Research Paper Shows Militarized SWAT Teams Don't Make Cops — Or The Public — Any Safer

from the treating-citizens-like-enemy-combatants-is-never-a-good-idea dept

A study has been released confirming what many have suspected: militarization of law enforcement doesn’t make communities safer, has zero effect on officer safety, and is rarely deployed as advertised when agencies make pitches for the acquisition of military gear.

The most frequent recipient of military tools and training are SWAT teams. Professor Jonathan Mummolo’s research — published by the National Academy of Sciences — gained unprecedented access to SWAT deployment numbers, thanks to a public records request and a Maryland state law requiring documentation of every SWAT raid performed. (That law was allowed to expire by legislators who apparently felt it provided too much transparency and accountability.)

With these numbers, Mummolo was able to compare SWAT deployments to other stats, as well as see just how often SWAT teams were deployed to handle dangerous situations like robberies, shootings, hostage-taking, etc. What he discovered was, sadly, unsurprising. Police officials talk about the necessity of SWAT teams and military gear using references to barricaded suspects, terrorist attacks, active shooters…. pretty much anything but what they actually use them for. From the paper [PDF]:

[R]oughly 90% of SWAT deployments in that state over 5 fiscal years were conducted to serve search warrants. Previous work has shown that the use of SWAT teams to serve warrants, a practice which escalated as a result of the war on drugs, is an extremely disruptive event in the lives of citizens and often involves percussive grenades, battering rams, substantial property damage, and in rare cases deadly altercations stemming from citizens’ mistaken belief that they are experiencing a home invasion. […] less than 5% of deployments involved a “barricade” scenario, which typically involves an armed suspect refusing to surrender to police. Violence to people and animals is rare, and gun shots are fired 1.2% of the time—roughly 100 deployments during this period. While the data suggest that indiscriminate violence is less common than some anecdotal reports suggest, they also show that the vast majority of SWAT deployments occur in connection with non-emergency scenarios, predominately to serve search warrants.

Similarly unsurprising is data showing SWAT teams are deployed far more often in areas with a higher concentration of African American residents. Mummolo’s research shows a 10% increase in African American population resulted in a 10.5% increase in SWAT deployments.

All the gear obtained by police agencies to make officers safer doesn’t seem to have an effect on officer safety. The data shows negligible effects on officer injuries or deaths. Despite being touted as essential tools to combat a supposed increase in criminal firepower, SWAT teams and their military gear spend more time serving warrants than facing dangerous situations. Maryland SWAT stats — compared against other data reported by law enforcement agencies — results in this conclusion:

[T]here is no evidence that acquiring a SWAT team lowers crime or promotes officer safety.

Surveys conducted by Mummolo show SWAT teams — and police militarization in general — have a negative effect on public perception. SWAT teams make the places they’re frequently deployed seem less safe, even if crime stats don’t back that up. Dressing up in military gear increases distrust of the law enforcement agency — something especially pronounced in African American respondents.

Mummolo’s conclusion, based on stats supplied by law enforcement agencies, is devastating. And it’s likely to be ignored by every law enforcement agency in Maryland.

Given the concentration of deployments in communities of color, where trust in law enforcement and government at large is already depressed, the routine use of militarized police tactics by local agencies threatens to increase the historic tensions between marginalized groups and the state with no detectable public safety benefit. While SWAT teams arguably remain a necessary tool for violent emergency situations, restricting their use to those rare events may improve perceptions of police with little or no safety loss.

SWAT teams arose out of a need for elite response units to send to especially dangerous situations. It’s quickly devolved into nothing more than a sideshow for warrant service — an excuse to treat citizens like enemy combatants while needlessly escalating situations until they can justify the absurdly overblown tactics and weaponry being deployed.

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Comments on “Research Paper Shows Militarized SWAT Teams Don't Make Cops — Or The Public — Any Safer”

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216 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

Risk compensation gone darker

It is a well known perverse element that increased safety equipment often fails to materialize gains due to a corresponding increased level of risk taking. It seems like the police are engaging in the same behavior in this case it becomes even darker than norm. Only in this case their risk taking hurts other people more.

The no-knock warrants for instance with SWAT teams are so cavaliar that they do no-knock raids on the wrong house without identifying themselves and get themselves killed karmically. Frankly the police objectively deserve to die when they raid the wrong house – no knock raids kill far more innocent people from wrong houses alone and their deaths help to bring caution to the rest of the force. Of course such sentiments are outright heresy given the ‘we support our police’ idiot public.

Anonymous Coward says:

Everyone knows that black areas are more dangerous

Go to Los Angeles and walk around the black neighborhoods, I dare you. You would pray for a swat team to protect you.

What a pompously idiotic article and analysis. Just for a moment, consider reality. There is more lawlessness in black neighborhoods. There are more weapons. There are more drugs. There are more criminals.

Take a look at the numbers of shootings in Chicago, and how many are black on black.

What utter crap is written here.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Consider Chicago instead of your abstract and meaningless rhetoric. 75 people shot over a single weekend. One shooter charged. In a city that has been run by Democrats for decades, violence has flourished and immigration law publicly defied. Since 2011, 3,993 murders and 18,737 shootings. And you want to take the time to talk about abstract arguments while bullets fly. How ridiculous you are, responding to real societal tragedy with worthless rhetoric while people are dying. Chicago has some of the toughest gun laws in the country, I think that speaks for itself.

Do you have any concern at all for the lawless, shootings and murders that take place all around us, or are you content to talk about bullshit racist arguments until you are blue in the face?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: but guns "cause" violence

…so government employees (cops, etc) are arming themselves to the teeth with military/assault weapons, while the government & American Left tell the public that the mere presence of guns in society actually CAUSES violence.

How is it that private citizens can’t be trusted with guns, but people from that very same population of citizens can be fully trusted and safe with any gun… as long as they also get a government paycheck with the guns??

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Yes, what is happening in Chicago sucks. Yes, I have concerns about the crimes that plague these United States; all Americans should. I do not, however, need a bad-faith argument about Black-on-Black crime to express that concern. Black people dying should not be treated as a statistic through which someone can win an Internet argument.

You offer up a lot of criticism for this article and my comment. What can you offer in terms of insight that might help solve the issue you put forth? I am admittedly out of my wheelhouse in that regard (other than saying “poverty is the root cause of most crime so let’s get around to helping the poor not be so poor”). If you have any actual ideas that are not rooted in racist rhetoric or complaints about the major political party that you despise, however, I would love to hear them.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 meanwhile, back at the ranch

Did you see the failed bank robbery and subsequent shooting on the streets of LA several years ago perpetrated by a gang wearing body armor and armed with high powered rifles? It was on TV for quite a long time, showing how the local police were simply unable to subdue open lawlessness in the form of armed murderous felons with superior firepower. Do police SWAT teams need high powered weapons? Of course they do and that was one very public example. Should we make it a “fair fight” between law enforcement and lawlessness? Of course not. We should give our police whatever they need to do their jobs and to subdue those who break our laws and threaten and murder law abiding citizens.

For any normal American, the whole article reeks of bullshit statistics combined with anti-American horseshit. Normal Americans support police and respect their bravery and self sacrifice in the face of homicidal criminals. As I remember in the LA incident, there were lawsuits brought because the police did not get one of the shooters medical attention fast enough and let him bleed out. Personally, I think they should have blown his head off. Street justice for someone endanging not only the police but the general public. Bang, you’re dead. That would have been good. I’m guessing the assholes here would decry the lack of medical attention as heartless, racist and whatever other labels are fashionable. Go ahead. I think he was black, too, maybe black and hispanic. Maybe he was poor, maybe he had a good reason to rob the bank. Maybe he suffered as a child in an unfair society. Have at it, ye defenders of bullshit and murderous thugs.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 meanwhile, back at the ranch

Personally, I think this is a great idea, and I see the country moving in that direction. Open carry laws supported nationwide would take care of a lot of problems.

