Dear Conservative,

Do you think your police department needs a fighter jet? What about machine guns? Rocket launchers? A tank?

If you are like me, you probably laughed when you read that. Police in my town usually just direct traffic and pull people over for speeding. But when I drove past my police station the other day, I saw something that wasn’t there earlier this year: an armored personnel carrier.

There it was, sitting in the police parking lot with a fresh new paint job. My town now had a battle-ready, armored personnel carrier. You know, just in case war happens to break out in Anytown, America…

You see, with the Iraq War already over and the war in Afghanistan (hopefully) coming to an end within a year, the Department of Defense (DoD) has been trying to figure out what to do with the billions of dollars-worth of military equipment that it no longer needs. Unfortunately, many of these military weapons and armored vehicles are finding their way into local police armories.

Urge Congress to STOP the Militarization of American Police Departments!

Perhaps you don’t think there is anything wrong with local police departments arming themselves to the teeth. Without a doubt, the police need certain tools to do their job. But how can anyone argue that police departments need the same hardware afforded to our military personnel in war zones?

So far this year, 165 police departments around the country have already received a $500k Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicle (MRAP) equipped with a top-mounted machine gun turret. Another 731 other police departments have also requested these MRAPs once they become available after the full withdrawal from Afghanistan.

How often do you hear stories where police wish they had a landmine-resistant vehicle? How often have police departments shown a need to protect against artillery barrages? I’ll give you a hint… Never!

Giving police departments a vehicle to withstand landmines is about as ludicrous as giving them anti-aircraft missiles. These are solutions to problems that DON’T EXIST!

What police departments have received the armored vehicles? Ohio State University Campus Police recently received an MRAP vehicle to respond to “large-scale emergencies and to provide a police presence on football game days.” I admit that I’ve never been to a football game at OSU. While I am sure they can get rowdy at times, are we really supposed to believe that football fans and college students require the same show of force that we use to respond to Islamic insurgencies?

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But that’s what it really comes down to. These vehicles don’t serve a purpose other than a show of force. Police departments around the country are requesting these armored vehicles in order to maintain dominance over the American people. I’m not sure how showing force and intimidation fit within the organizations’ promise to protect and serve…


At the local level, I am sure that many of these departments are just taking what the federal government is offering them. When the DoD offers to give you a $500,000 vehicle for free, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to refuse… These small-town departments and county police forces aren’t deliberately trying to maintain dominance over the American people. But they ultimately are. When asked why the police needed such a heavily-armored vehicle, one small-town sheriff responded that it is “very common for people [in the area] to have high-powered hunting rifles.”

Urge Congress to STOP the Militarization of American Police Departments!

Why should that matter? The Second Amendment ensures that individuals have the right to keep and bear arms for lawful purposes, including (but not limited to) self-defense, sport, and defense against tyranny. Apparently the government fears American citizens as much as it fears Islamic insurgents, given the fact that it has made the vehicle for dealing with both “problems” essentially one-in-the-same.

Make no mistake: these local police departments are at the bottom of the metaphorical totem-pole. The reason these armored vehicles are being ‘backordered’ is because the rest have already been given to government agencies like the Department of Homeland Security and even the Social Security Administration.

These are the same agencies that recently ordered 1.6 BILLION rounds of hollow-point ammunition for “practice.” But you don’t use hollow-points for target practice… You use them to kill people!

The writing is on the wall. Thomas Jefferson is often quoted as saying that “When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.”

What do you think the Founding Fathers would say about arming police departments with Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles? Remember: these were the same armored vehicles that Homeland Security sent to “monitor” Tea Party protests last year…

This isn’t a conspiracy theory. The federal government is actively arming America’s police departments to the teeth. Only YOU can pressure Congress to intervene and STOP the Obama administration from militarizing the police.

We know that the Government must fear the people, not the other way around. A government that uses a show of force to instill fear in its people can only be classified as tyrannical.

Urge Congress to STOP the Militarization of American Police Departments!


Joe Otto

Conservative Daily