Police Abuse

Clickhole Asks, 'Police or Army: Who Wore It Better?'

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Army
U.S. Army / Wikimedia Commons

Following in the grand tradition of The Onion, Onion-affiliated viral news parody website ClickHole.com has consistently produced hilarious articles making more salient points than the news sites they are intended to mock.

In that vein, ClickHole.com published "Police or Army: Who Wore it Better?"

Are we seeing double?! Nope, that's just what happens when two of the state's instruments of physical force bust out the exact same look. Time for a fashion face-off!

Uh-oh! Looks like the St. Louis County Police Department attended a peaceful protest in Ferguson rockin' the same vest the U.S. army wore less than two months earlier in war-torn Afghanistan.

Verdict: Big fans of both, but the U.S. Army pulls it off a little better for our taste!

The reality that small-town police departments are often equipped with military-style weaponry and armor is currently making news, given what is happening in Ferguson, Missouri. Long-time readers of Reason know that federal programs have encouraged local cops to repurpose equipment intended for use in Iraq and Afghanistan, contributing to the militarization of police.

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  1. The Army will be moving away from ACUs. I think the new uniform will look like a more dull woodland style camo. But ACUs won’t be around much longer for the Army.

    1. I think, in the future, the robots won’t wear any clothes at all.

      1. In the future, the Army will wear clothes that actually make them harder instead of easier to spot in the woods.

        1. I saw a pretty excellent picture of someone in camo lying on a floral pattern couch from the ’80s.

          You could barely see them. The next picture was the same person standing in the woods and you could pick them out easily.

          1. I was setting up radios at Fort Dix during the transition from the old Woodland to ACUs. I look up and see these guys walking through the brush in bright grey uniforms – from over a hundred yards away. When they got much closer, like 30 yards away, I then saw the other half of the patrol – wearing the woodland BDUs. Knew then that the Army had fucked up big time.

            1. That’s UCP (Army’s digital camo) not Multicam.

      2. Well, the robot whores, sure won’t!

    2. The army is going with a Multicam look alike called Scorpion. Google it and you can check it out. I wore Multicam in Afghanistan, was great. When the cops start sporting the shit, I’m moving to… somewhere, fuck if I know.

  2. “military-style weaponry ”

    I’m conflicted by the use of this term. It could be said that I have “military-style weaponry”.

    1. They could be given spears and be carrying ‘military-style weapondry’. Almost no widely used weapon has avoided military use at some point or another.

    2. Could be? I have a rifle that was standard issue for the Soviet Army.

      What they really mean is “scary black rifles”.

    3. Well, its military-style weaponry.

      An AK in Hello-Kitty pink would not qualify.

      http://www.glamguns.com/hk47.html

      BUT, a Winchester 700 in flat dark earth would!

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M40_rifle

    4. According to Bronco Bama a Hi Point carbine is a weapon of war.

  3. I enjoy reading combat veterans bagging on the “militarized” police.

    1. Yep – looks like what I would expect if you sent out a bunch of recruits in the middle of their first week of Boot Camp.

    2. I used to know some team guys that always ragged on the cops, DEA, ATF, NSA, (law enforcement in general, really) about how they were just wannabes trying to do all of the cool-guy stuff with none of the actual risk involved. Very entertaining commentary.

      1. . . . DEA, ATF, NSA . . . were just wannabes trying to do all of the cool-guy stuff with none of the actual risk involved. Very entertaining commentary.

        There’s your main difference right there between military service (during an active war, at least) and law enforcement: one’s quite dangerous; the other, not so much. Add to that the fact that people these days get into law enforcement looking for opportunities to bully and hurt people.

        My problem with police acquiring military equipment is not just that it turns them into an occupying army, but also because they simply don’t deserve it.

        1. Swat teams act like they’re tough shit, but when you look at the reality, if there is any sort of active threat whatsoever, they turn into complete cowards. See every school shooting in recent memory.

          1. Hey, try to put yourself in their shoes! Storming a home is a lot more fun when you can be sure it’s just women and kids inside. Sticking an automatic weapon in a terrified mother’s face is a serious rush, and tons more fun than facing off against someone who might shoot back.

          2. The part that makes me feel a little better is that they have no real ability to fight outdoors. Other than the team sniper, they don’t shoot at real distances (200 yards+), and they have no concept of fire-and-maneuver.

        2. Not to be “that guy” but am going to be “that guy”.

          As someone who spent last year in Afghanistan, the thing which pisses me off most about police trying to dress like the military, even though most are fat and not wearing the shit correctly, is they are not acting like the military. A cop shots a dog / person, and then screams and cry’s about how terrified they were of this dog / person and how deadly force was required. Your job is to protect and serve those who are weaker then you. To protect and Serve, the mission should come first. They are either a) cowards and have no business carrying a gun or b) they are so lacking in training / discipline they should be fired on the spot. (I guess the other answer is they are psychopaths but I’m not going there) If I had unloaded into every Afghan I was concerned about, or who made threatening gestures I would be living in Leavenworth today. If I shot dogs someone would take me weapon away worried I was a psychopathic fuck…….okay, perhaps they are just psychopaths.