Respect for others, for example. People with loaded firearms both give and receive more respect in relations with others, for obvious reasons. It would also serve to lessen the occurrence of repeat offenders, because they would be dead and not repeat their mistakes.

Let everybody strap a six-shooter to their leg and then they can have dinner where they please without the specter of a Maxine Waters mob giving them grief. Wear them at baseball games, too, that would discourage shooters of congressmen. It would lower the incarceration rate too, and be a boon for the funeral business. Probably improve the gene pool too.

My personal belief is that everyone carried loaded weapons, crime would drop dramatically, for obvious reasons. I’ll bet things in Chicago would get better in a hurry, too.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 meanwhile, back at the ranch

That fantasy would you have there is a pretty weird place. It’s sure a good thing that things like crossfire and accidental discharge never take place, or that unrestricted access to guns would cause other problems, huh?

“Respect for others, for example”

I live in a society where most people are not armed, yet most people are respectful of each other. Why does your society require deadly force to achieve this?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:7 meanwhile, back at the ranch

In America, we have (nearly) unrestricted access to guns, and generally consider that a good thing. We also have (in normal families) a multi-generational respect for firearms and how to handle them properly (and avoid accidental discharge).

Citizen soldiers were the origin of this honorable tradition, which also involved killing British assholes that didn’t respect us or our ideas. We convinced them of our ideas using guns, and we have a good relationship with them even today, with respect running in both directions. Really, it’s true. We respect them and they respect us. It all works out for the better.

And, shooting is fun. I have never in my life pointed a loaded or unloaded weapon at another individual. Lots of targets, stop signs, those kinds of things. But never a person. Yet I have no doubt if the occasion arose where I could, for example, protect a congressman on a baseball field from a shooter, I would do so without hesitation, and feel very good about it. Bang, you’re dead. Not wounded, dead. LIke those fucking British in years gone by.

Maybe it’s in my blood.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:8 meanwhile, back at the ranch

“In America, we have (nearly) unrestricted access to guns, and generally consider that a good thing.”

Well, you really don’t, and there’s a lot of people who are thinking about it as a bad thing. But, you’re one of those types who would rather have people die at preventable massacres so you can have fun shooting inanimate objects.

“Yet I have no doubt if the occasion arose where I could, for example, protect a congressman on a baseball field from a shooter”

You’re actually more far more likely to be in a situation where people are being murdered around you, unable to help in any way, than you are to be a hero in your dumb action movie fantasy. Ask the people at the Las Vegas massacre if they’d have preferred everyone around them to have a gun, or if they’d just prefer the asshole in the hotel not having had any.

There’s a reasonable discussion to be had, but when someone is placing Hollywood fantasies above actual events in his mind, you might see why some people might decide that the time for reasonable conversation has passed.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:11 meanwhile, back at the ranch

No one has adult discourse with you, PaulT, as demonstrated by your stupid and shameful comment above. Your example about the shooting from a high perch in Las Vegas and the helplessness of those being shot below is disgusting. A better example would be those individuals in the room next door to the shooter, or people walking down the hallway, or those serving him dinner, or armed security guards, confronting him with a weapon after hearing the discharging of his rifle. That would have been life saving to those hapless victims below. Your idiotic logic in the pursuit of disarming law abiding Americans makes me sick.

And you write like a lady. In fact, you write like lesbian separatist.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:13 meanwhile, back at the ranch

Hey, that’s not fair. All men pay, one way or another. Did you ever hear Eddie Murphy’s bit about “Do take pussy here?” Very funny, and very funny because it is true. Do you know why women rule the world? Because they own half the land and all the pussy.

Even my military father had an expression I’ll never forget along the same lines, it went “What is the definition of a good marriage? Answer: Whether the fucking you’re getting is worth the fucking you’re getting”.

It wouldn’t be funny if it wasn’t true. We all pay. That’s a fact.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:11 meanwhile, back at the ranch

What makes it funny is that the same person saying that people need to respect each other goes straight to advocating murder of people who disagree with them, and what ramps that humor up to 11 is that by their own standards they should be on the receiving end of a police ‘subdual’/execution for said advocation, and that, again by their own standards, people should support the police in putting such a dangerous, homicidal individual away/down.

If I believed that they were actually serious they might be worrisome, but even trolling they time and time again demonstrate how utterly insane they are.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:12 meanwhile, back at the ranch

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is characterized by repetitive, unwanted, intrusive thoughts (obsessions) and irrational, excessive urges to do certain actions (compulsions). Although people with OCD may know that their thoughts and behavior don’t make sense, they are often unable to stop them.

You have posted on this web site 14,700 times, and counting. Who is the obsessive/compulsive?

You absolutely should be worried, but not about others.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:14 meanwhile, back at the ranch

Tell the truth, you’re a Techdirt “Insider”, right? You guys are all dressed up and video chatting about how to supply retorts to the informed citizen that is point out how ridiculous the article and the comments are. You have run out of vocabulary and concepts to offer, so now you pivot to shit and masturbation soon to be followed by censorship. You are so predictable. You should come out of your closet and show yourself as the “Insider” you are.

And even if you are personally NOT an “Insider”, you are definitely CONDONED and ENCOURAGED by the “Insiders”. That’s just the kind of place this is. Vile, disgusting, stinking sexually abberant shit in every direction, otherwise known as Techdirt.

Christenson says:

Re: Re: Re:9 meanwhile, back at the ranch

Actually, Paul, the US loses about twice as many weapon owners to suicide with their weapon (about 20K/year) than we do to being shot by others (about 10K). And those are mostly drug deals gone bad; active shooters number in the 100s or so. Then there’s 30-40K lost in car wrecks, and about 60K via opioid overdose.

So, you want to be a hero? When was the last time you helped out at an OD or a serious car wreck? Got a depressed friend to store his guns somewhere safe while he worked out his problems?

Sorry, when the cops have more weapons, they tend to want to use them…it simply doesn’t make anyone more safe.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:10 meanwhile, back at the ranch

I’m not sure what your random statistics have to do with my rebuttal of the nut’s fantasy situation above. I was just saying he’s more likely to be in a situation where a gun won’t help than he is to be hero of the day because he carries weapons around with him.

“So, you want to be a hero”

Not particularly. Where did you get that from in my words?

“Got a depressed friend to store his guns somewhere safe while he worked out his problems?

I don’t know anyone who owns guns, although I’d certainly convince such a person to seek help than I would be to demand he has the right to be allowed to own such weaponry if he has a real mental condition.

“Sorry, when the cops have more weapons, they tend to want to use them”

Yup, which is why it’s a such problem at the minute over in the US, with cops pointlessly murdering people.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:11 meanwhile, back at the ranch

That appears to be a serious psychiatric disorder on public display. You might want to seek help. After all, the whole Hamilton thing is just a fiction that people made up about me. You’ve never met me, you don’t know me, and to project the suicide of another is really disturbing, likely indicative of a very low self-esteem problem on your part, and some serious unresolved anger and hatred issues.

Seriously, get help.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:9 "people [dying] at preventable massacres"

It’s arguable whether those massacres are preventable. From what we understand about them, they’re planners and will turn to bombs or arson (the latter being harder to trace back to the culprit).

If you’re going to argue that guns are too dangerous to be in the hands of civilians, argue that half our suicides involve guns, and that individuals with suicidal tendencies are much more likely to act out if there’s a gun available with which to do so.

Note that rampage killers (like suicide bombers and terrorists according to those we’ve captured alive and interviewed) are essentially angry suicide, so it’s more to say we have a suicide problem. We have a people-are-miserable problem.

The NRA and gun manufacturers are entirely awful. Guys who imagine themselves heroing out in active situation are totally deceiving themselves. But we don’t have anyone we can trust with guns. Not the military. Not the police, who are more than eager to do their part in thinning the ranks of our less-desirable population.

