Attorney Gen. Maura Healey on Wednesday put gun shops and would-be owners on notice that she is halting the sales of many types of “Massachusetts-compliant” semi-auto rifles.
Healey announced that her office was ratcheting up enforcement of the state’s assault weapon ban by targeting guns whose actions are similar to AR-15s and AK-47s but meet current cosmetic requirements such as being sold without features such as a flash suppressor, bayonet lug or telescoping stock. She contends as many as 10,000 such rifles were sold in the Commonwealth in 2015.
“That will end now,” wrote Healy in an announcement phrased as an editorial in the Boston Globe. “On Wednesday, we are sending a directive to all gun manufacturers and dealers that makes clear that the sale of these copycat assault weapons is illegal in Massachusetts. With this directive, we will ensure we get the full protection intended when lawmakers enacted our assault weapons ban, not the watered-down version of those protections offered by gun manufacturers.”
In a four-page guidance, the AG notes that any gun with an action similar to that of the Avtomat Kalashnikov (AK), UZI, Galil, Beretta AR70, AR-15, Fabrique National FN/FAL, FN/LAR and FNC; SWD M-10, M-11, M-11/9 and M-12; Steyr AUG; TEC-9 or revolving cylinder shotguns, such as the Street Sweeper and Striker 12, can no longer be sold after July 20.
Following the murder of Dallas police officers last week, former Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis told Fox Business News law enforcement will go into “military mode” in response to nationwide protests in the wake of the death of Alton Sterling.
“This is a game changer. Police now are going to have to worry about force protection, go into a more military mode now when handling any of these demonstrations,” Davis said.
Pentagon Has Armed Local Cops for Over 30 Years.
Police have been in “military mode” since at least the 1980s. The Military Cooperation with Civilian Law Enforcement Agencies Act, passed in 1981 during the Reagan administration, ramped up cooperation between the Pentagon and civilian law enforcement. It gave police access to military hardware and use of military bases. The law was used to circumvent the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878.
In the late 1990s, following the North Hollywood shootout between heavily armed bank robbers and police, the Pentagon provided the Los Angeles Police with 600 surplus M16s under the 1033 Program created by the National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 1997.
1033, also known as the DoD Excess Property Program, was part of the federal government’s DLA Disposition Services. It transferred leftover military materiel—grenade launchers, helicopters, military robots, M-16 service rifles, armored vehicles, riverboats, Battle Dress Uniform clothing, and information technology equipment—to civilian police departments. In 2013 alone, the military transferred $449 million in equipment. As of 2014, 8,000 local law enforcement agencies participated in the reutilization program that has transferred $5.1 billion in military hardware from the Pentagon since 1997.
Following 9/11, the newly established Department of Homeland Security funneled military-grade equipment into local police departments. According to the Center for Investigative Reporting, at least $34 billion in DHS grants have fueled the unprecedented militarization of police and permitted agencies to buy drones, tanks, and robots similar to the one used to kill Micah Johnson, the suspected Dallas sniper.
Military Response to Dissent
Ed Davis said police will now double-down on a military response to dissent. Left unsaid is the fact police have reacted to political demonstrations in military fashion at least since the Seattle protests in 1999. Norm Stamper, Seattle’s police chief during the WTO protests, wrote in 2011 that his “support for a militaristic solution caused all hell to break loose” during the protest.
“The paramilitary bureaucracy and the culture it engenders—a black-and-white world in which police unions serve above all to protect the brotherhood—is worse today than it was in the 1990s. Such agencies inevitably view protesters as the enemy. And young people, poor people and people of color will forever experience the institution as an abusive, militaristic force—not just during demonstrations but every day, in neighborhoods across the country.”
Aaron Cantú characterizes what is happening today as a counterinsurgency waged by the federal government and its proxies in local law enforcement.
“Secretive intelligence-gathering is just one tactic that, alongside cops in Desert Storm camouflage, no-fly zones, curfews and military checkpoints form the basis of a unified and militarized suppression of dissent. Police use of counterinsurgency strategy in Missouri and beyond is a critical component of the militarization of the police,” he writes.
Cantú says militarized police have employed COIN—a counterinsurgency strategy spelled out in the Army Field Manual—for decades. According to Kristian Williams, “police innovations that COIN theorists recommend for military use are: the Neighborhood Watch, embedded video, computerized intelligence files, and statistical analysis.”
Killing the Fist Amendment with “Total Spatial Dominance”
The murder of cops in Dallas will result in further efforts by militarized police to exercise “total spatial dominance” during political demonstrations. Arguing in favor of a more overt military response by police, Paul Mirengoff writes:
Terrorists and radical anti-police militants have taken things to a new level. In response, police forces need to have heavy weaponry and equipment readily available and on some sort of display when protests like the one Dallas occur. And police forces should be evaluating whether they need more heavy weaponry and equipment, not paying heed to those who say they should have less.
John Whitehead of the Rutherford Institute draws a parallel between what is happening in America today and the Roman Empire during the time of Jesus.
