Will Europe wake up

…about arming their police? In the aftermath of the Paris attacks, and after the anti-terrorist raids in Belgium and Germany, some of the nations are reviewing their ‘unarmed’ police policies. The UK has traditionally had unarmed Constables. Prior to WW2, if a Bobby needed a firearm in pursuit of a criminal, it wasn’t uncommon for them to borrow a pistol from a passer-by. Today’s Bobbies are still unarmed…except for those roving police cars with weapons in the trunk.

The French and German police had a reputation for low tolerance of law breakers. One apocryphal story has a French policeman stopping a car for a traffic violation and ministering swift corporal punishment—a punch to the face, on the spot. I don’t know if that’s true but I have heard variations of the story from many people and for a long time.  In the same vein, mouth off to an Italian or German police officer and you’ll meet his friends when they take you in to the station.

The reality of these stories is that the police, in many if not most, of Europe’s countries, are unarmed and when faced with rebellious or armed criminals, choose to look the other way, or flee the spot choosing discretion over valor. At least some governments in Europe are reconsidering those policies.

To counter terror, Europe’s police reconsider their arms

– Associated Press – Monday, January 19, 2015

PARIS (AP) — One was a young policewoman, unarmed on the outskirts of Paris and felled by an assault rifle. Her partner, also without weapons, could do nothing to stop the gunman.

Another was a first responder with a service gun, rushing to the Charlie Hebdo offices where a pair of masked men with high-powered weapons had opened fire on an editorial meeting. Among their primary targets: the armed police bodyguard inside the room.

With the deaths of the three French officers during three days of terror in the Paris region and the suggestion of a plot in Belgium to kill police, European law enforcement agencies are rethinking how — and how many — police should be armed.

Scotland Yard said Sunday it was increasing the deployment of officers allowed to carry firearms in Britain, where many cling to the image of the unarmed “bobby.” In Belgium, where officials say a terror network was plotting to attack police, officers are again permitted to take their service weapons home.

On Monday, French law enforcement officials demanding heavier weapons, protective gear and a bolstered intelligence apparatus met with top officials from the Interior Ministry. An official with the ministry, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss ongoing talks, said automatic weapons and heavier bulletproof vests were on the table.

Among the most horrific images from the Paris attacks was the death of police officer Ahmed Merabet, who can be seen on eyewitness video lying wounded on the pavement as a gunman approaches and fires a final bullet into his head. Merabet, who is seen alone on the street, had a service gun and a bullet proof vest, said Michel Thooris, of the France Police labor union.

“But he did not come with the backup he needed, and the psychology to face a paramilitary assault,” Thooris said. “We were not prepared in terms of equipment or mind-set for this kind of operation.”

One of the attackers, Amedy Coulibaly, said in a posthumous video that his plan all along was to attack police.

“We don’t want necessarily the arms that American police have. We need weapons that can respond,” said Philippe Capon of French police union UNSA. (Read more here.)

Many of us on this side of the Atlantic will agree our police are overarmed and too paramilitary, ready to exercise their power at any excuse. The police of Europe and the US appear to be at opposite ends of a wide separation, the Europeans on the unarmed end and the US on the overarmed end. Many would agree that the best approach is somewhere in the middle.

The armament policies are the results of disasters and political policy. The militaristic of American police can be traced to the North Hollywood bank robbery where the two bandits were armed with full-auto AK-47s and body armor. The police were armed with pistols, some of them .38s, that were ineffective against the body armor of the two bank robbers.

In Europe, the culture is still ruled by statists, the government above all. As such, the populace must be unarmed lest they rise up against governmental tyranny. The socialist policies, and the effects of armed state police organizations of WW2, drove Europeans police policies in the opposite direction. Their primary fear, supported by the French Algerian Putsch against De Gaulle, reinforced the fear of armed police.

The US and Europe went down two paths to their current positions. The recent riots in Ferguson and the shootings in Europe are ample proof of the failures of both policies. The lessons of Ferguson is not so much of an overly armed police, but the ineffectual use of those arms. The lessons of Paris is to not send unarmed police into a shooting arena where the criminals are armed to a military level and the police are defenseless.

Perhaps a better solution is the one in Britain. The standard Constable is armed with an asp or baton and a chemical spray. In each locale are roving armed officers, trained in the use of firearms and tactics. In addition, ‘special’ assault teams, similar to American SWAT units, are on call if needed. The Constable’s responsibilities are limited. They are officially known as ‘community police support officers’ and have limited powers of arrest. The armed police have full police powers and respond to armed incidents.The beat cop still exists in the UK and the local communities support them.

