Guest Post: Weapons of War On Our Streets – A Guide to the Militarization of America’s Police – Part 2

This article was originally published on Ammo.com.

The Role of Civil Asset Forfeiture

Civil asset forfeiture (CAF) is a major driver in the militarization of the police force. Put simply, CAF is a legal principle that allows police to seize money and property from “suspected” criminals, which they can do without a warrant because the suspect’s property doesn’t have the presumption of innocence. Note that police do not have to convict or even indict. Indeed, indictments are not even filed in over 80 percent of all cases. Police can simply seize property, more or less at will, with some property harder to seize than others. Seizure of anything under $20,000 will almost certainly stand because that’s about what it’s going to cost you to fight CAF in court.

Most of the money raised through civil asset forfeiture is filed under “other.” This can be anything from a $600 coffee maker to a tank. Because the burden of proof is so low and the benefits are so high, CAF is effectively a legally allowed form of theft by police officers, allowing them to purchase military-grade hardware with stolen property. Here is a short list of military hardware purchased with civil asset forfeiture funds:

  • $5 million helicopter for the Los Angeles Police Department
  • $1 million mobile command bus for Prince George County, Maryland
  • $227,000 for a Lenco brand armored vehicle in Douglasville, GA, a town with a population of 32,000
  • $54,000 for 27 M-4 assault rifles in Braselton, GA, a town with a population of 9,476

While not the sole, nor even the primary, means by which the police are becoming militarized, this is a significant method for police departments to bankroll their own militarization.

Highlights of Police Militarization

It’s one thing to discuss police militarization simply in terms of weapons acquisition. It’s another to discuss police militarization in terms of actual incidents. Some high-profile incidents involving heavily militarized police are worth examining.

  • MOVE: In 1985, the Philadelphia police came into conflict with a militant black nationalist organization called MOVE over the clearing of a building. An armed standoff resulted in shots exchanged between the compound’s inhabitants and the police. Eventually, this erupted into a firefight involving both semi-automatic and automatic weapons. On the orders of the police commissioner, the building was bombed twice. The resulting fire spread to a total of 65 different houses in the neighborhood and caused 11 deaths, including five children under 13. Over 250 were left homeless due to the fires.
  • Ruby Ridge: This is notorious within in the Second Amendment and liberty movements, so it hardly needs to be repeated. In 1992, the United States Marshal Service attempted to serve a bench warrant at Ruby Ridge, the home of Randy Weaver and his family. His wife Vicki and his 14-year-old son Sammy were shot by USMS and FBI agents armed with M16s, sniper rifles and weaponized vehicles. Randy Weaver’s attorney made accusations of criminal wrongdoing and a resulting 14-day Senate investigation called for sweeping law enforcement reforms to avoid another similar incident. Federal officers also killed the Weaver family dog.
  • Branch Davidians: This is perhaps one of, if not the, archetypal example of a militarized police force greatly overreaching. Armed with .50 caliber rifles, M728 Combat Engineer Vehicles (which are effectively tanks) and M79 grenade launchers, the FBI and ATF engaged in a firefight with Branch Davidians inside. Controversy remains to this day with regard to who fired first and who started the fire that consumed the building, leaving 82 members of the church dead.

These are the big three, but there are many smaller events also worth mentioning. During the wreckage of Hurricane Katrina, private Blackwater contractors patrolled the streets with automatic weapons. They were accused of summary execution of looters. In a low point for militarized police in 2014, a SWAT team in Cornelia, Georgia severely mutilated the face of an 18-month-old baby boy with a flash bang grenade in a fruitless search for drugs.

The Role of SWAT Teams

SWAT teams are effectively the military of the police force. Begun in 1965 in Philadelphia, SWAT teams were conceived as a way to restrain urban unrest, deal with hostage situations or handle barricaded marksmen like Charles Whitman.

Indeed, early uses of SWAT seemed to be well within the range of appropriateness. In December 1969, the LAPD’s SWAT team squared off with the Black Panthers, with Daryl Gates requesting and receiving permission to use a grenade launcher. In May 1974, the same SWAT team had a several-hours-long gun battle with the Symbionese Liberation Army.

However, SWAT teams gradually began to tackle missions that were not, strictly speaking, appropriate for the tools in their toolbox. What’s more, once LAPD’s SWAT team became famous, every city seemed to want one. The number of SWAT teams in cities of 50,000 or more doubled between the mid-80s and late-90s, at which point 89 percent of all cities of this size had a SWAT team.

Some startling facts when it comes to SWAT teams:

  • 62% of all SWAT deployments were for drug raids
  • 79% of these were done on private residences
  • Only 7% of all raids were done for situations SWAT was invented for – namely barricades or hostage situations

Even smaller cities have SWAT teams now, which raises the question of why. Mission creep is the short answer, with SWAT teams now being used for operations far beyond the original scope of their work. Put simply, the SWAT team was not created to serve every search warrant that comes across the desk of a small-town police force.

SWAT teams ostensibly exist to respond to “high risk” scenarios. But there are seemingly no guidelines for what makes a situation high risk. Sometimes local SWAT teams use a threat matrix. However, these matrices are highly subjective and vulnerable to abuse. Partial responses are discouraged. Either the SWAT team is not deployed at all or there is a full-throttle response.

