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?
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.