The problems the US has with guns are deeper than access to guns, and we need to solve them at their root. Taking away guns will only drive civilians to further oppression and misery.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:10 "people [dying] at preventable massacres"

“about them, they’re planners and will turn to bombs or arson (the latter being harder to trace back to the culprit).”

Perhaps, perhaps not. But, it’s hard to deny that easy access to caches of weaponry has at least directed the method. There are always other issues involved, such as the poor state of mental healthcare, but there’s a combination of easy access and the fetishisation of such weaponry in the US that leads to such events being so much more prevalent in the US than anywhere else in the world.

“Note that rampage killers (like suicide bombers and terrorists according to those we’ve captured alive and interviewed) are essentially angry suicide, so it’s more to say we have a suicide problem”

So, do you have a lot more people who wish to commit suicide in your country, or do you simply have a lot more people with access to weaponry that allows them to take others with them in a spectacular fashion?

“Taking away guns will only drive civilians to further oppression and misery.”

That is certainly a sad statement.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:11 Sad statements

such events [are] so much more prevalent in the US than anywhere else in the world

Are you sure of that? When you include rampage killings, do you also include suicide bombings? Arson? Or just specifically events that include guns? From here it sounds like Yemen has more deaths by rampages, and to be sure, US drone strikes at their apex rate of sorties killed more militants than all the guns in the US — at least they did in Afghanistan. I don’t know what our kill-rate is in Pakistan. Do they get a pass because the trigger was pulled by a state agent?

"So, do you have a lot more people who wish to commit suicide in your country"

It’s hard to say. We have 40,000+ suicides a year in the US compared to a general population of 320 million. Of those, half involve guns. Half don’t. This doesn’t include those who try and fail to commit suicide, so the number could be significantly higher.

Curiously, looking it up, Ukraine and Russia have suicide rates similar to Japan, and significantly higher than the US. They’re noteworthy given guns are illegal in Ukraine and Russia, yet the homicide rate in Ukraine is comparable to the US. Russia homicides are three times. I don’t have an explanation.

But it does raise an alarm when people decide that people in general cannot be trusted with guns. By those same terms, they cannot be trusted with voting or parenting or managing the environment, but then we have no one else to take these responsibilities, do we?

Regulating guns is putting a bandage on a bone infection. The problem is only going to continue to fester unseen.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:12 Sad statements

“Are you sure of that?”

Yes, actions in active war areas and insurgency activities are different things to those happening in supposedly peaceful areas. Unless I’m mistaken, very few people are committing things like arson on the same level as the regular school shootings.

“Do they get a pass because the trigger was pulled by a state agent?:”

A pass? No. A recognition that they are completely different things and attempts to conflate them with civilian activities at home is a silly attempt at distraction. Yes.

“But it does raise an alarm when people decide that people in general cannot be trusted with guns.”

I don’t think that anyone’s saying that. Just that maybe having them so freely available that any nutjob can build an arsenal and use them against captive targets to get a high score before he goes might also not be the best thing. Some people can be trusted. Some people really, really cannot. This should not be in question, as it’s obviously true.

Once you go to “he’s suggesting that people with known mental issues shouldn’t access military hardware, therefore he’s saying everyone should be unarmed!”, you’ve already lost the argument. There are many grey areas.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:13 Crazies with guns.

Unless I’m mistaken, very few people are committing things like arson on the same level as the regular school shootings.

Doing a half-assed assessment of stats from the NFPA from 2011 to 2014 we averaged about 65,000 intentional fires per year. Given some figures by the Guardian, the US averages 316 mass shootings per year.

School shootings are also remarkably rare. Schools are really darned safe. We just happen to have a lot of schools.

They [actions in active war areas and insurgency activities] are completely different things

That’s where you and I disagree.

I’m pretty sure it’s just as terrible to communities when the CIA massacres civilians by Hellfire missile strike as it is when someone goes off in the US and guns down a dozen people. The only difference is that someone in an office might deliberate whether or not it should have been done to further the ends of some obtuse military objective. But I’m pretty sure the folks whose families and neighbors just got massacred don’t really care about that.

So please enlighten me:

How is a massacre by Hellfire strike endorsed by a CIA officer that murders civilians (at a rate of 50 per person-of-interest) different in your mind than some guy run amok engaging in a rampage shooting?

How is a radicalized suicide bomber (one in Afghanistan two weeks ago killed 48 civilians) different in your mind than a guy in the United States who goes on a shooting rampage?

By my study of the matter, it’s the same state of mind. Sure you could dismiss the guy with a gun as crazy or a nutjob, but that’s only because you don’t understand his motives, which may be entirely as valid as whatever CIA official or an extremist revolutionary.

People with known mental issues shouldn’t access military hardware

That would exclude much of our front-line infantry — among whom PTSD is epidemic — from handling guns. And you’re going to have a harder time taking them away once they’re home and everything still looks to them like a combat zone.

In actuality, the US population who suffers from mental disorders are less violent than the general population, but are victims of violence more often. And plenty of them shoot guns, or own guns or otherwise engage their right to bear arms, without incident. We don’t have a test to decide who is too high a risk for a rampage incident, but to be fair, the United States does not take mental health very seriously.

Part of the problem (the James Bond plight) is that no one counts the number of incidents that didn’t happen because there was a successful intervention, but like suicide, interventions do work.

Taking guns away from the crazies is a popular notion, if only it were possible to consistently determine which crazies are consistently a danger to themselves or others. Most of our shooters are only obvious in retrospect.

you’ve already lost the argument. There are many grey areas.

Yeah, I’m not really trying to win an argument, PaulT You’re going to believe what you’re going to believe. I might only drive you to research the situation more and develop a more nuanced opinion. (Or vice versa, you might do the same for me.) But whether your mind changes or not, that’s all on you. (And again, vice versa)

And yes, it doesn’t help that the NRA and gun industries have been operating to prevent the data from being adequately studied by the CDC. We need consistent numbers, and without them, both sides have been guilty of cherry-picking data to augment their argument, which suggests both sides are invested in their respective positions for reasons other than public interest.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:14 Crazies with guns.

“Doing a half-assed assessment of stats from the NFPA from 2011 to 2014 we averaged about 65,000 intentional fires per year”

OK…. now, how many of those were set with the deliberate intention of trying to kill large numbers of people, as opposed to insurance fraud, vandalism, etc.? Just as I’m not including “deliberate discharge of a weapon” in mass shooting figures, you shouldn’t include things that are not intended to kill people in a comparison with mass shootings, unless you are trying to be dishonest.

“We just happen to have a lot of schools.”

So does the UK, proportionately speaking, but we haven’t had a single school shooting since we banned handguns 20 years ago. Ask me about the latest US school shooting, and I’d genuinely have to check today’s headlines to see if it’s the one I’m thinking of.

There’s other things behind it, but weapon availability is something you cannot dismiss.

“Yeah, I’m not really trying to win an argument, PaulT”

Then, why are you arguing when all I’m presenting is my own opinion and verifiable facts?

“And plenty of them shoot guns, or own guns or otherwise engage their right to bear arms, without incident”

…but with far more incident than in most countries where civilians don’t feel the need to be armed.

“Most of our shooters are only obvious in retrospect.”

Yes, and no. When you look through their histories, a lot of them were known to the authorities but either slipped through the net or had to be allowed to continue with activities because they were technically legal right up to the point where the shooter entered the school. It’s not all about hindsight, sometimes it’s “yeah, we knew the guy was a risk but we couldn’t legally stop him until it was too late”.

“Part of the problem (the James Bond plight) is that no one counts the number of incidents that didn’t happen because there was a successful intervention”

Is that because they ignore data, or because it’s impossible to quantify accurately. If the latter, why are you so sure it happens often enough to be a major missing factor?

