The commission will be presented with a proposal to allow the police to use a federal grant to put “scopes” on their AR 15s. (Bushmasters, were M16s in Vietnam and now changed only slightly and still used by our armed forces as M4s.) There is an additional proposal to replace pistols, for what purpose, I know not.
This use and appearance of military weapons in the hands of police makes me uncomfortable; the round from these weapons is an ultra-high velocity, 22+ caliper bit of metal. Its trajectory tends to be erratic at distance and it bounces around off hard objects until it stops. It can kill at a half-mile and carries to nearly two miles. I don’t know how many homes in Kentwood a round will penetrate, but the second house down is a reasonable guess.
Also, why would one put scopes on these weapons? It allows them to be used at 400 yards out or even further. Where in our town is such a shot necessary or possible? Do we want snipers, whose only role is that of an executioner, in our town?
An ordinary shotgun loaded with slugs is effective out to 100 yards, the round flattens when it hits something and is extremely effective in keeping the peace.
Our police have acquired military hardware because some national policy was adopted after a mass shooting 20 years ago, They are gradually being trained in its use and philosophy of seeing others as enemies. But the police business was envisioned to be preventing crime, of watching the societal scene and stepping in to apprehend criminals, not serving as the judge and jury for perceived transgressions. The insight that the police are our masters and not protectors is fostered by pictures of cops with tanks and body armor confronting rioters in Ferguson and other backwashes.
We in Kentwood should avoid these appearances; they could get us into serious trouble if some unanticipated social tinder is lit and the police sent to control the situation are filmed with murderous hardware in hand.