The new normal: NYPD with machine guns

Tom Englehardt raises the question: Just when did it become an accepted thing for the New York Police Department to be armed with machine guns?

blog-policetank-500x280The response to this question is a great example of the fallacy of the political moderate.

One extreme position is that the NYPD’s new Special Response Group should bring machine guns to peaceful protests in case they get out of hand.  The other extreme position is that a municipal police department doesn’t need machine guns at all.

The middle position is that police departments need machine guns, but they shouldn’t use them unless it is really, really necessary.   Which means at some point, they will be used.

The use of lethal force by police has become all too routine.  But I recognize that, in a country where the right to carry firearms in public is a constitutional right and where some criminal gangs have military-grade weapons, police need to have guns and need to know how to use them.

But machine guns?  It’s as if somebody is in fear of a revolutionary uprising.

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One Response to “The new normal: NYPD with machine guns”

  1. h'villier Says:

    Of course it’s not just NYC.

    I live in Hyattsville a Maryland suburb of Washington, right against the DC line. As a suburb in the national capital region, Hyattsville swims in a sea of law enforcement agencies, county, state, federal, even the CSX railroad police. Nonetheless, the Hyattsville PD got skittish, and decided that it couldn’t really get by without some assault rifles. Who knows? There might be an epidemic of shoplifting in the local mall… Through that inane Pentagon program that distributes military cast-offs, the cops got **four** M-16’s.

    Except now they’re short one, ever since one of the cops decided to toss hers in the back seat of her squad car and drive home at the end of her shift. (Storing a gun in the trunk is for amateurs, not highly trained law enforcement professionals.)

    I suppose that since you’re not from this area, you might be nonplussed by the whole farce. Thing is that it’s so tranquil here that it’s unfathomable that the town cops should need four machine guns, and that they actually got them.

    Here’s the story:

    Note that to my knowledge the story has **only** appeared in this local paper. The Washington Post, and the shabby Post Community Media “local” papers, couldn’t be bothered.


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