Sheriff Joe's War: Now More War-ry!


The Arizona Republic:

In a stretch of barren desert alongside Interstate 8 near Gila Bend that has become a corridor for human and drug smuggling, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and about 100 men staged a crime-suppression operation Thursday.

Arpaio brought with him a belt-fed .50-caliber machine gun that can shoot accurately up to a mile as a display of the kind of force he would use if anyone hurts a deputy.

"I am trying to send a message to Mexico," he said. "We will not take anyone hurting our deputies. We will fight back."

No word if Arpaio also brought his armored personnel carrier, which has been known to careen out of control and smash into lowly citizen automobiles.

Arpaio isn't the only sheriff sporting a .50-caliber machine gun. As I wrote in 2008, Richland County, South Carolina Sheriff Leon Lott has one too, mounted to Lott's own APC. He calls it "The Peacemaker." I consulted an expert on the appropriateness of the weapon:

Charles Earl Barnett, a U.S. Marines veteran and retired police major who has served on several United Nations and NATO military and peacekeeping missions, says a .50-caliber machine gun is "completely inappropriate" for domestic police work. It "causes mass death and destruction," Barnett says. "It's indiscriminate. I can't think of a possible scenario where it would be appropriate."

I didn't specifically ask him at the time, but I'm guessing Barnett would not be inclined to make an exception for "shooting at Mexicans."

(Hat tip: Say Uncle)

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  1. I was going to post something nice about the “Tea Party” types who demand something be done about immigration. But I couldn’t think of anything.

  2. Arpaio is *woefully* under-armed if he’s trying to impress the cartels. Add that to the catalog of his idiocies.

    1. Damn straight. 1 M2HB versus an untold number of assault rifles, MG’s, and RPG’s.

    2. Yea… Didn’t one of these things get buttfucked on national TV at Nakatomi tower by a bunch of eurotrash weenies?

      1. “NOW I ZEE HEEM!”

    3. The F16s and JDAMs are on back order.

  3. I’m surprised he doesn’t have nukes.

  4. You know, I might be willing to bust some Mexican heads if it meant that I could play with a Ma Deuce for a little while.

    1. Hey! You’re still alive, Hot Damn!

      1. Once again, your pacifism failed to defeat me.

        1. With a big fucker like you I’ll just let you lurch about until you defeat yourself.


          1. I’m the nimblest motherfucker for miles around, shitbrains.

            1. Calm down Corky, I am sure you move like Barry Sanders compared to the obese troglodytes that you share the trailer court with.

    2. A .50 cal? Meh. I want a Mk19.

      1. They just added those to the Atacama Desert map in BC2.

        I guess the AA-12 with explosive ammo would be too pussified for this thread.

        1. They also added Phoenix cannons (i.e. CIWS). Yum yum.

          1. Whoops, I meant Phalanx, not Phoenix.

            1. How fucking sweet is that VADS?

        2. Dang, for real? Gonna have to fire it up when I get a chance.

      2. Only civilians are excited by the M2. It’s a great weapon, don’t get me wrong, but it’s really kind of tedious to shoot.

        1. I’ve heard rounds go tearing through multiple walls, though.

  5. I thought the headline read Sheriff Joe’s War: Now More War-ty! when I scrolled down quickly past the article.

    I was disappointed to lose the daily metal links, and saddened that warty never shared his mexican heritage with us.

    1. I didn’t realize my lowered metal output would be missed. Enjoy.

      1. Hands down one of my favorite metal bands. I got to see them on their first US tour supporting Fear Factory with Andreas still singing, as well as more recently with Soilwork and the new guy Jens Broman. I went in sceptical but ended up being impressed!

        1. Darkane is awesome. I’ve been into Nachtmystium lately, too.

          1. Eh, I’ve seen them at a few shows I’ve been to, but I didn’t pay much attention as they weren’t really my thing. I’ve never been much into black metal in general. I dunno, that song didn’t really do it for me either.

            Of course, I thought Scar Symmetry was crap because they were horrible at a show I went to, and it turns out they just suck live.