To use one example of why these matrices don’t work, let us consider the presence or absence of weapons. There is no way of knowing whether or not weapons will be present. So officers must subjectively guess whether or not they believe weapons will be present. Unfortunately, officers are pretty bad at this guessing game. According to an ACLU report, SWAT officers believed weapons were present in 35 percent of cases, but only actually found them in a scant 13 percent. In 36 percent of cases where SWAT was deployed to find drugs, no drugs were found.

Fusion Centers: Surveillance and Snooping

As the military’s tools for surveillance become more powerful, this too will trickle down to the local police.

In at least one case, it already has. Fusion Centers are hubs for local, state and federal police to share information. They’re effectively intelligence-gathering done by various police agencies who pool their resources. While this isn’t an uncommon practice, the Fusion Centers have virtually no oversight and are filled with zeal for the War on Terror. While its primary existence was to surveil in the fight against terrorism, Fusion Centers have quickly ballooned to gather intelligence on just about anything – and it’s not just the police. The military participates in Fusion Centers, as does the private sector, which means they’re a privacy nightmare.

The federal government has pushed Fusion Centers and largely bankrolled them. Hundreds of FBI agents work with Fusion Centers, with the federal government providing hundreds of millions of dollars in federal aid. In the case of the Maryland Coordination and Analysis Center, the federal government created a Fusion Center at the state level, only eventually turning control of an ostensibly state agency to the state. 30 percent of these “state” agencies are physically located in federal office space.

Private sector companies collect, store and analyze data for Fusion Centers. This would be dangerous on its own, but the lack of any oversight makes it particularly troublesome. Even if a private sector has the best of intentions, malicious third-party actors could access some of your most sensitive data if it’s been datamined by a Fusion Center. A company without the best intentions can do all kinds of “government-approved” snooping into your personal affairs.

Another nasty surveillance tool currently being deployed by the police is the Stingray phone tracker. This is effectively a phony cell phone tower that snoops on cell phone calls, which can extract significant information about you from your cell phone. Originally to be used only in terrorism investigations, the Electronic Frontier Foundation notes that the LAPD “has been using it for just about any investigation imaginable.” They can also be used to jam or otherwise interfere with your phone signal. Stingrays are highly mobile and can be mounted to just about any vehicle.

All of this is part of an overall drive for increased police surveillance starting at the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security and trickling down. “Total Information Awareness” was one of the more Orwellian euphemisms of the early Bush and Department of Homeland Security years. It was quickly renamed Terrorism Information Awareness, then codenamed “Basketball.” Its goal is to know everything, or at least as much as it can. In 2012, the New York Times reported that this program was “quietly thriving” at the National Security Agency.

The Information Awareness Office, established by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA – who we will discuss more later), oversaw Total Information Awareness. They collect emails, social network identities, records for phone calls and credit card purchases, medical records and a host of other information with no need for a warrant. Congress defunded this program, but it exists under the auspices of a number of different agencies according to Edward Snowden.

Technologies developed by the Information Awareness Office (and in the wake of Snowden’s revelations, it’s worth noting that these are just the technologies that have been made public) includes:

How much of this has trickled down to your local police department is largely unknown.

The Detriments of a Militarized Police Force

There are a number of negative consequences arising from the existence of a militarized police force.

  • Civil Liberties: Chief among the problems presented by a militarized police force are civil liberties. Militarized police seems to violate the spirit, if not the letter, of the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, which forbids using the military to enforce domestic law in most cases and under ordinary circumstances.
  • Surveillance: The militarized police force also uses military-style forms of surveillance. A January 2017 report from the Cato Institute accused militarized police of “mission creep,” going beyond simple weapons and tactics and into surveillance.
  • Force: Veterans on the police force tend to have more complaints about excessive force and are more likely to discharge their weapons, according to a report from the Marshall Project.
  • Alienation: Militarized police are the antithesis of community policing, which leverages good community relations and the resources flowing from those relations to prevent and solve crimes. Military-style training for police, battle dress uniforms and even just the color black might provoke more aggression from officers. Named missions such as “War on Drugs” likewise make community policing more difficult.
  • Killing Dogs: There’s significant evidence suggesting that the more militarized a police force is, the more likely it is to shoot a dog. Yes, really. The Puppycide Database Project tracks these things.
  • Lack of Oversight: At the local, state and federal levels, there is little-to-no oversight when it comes to the militarization of the police. Most states do not keep tabs on the statistics of their SWAT teams. Where they do, reports are frequently incomplete and little-to-no action is taken on their basis. No federal agency collects information about local SWAT teams. There is little oversight of 1033 or SWAT teams either by the Department of Justice or the Department of Homeland Security.

All of this is perhaps why, under the Obama Justice Department, there was a push toward demilitarization of the police force. In 2015, the Task Force for 21st Century Policing recommended restriction of military hardware such as grenade launchers and armored vehicles. President Donald Trump has since reversed this, reinstating the entire 1033 program and remilitarizing police.

DARPA: Police Militarization of the Future

Since there is a clearly established pipeline running from the Pentagon’s latest and greatest toys, it’s not much of a stretch to say that the weapons being developed by the Pentagon today are going to be used on the streets of America in the very near future.

In fact, there’s an entire department of the Pentagon dedicated to developing futuristic weapons to help the United States win the new arms. It’s called the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, commonly known as DARPA. This agency has not only developed weapons, but also a number of contemporary technologies most people take for granted – such as GPS, graphic user interface, the mouse, and even the internet itself. Recent research includes more intuitive prosthetic limbs as well as brain implants that will help those with memory loss regain their memory.

