where does it end.”

            At Stop-and-Frisk.

            Like in NY. They haven’t started rounding up people and holding them indefinitely. If they did, I would be against that, as would most people. In the meantime, enjoy the relatively safe streets of NY.

            “arguments that the constitution has already been thrown out are an appeal to practice fallacy and 2 wrongs make a right thinking.”

            Not really. The constitution has already been thrown out, that’s not a fallacy. So we have a system that is highly off-balance. Our present constitutional system has added lots of carrots and reduced the number of sticks. I’d prefer we go back to the original intent. Failing that, as we have, we need to find other tools to deal with the crisis.

            “your argument is self defeating.”

            No it’s not. It’s a highly imperfect workaround that has worked extremely well so far. See my response to Ron.

        2. Paul, I don’t think an ever growing police state is in our best interest. Sure, stopping and frisking lots of people for no particular reason will no doubt detect more criminal activity, but at what cost to our freedom?

          I doubt that you would be OK with being stopped and frisked periodically for no reason.

          I note that the NYC program nets 1 suspect for which there is probable cause for every 8 stops. Seven entirely innocent people have their rights trampled on. That’s a terrible success rate. I don’t want to live in a society with such low regard for individual rights.

          1. “I note that the NYC program nets 1 suspect for which there is probable cause for every 8 stops. Seven entirely innocent people have their rights trampled on.”

            You know why the ratio is what it is? Political correctness. It’s the same reason granny in a wheelchair gets patted down by the TSA at the airport.

            “I doubt that you would be OK with being stopped and frisked periodically for no reason.”

            No doubt you’re correct. However, if I was a law abiding citizen that had to live with the violent criminals terrorizing Chicago’s south side, I wouldn’t shed any tears if I saw some gang banger thug being patted down for murder weapons. Would you?

            “Sure, stopping and frisking lots of people for no particular reason will no doubt detect more criminal activity, but at what cost to our freedom?”

            You are correct. But is there a bodycount high enough where you might look the other way? It’s undeniable these policies have reduced the murder rate.

          2. Paul

            No doubt you’re correct. However, if I was a law abiding citizen that had to live with the violent criminals terrorizing Chicago’s south side, I wouldn’t shed any tears if I saw some gang banger thug being patted down for murder weapons. Would you?

            Right. I don’t want to be patted down, but I I’m OK with other people being patted down.

            Luckily the police can tell which of us are suspicious and which of us aren’t.

            This policy might meet a well deserved end when a few people who aren’t poor, helpless, black people get the treatment.

          3. Ron,

            “Luckily the police can tell which of us are suspicious and which of us aren’t.”

            I’m sensing a fair amount of sarcasm.

            And denial.

            “This policy might meet a well deserved end when a few people who aren’t poor, helpless, black people get the treatment.”

            And just to be 100% clear: those poor, helpless, black people will then be murdered at a much higher rate. NYC will also resume its pre-Giuliani death spiral. The epitaph will read: We Chose Unfettered Freedom Over Civilization.

            Fair enough, as long as we admit what we’re doing.

          4. Paul

            I’m sensing a fair amount of sarcasm.

            You caught me. :)

            And denial.

            I don’t think so. I understand that there are serious problems in many inner cities including high murder rates. Using police state tactics undoubtedly reduces murder rates, and if you approve of such an approach, why not just round up all those we believe are good candidates for stop & frisk, and relocate them to detention camps as was done with Japanese-Americans during WW2? (yes, more sarc)

            Paul, I believe the problem of high murder rates such as those in Chicago are a result of the double whammy of two failed government programs. First there’s the war on poverty which has created a culture of dependence and hopelessness for poor people, then there’s the war on drugs which creates lucrative opportunities for those willing to take risks, and who otherwise face dismal futures. Of course since their activity is illegal, they will provide their own security ny carrying firearms. Gun control laws intended to reduce shootings have no effect on criminals, who aren’t bothered in the least, but instead expose law abiding citizens to harm, or make them criminals for trying to protect themselves.

            Instead of addressing the root causes of the problem, your solution is to apply yet more government force in the form of such outrages as “stop and frisk”.

