What's going on with the police?

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  1. I certainly think that the “War on…” attitude is one factor. People seem to forget that when something becomes a war, then the rules change: in a war, the job is to win. Killing people and blowing up stuff is integral to winning. Collateral damage (civilian casualties) is regrettable, but not always unavoidable (or even undesireable, else we wouldn’t have bombed German and Japanese cities during WWII.) The training requirements for warfare are different than those for policing, and I would dare say that our police are just as ill-equipped for combat ops (urban or otherwise) as our military forces are for law-enforcement duties.
    Another (maybe more significant) is that funding has been made available (from the feds) to buy all this fancy high-powered military-type equipment, and what is bought certainly has to be used, right? Simply having a 9mm pistol with a high-capacity magazine (or an M-16) may well lead to an attitude of “shoot everything in sight, and let God sort it out” – or even more likely, a stress-induced overrreaction which leads the officer to hose down the area with a large dose of semi-automatic (or maybe even automatic) lead, hoping to nail the bad guys before they cut him/her in half with their sawed-off Mac-10s (despite the fact that such weaponry is almost never seen in real-live criminal activities.)
    I think another factor is that many police depts are operating under a “siege mentality”, feeling under assault not only by the bad guys, but by the judges, the city fathers, the media, the “knee-jerk liberal ACLU touchy-feely types”, and even the citizens they are sworn “To Protect and Serve.”
    And, lastly, I think that our (“We the People”) are to blame, for foisting off on our police force the responsibility for protecting us. The policeman’s original job description included investigating crime, and locating/bringing criminals to justice. Preventing crime (or stopping it as it was happening) was an additional duty – but as we choose to abdicate our responsibilities for our own safety, and dump this load on the blue shoulders of our police officers, why should we be surprised that they take a more aggressive stance?
    Oh, and don’t even get me started on the non-lethal stuff (e.g. the Tasering incidents, and the use of liquid Mace swabbed into the eyes of non-violent protesters as a form of “pain compliance”), as well as the arbitrary and capricious acts that are the hallmark of the TSA…

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