The odds that a local police officer in Massachusetts has access to a military-grade assault rifle, whether in the trunk of a cruiser or at a police station, are far stronger than authorities have previously revealed.
Some 82 cities and towns across the Commonwealth have introduced a total of 1,057 such rifles to their arsenals over the last decade, state public safety officials confirmed yesterday, many of them acquired in recent years in response to the fear of terrorist attacks.
ZOMG! They have teh eeeevil ASSAULT RIFLES!!!1111 Whatever shall we do?!?!?
I honestly don't know what to make of this. They're talking about this like it's something new; like we haven't seen police agencies undergoing further and further militarization for like, oh, the past twenty or thirty years. Like police with semi-automatic rifles is something new...
I particularly loved this part:
"The very fact community police are being equipped with semi-automatic weapons without a public discussion of the possible political and social implications is unfortunately a major step backwards in terms of Massachusetts' national reputation for promoting progressive law enforcement strategy," said the Rev. Eugene Rivers, pastor of the Azusa Christian Community and co-founder of the Boston Ten-Point Coalition.
Police are being equipped with semi-automatic weapons? Who knew? I mean, it's not like the Glock hasn't been a standard issue police sidearm for like 25 years now. It's not like agencies didn't have access to semi-automatic weapons for decades upon decades. The out-and-out fear-mongering is quite strong in this piece, even for the Globe.
I *am* concerned, however, with the overall tone of this piece. It's like they're no longer content with going after civilian ownership of semi-automatic rifles and have set their sights higher, on all non-military ownership. It absolutely boggles my mind why on earth any responsible news agency would lobby for such a plan, having covered other areas of the world where only the government owns the rifles. It's not like we don't have ample precedent for disaster when the people are totally disarmed...
But then again, who ever said the Globe was responsible journalism?
That is all.