If you’ve ever watched the 1980 movie Caddyshack, you know how humorous some of the characters are. I think Ted Knight (who plays Judge Smails) is particularly funny. At one point when he’s talking to teenage caddy Danny Noonan about the lad’s recent behavior, he proudly says, “I’ve sentenced boys younger than you to the gas chamber. I didn’t want to do it. I felt I owed it to them.”
Well, that’s pretty much the message that the U.S. government is sending to the citizens of Salinas, California. The police department there has been given, free of charge, a 37,000-pound military-style armored vehicle, supposedly for the protection of the town’s citizens.
Slated to be used in SWAT team operations, the vehicle was built to withstand fire from handguns, rifles and rocket-propelled grenades. Salinas citizens immediately complained that it was frightening and unnecessary, but of course they were ignored.
Seems to me that this is just one more step toward the goal of turning the U.S. into a police state. The Department of Homeland Security has purchased billions of bullets and many armored vehicles, and the more they spread them around the country, the better equipped city governments will be able to handle the kind of civil unrest that could result from an economic collapse or a different kind of disaster. Does the government know something we don’t know about what is likely to happen in the future?
How would you feel if you were walking down Main Street in your town and saw a military-style armored vehicle awaiting deployment? Would you be curious as to why it was there and what the plans were for it? Why do you suppose the federal government is increasingly arming local police departments? Please let me know what you think.