“I might only drive you to research the situation more and develop a more nuanced opinion.”

My opinion is that whole they’re not the only factor, free availability of guns to the suicidal and mentally ill is obviously a factor in many of the preventable incidents that occur in the US, and that reasonable debate needs to happen. Sadly, this seems unlikely when the knee-jerk reaction to “maybe mentally ill people shouldn’t have access weapons” is a complete shutout of debate because some people are scared they’ll have their target range weapons taken away.

I’d love to find out why you think this isn’t nuanced in any way. My guess is, you’re projecting an opinion I don’t hold, as is usually the case in these debates.

“which suggests both sides are invested in their respective positions for reasons other than public interest.”

Or, it means that one side is genuinely trying to do something to stop kids being slaughtered and their efforts are constantly being lied about by people in order to prevent sensible rules they dislike.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:8 meanwhile, back at the ranch

Lots of targets, stop signs, those kinds of things.

Did you once consider that damaging public property is vandalism, and that shooting on or near a public road puts other people at risk. That is not safe gun handling by any reasonable standard.

Yet I have no doubt if the occasion arose where I could, for example, protect a congressman on a baseball field from a shooter, I would do so without hesitation

You hear the shot, draw you gun and look around to see many people holding guns, who do you shoot. When the police, or security services people do the same, who do they shoot?

That is nice fiction, but is more likely to get innocent people killed, while the real shooter slips away in the confusion.

Remember a film is scripted, and so the ‘good guys. know exactly who the ‘bad guys’ are, and do not have to figure that out in a real and often very confusing situation, with lots of people screaming, and running about in panic.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:9 meanwhile, back at the ranch

I would agree with you that people react differently in the face of fire. My father once received a medal when his hospital was shelled with mortar fire. He described the scene in detail, cots with patients flying through the air, deafening explosions, hot metal tearing the tent wall and friendly limbs apart. Yet some of us have the genetic disposition to remain calm in such scenarios, and my father, in particular, was publicly commended for just that. I imagine myself in the same light. Hear the gunfire, see the baseball field, identify the targets, identify the shooter, and shoot him until my clip is empty.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:12 meanwhile, back at the ranch

Wikipedia: On June 14, 2017, Scalise was shot by a far left-wing activist[4][5] at a baseball practice for the congressional baseball team in Virginia, and was taken to the hospital in critical condition.[6][7] On September 28, 2017, he returned to the House, where he gave a speech about his experience related to the traumatic events.[8]

What a strange comment to censor. Steve Scalise is an American Hero, shot in public, gravely sounded, but still waving to the public to calm their concerns for his safety as he was transported to an ambulance.

https://scalise.house.gov

Have you no respect here for American heros at all?

What a disgusting place this is. Railing against the police, censoring American heros, while celebrating traitors and abberants.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:8 meanwhile, back at the ranch

Yes, that is what the left wants, and this is the place where the far-left gathers. Their goal is simple – disarm the police (as the article indirectly calls for), disarm the citizens (called out above), and put them (the far-far-left) in charge of the government, the military, and the courts. Then, speak carefully, respect the abberant, abandon the law abiding, and keep your mouth shut, or they will first censor you, then imprison you, then shoot you.

The perfect society, that’s what the left calls it. Disarm everyone, except them, then shut up and keep your place in line, tipping your hat to the queers, lesbians, angry blacks and lazy murderous illegal immigrants while they spend your money.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:9

Well aren’t you just a huge bigot? Putting your hate for everyone who is not a wealthy straight White male aside…

You seem to have sorely mistaken the positions of the “far left” with that of most progressives/liberals. While there are people in that political bent who do believe in abolishing the Second Amendment, most of them believe in tighter gun control on the level of Australia or, say, Japan. The same goes for “disarming the police”: Some progressives/liberals may want to disarm the police, but most of them believe in holding LEOs fully accountable for any discharge of their weapons and training LEOs to use non-lethal tactics for subduing people. The “extreme” positions you mention are offered to gun nuts who think any form of gun control is a kind of castration—personal or cultural—so they can argue that the less extreme positions are “slippery slopes” to “gun-grabbers disarming everyone”.

I despise guns. I wish they had never been invented. They are a tool built for a single violent purpose: causing severe injury to living beings. So long as guns exist, however, our leaders should have the power to at least help decide how and to whom our society distributes that tool. Gun ownership should be treated not as a hobby or a recreational activity, but as a responsibility—and people who are irresponsible with guns should absolutely lose the right to own them.

Coyne Tibbets (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 meanwhile, back at the ranch

So, let’s see. Referring back to your first assertion again:

There is more lawlessness in black neighborhoods. There are more weapons. There are more drugs. There are more criminals.

And now consider this post:

Open carry laws supported nationwide would take care of a lot of problems.

Is it really likely, by your reasoning, that having more blacks have more weapons, carried openly, would improve things?

Obviously not, since the "specter of a Maxine Waters mob" is a major concern of yours, such that you can’t even go down to the local barbecue without fear that one of those mobs will turn up. So, since you obviously won’t want any blacks to be carrying those open-carry guns, the meaning of this becomes clear, too:

It would lower the incarceration rate too, and be a boon for the funeral business. Probably improve the gene pool too.

Because removing all those blacks from the gene pool would reduce the incarceration rate, gotcha.

See? I do understand where you’re coming from…and so does everyone else.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:7 meanwhile, back at the ranch

Respectfully, I do not agree with your characterization of my thoughts.

I think the majority of the Maxine Waters inspired agitators that would chase people out of restaurants for their political associations, black or otherwise, are chicken shit assholes and would be too afraid to carry guns or confront people who do. Those who would carry guns in order to chase legitimate citizens out of restaurants would be quickly killed by normal Americans, fair and square. Problem solved, gene pool cleaned up, future conflict avoided. We could all get on with our lives in a respectful way.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:9 meanwhile, back at the ranch

What about that white district attorney that hit Big Boy (who is African American) a few days ago. Not only was he drunk but he was drinking in his car when the cops showed up. Not only that but

“Pettersen is also being held on two outstanding warrants from Ventura County stemming from DUI charges in 2014”

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-big-boy-crash-20180823-story.html

But it’s no big deal because he’s white so it’s not a crime. How do they even screen these people to become district attorneys?

What about Cohen who was granted immunity for his scandal. When white people do it it’s not a crime, only when black people do it, am I right? Then they can turn around and say that only black people commit crimes.

mik says:

Re: Re: Re:6 meanwhile, back at the ranch

Honestly, you cannot be anything other than a troll. No person who sincerely believes the views you express here (and in other threads I have read over the last few days) could muster up the wherewithal to walk and talk at the same time, let alone write the primary school debate team arguments in favour of what you say.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4

We should give our police whatever they need to do their jobs and to subdue those who break our laws and threaten and murder law abiding citizens.

Why do police in small towns that never see a crime like that LA shooting need military equipment?

Normal Americans support police and respect their bravery and self sacrifice in the face of homicidal criminals.

Define “normal Americans” in objective terms. (For that matter, define what you mean by “normal”.)

Oh, and any respect that I show the police must be earned by the police. No one deserves automatic and unquestioned respect just for putting on a uniform.

I think they should have blown his head off. Street justice for someone endanging not only the police but the general public. Bang, you’re dead. That would have been good.

If the police can subdue a violent criminal without endangering innocent lives or killing the criminal, the police should do that. Killing a criminal/suspect should be the absolute last resort action taken by police, not the first.

I’m guessing the assholes here would decry the lack of medical attention as heartless

They could have gotten the suspect medical attention, then taken him into custody so he could stand trial for his crimes. If that suspect absolutely did not have to die for the police to keep innocent people safe, they had no reason to let him die other than so-called “street justice”.