But DARPA isn’t just working on projects like these with the promise to revolutionize medicine and increase the quality of human life. They also work on some rather nasty little projects that will almost certainly trickle down to your local police department through the 1033 program. Some of the futuristic weapons currently in development by DARPA include:

  • Active Denial System: The active denial system is an invisible ray gun heating the skin of people in a given area to 130 degrees. The targets instinctively flee, something that DARPA calls the “goodbye effect.” The end result can leave second- or third-degree burns on up to 20 percent of the body’s surface. The weapon has already been tested in Afghanistan.
  • Taser X12: Nearly everyone is familiar with the Taser. The Taser X12 is effectively that in 12-gauge shotgun form. This extends the reach of a Taser weapon from about 20 feet to about 100 feet.
  • Skull Piercing Microwaves: Yep, you read that right. One of the projects DARPA is working on right now leverages the audio effect of microwaves. This creates shockwaves inside the skull, which are read by the brain as sound. This can result in discomfort, incapacitation and brain damage.
  • Long-Range Acoustic Device: Sirens might not sound like a big deal, but the current ones being worked on by DARPA are so loud they can cause permanent hearing damage very quickly. Pittsburgh police already used this against protestors in 2009. More advanced sonic weapons can be deadly, including the Thunder Generator developed by the Israelis
  • Voice of God: This one sounds impossible, but it’s not. The Voice of God is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. It’s a weapon beaming words directly into your head so that you think God is talking to you. This leverages the same technology in LRADs, but for different effect.

These are just a few of the weapons that we know about. There is almost certainly far more frightening classified weapons coming down the pike over the next decade.

The tendency is strongly in the direction of increasingly militarized police. This renders the notion of “weapons of war on our streets” as a gun grabber argument exceptionally weak. The most heavily armed gang on the street isn’t your local street gang – it’s law enforcement. They have weapons far in excess to that of the average citizen or even the average criminal. This means resisting them can easily be deadly, even when you’re within your legal rights.

This raises a point worthy of consideration: The usual suspects will cry and rage at your ability to legally own an AR-15, a right codified by the United States Constitution. Rare is the gun grabber who makes any kind of stink when police use directed energy weapons. Remember that gun grabbers aren’t against guns – they’re just against yours.

See also:




52 Comments

  1. Re: “CAF is a legal principle that allows police to seize money and property from “suspected” criminals, which they can do without a warrant because the suspect’s property doesn’t have the presumption of innocence. ”

    This would seem a very clear violation of the 4th Amendment. I think the US of a “civil” process verses a criminal process is very flimsy. If government can use a civil procedure to violate our 4th then they can/could use it to violate the rest of our rights.

    “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

  2. My own personal take on the best way to deal with this problem…is for police departments to stop hiring ex-military personnel. During the last half of the 20th Century there was a trend in police hiring process towards giving “preference points” to applicants with military service. This process worked and…as these former military personnel worked their way up the ladder…they eventually assumed leadership positions where they did the hiring. Naturally they were biased in favor of fellow servicemen…and they hired accordingly. By the end of the 20th Century, police forces consisted of a disproportionally high percentage of former military. Today, it is near impossible to be hired on as a police officer unless you have served. There are rare exceptions, but the fact is that most LEO’s today have prior military service. Many police officers continue to serve in the reserves. Indeed when I was a Deputy Sheriff in the 1990’s, we regularly had our personnel taking a leave of absence to go to Iraq or wherever. So…in short, my point is, when you have mostly ex-soldiers and reservists staffing police departments from top to bottom…then by default you have militarized police. Only the color of the uniform changes…the “peacekeeping mission” whether overseas or on domestic soil remains the same. They exchange their OD BDU’s for Navy Blue BDU’s. Even the attire and equipment has irreversibly transformed – when I was a kid growing up in the 1960’s and 1970’s, police were “black and whites” armed with service revolvers and riot guns. The last time I had an encounter with police on the street (yeah, mistaken identity, a whole other tale) the officer wore dark blue BDU’s and combat boots, and I’m almost certain there was a “black rifle” lurking somewhere in the cruiser. The solution to this problem…and yes it is a problem…is to change the source…change the hiring practices. Only when we have a police force which is truly representative of our society…and includes people from all backgrounds and all walks of life…will we be rid of this problem we now face. As long as we continue to allow our police departments to be MOSTLY staffed by “squared away” shaved headed young men fresh out of the military…we will have to live with excessive use of force.

    1. According to some sources, members of the Ku Klux Klan and other white nationalist organizations have been attempting to infiltrate police and sheriff departments for at least ten years. Who do you think funds hate organizations. Not me , not you. Who? Who are the KKK looking to kill? Um, likely black people and Jews, right? Not me, not you.

      As Martin Neimoller said in Nazi Germany, circa 1938:

      First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—
      Because I was not a socialist.

      Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
      Because I was not a trade unionist.

      Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
      Because I was not a Jew.

      Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

      Sure you may rejoice when they come for the Socialists, and the Communists, and the MArxists. Just be aware that Fascism is emboldened by passivity and that if you aren’t part of the Fascist effort, you are a next target.

      Your political opinions will not protect you. The color of your skin will not protect you. As the author noted, the Branch Davidian folks learned that your armaments will not protect you.