A major difference is in traffic control. In the UK, traffic offenses have been decriminalized and are the responsibility of local community organizations. The UK is crowded. Most long-distance travel is still done by railways. The US is much different in that aspect and traffic control policies of the UK would be unsuitable in the US.

As I said above, perhaps the solution is in the middle of the two extremes. Americans have a long history of self-reliance and of a cultural emphasis of self-defense. The Europeans do not. Throughout their history, Europeans have been subjects…property, in essence, of the state whether that state is a monarchy or a pseudo-democracy. However much American liberals covet Europe’s welfare state, the traditional American culture will resist Europe’s assumption of state supremacy.

Europe, like the US, has allowed a potentially fatal infection to slip into their borders. In Europe, and to a lesser extent the US, the infection is Islamists. The larger one in the US is unrestrained illegal aliens. The infection is not necessarily an armed invasion, although the recent events in Europe may show a change of that direction. No, it is the conflict bewteen the imported cultures with the native culture that will destroy the traditions that built the US and Europe.

Consider, most of Europe is Catholic or Protestant, Christians, both. The history of conflict between Christians and. Islamists is centuries long. Just a few centuries ago, Islam was besieging Europe, outside the gates of today’s Vienna, Austria.

The United States grew from immigration—assimilated immigration. Today’s invasion across our borders has no interest in assimilation. They want us to assimilate to their culture, ignoring the fact that the three century old American culture produced the powerhouse that is the current United States.

When cultures clash, violence results. The culture clash is easy to see in Europe, not so in the US. The Ferguson riots is an example of a culture clash. On one hand you have the traditional American culture. On the other, is the liberal culture of parasitism known as the welfare state.

The working people in Ferguson did not riot. It was the unworking class and imported agitators who rioted. The traditional American culture consists of both blacks and whites, Asians and Hispanics, who work, raise families, and thrive. The direct opposite of the rioters. That is the American culture clash and it isn’t over.

Would a change in police policies alleviate future culture clashes? I don’t know. What we do know is that the current policies of a paramilitary police aren’t working. Those policies alienate both side of that culture clash. Paramilitary home invasions in the middle of the night overcome any possible resistance. But when faced with hundreds, thousands of possibly armed opponents, policy is ineffective due to the lack of resolve by political leaders.

That drives the question—would the police have responded differently if the rioters in Ferguson were white protesters against, say, abortion? Would liberal politicians have reined in their paramilitary forces? It’s a good thing that situation has not occurred. The results could have been much different.

Words for Wednesday

Somedays it is hard to write a post. The difficulty is caused by a number of reasons, repetitive news cycles, ignorance of the MSM and in many areas the ignorance and apathy of the public. At other times, a lack of motivation or time conflicts conspire to push me to not post.

Today is one such day.

Be that as it may, today’s lead item is about stupidity. John Boehner’s bartender—a man who has been Boehner’s bartender for over five years, is accused of plotting to poison the Representative from Ohio.

The bartender must be an astoundingly poor planner. He had opportunities to shuffle off Boehner’s mortal coil for five years…but he just couldn’t get his act together.

When I read the article, it triggered my disbelief tripwire. After a facing mutiny in the GOP ranks, Boehner and the FBI reveal this incompetent. It just seems to be a misdirection ploy to get some positive media for Boehner. I wonder how many American have trouble with this news item?

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Guns and Taxes

From WMSA.NET

From the PoliticMO Newsletter for January 14, 2015.

GUNS — ‘Gun groups vow to fight Missouri lawmaker’s bill taxing guns to pay for police body cameras,’ Raw Story: “A Missouri state legislator has drawn criticism from gun enthusiasts for introducing bills that would pay for body cameras for police officers through a tax increase on firearm and ammunition sales… House Bills 75 and 76, which were introduced by state Rep. Brandon Ellington (D), would implement a 1 percent tax raise on gun sales, with the money going to the “Peace Officer Handgun and Ammunition Sales Tax Fund,” to be used to buy the cameras. Officers would then be required to wear the cameras during any interaction with the public, and keep the footage in their records for at least 30 days. Undercover officers and detectives would be exempt from wearing the cameras. …

“The National Rifle Association (NRA) has already come out against Ellington’s proposal. ‘Forcing law-abiding Missourians to pay an additional tax on firearm and ammunition purchases is unmerited. Gun owners and purchasers should not be responsible for funding these projects,’ the group said in a release. ‘The NRA will continue to fight against such misguided encroachments on those who exercise their Second Amendment rights.’” — PoliticMO Newsletter, Jan 14, 2015

We continually hit with taxes and more taxes. A new tax to one thing or another, another hand in our pocket stealing our money under the guise of law. Every tax has some benefit, we’re told. I just don’t believe it. We don’t need a new tax to fund body cameras now, especially one that taxes guns and ammunition.