We, as a society, have placed our trust in the police to do what is necessary to protect the populace. We must not let that trust keep us from holding the police accountable for what they do while on the job. That accountability includes looking at why police departments ask for military hardware—and just what the hell they are doing with it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

Come on, Stephen, you have made a career here on Techdirt by distinguishing yourself from “normal Americans”. There is nothing normal about you. You’re a loud mouthed faggot that usually focuses on the word “shit” in your arguments (common among faggots, for obvious reasons).

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

Why is it OK to bash the Police, who are (for the most part) law abiding, law enforcing, normal, heterosexual, family loving, children raising, public spirited, church going, self-sacrificing salt-of-the-earth men and women who uphold our community standards, ethics and morals, but not OK to bash those who publicly proclaim (as Stephen Gay Stone has done) their preference for abberant and bad smelling sexual perversion? Isn’t public bashing an equal opportunity activity?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:9 Re:

I did not ask Stephen Gay Stone to advertise his gayness. Personally, I could care less whether some people think the smell of feces is arousing or not. That is their business and not mine, assuming that they don’t do it in my proximity. Live and let live, especially with sexual things, I would really prefer not to know. It just sickens me that he would first describe himself as gay, and then use his familiarity with shit in the place of actual arguments, and then describe himself as a normal American, which he is decidedly not.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:11 Re:

Are you gay bashing? Trump bashing? Or is this another Techdirt supported debate by exhaustion argument, with a little sexual metaphor thrown in for good cause? Do you guys have a playbook?

I have heard an argument similar to this so many times on Techdirt that I infer it must be a policy and not an accident.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:9 Re:

When it comes to insults, you are nothing if not lazy.

Lazy and telling with their choice of insults. After all, accusing someone of being gay, or insinuating that they are in an attempt to insult them only works if both parties consider ‘gay’ as being insulting or somehow wrong. For those that don’t it’s little different than an accusation of being left-handed. It might be true, might not be, but either way so what?

(And for the record: I identify as queer, consider myself bisexual, and land somewhere between 1 and 2 on the Kinsey scale.)

If you consider yourself bi wouldn’t identifying as bi be more fitting, or am I missing something?

Coyne Tibbets (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 meanwhile, back at the ranch

Interesting that you started this thread by asserting that, "There is more lawlessness in black neighborhoods. There are more weapons. There are more drugs. There are more criminals," as a justification for SWAT…

…and then finished up by presenting a justification for SWAT based on the North Hollywood shootout…that was comitted by two white men.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 meanwhile, back at the ranch

These facts remain true: There is more lawlessness in black neighborhoods. There are more weapons in black neighborhoods. There are more drugs in black neighborhoods. There are more criminals in black neighborhoods. You have offered nothing to dispute these well known facts.

And as I read the article, the “negative effect on public perception” is actually the “negative effect on CRIMINAL perception”. Criminals don’t like police, and they especially don’t like armed police.

ShadowNinja (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 meanwhile, back at the ranch

Wow, I’ve never seen such a blatantly racist person before.

You should do a bit of research on the effect of income on people turning to a life of crime. Here’s a hint, people in poor areas with few economic opportunities are more likely to do it. Because of past racism African Americans are much more likely to live in those kinds of communities then people of other races, they simply can’t afford to live in a better neighborhood.

Also the whole ‘black on black’ crime thing you talk about is a myth. You’re more likely to fall victim to a violent crime by someone you know. So guess what, white people are most likely to be murdered by other white people! Hispanics by other hispanics, Asians by other Asians! So the statistic racists like you like to cite that blacks are more likely to be murdered by other black people is not in fact shocking or different from other races at all.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:7 meanwhile, back at the ranch

True, but this

SWAT teams are deployed far more often in areas with a higher concentration of African American residents. Mummolo’s research shows a 10% increase in African American population resulted in a 10.5% increase in SWAT deployments.

doesn’t tell us anything either without also noting whether that 10% increase in African American population also is accompanied by a 10% increase in violent crime. We can’t tell from the stat provided whether the problem is socio-economic or racism in police departments.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Re:

No, I simply have a penchant for pointing out the obvious truth, it makes me happy every time.

For example, you have used the phrase “We get it, you hate (black people, Jews, gays, etc)” 27 times in the last 22 days. You make that the entirety of your comment, you just change the target.

You do it over and over, and it never seems to get old for you. You look stupid to everyone around you, but that seems not to bother you at all.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:11

A “know-it-all who knows very little” is a person so certain of their knowledge that they believe themselves to be anything but ignorant about everything. They act like their opinions, ideas, and thoughts are objective facts and everyone else is always wrong no matter what.

Most of us here know, and can admit to, the extent of our own ignorance. You, my dear graduate of Dunning-Krueger Academy, cannot even admit to being ignorant in the first place.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:7 meanwhile, back at the ranch

How would walking thru a black neighborhood in LA prove any of your allegations?

I’m not telling you what is or isn’t true, I pointed out several studies that disagree with your assertion. Which you cavalierly dismissed claiming it was like all the other things that you consider to be horseshit.

It must be really boring, and possibly a bit frustrating when one is all knowing and everyone else is stupid, my sympathies to your shrink.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 meanwhile, back at the ranch

I’m not catching your point. On the one hand, you decry the police having such deadly force. On the other, you seem dissapointed they don’t use it more often.

Maybe the SWAT guys get bored and need to stay fresh, so they go out and assist in the serving of warrants. Gives them something to do, and in case things go bad, they can blow shit up. Nothing goes bad, no problem, and they can train together and be ready for when things do.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:7 meanwhile, back at the ranch

Terrorists and other criminals use helpless hostages all the time to defend themselves. It’s a difficult problem, but not insurmountable. Both the police and the military train for this, hence it almost never occurs.

Except on this forum, of course, where all kinds of ficitonal things that have never happened (or very very rarely happened) are used to justify idiotic ideas like disarming the police.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:8 meanwhile, back at the ranch

You do not remember? It was in the news, not that long ago. Perhaps you did not think it important, relevant or worth remembering? Yes, during a swat raid upon a house – a flash bang was tossed into a window, they did not bother to look into first, they did not surveil and had no idea whether their target was in the house. An infant was in its crib when the thing blew up …. you do not care do you.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

I’m not following your point. If the violence in Chicago is limited to a small area, why not go in, military style, and root out the perpetrators, house to house, door to door, like Iraq or Afghanistan. Declare an emergency (it is an actual emergency) and clean it up, if it’s limited to just two neighborhoods. Declare it a disaster area, like a tornado hit or a flood occurred, and clean it up. Shouldn’t take long. Then post national guard for some period to keep it orderly, and give the neighborhoods back to the law abiding citizens.

Anonymous Coward says:

Displays of power make conflict less likely

“Police officials talk about the necessity of SWAT teams and military gear using references to barricaded suspects, terrorist attacks, active shooters…. pretty much anything but what they actually use them for.”

Is it possible that the REASON they don’t need to use overwhelming force is BECAUSE they display overwhelming force, and it serves as a deterrent?

Is that POSSIBLE?

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Displays of power make conflict less likely

Is it possible that the REASON they don’t need to use overwhelming force is BECAUSE they display overwhelming force, and it serves as a deterrent?

Do you really think criminals are thinking "Man, I’d only kidnap people if the local police didn’t have military equipment and a crazy ass SWAT team?" They’re not.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Displays of power make conflict less likely

I assume that you are making a case that you understand how criminals think. I guess I could believe that. You sponsor a web site that attracts and defends the traitorous, illegitimate, immoral, unlawful, nefarious and disgusting elements of our society, it does indeed seem credible that you understand how criminals think.

I would still offer the POSSIBLE explanation that my friend Donald J. Trump often makes about the display of force: The more you make obvious your overwhelming military superiority, the less likely it will be that you will have to deploy it.

If it works on a global scale, why would it not work on a local scale? I’m not following your argument.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Displays of power make conflict less likely

The judge throwing out Shiva Ayyadurai’s case really put a twist in your panties, didn’t it, Hamilton?