            1. Just get old enough that you barely go to any shows, like me, and you won’t give a shit how bad a band sucks live.

              1. Well I’ve been enjoying the hell out of their studio albums lately, especially the first 3. I’ll try to give Nachtmystium another shot.

                1. Any black metal band that uses saxophones deserves a second chance.

      2. I thought in honor of your heritage you would link something a little more south of the border.

        1. You want some wetback metal? Have some wetback metal.

        2. Goddammit, fucking power metal. So nerdy and so awesome.

  6. “accurately shoot up to a mile”

    Now that’s some quality journalism there, fact-checking and all.

    1. I didn’t know that ‘accurate’ had one definition that reads “start firing and march the bullets in”.

      Wow, not content on killing our pets, beating & electrocuting us, now they have to butcher our language?

    2. An M2 is capable of very good first-shot accuracy. Carlos Hathcock used to mount a scope on one and lightly tap the button to only shoot one shot, and I believe he had at least one 2000 meter kill doing that.

    3. accurately shoot up to a mile

      Yes, what users of automatic weapons call “accuracy by volume.”

      Although Warty is correct that Hathcock modified one for long-range sniping.

      1. All Hathcock did was mount a Unertl scope to the M2, and zero it at 1000yds. No other modifications.

        (have copy of ‘marine sniper’ – his biography -on shelf behind me)

        FWIW – From Army Study Guide Flashcards:

        M2 – .50 Caliber Machine Gun: Question #1

        Question: What is the M2 .50 Cal machine gun used for?

        Defend against low-flying hostile aircraft, support the infantryman in both attack and defense, destroy lightly armored vehicles, provide protection for motor movements, vehicle parks and train bivouacs, and reconnaissance by fire on suspected enemy positions

        There is no specific Geneva convention provision outlawing the use of the M2 .50cal against soft targets, contrary to popular myth, but there *are* provisions against use of ‘antimaterial’ ammo against humans. (e.g. armor piercing, incendiary, explosive, etc). Army ROE states they should be shooting at ‘equipment’ when employing the M2.

        But as one soldier said on a message board, “that sometimes includes the ammo belt the target is wearing. Or his hat.”

        Its a ‘pretend’ rule, but one that the army nominally has in place to protect themselves against charges of misuse, or indiscriminate fire. When they are used against a building with a sniper in it, they claim they are shooting *the building*, not at the guy (destroying his cover). Not that it makes much of a difference, but for legalish – or rather CYA reasons – they maintain this distinction in the books at least.

        In the case of police, I can’t think of any justified use of .50 cal ammo against people out in the open, for sheer lack of discrimination. You can’t shoot at one target and not go through the target and hit and kill anything else in the way for the next thousand yards or so. Also, EVERY shot would be a shot to kill. You can’t wound a guy with a 50. It takes arms and legs off, and the shock alone will kill aside from any massive trauma.

        Another one for the nerds:

        Question: What is the maximum effective range of the .50 Cal against point and area targets?

        A: Point targets Single shot- 1,500 meters
        Area shot- 1,830 meters

        These are recommended ranges for actual use of the weapon, not physical limitations. However, the M2 can continue semi-accurately up to 2400+ meters, its just that you’re not going to point at something that far away and hit it reliably over and over.

        The M107 and other .50 cal weapons in military use (like the McMillan bolt action 50) are much more accurate and can hit reliably at a mile or more.

        The ‘flashcards’ website says the .50 round can actually go *6,700 meters* … but I assume that’s firing it like a cannon, more or less at the air.

        In any case, a cop with a .50 mounted on his APC is a crazy douchebag. If he ever fired the thing, he’d have lawyers up his ass for the rest of his life, and rightly so. “It’s only for Defense?” Against what? Are Mexicans immigrating with Heavy Armor and helicopter escort these days?

        1. “”Are Mexicans immigrating with Heavy Armor and helicopter escort these days?””

          No but they may be wearing hats, or something that looks like ammo belts from 1,500 meters away.

