morriswalters wrote:You do know in America them there things are legal for private citizens. The public is better armed than the average cop. Ever more dollars allocated to hardware and not personnel. You know people collect tanks right?
We don't expect the Police to regularly use Tanks to conduct their day-to-day activities.
Armored vehicles are useful for riots not so much because police are expecting to be fired upon, but because armored vehicles are much more difficult to damage with things like thrown rocks, bottles, and the like. Again, they're not being used as military vehicles. It's more just not wanting to replace windows and other easily damaged things you'd find on a squad car. Most police forces that own actual tanks use them for rescue operations. The treads are awesome for dealing with snow, for example. They're also useful for riots because there are no tires to flatten. You'll note that the cannons and machine guns have been removed.
On the other hand: selling military grade weapons and equipment to say... the Texas National Guard makes perfect sense. Every state has a trained military unit that everybody would reasonably expect to get military equipment.
Much of the time when the national guard is deployed they're performing largely the same role as police; the key concern should be what they do with what they have.
The #1 job of cops is to show up to a location and then possibly yell at people till people calm down (and/or threatening them with tickets).
What they've found over the years is that there are a lot of situations where simply showing up and yelling isn't enough. For example, during riots it does almost nothing. Or when busting a meth operation, you'd be surprised at how few of those folks respond positively to just showing up and yelling.
Granted... there are examples of departments getting carried away with the weaponry, gear, and vehicles when they deploy; but there are still some perfectly valid reasons for a police department to want armored vehicles and better weapons.
They don't need tanks to conduct those sorts of operations. If the cops showed up in your driveway with a Tank to tell you to "Quiet down: your neighbors filled an official noise complaint", you'd probably be pissed at the Tank Treads destroying your driveway.
The neighbors would also be pissed because tanks are really loud.
But that's the sort of job that the day to day Policeman deals with. No one expects them to deal with an armed insurgency: we've got the National Guard for that.
Assuming for the sake of argument there was some sort of armed insurgency, police would bear the brunt of it. And as a citizen, you want that. For a couple of reasons. One, the police are already there; you're not waiting days for them to deploy. A lot of shit can happen in a few hours, let alone days. And two; the police are far more likely to respect civil rights. I know a lot of folks 'round these parts might find that statement hard to swallow, but the reality is that if the National Guard were called in to quell an armed insurgency, they'll treat it like a military operation.