      “Armed with .50 caliber rifles, M728 Combat Engineer Vehicles (which are effectively tanks) and M79 grenade launchers, the FBI and ATF engaged in a firefight with Branch Davidians inside.”

      As Benjamin Franklin said, “Gentlemen, we must hang together or we will hang separately.”

      I make a point to get on a personal, first-name basis with my local LE personnel. That may protect me. Any other ideas are welcome.

      Carry on.

      1. FIrst, the NAZIs were socialist! Might want to check that quote again. Neimoller use communist, it’s a miss quote on the part of USHMM. Also where is your evidence that racial groups are infiltrating LE? We do know that racial groups have been infiltrating the prepper movement.

        1. I have to agree with this comment. There is no credible evidence of the KKK infiltrating law enforcement IN RECENT YEARS. In the 1920s there were more than 1 million KKK members. Now their membership is down below 3,000. They are essentially a non-issue. Good riddance!

        2. I agree Survivormann99. Generalities are, indeed, troublesome. Thus my question. Perhaps I’m wrong in observing generalities on your part, accusing (wrong word?) some posters in this way: There are way too many anti-cop, anti-military people posting on this blog. I’m wondering just how many are from Black Lives Matter or Antifa, or who are cop haters with arrest records and are just trying to stir things up.

          If I am mistaken, just say so.

          Carry on.

        3. I mistakenly posted the above reply here as well as to Survivormann99.

          You make a good point, Gray Man. The original quote used “Communists”.

          As to law enforcement being infiltrated by white nationalist hate groups, I submit two sources: https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/in-the-us-white-supremacists-have-infiltrated-police-and-military-to-get-weapons-training-20180209-p4yzs5.html and https://www.pbs.org/newshour/nation/fbi-white-supremacists-in-law-enforcement

          The first article quotes a former neo-nazi, Christian Piccolini, who is doing the Lord’s work with current neo-nazi youth. He recognizes them as he was, broken people seeking connection. He befriends them, in a way similar to Jesus embracing the lowly and outcast. Mr Piccolini is one of my heroes.

          Carry on.

  3. T.L. Davis of christianmerc this week made an excellent point.

    The Dilemma

    “I don’t know what triggering event will bring us together on these issues. The trouble with independent thinkers is that they tend to have a wide and diverse set of conditions upon which they will act, making cooperative action nearly impossible. Some will not act at all. Some will act too soon and simply become a martyr without a discernible cause. But, we have to start somewhere, sometime…don’t we?”

    SurvivalBlog has never been as relevant as it is today.

  4. Always dismayed when reading articles like this within the prepper / survival community. 90% of peoples only interaction with law enforcement is a traffic citation.

    Nobody likes to be detained while local government reaches into your pocket. This is an issue better addressed at local politicians.

    We the people should band together to oppose tyranny from our government not fight amongst ourselves

    1. It is not just police that we can inadvertently have interaction with. Code Enforcement Officers are also considered law enforcement officers, even if it is just ordinances, and ordinances that freedom-loving citizens disagree with, such as the number of domestic animals the township will allow you to have on your own property. The issue is that you can also be fined enormous amounts of money for exercising your right to freedom, if the township doesn’t like it and has passed such an ordinance. The township supervisors do not like the fact that we have been a rural township; they are looking at the tax $$$ that arise out of getting rid of the rural people and bringing in people willing to build/buy $300,000 to $500,000 homes on single acre lots.

      1. Hello, never got a response from one of my comments before 🙂

        Yes , I lived in a urban setting and the police seem to have better things to do than harass the citizens for minor code infractions. Although have since moved out to the suburbs and had a more shall we say involved interaction with the local authorities.

        Since it was a situation of my own doing and was required to go through the necessary legal process have to say the local police were more than fair with me.

        Perhaps things have got out of hand in other parts of the country. Have a friend down south who has become anti police even though he was a former officer himself. Still think the focus should be directed towards politicians as police are merely officers of the Court.

        Would like to think if there was a rogue element out there it would be brought to someone’s attention as most municipalities are very sensitive to avoid lawsuits.

        Good luck, be safe , God bless !

    2. sirlancelot…well said, sir. Those who wish to keep us down (and docile) sow the seeds of discord. Anytime, someone starts preaching “violent overthrow of the government”, you can safely assume that individual works for those who wish to keep us down.

      As I posted on Part 1. These moles often look and talk like us. Beware. Work together for our highest ideals. Someone (left or right, I forget, it is still true) said, “Together we can.”

      Carry on.

  5. I just think that this article needs to have a better baseline. I think we need to embrace our peace officers and sheriffs. I find that individuals who think for themselves and question story lines and see history, are stigmatized and seen as anti-firefighter or anti-police during training. I have heard jokes and pointed examples by trainers on a regular basis that cause the trainees to have to choose not to be included in this weird or cooky group, to seem like one of the intelligent and loyal club and laugh along as we are not those people.
    We are not anti-government, we are not anti-public servant (not slave). We are just those people who do not need a club or need acceptance to prove we are loyal to what is right. This has created a false pervasive brainwashing, mindset that you must be against us because the training and constant examples during training cause us to distrust you the thinker. We have to be ready to take the hits and change the thought process that thinking for yourself is against the group training. It is hard to take and stand alone being looked at as anti-firefighter when you do not buy the official story of 9-11 and are concerned about the attack on our firefighters, medical personnel or police and civilians. It is over and over harped on that you must be anti-us if you do not parrot the implanted view and the implanted shunning of those who just see things as a little screwy when the instructors are always saying the same things consistently marginalizing people/issues that we don’t have the answers, but we know they are clearly not what is being pumped into the public mind. In the end do they obey orders because they are part of the club and you are not? It is a risk but we got to take it a little at a time and hope we do not lose our job in the process. Change the dialog that thinking for yourself is not anti- one of the guys. Its pro people and pro private property and pro responsible liberty.

