Tanks for Nothing

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Denver police want a tank, actually an old M-113 armored personnel carrier, because otherwise the terrorists will win. As usual, "homeland security" money from DC is to blame for the lunacy.

Janet Reno and the FBI found plenty of tanks to take out David Koresh. Denver is going to go begging in the event of a full-on terrorist attack with chemical weapons? Fort Carson wouldn't send anything up the interstate to help out? Things are bad.

Maybe the terrorists are winning.

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  1. Speaking of over-supplied police forces, has anyone on these boards ever seen the Anacostia Park Ranger Station in DC? They’ve got a drunk tank van, an amphibious APC, two choppers, a shooting range (with no barriers around it), and a couple of armored riot vehicles. I went in to the station to pick up my driver’s license which I had dropped, and there was one guy working there.

    Actually, he was barbecuing outside the station.
    This was on a Saturday afternoon, so maybe the chances of a violent riot were somewhat reduced.

  2. That’s nothing. My rich, suburban community bought a 15-person armored carrier vehicle in case of a terr’ist attack. That ought to protect about two police officers and probably the other thirteen wealthy private donors who helped to acquire the car for the police force. I’m glad I can breathe a sigh of relief now that I know our community has The Bearcat. (pg. 6)

  3. I’m getting to the point where I wish the terrorists would win and clean house on all the corrupt officials at the federal, state, and local levels.

    We’d have to have at least 10 years of no corruption before the local burkha checkers went on the take, right? Then another revolution to reinstate the constitution!

  4. How exactly is an armored tank going to stop a terrorists bomb used on mass transit?

  5. Buying surplus tanks is totally small potatos. These guys need to think big.

    How about orbiting shock troop platforms that deploy personnel and vehicles via dropships? That will get the camel-jockies running.

  6. it’s just another example of what you can get away with when you declare “war” on something, whether or not the actual conflict has anything to do with a war. people think “there’s a war? we’ll need tanks.”

  7. I recall hearing that in 2001 they put a tank in front of the Miami airport for some reason. I’m sure the hijackers were intimidated…not!

  8. I actually knew someone who thought the tank at the Miami airport was a good idea – she said, “Well, it sends a signal.” I thought, “A signal of what? That we’re stupid?” but I didn’t say anything, since this person was my boss…

    As far as police departments getting tanks and such – hey, if you could have other people pay for all your cool toys, you’d be tempted too. And tempted to try real hard to convince yourself, as well as everyone else, that this is really necessary.

  9. JD-

    If we just want to send signals, why not have fighter jets fly patrols over subway routes. If the terrorists attack the subways the jets can…well, they can fly around and send a signal to the public.

  10. Living in Colorado Spings, home of Ft. Carson, I can say that I cannot recall a time when the military has not offered the use of thier equipment if the situation called for it. Quite often during forest fire season it is not unusual for Ft. Carson to lend multiple helicopters and soldiers. I cant imagine that in the event of needing a heavily armored vehicle Ft. Carson would not loan it.

    I have to question what sort of event would require a tank, but, thinking back to the San Diego tank hijacking severl years ago, im sure the San Diego Police department would have found one usefull. That all being said, i dont know how residents would have liked open tank warfare on thier streets had they dispatched one to take care of the already on the loose tank.

  11. I think around here all they bought with the homeland security loot was some SUVs and some device that they park next to the road with a speed radar on it. As you drive by it displays how fast you are going . . . whatever that is supposed to accomplish.

    When I was at Ohio State we used to have football riots regularly. Eventually the cops bought an armored car, I think it was surplus brazilian or S. African, and it would show up at the riots but didn’t appear to do anything other than park or drive around at 5 MPH. Not like it had weapons mounted on it. But it was painted black and looked intimidating. Great target for beer bottles too.

  12. there are much cheaper alternatives, too. we could put loudspeakers on major street corners and airports. every two or three hours, a brief message will be played: “Terrorists, no. Please. No.”

  13. In keeping with the increasing trend of using unmarked police cars, the APC will probably not have police markings. Instead of a light-bar on the top, red-and-blue flashing lights will be hidden behind the windows.

    And it will be mostly be used for traffic enforcement.

    After a while, police impersonators will also be acquiring APCs, in order to assault and abduct unsuspecting women (since civilians have a duty to obey the police, whether or not the police are clearly identified as such).

    After each incident, the police will issue a few public service announcements, advising anyone who suspects that the APC behind them is not a police APC to call 9-1-1 and drive to a well-lit area.

