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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Bringing in the big guns

I'm all for police preparing for a possible Columbine -- but a grenade launcher? I seriously doubt al Qaeda has a clue where West Springfield is.

It was bad enough to imagine the MBTA Police hauling out their assault rifles to handle fare jumpers, but the thought of Salem State police having a couple a M-16s for a color guard is enough to make your stomach churn.

It really doesn't matter to me that the Salem State weapons are unloaded or that West Springfield has long since mothballed the grenade launchers. Where is the thinking that goes into getting these weapons in the first place?

Or in placing them in a surplus program to begin with? If they still work, why shouldn't the military keep using them?

Second Amendment advocates note -- I am not calling for a ban, even though these things give me the heebie-jeebies. I do think police have challenges that go beyond plinking tin cans with powerful weapons.

But with all due respect to Framingham Police Lt. Paul Shastany, there is a need for the public to understand why your department needs 16 M-16s. To control the mobs at Shopper's World?

There are bad people and crazy people carrying all sorts of firepower that require police departments to be prepared (getting the guns of out the hands of whackos is something I do support). But wouldn't the State Police be called in to deal with those situations anyway?

The ultimate question about responsible behavior lies with the military authorities who give them away like toys. Escalating potential incidents into local firefights is not my idea of security.

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Anonymous Joel Patterson said...

Have you forgotten the terror of the Mooninites?

Just think how much better that situation would have turned out if every cop in Mass had had an M-16 or grenade launcher!

June 17, 2009 7:54 PM  

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