  6. Regarding Fusion Centers, I understand that the NRA membership list is compared to vehicle registration and used to target out of state vehicles on the interstate by the Maryland State Police. My reaction is two fold. I take a route that barely touches Maryland. The vehicle we take is in my wife’s name and she is not included in the NRA membership role.

    1. I think the jist of the article is that as a free citizen, we should not have to circumvent a state to avoid harassment when we are supposed to be able to freely travel without said harassment.

  7. A key point to consider with these articles, as well as the comments, is that critically discussing or reflecting on militarization should not be viewed as a personal attack against individual LEOs.

    I saw several current and retired LEO’s commenting on yesterday’s article. I am also friends with and aware that many LEO’s are preppers. And, rightfully so. With this in mind, critically discussing militarization is to look at policy and federalization of tactics, along with the ways in which these things include “mission creep” into other sectors of society. In some cases, individual LEO’s may not be aware of why a policy or technique is implemented. To my way of thinking, this discussion is not and should not be a personal attack against first responders, but rather the larger process of why militarization occurs and finds a home in domestic policing.

  8. Read the comments to Odds and Sods that follows this article.

    Has anyone noticed that the cop haters and anti-military in law enforcement types seem to be posting disproportionately about this asset forfeiture article, and the pro-military types seem to be posting disproportionately about the murder of the Afghan terrorist and the prosecution of Major Golsteyn?

    Disarm the cops by limiting them to the same 10 round magazines as the public? Wait a minute. I thought if guns were banned, only criminals would have guns. Wouldn’t the same logic apply to 30 round magazines?

    Sure cops go over the line many times. Some crackpots, however, think that cops should be limited to bare fists, or perhaps batons and 10 round magazines when faced with unruly crowds of looters and protesters such as in Ferguson, MO, and Baltimore, MD. Remember all of the outcry about “military equipment” being used on the street? Nobody was paying cops to take Molotov cocktails or bricks in the head from this urban scum. (Sure there were decent people among the crowds, but they weren’t the ones hurling rocks and such, and they sure didn’t speak all that critically about those who were hurling the rocks and other objects.) I could not care less if the cops used all means at their disposal to put an end to the looting there.

    I just watched a program that included scenes of the Watts riot in the 60s. Cops were armed with 6-shot revolvers and batons. Nobody had AR15s or Kalashnikovs on either side, at least not in the footage I saw. That genie is out of the bottle now (I myself have several semi-auto rifles and likely have more guns than all but a few Survivalblog readers have.) Yet, to suggest that cops be disarmed to the point where they are essentially toothless when dealing with the human trash that is so widespread in our society is nutso.

    The world has changed in so many ways with the deterioration of values, all of which can be traced to the Baby Boomer generation, my generation, in the 1960s. “Sex, drugs, and Rock and Roll” have taken their toll in so many ways. As an example, “fun fact” here, in 1949, a year in which a huge number of Baby Boomers were born, the No. 1 selling song in the week before Christmas was “Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer.” It was a different world, and it only went downhill from there. Now we’re in a world filled with unwed mothers (there used to be a name for their children, but that word is now politically incorrect), rampant drug use of outright drug addiction, and urban crime.

    1. I agree with some of your assessment, especially regarding our degraded society. Your comment regarding Ferguson interests me.

      National Review some time ago did an article about a town near Ferguson where the citizens were suing their own City Council. Why? Because the town had been going into decline to some degree, tax revenue was falling and the city was responding with large fines on everything they could think of to make up revenue. It went to such extremes that the people were effectively revolting. From the article Ferguson may have been in the same boat minus the lawsuit.

      I bring this up because although I believe Michael Brown had to be shot in that moment, I think the city politicians may have created the environment to make it happen and in fact were putting the police and the people against each other through their corrupt policies.

      In my own county we fortunately kicked out the head of our county planning commission a few years ago but I could literally drive you around and show you the effects of the previous ones and city over reach. Empty buildings where businesses formerly were but moved across boundaries to get away from government nonsense.

      We watch what happens in the slums and assume it is different than what happens elsewhere but I think I have more in common with many in the slums than might at first meet the eye. I just have more resources to deal with the government over reach.

      That is not to take away from your comment regarding our degrading morals. I just think other things also aggravate the situation.

  9. Regarding CAF.

    The war on drugs seems to have brought much of this about. This creates a quandary for me.

    My quandary on this subject is that I think some war on drugs is necessary. I do not buy the, “I should be able to put anything in my body.” argument. The societal effects of highly addictive drugs are too great. The nearest big city to me is taking a very lax approach to policing dug use and it is turning into a sewer of “homeless” people who are predominantly addicts.

    On the other hand we seem to be bringing ever increasingly invasive policing into the war on drugs. And it seems to have less success at controlling drug crime. In my nearby big city it would appear that business is quite good despite the police force having a reputation for heavy handed tactics.

