US is a Third World Hellhole... According to Policeby Wendy McElroy
The Dollar Vigilante
Feb. 27, 2013
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What else can explain their actions and attitudes?
Law enforcement agencies in America are using the No More Hesitation series of cardboard and paper targets for shooting practice. The Minneapolis-based Law Enforcement Targets Inc. (LET) has produced at least eight of them, with photos ranging from a young boy to a pregnant woman in her third trimester, both of whom are pointing guns. Other posters include an elderly man in his home holding a shotgun and a young mother with her daughter in a playground. There does not yet appear to be a baby in a playpen target. Available for 99 cents a sheet, the posters are approximately two-feet-wide by three-feet-tall. (Note: all the posters I've seen are of white people; perhaps it is too controversial to shoot a non-white pregnant woman or child?)
LET is a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) supplier. It has contracts worth at least $5,471,126 with several federal agencies, and it boasts of providing training materials throughout the military and to “thousands of law enforcement agencies at the municipal, county, and state levels.” Law enforcement customers are admonished to “Mix & Match 'No More Hesitation' targets for best pricing.” Presumably, officers who shoot the elderly man will also want the companion elderly woman target.
Under an advertised image of a pregnant woman, LET explains the purpose behind the training material, “No More Hesitation Targets were designed to give officers the experience of dealing with deadly force shooting scenarios with subjects that are not the norm during training. No More Hesitation faded background enhances the isolation and is meant to help the transition for officers who are faced with these highly unusual targets for the first time.”
Correction: LET did caption the pregnant woman target in the foregoing manner. Some time last week, LET either removed the images of civilian targets or blocked open access to them. It is not clear what happened because LET's 'explanation' is ambiguous: “These products have been taken offline due to the opinions expressed by so many, including members of the law enforcement community.” Are they available offline? And why are some target posters still on the site (as of noon 25/02/13)?
To view many of the targets, however, it is now necessary to use the Wayback Machine – a free online service that archives the Internet and preserves 'vanishing' data. The pregnant woman target can be accessed by feeding the old URL into the Wayback search box.
The officers are being conditioned to shoot their next door neighbors without reservation or pause. They are being desensitized to the confrontation with civilians that will occur if a door-to-door disarmament is conducted or civil unrest erupts. The police are being trained to shoot young children who hold guns even though the vast majority of such weapons will turn out to be water pistols or their equivalent. Those who believe the police can tell the difference should remember the recent manhunt for Chris Dorner – a large, young black man. Without warning, Los Angeles Police Officers fired more than a hundred bullets into a truck containing two small latina women – one of them 71 years old – before the officers realized neither was Dorner.
Meanwhile, last September, the DHS purchased at least 7,000 automatic assault rifles, calling them “Personal Defense Weapons”. These are the same weapons DHS wants to make illegal for private ownership. As well, DHS has either purchased or intends to purchase approximately 1.8 billion rounds of ammunition. (Accounts vary.) That is about 5 bullets per person in America. And, remember, DHS operates domestically. A retired Houston police officer named T.F. Stern also observed, “[T]his past September FEMA graduated its first class of cadets, not sure what you should call them; but FEMA corps is how they are classified. This is a national police force, a standing army by definition, a standing army that reports to the president and has powers that go beyond even local police departments; I find that disturbing on many levels.”
It looks like law enforcement is preparing for domestic battle. This has led to widespread speculation about the inevitability of a war by the government against civilians [a topic we consider at length -- along with how best to live through it unscathed -- at TDV Homegrown].
In fairness, and as noted by LET, some complaints about the civilian targets have come from law enforcement. For example, Stern added, “There’s something wrong, seriously wrong here. If we start to desensitize law enforcement officers, have them disregard humanity, to feel nothing’s wrong in shooting a pregnant lady or an old man with a shotgun inside his own home…then what kind of society have we become? How will police officers react after they no longer believe they are part of the society which they have been charged with policing, when they have become used to shooting pregnant ladies and old men?”
Similar comments from law enforcement seem to indicate a trend, however. They seem to come from retired officers who may have escaped the reckless militarization that grips current agencies. Law enforcement is no longer a part of the public it 'serves'; it is an occupying force that views prepubescent children as target practice.
There are anecdotal reports of public response.
Many people apparently accept law enforcement's constant warnings of constant dangers from which only officers of the law can protect them. They are afraid. And fear makes people politically malleable. They applaud a hard and fast crackdown on lawlessness. Such people will side with law enforcement whatever happens. If they are shown video of police officers slaughtering a newborn baby, they will exclaim, “Ah, yes, but what did the baby do to provoke the reasonable police response before the tape was turned on?”
Other people are taking action. These people know they pose no threat to civil society – they are civil society! – and, yet, they are being targeted for abuse by the state.
A story related by a gun enthusiast friend is particularly chilling. In a post entitled “Something funny happened on the way to tyranny”, gun owner Bob Owens described walking into a gun shop in his small town. Other businesses on the street were almost empty but the gun shop was a beehive of activity with “at least” 6 clerks rushing to keep up with demand from customers. He notes:
“The cases of ammunition that typically lined the far wall were picked to pieces. There was a 100-round case of .50 BMG, and cases of European shotshells suitable for small game. The .223 Remington, 5.56 NATO, 7.62×39, 7.62 NATO, and 7.62x54R had sold out long ago, along with the bulk 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP. A few pump shotguns remained along with a smattering of deer rifles, single-shots, and longer double-barreled shotguns suitable only for trap or skeet. Even the semi-automatic .22LR rifles like Ruger 10/22s were gone, along with all but one BX-25 magazine.”
Every weapon of “military utility” under 100 years old was gone. Owens commented, “This isn’t a society stocking up on certain guns because they fear they may be banned. This is a society preparing for war.”
I hope he is incorrect. I believe he is accurate. Owens concluded of the coming gun rights battle, “There is an earnestness now on both sides, and a great chance for unintended consequences.”
Do not become an unintended consequence. Do not let your family any where near an officer who has no hesitation about shooting a child.
Wendy McElroy is a frequent Dollar Vigilante contributor and renowned individualist anarchist and individualist feminist. She was a co-founder along with Carl Watner and George H. Smith of The Voluntaryist in 1982, and is the author/editor of twelve books, the latest of which is "The Art of Being Free". Follow her work at http://www.wendymcelroy.com.