            You know why the ratio is what it is? Political correctness. It’s the same reason granny in a wheelchair gets patted down by the TSA at the airport.

            Then it’s all the more egregious if police knowingly stop and frisk people they have no reasonable suspicion to stop. This policy is overreach and abuse, Paul.

          5. Ron,

            “and if you approve of such an approach, why not just round up all those we believe are good candidates for stop & frisk, and relocate them to detention camps as was done with Japanese-Americans during WW2?

            Because Stop-and-Frisk is already problematic as it is. I never said I “approved” of it, just that I don’t see another solution that is realistic. I know you meant this as a joke, but detention camps are certainly something I wouldn’t support.

            “Then it’s all the more egregious if police knowingly stop and frisk people they have no reasonable suspicion to stop. This policy is overreach and abuse, Paul.”

            Well, I guess there could be an argument over the definition of “reasonable suspicion.” The crime data for every city in America facing a violent crime crisis is pretty clear cut. We know the profile of the perpetrator in the overwhelming % of cases.

            Instead of addressing the root causes of the problem, your solution is to apply yet more government force in the form of such outrages as “stop and frisk”.

            Ron, maybe you forgot, but I started out this commentary blaming the originations of the problem on the WOP and gun control. The War on Poverty destroyed the character of the underclass and created a dysgenic fertility monster that is obliterating formerly great cities like Detroit. I simply throw up my hands at this point.

            Perhaps the black community in the inner cities should give up their “no snitching” culture and normal policing would be more effective. And the Left has effectively removed the shaming tool from the toolbox. It’s forbidden in America to tell a certain demographic they need to get their shit together unless you’d like to be called a raaaaacist or a sell-out. Just ask Bill Cosby or even Obama how he liked Jesse Jackson’s threat to “cut his nuts off.” The campaign has been so effective that even well intentioned, highly intelligent guys like yourself question whether the recent killing spree in Chicago was committed by white picket fence homeowners. :)

            If we can’t roll any of this back then I see no realistic solutions other than forms of ghetto martial law at this point. I’m more concerned about the taxpayers who aren’t out raping, robbing, and murdering.

  3. Sprewell

    Mark, you might want to mention that the Lakers offered Dwight Howard a yearly salary of $1.6 million more than the Rockets offered, yet he will still make more in Houston because of the higher taxes in CA. This isn’t immediately clear from your quote or if you read the linked article and don’t do the math. ;)

    1. Sure, thanks for the suggestion.

  4. Steven Hales

    In case your question wasn’t rhetorical. Because the majority views police and fire services favorably and don’t realize the actual decline in workloads related to property crimes and crimes against persons not caused by the drug laws.

  5. Che is dead

    Related to #1? Chicago gun violence soars: 67 Shot, 11 Killed in Chicago over July 4 weekend.

    They are getting high and then killing each other?

    Related to #1? The new warrior cop is out of control: Overwhelming paramilitary force is on the rise, by Radley Balko in Salon. To quote Steve Horwitz, “Read this article and weep for your country and its Constitution.”

    I agree that the militarization of civilian police forces is disturbing and must stop, but I doubt that they are gearing up for a few pot heads. I mean everyone knows that it’s the Tea Party that’s the real threat – right?

  6. PeakTrader

    Crackpot libertarians, who want to legalize drugs, make people like Obama look moderate.

    1. PeakTrader

      If I committed a crime, I’d want a fringe libertarian on the jury, not because he totally believes in liberty, but because he completely ignores proof.

      1. morganovich

        which demonstrates both your hypocrisy and your incomprehension.

        if you are wielding the whip hand, you want power and majority rule, but if you are in trouble, suddenly you want those who respect rights making choices?

        1. Givemefreedom

          Morgan,

          I think he much prefers the whip. History is full of people like him and the other trolls on this site. They are the ones who make it possible for the despots/dictators/totalitarians to rule everyone else. They are the taskmasters, the secret police and that gives them comfort.

          The concept of freedom terrifies them because that would mean they have no control over other people. Little men, all of them.

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