  14. My big question is who exactly is going to drive this tank? Will it be the same geniuses in my hometown who inadvertently shot an unarmed suspect in the chest with a shotgun because they thought it was the bean bag gun?

  15. Nobody Important,

    Gee, now I’m really glad our community got one of those. Not like I wasn’t already freaked out by female-kidnappers. Nice point, though. Just one more thing to more quickly drive me to my eventually permanent shut-in status.

  16. And we all remember how useful the LAPD’s armored personnel carrier was during the terrorist siege of the Nakatomi Tower back in 1988.

  17. You know, a lot of people have called for treating terrorism as a criminal activity, not a military one.

    As the police become more militarized, I have to wonder if we’d be able to tell the difference.

    Living in Colorado Spings, home of Ft. Carson, I can say that I cannot recall a time when the military has not offered the use of thier equipment if the situation called for it.

    Maybe they’re just worried that if the call came down, the tank would just end up getting stuck in traffic on I25.

  18. Janet Reno and the FBI found plenty of tanks to take out David Koresh. Denver is going to go begging in the event of a full-on terrorist attack with chemical weapons? Fort Carson wouldn’t send anything up the interstate to help out?

    Given what happened at Waco, your local Commanding General might be just a little reluctant to lend out his assets to law enforcement.

    BTW, these guys need to hire a couple of Vietnam era vets as consultants. Having commanded units equipped with the M-113 (when we could get them out of the motor pool) I’d have to place it pretty close to the bottom of the list as far as urban armored vehicles are concerned.

    It will indeed stop (some) bullets. Anyone with a .308 or better can pretty much make a collander out of one.

  19. Janet Reno and the FBI found plenty of tanks to take out David Koresh. Denver is going to go begging in the event of a full-on terrorist attack with chemical weapons? Fort Carson wouldn’t send anything up the interstate to help out?

    Given what happened at Waco, your local Commanding General might be just a little reluctant to lend out his assets.

    BTW, these guys need to hire a couple of Vietnam era vets as consultants. Having commanded units equipped with the M-113 (when we could get them out of the motor pool) I’d have to place it pretty close to the bottom of the list as far as urban armored vehicles are concerned.

  20. OK, smartasses, when the crips organize themselves into battallion-sized formations and construct elaborate earthworks, how would YOU recommend the police get across No Man’s Land?

    Huh? Huh?

    Who’s stupid now?

  21. All this does is make me want to watch James Garner in TANK again.

    Actually, no. I don’t think I ever want to watch that movie again.

  22. since civilians have a duty to obey the police, whether or not the police are clearly identified as such

    (I’m sure this observation has already been made on H&R, but:) So civilians have a legal duty to obey the police, but police have no legal duty to protect civilians. Nice.

  23. Oh no, joe, now you’ve gone and done it. Now the police will be wondering about how to cross that no-man’s-land, and will OBVIOUSLY have to go buy some surplused fighter/bombers to drop precision-guided munitions upon the dug-in terrorists!

  24. Larry A,
    They are bringing the 113 back. I had never seen one outside of Vietnam movies until recently. Now there is 100 of them parked across the street from where I live. They have a metal grate around them to protect from RPG’s. All of a sudden they are cool looking. If I new how to make a link, I would take a picture of them and have the link.

    Joe,
    It is funny you should mention that. If I recall correctly during the Rodney King riots the LVPD had an APC destroyed after they went into a neighborhood. I think one of the local gans launched an RPG or some kind of anti tank missile at it. The police backed out of the neighborhood and waited the riot out.

  25. Larry A – So maybe that’s why some jurisdictions want to ban .50 caliber rifles…real Main Battle Tanks are probably still a little too pricy for the po-po.

  26. If a tank does get stolen, the San Diego police would do better to get a Javelin or a TOW, or use a Helfire missile from a helo, than to use another tank. In my opinion, but I am not a tanker.

    Somebody posted a link a while back to an NRO article. The NRO article stated an idea that I thought was originally mine, that the police should not be allowed to own anything that is not available to the citizen. I think that idea still stands.

    Do the police need it? Well if they want the average Joe Schmoe to have one, then maybe.

  27. Somebody posted a link a while back to an NRO article. The NRO article stated an idea that I thought was originally mine, that the police should not be allowed to own anything that is not available to the citizen. I think that idea still stands.
    Comment by: kwais at August 1, 2005 03:52 PM

    This? http://www.nationalreview.com/kopel/kopel073002.asp

    Actually, I think you can own an armored personnel carrier, just not the big guns that can go on it. I have a friend who collects military vehicles; I’ll have to ask him.

