Despite what the idiots in the liberal media might say, conservatives and libertarians have been trying to draw attention to this issue for years. In 2012, Sen. Tom Coburn released a comprehensive report illustrating how local law enforcement agencies have come more and more to resemble military units. Glenn Beck has also brought attention to the issue, as has the National Review’s Charles Cooke. Cooke wrote in June:
“Historians looking back at this period in America’s development will consider it to be profoundly odd that at the exact moment when violent crime hit a 50-year low, the nation’s police departments began to gear up as if the country were expecting invasion — and, on occasion, to behave as if one were underway.”
Following the events in Ferguson, Senator Rand Paul also spoke out on this topic, writing:
“Washington has incentivized the militarization of local police precincts by using federal dollars to help municipal governments build what are essentially small armies—where police departments compete to acquire military gear that goes far beyond what most of Americans think of as law enforcement.”
But the unfortunate truth is that voices like Paul’s are the exception in today’s Republican Party. The RINO establishment has remained silent on the growth of police firepower and even encouraged it.
When an amendment was introduced to the Defense Appropriations Bill in June to prohibit the transfer of military weapons to local law enforcement, only nineteen Republicans voted for it. In 2012, Republican Governor Bob McDonnell of West Virginia recommended that police use drones to hunt American citizens on domestic soil (something that has since become commonplace.)
Even the NRA (or at least one of its paid commentators) has come out in support of police militarization. Earlier this year, NRA commentator Dom Raso released two videos on the issue despite protests from the pro-2A community.
The Republican establishment seems to be more interested in pleasing defense companies who view police departments as customers than they are in protecting the civil rights of American citizens. They need to get their priorities straight and take a stand for basic conservative principles.