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The rank and file of our military do not like Obama. Who’da thunk it?

AMERICA’S MILITARY: A conservative institution’s uneasy cultural evolution

The force is changing — often reluctantly — alongside the civilian society it serves

In his first term, President Obama oversaw repeal of the controversial “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

Then he broke with one of the military’s most deeply rooted traditions and vowed to lift the ban on women serving in combat.

And the commander in chief has aggressively sought to change military culture by cracking down on sexual assault and sexual harassment, problems that for years were underreported or overlooked.

Obama is an unpopular president in the eyes of the men and women in uniform. Yet his two-term administration is etching a deep imprint on the culture inside the armed forces. As commander in chief, he will leave behind a legacy that will shape the Pentagon’s personnel policies and the social customs of rank-and-file troops for decades to come.

Go visit the Military Times and read the complete article. It confirms the opinions of many now serving and some fears as well.

The Militarization of Police

I read an article today that was frankly, disturbing.  The subject of the article has been present for a long time, decades in many cases.  That subject?  The conversion of our local police into a paramilitary force.

Local Cops Ready for War With Homeland Security-Funded Military Weapons

Dec 21, 2011 4:45 AM EST

A decade of billions in spending in the name of homeland security has armed local police departments with military-style equipment and a new commando mentality. But has it gone too far? Andrew Becker and G.W. Schulz of the Center for Investigative Reporting report.

The buying spree has transformed local police departments into small, army-like forces, and put intimidating equipment into the hands of civilian officers. And that is raising questions about whether the strategy has gone too far, creating a culture and capability that jeopardizes public safety and civil rights while creating an expensive false sense of security.
“The argument for up-armoring is always based on the least likely of terrorist scenarios,” says Mark Randol, a former terrorism expert at the Congressional Research Service, the nonpartisan research arm of Congress. “Anyone can get a gun and shoot up stuff. No amount of SWAT equipment can stop that.”

The result? The police are no longer peace officers, they are now law enforcement officers.  
It is important to note here that contrary to popular belief, the police have no requirement to protect the people.  There have been a number cases rising to the US Supreme Court and the Court has said the police have no requirement to protect individuals. The police can only enforce the law or seek those who have broken the law. They no longer work to protect the people but they now protect…what?

One common response is to counter acts of terrorism.  Really?  Then why are these units being used to serve warrants…in the middle of the night…without knocking?  That doesn’t sound like countering terrorism to me.

Another is that criminals are more heavily armed than the police.  They cite the famous North Hollywood bank robbery where two men, armed with fully automatic weapons and wearing body armed engaged in a shoot-out with police resulting in multiple casualties among those police officers.  The police actually had to commandeer semi-automatic rifles from a near-by gun dealer.  The City of Los Angeles did not provide any long-guns to the police, short-ranged shotguns excepted.

In that situation, the police had been effectively disarmed by the LA city government.  There were federal grants available, that were used afterward, to provide funds for squad-car rifles like the Ruger Mini-14 and the Colt AR.  The city was negligent but blamed instead “proliferation of firearms” instead of accepting their own failures.

There are instances where criminals barricade themselves against police. A siege occurs.  Most people understand that sieges will end sooner or later.  They DO NOT require frontal assaults by armed and armored police to resolve the situation. But, politics demand quick resolutions not patience and the command staff demand a resolution before the media appears and the scene is broadcasted on the local news.

Still it come back to the conversion of police from the peace officer mentality to the law enforcement mentality.  In the latter case, the Us vs. Them mentality not only develops but is encouraged. A California study in 1997 researched the trend and noted the deficiencies and the dangers of militarization.

Peter B. Kraska and Victor E. Kappeler
Social Problems
Vol. 44, No. 1 (Feb., 1997), pp. 1-18
(article consists of 18 pages)

I can’t cut ‘n paste an excerpt from this study. You’ll have to go to the site and read it for yourself.

Here is an excerpt from testimony before Congress on the same subject.

