Originally broadcast June 14, 2014
When President Obama first took office the Department of Homeland Security issued a report warning about dangers of home grown right wing domestic terrorism. Republicans quickly took offense accusing Homeland Security of playing politics. So the report was shredded. Because how dare anybody accuse someone of being a domestic terrorist just because they’re stockpiling ammunition in order to overthrow our government.
The more right wing extremists warn of America becoming a police state the more America is starting to look like one. I think it might have something to do with the police being more concerned about their own safety than ours.
Crime is way down in America, but you wouldn’t know it looking at our police. Local law enforcement agencies are now buying equipment once reserved for the pentagon. Police are being fitted with tanks, night vision goggles, drones, mine sweepers, M-16s, grenade launchers, the kind of tactical gear used on invading countries, not drivers doing 50 in a school zone.
America has lost its taste for war, which leaves the arms makers desperately searching for new markets, and it turns out those market are right here in the United States. There’s a mini arms races here in America as local politicians and police chiefs compete to prove they’re keeping us safer than the other guy. But because police have already done a great job keeping us safer, violent crime has been plummeting since the 70s, local SWAT teams are left with no choice but to use their new toys for kicking down doors to arrest Americans who have been delinquent paying their parking tickets. According to the New York Times, four years ago, a Miami SWAT team brandished military equipment similar to that being used in Afghanistan to crack down on barbershops cutting hair without a license. “Drop that nose hair clipper! Or I’ll shoot!”
Making weapons is a great business. As long as you keep selling guns to Americans, Americans get more scared so they buy more guns, which means the police have to buy more guns because now they’re scared.
If more cops have to get shot in order for police departments to buy more ammo that means more profit for the gun manufacturers. And if the cops are heavily armed then right wing extremists who fear a police state have to buy more ammo which means more profits for the gun manufacturers. I’d say it’s like our cold war with the Russians but in a cold war you never actually fire your weapons.
I wouldn’t call it a “hot” war but weapons are being discharged. Last weekend two Las Vegas police officers eating pizza were shot point blank by two followers of Fox News darling Cliven Bundy. 2014 is on track to being one of the deadliest in recent memory for cops. Sixty-two police officers have been killed in the line of duty so far this year, an increase of 38 percent over last year.
According to the Anti Defamation League, since Barack Obama took office there’s been a dramatic increase in right wing extremists targeting police. During the past five years there have been 40 deadly encounters in which right wing extremists singled out police officers to kill them.
Republicans were once the party of law and order. But now the NRA controls Republicans, and arms manufacturers who want to sell Americans more weapons control the NRA. The Republicans used to demand more cops on the street. Now they side with the people who want to take cops off the street, one bullet at a time.
There is a growing strain within the GOP that hates our government, hates our police, hates anybody who isn’t white and they’re being manipulated by the people who profit from all this: politicians, right wing talk show hosts, and the people who sell ammunition. Terrorism isn’t about how many people you kill. It’s about creating fear. The police are now frightened. Its time Republicans did something about their ultra right wing constituents, and the people who sell them guns.