Rand Paul: We Must Demilitarize the Police

I don’t agree with 100% of what Rand Paul says, he’s on the right track. Police have no need for weapons that are meant for mass targets. Particularly weapons as devastating as a .50 cal. I can acknowledge a semi-auto assault rifle. I will allow a higher caliber sniper rifle. BUT by no means do they need anything automatic or mounted. Can I accept an armored vehicle though? Yes because it’s defensive and protects. You can kill someone with an mrap as readily as a police cruiser, but if you have an active shooter, having armor to keep him from killing them I find acceptable.

TIME

The shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown is an awful tragedy that continues to send shockwaves through the community of Ferguson, Missouri and across the nation.

If I had been told to get out of the street as a teenager, there would have been a distinct possibility that I might have smarted off. But, I wouldn’t have expected to be shot.

The outrage in Ferguson is understandable—though there is never an excuse for rioting or looting. There is a legitimate role for the police to keep the peace, but there should be a difference between a police response and a military response.

The images and scenes we continue to see in Ferguson resemble war more than traditional police action.

Glenn Reynolds, in Popular Mechanics, recognized the increasing militarization of the police five years ago. In 2009 he wrote:

Soldiers and police are supposed to be different. … Police look inward…

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