Our Militarized Police Departments

Testimony before the House Subcommittee on Crime

Mr. Chairman, distinguished members of the committee, thank you for inviting me to speak today.
I’m here to talk about police militarization, a troubling trend that’s been on the rise in America’s police departments over the last 25 years.
Militarization is a broad term that refers to using military-style weapons, tactics, training, uniforms, and even heavy equipment by civilian police departments.
It’s a troubling trend because the military has a very different and distinct role than our domestic peace officers. The military’s job is to annihilate a foreign enemy. The police are supposed to protect us while upholding our constitutional rights. It’s dangerous to conflate the two.
But that’s exactly what we’re doing. Since the late 1980s, Mr. Chairman, thanks to acts passed by the U.S. Congress, millions of pieces of surplus military equipment have been given to local police departments across the country.
We’re not talking just about computers and office equipment. Military-grade semi-automatic weapons, armored personnel vehicles, tanks, helicopters, airplanes, and all manner of other equipment designed for use on the battlefield is now being used on American streets, against American citizens.
Academic criminologists credit these transfers with the dramatic rise in paramilitary SWAT teams over the last quarter century.
SWAT teams were originally designed to be used in violent, emergency situations like hostage takings, acts of terrorism, or bank robberies. From the late 1960s to the early 1980s, that’s primarily how they were used, and they performed marvelously.
But beginning in the early 1980s, they’ve been increasingly used for routine warrant service in drug cases and other nonviolent crimes. And thanks to the Pentagon transfer programs, there are now a lot more of them.
This is troubling because paramilitary police actions are extremely volatile, necessarily violent, overly confrontational, and leave very little margin for error. These are acceptable risks when you’re dealing with an already violent situation featuring a suspect who is an eminent threat to the community.
But when you’re dealing with nonviolent drug offenders, paramilitary police actions create violence instead of defusing it. Whether you’re an innocent family startled by a police invasion that inadvertently targeted the wrong home or a drug dealer who mistakes raiding police officers for a rival drug dealer, forced entry into someone’s home creates confrontation. It rouses the basest, most fundamental instincts we have in us – those of self-preservation – to fight when flight isn’t an option. (Emphasis mine — Crucis)

The testimony continues and it’s well worth a few minutes reading the full article at the website.

One cogent line above is when you’re dealing with nonviolent drug offenders, paramilitary police actions create violence instead of defusing it.”                                   

What is the purpose then, of these paramilitary units?  Protecting the people?  No. That is not a requirement saith the courts. Countering heavily armed drug dealers? As the testimony above states, that isn’t commonly needed either.

Serving warrants?  Before the use of SWAT teams, Officers would walk up to the doors and knock.  Rarely did they have to call up enforcements. And if such were needed, the officers waited until those enforcement arrived instead of charging inside weapons drawn.  (I should note here that my father was an auxiliary deputy sheriff.  He would frequently serve warrants throughout our county and never once needed assistance or have to draw his weapon.  In fact, he rarely carried a weapon when serving warrants. He told me he never needed one.)

We again return to the original question.  What is the purpose of militarizing the police?  I have some thoughts on that but I’ll not state them here.  Those questions should be directed to our elected officials and police.  

Once all the rationalization is swept away, the answer will be they’re not.  Yes, some small force, trained and equipped should be available when needed. Perhaps a force by the State Police or Highway Patrol. But not every Police Department nor every Sheriff’s department needs one. In fact, very few do.

All too often, such paramilitary forces are used simply to justify their existence.  Use it or lose it. Many federal grants come with these paramilitary forces.  No SWAT team, no federal money.

That is a very serious mistake.

It promotes the Us vs. Them mentality that pits the police against everyone not of the police.  That mentality enforces distrust by the police and that distrust is returned by those same people the police are supposed to protect.


It’s is a prime example of negative feedback. The more the SWAT teams, the paramilitary forces are used, the more they are thought to be needed. The truth is just the opposite. The less they are used, the less they are actually needed.

10 Rules for Dealing with Police.

I came across this video on the Cato Institute website. It’s good information and deserved to be repeated. There is an intro by the Cato Institute followed by the video of itself. A bit lengthy perhaps, but I suggest you watch the video in its entirety.


10 Rules for Dealing with Police.

I came across this video on the Cato Institute website. It’s good information and deserved to be repeated. There is an intro by the Cato Institute followed by the video of itself. A bit lengthy perhaps, but I suggest you watch the video in its entirety.


KCPD: Negligent Discharge in PD District locker room.

Heard on the radio this morning (KCMO-AM710). Two police officers were injured when a police officer was unloading his sidearm. If I remember correctly, the KCPD uses the Glock .40S&W as their departmental weapon.

One officer suffered a graze along his leg. The other officer had an injured finger and was undergoing surgery.

From the KMBC channel 9 website. I’d post the story but KMBC retains all rights and does not allow the story to be copied. I note that the media is calling it an “accidental discharge.” That bit of falsehood would be different if the shooting didn’t involve police.