Monday, July 11, 2016

Robert Mackey — Images of Militarized Police in Baton Rouge Draw Global Attention

What are US leaders thinking of, or are they actually this afraid of a revolution?

Whatever, it is trashing what's left of US sort power internationally.

Who is going to give credence to US objections about alleged "tyranny" and 'political repression" abroad?

The Intercept
Images of Militarized Police in Baton Rouge Draw Global Attention
Robert Mackey


Matt Franko said...

"US objections to "tyranny" and 'political repression" abroad"

Tom if Trump wins it will turn around from an objection to a featured characteristic....

Bob said...

The gear is impressive, but there are too many overweight cops that need to hit the gym.

I'm not sympathetic to the hand-wringing here - riot police have a function and it isn't to be 'nice' to protesters. While there is a policing problem from an outsiders perspective, it is due to American politics and culture.

Matthew Franko said...

Agree Bob and their gear is not "militarized" they look like over weight baseball catchers...

" too many overweight cops that need to hit the gym."

They are probably all too busy trying to generate revenues thru screw fines/fees for violations due to ZIRP bankrupting the local govts ... mgmt wont let them take time for daily workouts no time for that these days gotta be out there to generate revenues...

Malmo's Ghost said...

Militarized Police? Jesus, five coppers were just murdered in Dallas. Dozens were injured in Minnesota when thugs threw M-80's and heavy objects at them. Only an idiot liberal would think it proper to stand down these militant rioters clothed in only street threads.

Sorry but the leftist propaganda machine didn't win the optics game on this image. In fact none of the SJW's all over my social media have even retweeted or commented on the pic. Liberal Nothingburger. Boo Hoo

John said...

The militarization of the police has been decades in the making, long before the Dallas shootings.

Unless something can be done about the right to bear arms better than the local police, then the police will feel pressured and will continue to look like Navy Seals, not law enforcement. Leaving aside the fact that the second amendment refers to militias, does the "right to bear arms" mean that citizens should be able to arm themselves with the type of weapons used by special forces and are able, if they so wish, to wreak carnage on local law enforcement, like the Dallas police?

Why should jihadis, rightwing militias, black separatists, drug cartel gangsters and other criminals have a legal right to the kind of firepower that could take out law enforcement in a heartbeat? Wouldn't you want to stack the deck in favour of law enforcement? And not by giving them tanks, but by restricting the kind of weapons the citizenry believe is their right under the second amendment?

Malmo's Ghost said...

The militarization of the police has been decades in the making, long before the Dallas shootings

So what? And anyway the whole "militarized police" meme is so much bullshit. A relative few police interactions in arrests are "militarized". Full disclosure: I have no problem with a modern police force and the equipment needed to make it functional.


Your con law knowledge of the 2nd Amendment is lacking-- unless you're one of those original intent guys I'm sure you loathe in most instances where original intent takes us.

Original intent legal theory never dreamed of the 14th Amendment applying the Bill of Rights to the states ya know. Under strict constructionism states could easily ban guns if they so choose because the 14th would have limited application. .

Six said...

Malmö, you remind me of someone. Any chance you're an obese drug addict with a radio program?

Malmo's Ghost said...


No. And fuck you.

Six said...


John said...

Malmo: "Your con law knowledge of the 2nd Amendment is lacking-- unless you're one of those original intent guys I'm sure you loathe in most instances where original intent takes us."

Perhaps it is, and as you'll see I'm not on the original intent side of the argument for the very good reason that the people and country of today is not the same as hundred or two hundred years ago. As you know I am not an American and have never had to study in detail the history of the constitution and the amendments, not that it matters given the bizarre interpretations historians have given about any number of subjects. What I do know is that the supreme court decides the meaning of the constitution and the amendments. That's why I said I would leave aside the original meaning, which many historians understand to mean the bearing of arms within the context of a "well regulated militia". If it meant individuals, it would not have said "well regulated militia" and would have been explicit in its meaning of an individual right.

No other part of the constitution has been so fraught with controversy as to its meaning, or apparently means the opposite of how it reads. Why should that be? It's perfectly clear what the rest of the constitution means and it's perfectly clear what the second amendment means. It's perfectly good English. The problem with it is that people don't like it's meaning, and the courts have upturned the original meaning. There's nothing wrong with that. The founding documents are meant to be something akin to living and breathing entities, taking into consideration the new circumstances of the people and the country. Does it matter what the founders intended? No, I suppose it doesn't really, otherwise there wouldn't be amendments. The US is also a very different place to the one they founded and a supreme court's reading of the constitution has to take that into account. The courts have decided that an individual has the right to arm themselves, although it doesn't say in what fashion. That seems perfectly acceptable to most. And let's not get away from the fact that guns are not really the issue. Many other countries have more guns per head than the US, yet have almost no gun crime.

John said...

Malmo: "I have no problem with a modern police force and the equipment needed to make it functional."

Then we agree. But I don't see what ideal is served by having law enforcement outgunned by jihadis and criminals. It's a mystery why anyone wants their law enforcement to get blown to shreds by weapons meant for special forces and frontline infantry personnel. A policeman on the beat with a revolver is effectively on a suicide mission every day of his life. Unless you give him a tank, he's at a serious disadvantage: he may have a revolver while the maniac on the other side has a gun that can fire hundreds of rounds in a minute.

