T Nation

Police and Citizens


(I hope my friend Push weighs in heavily with his thoughts here...)

As I understand more and more people's passion for the 2nd Amendment...let's discuss this a little more...

Are people suggesting some "balance" between a heavily and open armed citizenry and the Police...or "either/or"? (As always...a serious question).

I admit that maybe my vision is somewhat skewed by what I see in the Middle East...of extremely weak Police Forces, with heavily armed Militias and individuals ruling like it's the Wild West. That just isn't something I would like to see...

But I am open to argument and discussion.



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Great topic.

For reference's sake, I'm firmly in the 2nd Amendment camp. I'm not clamoring to lift restrictions on fully automatic weapons, but I have definitely opposed everything that has gone to the table at the Federal level recently.

Cops do not need tanks. Cops should not have tanks.

That said, cops do have to deal with some scary people. The gear in the picture above is, in my opinion, perfectly necessary for certain special situations. If I was busting up a meth lab you bet your ass I'd want some body armor and a carbine.

Outside of those special situations, America does not need police going around looking like they do in the picture. My city of Lewiston, Maine has an M113 APC. For what purpose, I am not sure. Things can sometimes get a little rowdy at the Balloon Festival, but tossing the drunks out can be done on foot. Armored cavalry is not really necessary.

Tactics are also somewhat troubling, and a common perception is that police will move up the spectrum of force rather quickly. That is a more complicated topic, IMO. I don't have a clear-cut opinion on that.


Push wanted me to elaborate...

I believe in, and support, the 2nd Amendment.

Often, when there are discussions of the 2nd Amendment...the limits of Police Power relative to the Citizenry seem to almost (inevitably?) come up.


1) Should a Police Force be "stronger" (in general) than the Citizenry, but limited in it's powers? (Sort of what most are now, I would think).

2) Should the Citizenry be AS heavily armed and open, if not more?

3) Should there be some "balance" between the Police and Citizenry in terms of the Firepower and Force they can exert?

Let's discuss.



Absolutely not...

There are HUGE differences in overall mindset and culture.



What's an "average" American? Some guy from Honduras with tattoos on his face? Some guy shipped in from Somalia last week?


(and this goes for any government force)...Who limits the power of a stronger force?


I'm fine with that. All I'd like to add is that citizen should be free to own anything and everything the police can.


Anyone know why the Department of Agriculture needs submachine guns?



Define average American.


No, the police only deal with very small percentages of a population. So in my opinion every populace in total should be able to "out gun" a police force. In large scale situations we have the national guard and federal agencies that can step in. Still, in total, the US should be able to "out gun" the government. Obviously the military favors the government, however, I believe in the event of breakdown at the national level the military would not (at least in total) fight for the government. That's besides the point, but I'll elaborate if asked.

More, see above.

In my opinion, no. Citizens should always be more powerful as a check to government power.

The way I see it is pretty simple. There are 3 branches so no single branch of the government is more powerful than the others. To me the second amendment is the same thing. A check on the power of the central government.


Yes, but that should come through training and mindset, not equipment. Police don't need anything I'm barred from owning, and I should be barred from anything they can own.

The strength in police should be the team, the training, and the responsibility to stop acting like dickheads. (That last one is obviously only certain cops, however is a significant problem.)

Individuals that choose to be should be. Individuals that choose to own a plinking .22 and a 12 gauge who hasn't been oiled in 13 years should be cool with their choices.

No LEO that walks among the citizenry should be exempt from the laws they enforce, including weapons bans. If they are, you are living under tyranny by definition.


Police enforce rule of law. Protect and Serve.

Citizens are an unofficial line of defense of the innocent in extreme situations.


Didn't think about it from this perspective, but agree.


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This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


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This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


Eh, you're the one who wrote average American.