    Not sure what the solution is. Sometimes I think we should be taking this battle out of the country and conducting military operations in Mexico, Central and South America but that is unlikely and full of all kinds of pitfalls itself.

  10. As for the shooting of dogs by SWAT teams: Most criminals and transient druggies have Pit Bulls or Rottweiler attack dogs that can only be stopped by a bullet! Mace does not work on these types of Game dogs and their bite is crippling! I personally have been attacked by both breeds of dog on bicycle rides with my wife. A 12 guage with buckshot loads works best! Just go here=https://www.dogsbite.org/

    1. your assumption is that the police only shoot a dog that is attacking. It is common knowledge that many departments have a shoot policy that directs officers to shoot any animal that they come in contact with and may feel threatened by. Your dog growls at a cop and he is gonna get shot. Doesn’t matter if the dog never lunges or even moves towards the officer. ANY sign of aggression from ANY animal they come in contact with is grounds for termination. I don’t know about dogs you have been around but its the nature of any dog I have ever seen to defend and protect its turf. A snarl doesn’t equate to an attack but that is often all that is needed. Hell even the animal being a certain breed can warrant being shot. All that needs to happen is the officer “feels threatened”. Thats a pretty damn low threshold….

  11. In South Central, the dog of choice is a pit bull. In the drug and gang subculture, one has to have the “baddest” dog possible so as to show the other homies that the owner is a badass, too.

    It is no surprise to hear that the cops had to put three slugs in these often abused dogs that instinctively protect their turf, even if that turf is owned (more likely rented) by the scumbags that are part of this subculture.

  12. Is there a list which enumerates CAF policies by state? That information would be very helpful when making strategic relocation decisions.

    Survivormann99, I come from a long line of LEOs but I would have to have my head in deep sand not to recognise the serious conflict of interest which CAF provides and a clear violation of the Constitution.

      1. Eminent Domain is at least mentioned and delineated in the Constitution. Yes, it gets abused but at least there is some precedent. CAF completely flies in the face of and is contrary to the fourth amendment to the US Constitution.

  13. CAF is related to the “war on drugs”, soon to be the war on guns.
    It was sold even with media like “Miami Vice”. Why should drug traffickers not forfeit the money, not noticing the police aren’t looking at the fentanyl coming in side of the freeway but the cash going back.

    But it goes deeper.

    What about DUI? Or even seatbelts. Federally mandated laws. (I’d add tinted windows).
    No harm, but the 4th amendment apparently has a DUI or safety exception.

    That has been around forever and generally without opposition.

    Not from the ACLU, not from the Constitutionalists.

    I mentioned Charolottesville, and I’ve been watching. The evil is that a bunch of violent people got away with it on one side where the police ignored or encourage violence and would not even arrest or take reports, even flame throwers, v.s. the other side where people served long sentences for defending themselves. Before you say “but they were bad people”, antifa considers nearly every supporter of this blog a bad person and would have done the same.

    Someone mentioned Michael Brown. Remember George Zimmerman (Trayvon Martin)?

    https://vdare.com/articles/unequal-justice-in-fields-charlottesville-trial-and-increasingly-throughout-the-left-s-america

    This is the key. Do we want to be a nation of laws, and rule of law, or of men, some privileged, some not.

    It does go to CAF, DUI, etc. If only “the little people”, the “dirt” people, the “garbage” people suffer, we aren’t a nation of laws.

    1. You have a very good point. As far as cops seizing property for minor crimes goes, this happened to me once, over ten years ago. I was driving through Kansas (I do not live there) and I had a flat tire. While I was changing it, a deputy sheriff pulled up behind me and asked if I needed any help. I said no, and he went back to his car and ran my plates. Unfortunately, my plates were expired and I did not have a current registration. So they took me to jail, impounded my car, and while ‘searching’ it, conducted a treasure hunt, taking among other things, a shortwave radio and personal items, including my glasses. I did not have any illegal items in my car, so they satisfied themselves with a little petty larceny. I called some friends and was bailed out of jail early the next morning. My fines totaled about $400, but the loss of my personal belongings was higher than that. I did not discover the losses until I got my car out of impound, after I paid for towing, an impound fee, and storage fees. That is my personal experience with asset forfeiture. And on another subject, anyone who shoots my dog will get a face full of double-barrel 12 gauge.

      1. All of that should have been avoided with the proper vehicle papers. Don’t put yourself in the position to be taken advantage of.

        What part of Kansas was this? nearest big city or county?

  14. Believe it or not , most cops have good sense . They are not willy billy seizing everything in sight . I’ve been involved in seizures, always in conjunction with narcotics sales. One involved three kilos of cocaine in the same hidden compartment with $77,000.

    Remember every seizure has a right to a hearing. Most of the time the person is in the wind and off and running..

    The comments about banning ex military from an occupation are reprehensible

    1. Frank C., have you noticed the unfortunate number of troglodytes posting today that are anti-military? Some seem to have filtered in from an earlier Antifa gathering.

      I suspect that many of these people have a “history” with cops and they are taking it out on the military because they consider the military to be “fellow travelers.”

    2. Actually Frank, every seizure does not go to trial. That’s state dependent. There are quite a few that it’s only probable cause to seize, which is wrong.