  28. I never heard of the LAPD having a tank destroyed in the riots. Anyone else?

    “The local gans,” eh? I’ll tell you, those critics of suburban sprawl really have it out for the government in Los Angeles. Heh.

  29. Joe,
    LVPD (Las Vegas Police Dept), I heard it from a cop, I didn’t see it in the paper. It may or may not be true.

    I meant ‘local gangs’, not ‘locan gans’. typo.

    Nobody Important,
    That is the article I was referring to. I thought I was the one who came up with that idea. Either way I think it is a great idea.

    On another note, how can some of you guys find stuff like that so quicly on the internet?

  30. I never heard of a tank getting destroyed during the LA riots. Of course, I was on the safe side of the Orange Curtain.

    I’d be less upset about this if we can get one Dukakis photo op out of this.

  31. kwais,

    See, I just figured LVPD was a typo, too.

    There were Rodney King riots in Vegas?

  32. Just one M113? Heck, there is a private military museum in Northern Virginia that has FOUR FV432 ex-British Army armored personnel carriers. And about 30 other pieces of vintage WW2 to Cold War armor.

    You can purchase a FV432 yourself for about $15,000. Here is one military vehicle sales site in the UK:

    http://www.tanksforsale.co.uk/

    And oh yeah, collecting this stuff is FUN. You can have your puny little Mustangs and Triumph sports cars. Give me a T-72 anyday…

  33. Yeah, you can own an M113. They are going for about $30-$50K, last time I checked.Here’s a link to a web site with an M114 (similar to M113) and an XM-474 Carrier(built using the M-113 Chassis and running gear.) Keep in mind though that these vehicles are fairly innocuous. By that, I mean, they don’t have turrets or fire rounds like a tank. And, they aren’t really armored very well. They are technically amphibious and have aluminum hulls. So, they’re relatively light (approx 12,000 pounds). http://www.armyjeeps.net/armor1.htm

  34. This is what gun control gets you. No, Seriously.

    You see, the Gun Control Act of 1968 (as amended in 1986) establishes that only licensed dealers in Title II firearms (machineguns, destructive devices, short barreled rifles, sound suppressors, and “any other weapons” to the uninitiated) may posess machineguns manufactured or imported after May 19, 1986. Dealers must posess a letter from a “Law Enforcement Agency” expressing a desire to have said weapon demonstrated by the dealer to posess a new machinegun.

    Hence, many people become licensed Class 3 dealers (or Class 2 manufacturers) in order to be allowed to get the goodies. So they actively attempt to sell heavy weaponry to police departments in order to get the “demonstration letters.”

    Everybody wins out…Only “Dealers” get to have the (less expensive) fun stuff, the cops get shiny machineguns, and the general public gets a de facto military presence at the local P.D.

    Excuse me for leaving, but I have to finish filling out my application for my Class 3 license…

  35. The police want tanks? Why are so limited in their thinking? They need NUKES! Like the cops in London who shot the Brazillian, the police can’t be too careful. Nuke to kill, just in case the suspect has something worse. Best of all, a nuke will destroy any exonerating evidence. The police can’t go wrong, because no one will ever be able to prove they were wrong.

    Tanks? Pshaw!

  36. That’s very interesting, db.

  37. joe,

    there was actually a case a few years ago where the Feds prosecuted a county sheriff somewhere (I think Utah) because he was issuing “demo letters” to anybody who was a Class 3 SOT (special Occupational Taxpayer). They hit him and his deputies pretty hard. The BATF is very careful now to verify (call the LEO in question) that they really may purchase the weapon in question.

    The driving force behind all this is the prohibition in new machineguns, which has caused the remaining legal guns to appreciate in price dramatically. Transferrable machineguns are those made in the U.S. prior to 1986 or imported prior to 1968), which any citizen may own provided they are not otherwise legally encumbered from owning one (felony conviction, spousal abuse, drug use, etc.)

    The current going rate for a transferrable M16 is about $15,000, whereas a new one from Colt (dealer sample) costs about $1000. Some transferrables are in the $30,000 – $150,000 range. You do the math.

  38. db – I was shocked when I came across the price for a new H&K UMP to the police: $900. Like you say, full-autos in the civilian market go for way, way more.

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