The Romans used the military to maintain the “peace” and consequently established an oppressive police state. “As the Roman Empire expanded, personal freedom and independence nearly vanished, as did any real sense of local governance and national consciousness. Similarly, in America today, citizens largely feel powerless, voiceless and unrepresented in the face of a power-hungry federal government. As states and localities are brought under direct control by federal agencies and regulations, a sense of learned helplessness grips the nation,” he writes.
Eventually, Rome established a permanent military dictatorship that left the citizens at the mercy of an unreachable and oppressive totalitarian regime. In the absence of resources to establish civic police forces, the Romans relied increasingly on the military to intervene in all matters of conflict or upheaval in provinces, from small-scale scuffles to large-scale revolts. Not unlike police forces today, with their martial law training drills on American soil, militarized weapons and “shoot first, ask questions later” mindset, the Roman soldier had “the exercise of lethal force at his fingertips” with the potential of wreaking havoc on normal citizens’ lives.
This is What a Police Looks Like
Despite its racist and Marxist overtones, Black Lives Matter is responding to a “shoot first, ask questions later” mindset by militarized police.
Ed Davis tells us the military ethos—kill people and break things—adopted by civil police with the encouragement and financial resources of the federal government will rule in response to citizens exercising the First Amendment.
This is what a police state looks like. The murderous actions of one individual in Dallas—if indeed the killings were perpetuated by one individual—now serve as a pretext complimenting a pervasive surveillance state with a fully militarized component.
A police state is always political in nature. It is a response to citizens attempting to implement political or social change considered threatening to the deep state and the political elite.
In 2014, writing for PoliceOne, Steve Rabinovich said the 1033 program is less about the war on drugs and crime than dealing with “violent anti-government groups and individuals.”
Former Marine Colonel Peter Martino underscored Rabinovich’s assertion when he said the federal government is “building a domestic military… because the government is afraid of its own citizens.”
Martino made the comment during public testimony at a New Hampshire city council meeting held in 2013 to discuss a decision on whether to accept a $260,000 Homeland Security grant for an armored vehicle.
As the Democrats stage another disgraceful publicity stunt to push gun control the mainstream media jumps on the No-Fly, No-Buy bandwagon to end due process and keep law abiding citizens from purchasing firearms.
In response to reports by numerous people that more than one shooter took part in the massacre at the Pulse nightclub on June 12, the Orlando police said only Omar Mateen was responsible. This was followed by Snopes and the corporate media characterizing eyewitness reports as an “irresponsible” conspiracy theory.
On Wednesday, Catherine Herridge told the “Kelly File” audio captured on cell phones during the attack reveals Mateen was conversing with one or more people about tactics and he “was not talking to 911.”
The conversation was mentioned during an ABC News interview with one of the victims. “During the interview the eyewitness, who played dead for several hours during the attack as a strategy to stay alive, said that he had overheard a phone conversation that the shooter was engaged in,” Shepard Ambellas wrote on June 15.
“The eyewitness said that the shooter made mention that he was the ‘fourth shooter’ and that there were ‘three others,’ ‘snipers,’ along with a ‘female suicide bomber’ that was playing dead.”
This and other eyewitness reports were ignored as the government and the corporate media crafted the narrative of a “lone wolf” gunman who pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.
The Obama administration subsequently attempted to omit any mention of radical Islam when it released a transcript of audio allegedly recorded during a 911 call made by Mateen. This backfired and the Justice Department eventually released an unedited version.
Following a Senate filibuster staged by Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut, California Democrat Dianne Feinstein’s due process busting terror watch list gun legislation appears doomed despite support by the Obama administration and the Justice Department.
It is uncertain if Feinstein’s bill and competing legislation authored by Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, will receive the 60 votes required unless a deal is reached.
A vote is scheduled for Monday.
In December, failure to reach a deal doomed anti-Second Amendment legislation in the Senate following the shooting in San Bernardino, California.
Feinstein’s legislation would permit the federal government to deny individuals on a secret terrorist watch list the right to exercise the Second Amendment if authorities decide there is a “reasonable belief that the weapon would be used in connection with terrorism.”
Cornyn said negotiations in the Senate failed because Feinstein “thought due process of law and the Constitution were not necessary.”
Feinstein’s bill would suspend not only the Second Amendment, but also the Fourth and the Sixth.
Cornyn’s version of legislation would keep constitutional protections in place. It would allow the government to put a gun purchase on hold for 72 hours. Prosecutors would then need to convince a judge there was probable cause in order to permanently block a sale.
Democrats argue the 72 hour time period is too short and does not give the Justice Department time to block a sale.
Feinstein’s measure “gives the Justice Department an important additional tool to prevent the sale of guns to suspected terrorists by licensed firearms dealers while ensuring protection of the department’s operational and investigative sensitivities,” said Press Secretary Dana Iverson in a statement.
On Thursday Democrat Senator Joe Manchin went on the Morning Joe show and said “due process is killing us.”
He said “the firewall we have right now is due process. It’s all due process.”
Manchin proposed a five-year waiting period allowing the government to determine “good behavior” by an individual on the secret terrorist watch list before he or she would be allowed to exercise the Second Amendment.
Manchin and Republican Senator Pat Toomey introduced a gun bill following Sandy Hook. It did not gain the votes required for passage.