I can understand why someone would want, say, a hunting rifle or a shotgun or an automatic pistol for hunting or self-defence. Why should it be considered acceptable to want the same type of state of the art weapon meant for a highly trained Navy SEAL or an Airborne Ranger going into a warzone? And why should that be considered a right granted by the US constitution? I don't know for sure, but presumably there are certain weapons that are excluded from the right to bear arms. Does the citizenry have the right to grenade launchers, rocket propelled grenades or land mines that launch thousands of pieces of shrapnel? If so, then they don't have or shouldn't have an automatic right to the kind of weapons that can make mincemeat of law enforcement.

As for a militarized police, you can't possibly deny that the police force of today looks very different to the police force of forty or fifty years ago. The police in the sixties and seventies could have presumably decked themselves out like special forces, but they didn't. One of the reasons they do so now is because the other side is armed to the teeth with weapons they can only dream of possessing. So they end up compensating for quality with quantity and at times armoured vehicles. Wouldn't it be a better state of affair when a local policeman comes knocking on your door, his automatic pistol is a match for whatever you've got?

Tom Hickey said...

The Bill of Rights was aimed at securing liberty wrt to the federal government), not wrt to other individuals. This was what classical liberalism was about in social liberalism (freedom of religion, freedom of assembly), politics (freedom of speech, freedom of press), and economics (free markets and free trade in the sense of no government intrusion.

The 2nd Amendment has to be read in that context. The idea was not to grant individuals the right to bear arms for protection against the government, but to give the states a military defense against the feds who controlled the national army.

This was not idle concern given the lead up to the Civil War in which some states united against the Union.

Militia Acts of 1792 were passed to from state militias as part of a national guard. The first gave the president of the US the power to commander and command state militias for national defense. The second act
conscripted every "free able-bodied white male citizen" between the ages of 18 and 45 into a local militia company. (This was later expanded to all males, regardless of race, between the ages 18-54 in 1862) (Wikipedia)

The contemporary interpretation of the 2nd Amendment was not settled until recently.

Wikipedia : The Second Amendment (Amendment II) to the United States Constitution protects the right of the people to keep and bear arms and was adopted on December 15, 1791, as part of the first ten amendments contained in the Bill of Rights.[1][2][3][4] The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled that the right belongs to individuals,[5][6] while also ruling that the right is not unlimited and does not prohibit all regulation of either firearms or similar devices.[7] State and local governments are limited to the same extent as the federal government from infringing this right per the incorporation of the Bill of Rights.

The Second Amendment was based partially on the right to keep and bear arms in English common law and was influenced by the English Bill of Rights of 1689. Sir William Blackstone described this right as an auxiliary right, supporting the natural rights of self-defense, resistance to oppression, and the civic duty to act in concert in defense of the state.[8]

I have not able to find any documentation that this was taken into consideration at the time of the drafting and ratification of the 2n Amendment, although it would have been common knowledge. Even so, the Bill of Rights applied to the federal government and not the states. The power to regulate firearms would still have rested with the states absent a prohibition. Then 2nd amendment seems to suggest this is putting the right to arms under the organization of militias.


Tom Hickey said...


In United States v. Cruikshank (1876), the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that, "The right to bear arms is not granted by the Constitution; neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence" and limited the applicability of the Second Amendment to the federal government.[9] In United States v. Miller (1939), the Supreme Court ruled that the federal government and the states could limit any weapon types not having a "reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia."[10][11]

In the twenty-first century, the amendment has been subjected to renewed academic inquiry and judicial interest.[11] In District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), the Supreme Court handed down a landmark decision that held the amendment protects an individual right to possess and carry firearms.[12][13] In McDonald v. Chicago (2010), the Court clarified its earlier decisions that limited the amendment's impact to a restriction on the federal government, expressly holding that the Fourteenth Amendment applies the Second Amendment to state and local governments to the same extent that the Second Amendment applies to the federal government.[14] In Caetano v. Massachusetts (2016), the Supreme Court reiterated its earlier rulings that "the Second Amendment extends, prima facie, to all instruments that constitute bearable arms, even those that were not in existence at the time of the founding" and that its protection is not limited to "only those weapons useful in warfare".[15]

Six said...

"Many other countries have more guns per head than the US, yet have almost no gun crime."

Which countries do you speak of?

John said...

Six, I was under the erroneous belief Canada and Switzerland had higher rates of gun ownership per head. Checking it out, that is completely, completely wrong. Apologies for that. I should have checked first. In fact the US is way out in the lead, but not unusually so. For instance the US has about four times more guns per head than Austria, but that doesn't translate into a similar difference in gun crime. The number of guns per head in the US is probably skewed by the fact that American gun enthusiasts having very many guns, so the raw figure may be misleading.


However, this doesn't explain why the rate of gun crime in the US is simply off the spectrum. For example, Serbia is number two in the list of guns per head and Switzerland is number four. The US has about 50% more guns per head than Serbia, and has about 150% more guns per head than Switzerland. But the rate of gun crime in Serbia is not, say, 50% less, nor is it 150% less in Switzerland. The rate of gun crime in comparison to other western countries is a real anomaly. Similarly when compared with Norway, France, Austria, etc. There is relatively little gun crime in most western countries. In contrast, the level of gun crime in the US is shockingly high. Canada is very similar to the US in many ways - and it isn't obvious if you crossed the border which country you were in. The people, culture, society, countries and general levels of crime are very similar, but the level of *gun* crime is very different.

Six said...

I can't say for certain, John. It's dropped steadily over the last 20 years, but it's still disturbingly high.

Six said...

Perhaps desperate people do desperate things and you throw guns into the mix, bad things happen? I'm sure that's a vast over simplification.