This story would be absolutely hilarious if it wasn’t so frighteningly scary. Law enforcement agencies are gearing up with surplus military grade equipment to protect themselves and their citizens from “a lot of people who are coming out of the military that have the ability and knowledge to build IEDs and to defeat law enforcement techniques.”
These American soldiers that went overseas and fought bravely for their government are now being used as an excuse to militarize the police force, you know, in case these people go rogue or something.
Sgt. Dan Downing of the Morgan County Sheriff’s Department states, “When I first started we really didn’t have the violence that we see today,” adding, “The weaponry is totally different now that it was in the beginning of my career, plus, you have a lot of people who are coming out of the military that have the ability and knowledge to build IEDs and to defeat law enforcement techniques.”
What the fuck!? Did he just say that we need worry about our own soldiers coming back from war and building IEDs to attack law enforcement? It sounds like we need our military to come back and protect us from under-trained, over-zealous law enforcement agencies.
Sgt. Downing goes on to relate how citizens approach the vehicle when it stops at gas stations to express their concerns that the militarization of police is about arming cops with the tools required for mass gun confiscation programs.
“We were actually approached when we’d stop to get fuel by people wanting to know why we needed this…what were we going to use it for? ‘Are you coming to take our guns away?’” said Downing. “To come and take away their firearms…that absolutely is not the reason why we go this vehicle. We got this vehicle because of the need and because of increased violence that we have been facing over the last few years….I’ll be the last person to come and take anybody’s guns.”
Increased violence over the past few years!? I’m going to give a little a spoiler alert here, I grew up in Morgan County where this is happening. My family still lives in Morgan County and has lived there for their entire lives for the most part. The largest city in Morgan County is Martinsville. Calling Martinsville a city is a bit of a stretch considering its population is less than 12,000 people.
But what about the “increased violence” the Sheriff’s dept. is concerned about? Here’s a chart of the crime rate in Martinsville over the past 12 years.
Yep, three murders in the past 12 years (since 2012 which is the latest statistics we could find). And don’t forget, those statistics are from the largest city Morgan County. I can assure that the rest of the county is spotted with extremely small towns and is mostly covered in farmland where violent crime just doesn’t happen.
When we have come to a point in our society when our police force needs to arm themselves to the teeth with military style weapons in rural parts of the country to “protect us from soldiers returning from fighting out wars” then we really need to start rethinking the type of people we are giving power to in this country of ours.