Noam Chomsky is not going to be on the jury. Unlike you, the judicial system actually wants to avoid introducing obvious bias and influence into a group of jurors. Sucks to be you!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Displays of power make conflict less likely

“You’re so brown”. Is that a racist remark about me? Or about Trump? Are you accusing me of not being white? Or being white? Am I showing my “white privilege” by even asking? What’s your point? Are you brown and ashamed? Are you an illegal alien? Are you sorry about your ass? Are you ugly and people won’t look at you, or they look away when they do? Am i rich? I’m not THAT rich, but I do make more than I spend, so I guess that’s rich from some points of view. Is that what you meant?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Displays of power make conflict less likely

Are you implying that I sponsor this site? Well, maybe I do, I add some actual writing to the crap that is usually on display here. About the article, I think it is thinly disguised America bashing paid for by foreigner socialists and corporatists who would prefer to destroy America, American Police and American values.

Coyne Tibbets (profile) says:

Re: Displays of power make conflict less likely

Is it okay if the SWAT team drops by your house at 3 a.m. tomorrow morning for a display of overwhelming force? Thirty officers with assault weapons, flashbangs, and a tank to batter down your door? They have some criminals to deter and, oops, a warrant for the house next door to yours.

If that doesn’t sound like a good idea, you might consider the effects of the use of overwhelming force when it isn’t needed. Perhaps it causes more damage than it deters?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Displays of power make conflict less likely

Is this supposed to suffice as a logical argument for or against something? Or are you just wasting everybody’s time with a stupid example that no one would take seriously.

Of course force, overwhelming or not, should be used carefully and only against those who require it.

Why take the time to author such an obvious point? Debate by exhaustion? Stupidity without end in place of an actual argument?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Displays of power make conflict less likely

People have been killed when SWAT failed to raid the right house. Which accounts for deaths in higher numbers? (Hint: look at Chicago) Which is more dangerous – more SWAT or less SWAT?

About the guy that got shot by SWAT while reaching for his gun, my own view is that’s just a Darwinian outcome and statistically accounts for so little it is worth ignoring. By that I mean “Oops”. Shit happens. Get over it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Displays of power make conflict less likely

My point was that in the overwhelming majority of cases, the police do a fantastic job.

(Did you mean firearm or fire arm, I hate that auto-correct stuff too, happens all the time). If he was using a fiery arm, I might shoot him, too. Not sure, it could kind of spook me.

JMT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Displays of power make conflict less likely

*"Or are you just wasting everybody’s time with a stupid example that no one would take seriously."

Not really since that has actually happened numerous times.

"Of course force, overwhelming or not, should be used carefully and only against those who require it."

No shit, the entire point of the article is that it’s not being used carefully and only against those who require it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Displays of power make conflict less likely

Yes of course it is used carefully, only a moron would mistake the statistics in the article for anything but nonsense. It’s easy to point out one or two little mistakes in the face of the overwhelming statistics that show the police are EXTREMELY careful and successful in protecting and serving the public.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

You know my dad used to say something similar, he would say that most people need to be what they are. Kind of an obvious point, and in his case, he was a psychiatrist, I assume that meant he felt a little crazy.

I would agree that many police may worry that they are criminals, so they over compensate by enlisting as police. That might be true.

Personally, I’m a computer scientist. I think it’s because my whole family was full of soft-science psychologists, psychiatrists and sex therapists. That probably explains it.

Anonymous Coward says:

In Fear for Your Life Against Cop-Delivered Terrorism...

…invoke your 2nd Amendment rights to defend your 4th Amendment rights.

Original report way back when…[ https://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/23/us/23atlanta.html ].

Bar the door in a way that offers enough delay to permit you to arm yourself, even if it’s jack-booted, middle-of-the-night, door-kicks that wake you. Plan out your true cover, not merely concealment, kill zones, maintaining awareness of how intruders might mistake concealment for cover. Keep weapons sufficient to performing Mozambique Drills (chest-double-tap plus head-targeted finishing shot) on at least two intruders without reloading. Employ these methods against all profanity/obscenity-screaming, middle-of-the night intruders…ALL such deserve it.

madasahatter (profile) says:

Not Surprised

The problem with adopting infantry style tactics by the police is the fundamental difference between military and proper police tactics. Infantry tactics are about seizing and defending positions from other well equipped foes. In the case of seizing a position, minimizing time is a key element to maintain offensive movement and minimize casualties. In almost all (not all) police situations, waiting is an ally as you are not dealing often with a large, well organized force that is truly cohesive (gangs are nasty but not well organized fighting groups). So once you have a group isolated, you can often sit and wait for them to give up. Not very sexy or photogenic but effective.

The few times a SWAT time would be useful they are often not immediately available. It is the first on the scene that have to deal the situation with whatever they have with them. And it may be over by the time SWAT shows up.

One case people claim SWAT would have useful was UT Tower massacre by Charles Wightman(?). But in reality he was taken done by a scratch force of police and civilians (using their private weapons) who stormed the tower and killed him in a shootout. Here, it was the availability of people on the scene with weapons that stopped it.

Also, once a valid warrant is issued, the timing of the execution can be done to minimize risk to the everyone. For example a search warrant does not need to served at 4 AM but can served at a more civil hour. Same for an arrest, one does not need to storm the residence but can wait for time and place where that is not necessary.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Yes, citizen rule, that’s what we practice in America. That may be unfamiliar to you, it is unfamiliar to many either from or in other countries. But we like it here. Citizen rule. Voting. Courts. Money. Wealth. Power. All good things, and available to any who desire them. God Bless America.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Not a myth, my uninformed friend. Truth. Hard work, persistence, abiding by the rule of law, cheating as little as possible on your taxes (everybody cheats a little), investing well, choosing good friends, getting a good education, trying not to divorce too many times (very expensive), all these things can make you healthy, wealthy and wise.

Anonymous Coward says:

“So long as guns exist, however, our leaders should have the power to at least help decide how and to whom our society distributes that tool. Gun ownership should be treated not as a hobby or a recreational activity, but as a responsibility—and people who are irresponsible with guns should absolutely lose the right to own them.”

Show me a government or leaders that haven’t abused this type of power over the citizens and then maybe we could talk.

But don’t be surprised if the government takes your idea of restricting rights with responsibility and applies it to other rights that you actually care about as well. History has repeatedly tagught that once precedent is established governments tend to barrel down that slippery slope like it’a a slip and slide.

John Smith says:

The only way to stop this is to treat any violent crime as if it were murder, threats as aggravated assaults, and verbal aggression as simple assault, as well as sterilizing those who violate the above in order to weed it out of the DNA pool. Incarceration works to limit gene poolution but w are too tolerant of violent and aggressive behavior. The incidence of violence is a direct result of our tolerance for it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

You are quite the freak aren’t you? I bet your parents are real proud.

It is interesting to note that many who share your opinions also do not like evolution,and yet you discuss removal of genes from the pool.

“The incidence of violence is a direct result of our tolerance for it.”

No, this is obviously wrong. Just more law ‘n order bullshit, are you a private prison share holder or just repeating talking points?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Isn’t that interesting. You are imagining that these quotes are from the same author – they actually are not. They are from two different authors who share (at least a bit of) the same view.

And no, I am not Shiva, or Charles Harder. What a small inventions world Techdirt readers live in, believing in only one or two authors of dissenting opinions, when the truth is the views here are in the (huge) minority. The majority disagree with you, they just don’t take the time to tell you. As an obvious citation of this, witness the election of Trump.

I wonder if there is a name for this mental disorder.

Killercool (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

…Except, I don’t know whether it was on purpose or not, but “John Smith” and several other “different people” reply for each other.

In such a way that there are only two options:

1: They are the same person, sockpuppeting in an effort to pretend they have widespread support.

2: They are different people, but one or several of them are responding in such a way as to give the appearance of being the same person.