      And while most cops have good sense. What happens to the sh** cops? They get protected by the thin blue line mentality which causes more problems then it prevents. As officers you should want every sh**bag off the force.

  15. There is no such thing as a “War on Drugs”. There is a declared war on the American people. You can not declare a war on an inanimate object. You can only declare a war on those Americans who choose to smoke something, inject something, snort something, or otherwise ingest something, that a group of elitists don’t approve of.

    Show me, in our Constitution, where the States granted the authority to the government of the United States the power to dictate, as in dictatorship, to 325 million people what they may or may not eat, drink, smoke, chew, sniff, snort, patch onto their skin, stick into a vein in their arm, or for that matter, shove up their rear ends. It isn’t there, it does not exist. The likes of Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin call it “extra Constitutional”. Reading the ninth and tenth amendments clearly shows there is no such thing as “extra Constitutional”. Either the power was specifically granted to the FedGov or it wasn’t, there is no middle of the road.

    The war on drugs is exactly the same as the ongoing war on raw milk. Some group of influential people or influential businesses, decides they don’t want you to do something they either don’t approve of, or something that may effect the bottom line of one industry or another, and the demand for federal action is pushed to the hilt.

    Who are the biggest lobbyists promoting the war on drugs. That would be Big Alcohol, Big Pharma, and Big South American and middle eastern drug cartels, can’t have all that competition from legal cannabis, opium, and koka, now can we. If you believe the illegal drug cartels don’t have lobbyists on K Street, you are seriously naive.

    Let’s add to this list, Big military, Big security, Big doctor, Big hospital, Big insurance, Big government union (SEIU), Big government in general, the list goes on and on.

    The misnamed Patriot Act is unconstitutional on so many levels it would be difficult to even start.

    Civil asset forfeiture is a direct violation of the 4th amendment. Also a violation of that part of the constitution that deals with not punishing children for the crimes of the father, something about no corruption of blood. It pertains particularly to treason, but applies to the takings clause as well. You can’t punish the innocent to further punish the guilty. Something about cruel and unusual punishment. It is just immoral, and those who support it are immoral. Jeff Sessions is an immoral man. If Trump supports this, he is also an immoral man.

    Life was better in America when we had peace officers instead of enforcers. The police have become enforcers for the biggest criminal enterprise in the history of the planet, the government of the United States, and their willing accomplices, the governments of the States, the counties, and the cities.

    Are all police people bad, no. The majority just want to do their job, keep the peace, and come home at the end of their shift, safe and sound. There are some, way to many, who are just freaking evil and wallow in the power they have over their fellow citizens.

    1. You are naïve. Drugs are most generally used to allow males to have sex with females. It isn’t a “choice” nor should it be legal. If you understood the “Hell” that drug users go through you would understand why so many people oppose drugs. The war on drugs is a war on those who make it, import it and sell it. Would you want your 13 YO daughter to “choose” to do drugs while in a room with half a dozen adult males? That is often exactly what happens and the primary purpose of drug use.

      1. If you are a good parent, your 13 year old daughter is not going to be in that position in the first place. Second, 13 year old children don’t have the right to choose to do any drug. By definition, they are children. The parent is the responsible party. If the child is so neglected that they feel free to make those decisions for themselves, then I suggest there is a serious problem with the parents. The group of men in your criticism would be guilty of child abuse, statutory rape, and giving drugs to minors. All criminal acts, all punishable by serious jail time. They are the ones doing harm to another human being, a serious crime. They don’t have the right to do harm, to make decisions for another human being.

        You appear to be in favor of some form of dictatorship in America. It requires dictatorship to assume the power to control the individual and the otherwise harmless actions of the individual. If you have self-ownership, you make the decision what you voluntarily choose to put into your own body. You have that right as a human being as long as you harm no other human being. If you don’t have that right, if you do not have self-ownership, you are by definition, a slave.

        We used to punish people for the real tangible harm they do to another person. Now we punish people because we don’t approve of the decisions they make that only, maybe, harm themselves. There are way too many people who approve of what is by definition, dictatorship.

    2. Charles K.,

      You are obviously of the Libertarian persuasion. Do you also adhere to the Libertarian view that we should have open borders?

      The problem with allowing people unfettered access to drugs is that they reduce the chances for success in their lives, and then want to claim disability benefits because they cannot hold a job. They also cause untold damage to those near them, particularly their spouses and children. This is the “tangible harm” they do to others to which you refer, the others being taxpayers, spouses, and children.

      1. I am a libertarian. However those who claim to be libertarian yet support open borders are basically lying about their libertarian leanings. Open borders are a gross violation of the property rights of all American citizens, and a violation of the non-aggression principle.

        As far as getting stoned and claiming disability benefits, that is a violation of the rights of the American taxpayer. They have the right to harm themselves and themselves alone, they are responsible for their own actions and for their own success or failure. The harm they may do to their family is between them and their family. If they do violence or otherwise use force on members of their family they are violating the rights of others. It is up to the spouse to take responsibility and protect the children. It is the real tangible harm people do that should be punished. For the person sitting in their living room, sharing a marijuana cigarette with their spouse, at the end of their work day, leave them alone. They are not in violation of the non-aggression principle that is the basis behind libertarian thought.

        As a libertarian I believe all people should take responsibility for their own actions, good, bad, or indifferent. Reducing their chances for success in their lives is their responsibility alone. There is no guarantee of success for anyone. That being said, what possible crime can you commit where no one is actually harmed.

