… would go on an internet rant about how he would rather be well-armed in order to protect himself against a government takeover (see top anti-government conspiracies here), I’d roll my eyes, and think to myself, “What is your weapon going to do against the military’s tanks or drones?”
Not much, I’d think. But now it’s time to revise that to, “What is your weapon going to do against the local police department’s war tanks?”
Police in the small suburban town of Little Ferry recently received six military trucks for its 25 police officers.
Police departments in the state have received everything from armored trucks, rifles and grenade launchers to shirts for extreme cold weather, boots, and ladders. But the use of military equipment to quell protests in Ferguson, Mo., following the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager, has sparked a national conversation about whether local law enforcement agencies are becoming too militarized.
For example, among the most expensive items on the list of supplies used in Iraq and Afghanistan are the MRAPs – 30,000-ton armored, mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles.
Police in Middletown, N.J., have one. And the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office has just ordered two.
“Social control is the opposite of social change. And it is the opposite of democratic freedom.” (Ferguson and America’s Hatred of Democracy.)