Because you answer 1 guy, and the “other guy” (with an identicon that supports the sockpuppet theory) answers by saying “Where did I say that?”

Or maybe they are cripplingly bad at internetting and are unable to grasp the concept of threads, while simultaneously being tech-savvy enough to jump TOR nodes in order to avoid imagined censorship. The same TOR nodes they have historically claimed only pirates and child pornographers have use for.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

It’s called fake Indian american syndrome. Thats when a liar and fraud spends his entire life wishing he was white and doing everything n his power to try to make it seem so. It’s sad and pathetic, but not as sad as random bozos who spend all their time pretending they have a famous relative. Aka the Hamilton distress syndrome.

John Smith says:

Re: Re: Re:

To the person below who says I am anyone else, I’m not. I usually don’t follow the threads, just post a few and then move on.

We have already evolved towards nonviolence, abstract thought, greater precision in thought, movement, and even body type. Six different genii of fish developed fins independent of each other, obviously to solve environmental challeng4es. Behavior which is unsustainable — like violence — will eventually weed itself out of the gene pool even if we do nothing, though that process will be much slower.

Violence happens because we tolerate it. Namecalling is “violent” in nature as it’s an attack on someone, but we’re not there yet with regard to banning or punishing it beyond a minor reprimand. Once upon a time murder was legal or at least not prosecuted, until we evolved to eliminate it, followed by increasingly less violent behavior.

Compare the different defintions of “safe spaces” from the 1970s (not getting nuked, shot, stabbed, etc.) or today (not being insulted). At some point we’ll evolve to the point where we barely need police or even locks because people simply won’t steal. We’re already evolved with digital cash to where robbing stores won’t make much of a living for the robber, something not the case even thirty eyars ago.

What we do not do ourselves, our DNA will do for us. It is our operating system, our software, almost like we’re compatures networked through what we call “God.”

Evolution doesn’t just happen through breeding. Look up the Tardigrade sometime. It picked up so much DNA through horizontal gene transfer that it became almost invincible. That would also explain why colds and virii have an evolutionary function, or even the election of Trump, since we could infer from much of this research that stupidity is contagious, as is violence.

Sustainable behavior needs no support or effort, since it is self-sustaining. Behavior which is not sustainable has to be propped up by laws and violence, guns, etc. It’s sloppy, inefficient, and a matter of time before we eliminate it from the gene pool or our DNA does it naturally.

Dogs and Homo sapiens evolved simultaneously from Neanderthals and wolves. In each case, the breakway DNA was more civilized. I suspect some ape got sick of the other apes and its DNA came up with the idea of becoming human, just like some wolves saw the benefits of partnering with humans, and domesticated us rather than the other way around.

Geneics is a fascinating hobby to study, particularly watching people waste time and energy arguing about that which they cannot change, and which nature will change for them, including eliminating private ownership of guns.

Personanongrata says:

State Sponsored Domestic Terrorism

SWAT teams arose out of a need for elite response units to send to especially dangerous situations. It’s quickly devolved into nothing more than a sideshow for warrant service — an excuse to treat citizens like enemy combatants while needlessly escalating situations until they can justify the absurdly overblown tactics and weaponry being deployed.

The use of SWAT for warrant service is state sponsored terrorism.

Anonymous Coward says:

Tell us about the world you wish for, Techdirt

There can be little doubt that Techdirt has an agenda, their themes are too homogenous for any other explanation. What is your agenda, exactly? Why not just be open about it an spell it out so it can be considered on the merits?

This article, for example, attempts to justify taking powerful weapons away from law enforcement. Some (likely paid) commentators speak about disarming law enforcement altogether. You speak to the repression of gays, blacks, “brown” people, the illegitimacy of deportation. You would remove copyright protection, patent protection. You would redistribute wealth from those who earned it to those who did not. You would transfer your imagined “white privilege” from white people to non-white people. The list is long and repeated over and over, in article after article.

Why not just paint the picture of your ideal society, rather than piecemeal ingredients scattered between articles and comments? Spell it out for us.

Personally, I don’t think you could. I think your only opportunity is to take your frustration, historical racial hatred and thirst for bloody vengeance and disguise it in the form of idiotic articles like this one. You are just angry, nasty, uninformed and uneducated deviants and perverts that gather here to spew bullshit with no idea of how to structure or maintain a real society.

Prove me wrong. Spell out your vision of SWAT, Police, Government, Privilege and Societal Norms that you believe would form cohesive society. My expectation would be you start with “kill all white people”, and quickly devolve from there, just like your philosophical brethren in South Africa.

What is your vision?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Tell us about the world you wish for, Techdirt

“Personally, I don’t think you could. I think your only opportunity is to take your frustration, historical racial hatred and thirst for bloody vengeance and disguise it in the form of idiotic articles like this one. You are just angry, nasty, uninformed and uneducated deviants and perverts that gather here to spew bullshit with no idea of how to structure or maintain a real society.”

You are proving my point. Citing “severe brain damage” is not a vision, it is petty irrational disparagement. It is an idiotic and cowardly expression of nonsense clearly demonstrating your limited vocabulary and inability to expouse a cogent opinion.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 "How dare you insult me in response to my avalanche of insults!"

Yeah, it’s just too funny watching someone throwing out that sort of language pull the fake-outrage, ‘how dare you use a base insult like brain damage in response to my cavalcade of much worse insults?!’ card when someone calls them on it.

I do so love it when a troll tries to claim the higher ground only to faceplant and make a public fool of themself. Again.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

"barricaded suspects, terrorist attacks, active shooters"

Police officials talk about the necessity of SWAT teams and military gear using references to barricaded suspects, terrorist attacks, active shooters

In the 1970s hostage-barricade situations were the only situations in which SWAT was deployed. We only had a handful of municipal troops who trained full time until deployment. As such we had about 500 incidents a year.

In 2005, that number rose to 50,000. They’re used to serve warrants to suspects of nonviolent criminals, largely thanks to the War on Drugs. Rather than highly-trained municipal SWAT teams, we have volunteer groups who are issued military gear and practice on weekends. Some of them obviously don’t even know how to use their own hardware.

And they’re so eager to deploy that they are notoriously susceptible to social engineering attacks, will respond in force and violently to innocent houses without any confirmation by other law enforcement that it’s an actual incident. We call it swatting.

We give the police too much hardware and they act like children overeager to play cowboys and indians with their new toys.

More and more the people of the US regard the police more as an occupying force rather than a peacekeeping service. They are not our friends and neighbors anymore. Rather they think of us civilians as the enemy, as is observed in intraoffice memos exposed through FOIA requests.

It’s bad.

PS: I’m positive John Oliver did an LWT deep dive on the 1033 program which issues military gear to law enforcement, but after scouring his YouTube channel, I can’t find it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: "barricaded suspects, terrorist attacks, active shooters"

Shouldn’t you be speaking in the third person? “They are not your friends and neighbors anymore. Rather they think of you civilians”.

Isn’t it dishonst to phrase this as if you are an American in America expressing American views? You are not.

Anonymous Coward says:

Awesome

Because of past racism, really? That’s your rationale?

Should everyone apologize for everything forever, and hand over wealth and prosperity to angry blacks that focus on the past as an excuse for their laziness now?

I guess the good part is you say racism is now a thing of the past.

Get over it already.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Angry lazy blacks?

You’re making a really good argument for reparations.

The thing about reparations is that it’s not just to help those hobbled by circumstance catch up, but it’s also to show that those paying really are sorry and mean to improve.

But it’s oh so evident you are not at all, and still have notions that you’re somehow better than those other people.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: I don't [want to pay]

That’s evident

It’s disappointing that non-inclusion seems to be an accepted attitude in the current era.

But here’s the thing, when a society is exclusive, that means that all the people on the outside cannot (fully) participate in that society. It means that society is in the way of one that is inclusive, and justifies all attacks on it.

