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This Ain’t Iraq, Dude: The Paramilitary Police Force

By Mark Mayberry

April 26, 2013 at 1:57 pm

Ben Franklin said, “Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.” Unfortunately for us we are well on the way to making this quote more of a prophecy than a good point.

We all watched with a certain level of amazement as the news cameras caught what could be accurately portrayed as a Hollywood gunfight. This writer is guilty of not getting any sleep over those few days while I watched the news waiting to hear what else was going down.

In our haste to catch the bad guy there was one major thing that the television cameras didn’t cover and it should be the front-page story coming out of this incident of terrorism. That was local, state and federal law enforcement officials trampling all over the rights of innocent citizens. Video and pictures have begun to surface that show the police in tactical raid gear clearing houses full of innocent civilians. In one of the videos, you can see the police screaming at these civilians and pointing guns at them while they are herded out of their homes. Another photo that has come to light is of a local police officer aiming his assault rifle at a civilian taking pictures out of his window.

These things happened in an American city people, wake up! The police and members of the National Guard decided to gloss over the constitution and violated the rights of countless citizens not to mention terrorizing many in the name of “public safety.” Never before in my life have I seen a major U.S. city shut down and people forced to remain in their homes. At one point even all cell phone service was suspended in the area.

We have come to a place and time now where the government, be it state local or federal, feels that our laws are something that can be put aside in times of turmoil and danger. The truth is the day we roll over and let the police and government violate our rights like this we have traded our liberty for security. Sooner or later we will find that it leaves us with neither.

I have often spoken out about the growing militarization of America’s civilian police forces. I believe it is taking us down a road that we don’t want to go down. President Barack Obama has been so eloquently telling us how weapons of war have no place on our city streets and in America’s heartland. Well, I guess POTUS changed his mind for a week while police officers scoured the suburbs in military uniforms armed with fully automatic weapons; oh, and don’t forget all the Humvees and armored personnel carriers.

Even with all of this hardware, the police still had to lockdown and terrorize an entire city to find one 19-year-old kid armed with a single handgun. Someone please explain to me how and why the police needed to march down the street in military column formation, be armed with automatic weapons, and be pointing them at civilians from inside of armored Humvees for one teenager with a 9mm handgun?

The disturbing thing here is this is becoming a trend. This incident is not isolated. Who remembers Hurricane Katrina? Law enforcement forcibly disarmed law-abiding citizens in the name of exigent circumstances. We all saw the video of the woman being beaten by police in her own home while they take her gun. It happens on smaller scales too.

Army Master Sgt. CJ Grisham was recently accosted, disarmed, and arrested in front of his son for “rudely displaying a firearm.” There is no such ordinance in Texas and if there was it sure wouldn’t include people walking around with a rifle hanging from their shoulder. The police had to settle for some other ridiculous “catch-all” charge. This incident was caught on tape and during it you hear the police say something as incriminating as it is scary. They insinuate that the laws don’t apply to them and that all persons carrying a gun are a threat. The officer then goes on to equate this to the Master Sgt’s time in Iraq. Grisham summed it up the best, “This ain’t Iraq, dude!”

At the end of the day America is being lulled into a very dangerous trap. Rahm Emanuel once said, “You never let a good crisis go to waste. It’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.” This was amazingly prophetic. In the past decade the government has been “beta testing” policing 2.0 on it’s citizens every time a crisis happens.

I am sure that all those cops in BDUs with M4s and all the desert tan Humvees made a lot of Americans feel safe. However, I am sure that there are even more Americans who thought the same thing I did. What happens when the government starts thinking we are the bad guys?

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