          1. Do all Mexicans still wear sombreros and bandoleers? Then, yeah.

    4. Well, the bolt-action rifles that use the same .50 BMG rounds but are equipped with bipods and muzzle brakes can accurately be fired for that type of distance by an experienced shooter. So the journos read about and assume that “a .50 caliber rifle is accurate up to a mile” – not having a clue as to the diff between, say, a Barrett .50 BMG and a Ma Deuce.

    5. Stallone was pretty accurate with one in the last Rambo.

  7. The 7-year-old gun has not yet been used, Arpaio said. “It is more for defense.” Nor have any of his deputies yet been harmed in a border scuffle.

    “We have been very lucky,” he said.

    You’d think after a while you’d stop chalking it up to luck and call it routine. The man lives in a fantasy world.

    Hey, what happened to the preview button?

    1. I’d say on a good day the H&R comment box works like it is supposed to 35% of the time.

    2. “The man lives in a fantasy world.”

      You’re very polite

    3. Arpaio is a bit of a clown, but seeing as a cartel used a C4 loaded carbomb to destroy a police station in Mexico, it isn’t Arpaio in a fantasyworld.

  8. So, some Ma Deuce trivia courtesy of an ex 11-Bang Bang: You have to check the head spacing and timing of the weapon every time you re-set the barrel on it. 999 times out of 1000 it’ll be fine if you just wing it by tightening the barrel all the way and then take if back 3 clicks. However, if the headspacing is fucked up enough, it’ll cause the weapon to explode gloriously. This happened to a guy in my company, who succeeded in setting his crotch on fire, and almost blew his dick off.

    And he was an E-5 with 5-ish years in the army. I’d love to see what some yahoo arizona deputy does. I pray for the headline “deputy blows nuts off with military hardware”, or even better “Sherrif Joe blows nuts off with military hardware.” That sort of thing might move me from the agnostic camp into the full deist camp.

    Oh, and as far as single fire on it goes, you can fiddle with the back plate. There’s a catch on there to make it single fire.

    1. Don’t use a dime to set your headspace and timing!

      1. But couldn’t the cop use the dime and a band-aid for a protective cup?

  9. I didn’t specifically ask him at the time, but I’m guessing Barnett would not be inclined to make an exception for “shooting at Mexicans.”

    Yes, but what about members of Hezbollah (more here)?

    1. “”Yes, but what about members of Hezbollah (more here)?

      Jesus Christ…

      I’d have thought that doozy would play in like, I dont know, 2004? When we were still so stupified by Teh Terrists that some people were duct-taping their windows for fear of Dirty Bomb/Poison Gas attacks and eying every gas station attendant carefully for signs of sleeper-al qaeda cell behavior.

      But in 2010? I mean come the ($#*@ on already. plus, this woman represents south-central North Carolina… Where exactly did she get her expertise on border-hopping terrorist tactics? On the tobacco farm? Good god, does no one in congress have the slightest sense of shame or embarrassment? I actually can’t believe I asked that: of course they don’t.

      And mexicans with *farsi tattoos*? Signs of the Persian infiltration? Nevermind tatoos are haram in Islam. That’s almost as plausible as the original Cuban/Russian airdrop-invasion of Colorado in Red Dawn (of *course they’d airdop into a sparsely populated, mountainous state with little strategic value! The question really is: where did they find all the Cubans!? p.s. I just learned they’ve remade Red Dawn, coming out in November this year!! And the Cuban/Russians are now Chinese! And they’re invading Michigan!! Awesome. Seriously, I can see them landing in Detroit, and going, “I think maybe we invaded wrong country! Let’s get out of this shithole, maybe Invade Switzerland!” Seriously, a Chinese Invasion could only improve the Rust Belt.)

      But seriously, you’d think a Hezbollah terrorist could come up with a better cover story than “Im an illegal immigrant”

  10. Radley, that alt-text fucking wins.

    1. Thanks for the heads-up. That was priceless!

    2. Hah good call.

  11. They’re takin’ our jibs! Dipedee doooo!

  12. I love the smell of Napalm in the morning on Mexicans.

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