A non-inclusive society is part of the problem.

Anonymous Coward says:

Use SWAT Resources to REALLY Improve America

I have an idea of what to do with all those SWAT Military resources – it will take a minute to explain, so please bear with me.

First, I want to express my admiration for the left – they are nothing if not creative and brave in their suggestions about public policies. Deny Trump the presidency by corrupting the Electoral College – that was a good one. And open Racism is Fine (“Cancel white people”), for example: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/250389

So, with that established reference as my inspiration, my suggestion is to use SWAT in a three step plan to REALLY Improve America. Three steps, using SWAT, each of them simple, I’ve thought this true, really, just like my leftist teachers:

1. Use SWAT Remove all Illegal Immigrants (over a 1 year period)
2. Cancel Black Citizenship (over a 1 year period)
3. Use SWAT to remove all Blacks that don’t want to stay (over a 1 year period)

There you go, a REALLY improved America. Now, before you go railing about racism or the impracticality or unfairness of this, consider the following:

Removing illegal immigrants is just following the law. SWAT could help. All of them go, enforcing the law is not controversial. Just do it. Step one complete.

Step 2 has a little more nuance. First, the historical justification – just make a slight modification to the Emancipation Proclamation – have it apply to only those soldiers who actually fought in the civil war. Lincoln was probably a bit too generous in handing out citizenship to everyone black, the truth is, many didn’t even want it. Those who did served and died, God Bless Them. Many of the others wanted to go back to Africa and actually hated white people and America (now for generations). That is (often) still true today. Just let them go back if they want, that’s fair, right? South Africa loves black people, they will be happy there.

So, that takes care of the legal angle, just a small change to historical law, less offensive than a corrupt Electoral College, after all. That’s really bad. For those of you that say wait a minute, they don’t ALL want to go to Africa, I have a solution for that too.

For those black people that want to stay, give them a year to establish that they are legitimate Americans, and don’t hate America (though clearly many do, just look at football). Give them a simple genetic test to ascertain that are at least 51% African, and if they are, let them apply for expedited citizenship.

They can write an essay about how they love American, or show records of their military or police service or other public service, or that they are just smart and nice and good people and want to get along with others. Americans are always happy to welcome other Americans in America.

For the rest, ship them back to Africa, the way their ancestors wished for, the way Lincoln should have. Sorry to delay you for a few generations, go on back to your country and culture and be happy on our nickel. That’s not so bad, right?

Bingo, a REALLY improved America, no illegal aliens, no angry black people, state and federal prisons unburdened, a happier society here in America, and a happier society in Africa.

Simple, practical, ethical and moral. Who’s with me?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Use SWAT Resources to REALLY Improve America

Why is it that there is no backlash AT ALL to “cancel white people” from the New York Times editor, and when all I suggest is cancelling the Citizenship of angry black people, I am the racist? Why is it that when Obama “jokes” about white people sitting in the back of the bus, it’s funny, but when white people say the same thing, they’re EVIL?

How about we learn to respect each other, in both directions, not just white people bending over backwards to respect non-white people? Why is equality only for non-whites, while “white bashing” and anthem kneeling is perfectly fine for others? Why do black people stand for foreign anthems, and not for American anthems? Why do people with sexual identification problems FORCE children to have sexual identification problems by allowing them into the wrong restroom?

Who formed this country, anyway? How about a genetic test that allows the actual decendents of the founding fathers to straighten things out. That would be good. (Admittedly, for me) If everyone else gets special treatment, why not the Hamiltons? That seems fair.

It’s not fine. You want to be racist, you invite racism in return.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Use SWAT Resources to REALLY Improve America

It really is shocking how long the Democrats have been importing and supporting slave labor in the US. They were the ones who opposed the 13th amendment, arguing that the country needed the low cost labor. They are now arguing the same issue with Mexican illegal immigrants. It was Republicans who pointed out how immoral slavery was then, and how immoral it is now to import illegal aliens who will work for practically nothing, depressing wages for legal Americans. Almost identical arguments then and now, with Democrats on the wrong side of morality, and Republicans defending the rights of the oppressed.

To anyone who studies history, Rupublicans are the heros to both black people and brown people, no matter how many times Democrats repeat their same nonsense to try to convince the public otherwise.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Use SWAT Resources to REALLY Improve America

Anyone who studies history will know immediately that you are full of shit.

All the misdeeds of mankind are not confined to the groups of people with whom you disagree. One would think this to be obvious. But do continue with your deluded silliness as some find it entertaining.

Toom1275 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Use SWAT Resources to REALLY Improve America

It really is shocking how long the Conservatives have been importing and supporting slave labor in the US. They were the ones who opposed the 13th amendment arguing that the country needed the low cost labor. It was Liberals who pointed out how immoral slavery was then. Almost identical arguments then and now, with Conservatives on the wrong side of morality, and Liberals defending the rights of the oppressed.

To anyone who studies history, Liberals are the heros to both black people and brown people, no matter how many times Conservatives repeat their same nonsense to try to convince the public otherwise.

Edited for accuracy

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Use SWAT Resources to REALLY Improve America

“How about we learn to respect each other,”

One must come an agreement on what that word means because there are many who disagree.

I think you might want to check your privilege.

Who was here before “the actual decedents of the founding fathers” began their colonization? Do they get to stay or should they be deported along with all the other illegal criminal terrorist commie lefties?

“You want to be racist, you invite racism in return.”

I think you answered your own question.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Use SWAT Resources to REALLY Improve America

Indian casinos are a big business, right? I’ve never looked very closely, but I thought they were all rich now, and the score was basically even.

I guess this could be argued another way, we did brutally murder a lot of them, big numbers, actually. Maybe being rich is not enough. But hell that was a long time ago. All that money they’re making will accumulate over time, eventually the score will be even, right?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

Take Mike and Shiva for example. Shiva will probably never fully recover from the brutal abuse he was subjected to on this very forum. Nothing can really be done. But the past is the past. Give him money, big piles of it. It’s still not enough, but he has to settle for it. Just like the Indians.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Re:

Shiva will probably never fully recover from the brutal abuse he was subjected to on this very forum

Didn’t you spend multiple posts insisting you weren’t Shiva, Hamilton?

I love it when trolls bring up "but but but Techdirt hurt inventors!" In the very same breath, you trolls claim Techdirt has virtually non-existent readership. Okay, let’s say we take that on face value as a fair accusation; how do you then claim that a website that doesn’t register on anyone’s radar does "brutal damage"?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Re:

So let’s get this cleared up.

You spend so many posts whining, cursing and bitching about the idea of white people giving money to black people.

Yet you insist that a white person (Masnick) gives money to a black person (Ayyadurai).

Doesn’t that make you racist by your own terms, Hamilton? You’re a racist, right? Right? Right?

Right?

Toom1275 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Re:

Shiva will probably never fully recover from the brutal abuse he was subjected to on this very forum.

[citation nonexistant]

The only two groups I’ve ever seen lying about Shiva are:

Shiva himself
Idiots Shiva duped, like Gnome Chomsky

None of the lies being told about Shiva really fall into any category of "abuse."

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:9 'Making citation based statements' = 'Brutal abuse', who knew?

The citation isn’t existent, but the implied definition is all sorts of hilarious. Apparently ‘giving your opinion to counter someone else’s claims, opinions based on piles of citations that are provided for everyone else to fact check’ is now ‘brutal abuse’.

That’s thin-skin in the ‘Turkey’s tin-pot dictator’ level, and demonstrates someone that would make a child look mature in their ability to handle criticism in comparison.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Use SWAT Resources to REALLY Improve America

Every native american is getting rich off of casinos … wow, where did you get this silly idea?

How many treaties with native americans do you think the US government broke? Is there even one that has been honored over time? Nothing has changed as they are still being treated poorly.

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