Every time an anti-government gun nut …

via WNYC
via WNYC

… 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?”

Take a look at all this military surplus sitting in the wee town of Little Falls, NJ, population: 10, 800, courtesy of WNYC‘s Sarah Gonzalez.

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.

Read or listen to the rest of the report here. And then read about the sad demise of our democracy in this fantastic piece by Fordham’s Heather Gautney in the Huffington Post:

“Social control is the opposite of social change. And it is the opposite of democratic freedom.” (Ferguson and America’s Hatred of Democracy.)

Annual Toy Drive for Bronx Military Families

Image from last year's toy drive
Image from last year’s toy drive

Bronx, NY –– Nov. 13, 2013 – On Friday, Nov. 15, Deputy Bronx Borough President Aurelia Greene will join officials from the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo and children from PS 205 at Zoo Center to kick-off Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr.’s holiday toy drive to benefit Bronx military families.

In honor of the start of the holiday season, school children from PS 205 will be on hand to donate the first toys of the year.

The partnership between the Bronx Zoo and the Borough President on the toy drive has become an annual tradition. The Bronx Zoo will serve as a collection point for new, unwrapped toys donated by members of the community. Toys will be collected through the end of December and will be distributed by the Borough President’s office to local veterans and active-duty members of the military and their families.

In appreciation for their generosity, those who make a qualifying donation of a new, unwrapped toy at any of WCS’s wildlife parks between Saturday, Nov. 16 and Tuesday, Dec. 31 will receive a free ticket to the Bronx Zoo or New York Aquarium depending on location.

Toys will also be collected at the other WCS wildlife parks. Toys collected at Central Park Zoo and Queens Zoo will be donated to families in need within the communities they serve. Prospect Park Zoo and the New York Aquarium will collect toys to benefit victims of Hurricane Sandy.  Toys donated at the Prospect Park Zoo and New York Aquarium will receive a ticket to the New York Aquarium. Visit http://www.wcs.org/toydrive/.