  16. I’d be the last one to say the cops are right all the time . Been there, done that , been wrong. Cops do make mistakes. Having said that the rush to condemn “ the militarization “ of police department comes with little in the way of facts. Try making yourself little behind an engine block when a meth monkey decides to shoot at devils no one else can see and you might appreciate a ballistic helmet and a SWAT team handy.

    The hand wringing over shooting dogs .. give me a break . I saw an X-ray of a Pitbull with 7 .45 slugs in it . Even dead it was locked on the SWAT officers boot. It is common for criminals to have pitbulls ( otherwise nice dogs) that are trained to attack .No cop should have to suffer such an attack.

    Anyone that cares to can find an example to support an argument. I can point to Bearcats used in the San Berdo shootout . I don’t advocate cops drive around in one, or wear ballistic helmets all the time , but to decry these implements as evidence of militarization makes little sense to me. Maybe I’m wrong, but I’m still alive.

    1. Kudos to you, Frank C.

      There are way too many anti-cop, anti-military people posting on this blog. I’m wondering just how many are from Black Lives Matter or Antifa, or who are cop haters with arrest records and are just trying to stir things up.

      I am disappointed. I thought that the purpose of this blog was to help those preparing for disasters.

      1. I am curious, Survivormann99. Are you saying any of us whose opinion is different from yours is anti-cop and anti-military? Or by extension, Antifa and are cop haters with arrest records and are just trying to stir things up?

        Hm-m-m.

        Carry on.

        1. Once a Marine,

          Generalities are troublesome.

          You will need to be more specific about which opinions. I have posted many opinions here, and there has been a wide range of opinions that have been posted by others.

          1. I agree Survivormann99. Generalities are, indeed, troublesome. Thus my question. Perhaps I’m wrong in observing generalities on your part, accusing (wrong word?) some posters in this way: There are way too many anti-cop, anti-military people posting on this blog. I’m wondering just how many are from Black Lives Matter or Antifa, or who are cop haters with arrest records and are just trying to stir things up.

            If I am mistaken, just say so.

            Carry on.

          2. Once a Marine,

            In general you are correct. Not that specific criticism of cops or the military in a particular incident is not warranted, and sometimes very often, but In my view, even one “cop hater” or “military hater” posting on this blog is troublesome. It only provides those who want to believe that all preppers are whack jobs fodder. I recall that Jim Rawles has said in the past that the Southern Poverty Law Center has claimed that he is a racist. The SPLC is not concerned about facts. There are always those who look for the chance to distort and smear when given the chance.

            Just tonight I heard news reports about how the Russians have shifted from Facebook and are now posting on Instagram while posing as Americans, all in the effort to “stir things up” and create hate and discontent.

            We all, including you and me, use nom de plumes, so we never actually know who it is who is saying what is written in the comments section here. “Faux commenters” can do great damage to the blog, especially with those who consider survivalists to be a suspect group, and who believe that they bear watching closely.

            Beyond that, certain extreme comments can drive prepping neophytes away because they believe that they are entering a political firestorm dominated by a subversive element.

            So, now, generally, you know my opinions on things.

            Semper Fi.

  17. Unfortunately, in many cases, the dogs that are shot are not drug dealers pit bulls, but normal neighborhood dogs who are barking because police are raiding the wrong home or raiding a home where there is no reasonable expectation of violence. Police need to chill out and be held to the same standards of conduct as other members of the public. If a police shooting would have resulted in arrest and prosecution if the shooter was instead a member of the public, then the same consequences should result for the police officer. Too many times police are involved in a bad shoot, but they get paid time off, and then are reinstated with a quick whitewash of the facts. In the few cases where the city pays out a settlement, the funds are paid by the taxpayers. I think much of this is because police have begun to think of themselves as SEALs or special forces warriors, rather than peace officers, and are given the weapons to further this belief. I’m not saying that there is never a need for well armed SWAT teams, but maybe not nearly so many as now exist.

  18. re:
    Military

    We are militias. Why have militaries?

    * * * * *
    re:
    Definitions

    The word ‘forfeit’ has a different intent from the word ‘seize’.

    * * * * *
    re:
    Grenades against toddlers.

    No.

    * * * * *
    re:
    the government agents

    “Oh, how we burned in the camps…”

    * * * * *
    re:
    federal taxes from federal bureaucrats

    Should that read “…federal tax-payers…”? As in:
    “Federal tax-payers willingly give billions of their tax-dollars every day to pay for grenades to mutilate toddlers.”

    * * * * *
    Simplified:
    Is pointing fingers at somebody else for OUR DERELICTION OF DUTY a long-term solution?

  19. Something to remember is that if you do not live in a major metro area, chances are you local police and sheriffs deputies are not much different than you. I am in a small to medium sized metro area, and the police and sheriffs deputies I have known over the years have all said they would never enforce government confiscation of weapons. Many of them have the same concerns as we do about government intrusion into our lives. Those of you that live in rural areas and/or small towns probably go to Church with you local police/sheriffs deputies, and/or your kids play with their kids, etc…
    A lot of the law enforcement build up over the years has been in response to the gang problems; bloods, crips, MS-13, etc…and now to other newer groups like the New Black Panthers.
    My experience has shown that the only law enforcement that made to be watched is in big cities, and some government agencies, like the sad-sack fbi.

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