          1. These are the critiques I enjoy reading. The public needs to hear them as much as possible.

          2. Well, out of:

            a) Cowards
            b) Untrained buffoons
            c) Psychopaths

            I’d say they’re d) All of the Above. I was stunned the fist time I saw a cop in Multicams (think it was the Bundy Ranch debacle). Not least of which for the fact that he was a total soup sandwich, but also because I knew that dressing these clowns up in military camo and giving them tactical gear was only going to make the problem worse, not better.

            Fuck the cops. If they wanna kill people and break stuff, let ’em do it downrange where their targets actually feel inclined to shoot back.

  4. Picture #1 is of Marines, not Soldiers.

    1. So Marines are not soldiers?

      I guess they must be sailors then.

      1. By virtue of their mission, training, and traditions, Marines are absolutely not soldiers.

        1. Fine Marines kick ass.

          But just because some gunny drilled into you during basic the ‘correct’ military use of certain terms (and rightly so, precision in communication is important in the military) does not grant you the right redefine the English language.

          Last i checked the Onion and Reason magazine were not military institutions.

          Soldier has a generic English meaning and Marines fall into that meaning.

          1. It has nothing to do with any lingering “esprit de corps” that I might retain from my time in the Corps. A Marine’s and a soldier’s training, missions, and traditions are distinct from one another. It is therefore not appropriate, using the English language, to refer to one as the other. A Marine is no more a soldier than a sailor is an airman.

            If you want a generic word that encompasses Marines and soldiers, use “troop.”

            1. Can a Mexican call a Marine a soldado?

              Can I call a Spartan Hoplite a soldier? Do I need a permission slip from my local recruitment office first?

              1. A Mexican would probably call him a Marina, but I suppose he’s free to use “soldado” if he likes. Likewise, you’re free to anybody anything you want, without anyone’s permission, even if it’s improper usage.

                A soldier, in American parlance, is a soldier not just by virtue of his carrying a rifle and putting boots on the ground; he’s a soldier because he’s a member of the U.S. Army. Ask anyone and everyone who’s ever served in either the Army or the Marine Corps (or the Navy, for that matter), and he or she will tell you quite categorically that the two words are not interchangeable. The fact that you sometimes see Marines referred to as soldiers in print does not make this any less true.

                1. +1 Marine Corpse

                  1. +1 Marine Corpse

                    And there’s our tie-breaker!

                    1. Hearing someone say “corpse” instead of “corps” was always a bigger travesty in my book during my five years. POG4lyfe

                2. Words mean what people think they mean. Unlike French, English is open source.

                  1. Words mean what people think they mean.

                    So, when the Supreme Court says “shall not be infringed” means “is subject to licensing, time and place restrictions, and criminal penalties”, you’re good with that.

                    1. People in general don’t think “shall not be infringed” means that, a tiny elite claiming authority over language does. Just as Mr Hungus is claiming that the US armed services bureaucracy has authority over the use of the word “soldier”.

                    2. Just as Mr Hungus is claiming that the US armed services bureaucracy has authority over the use of the word “soldier”.

                      Gently pointing out an instance of improper usage does not mean I’m “claiming authority” over anything.

                      If such distinctions aren’t important, then I’m sure you’ll be OK with someone referring to you as a “teabagger” even if you are in fact a libertarian. Because you know, words don’t matter, and “teabagger” can be used to refer to anyone who’s not a far-left prog.

                    3. John Basilone was in the USMC and he referred to himself as “just a plain soldier”.

                      I don’t see the big deal with using “soldier” as a catch-all term for anyone in the military.

                      “By virtue of their mission, training, and traditions, Marines are absolutely not soldiers.”

                      Ah, what exactly has the USMC done that the Army has not done also?

                      For some reason, the USMC got really excited about rolling up their sleeves:

                      http://www.johntreed.com/marin…..eeves.html

                    4. Ah, what exactly has the USMC done that the Army has not done also?

                      The Navy flies aircraft, aboard which are sailors. You wouldn’t address such a sailor as “airman,” as that individual is still a sailor, by virtue of his being in the Navy.

                      You may not think it’s a big deal; truth be told, neither do I. I’m not offering this correction out of any residual, chest-thumping sense of esprit de corps. But the terminology simply isn’t correct, one quote from one WW2-era Marine notwithstanding. You will be very, very hard-pressed to find a Marine who calls himself a soldier, and vice versa.

                      For some reason, the USMC got really excited about rolling up their sleeves

                      They got excited about rolling their sleeves back up. Marines are prima donnas, and glom onto every little trait and tradition that sets them apart from the other branches. They were pissed when the rolled-up sleeves were banned, and they had to wear their cammies the same way the Army did.

                    5. I guess a better general word is “troops”.

                      They got excited about rolling their sleeves back up. Marines are prima donnas, and glom onto every little trait and tradition that sets them apart from the other branches. They were pissed when the rolled-up sleeves were banned, and they had to wear their cammies the same way the Army did.

                      Well, maybe they should stop being like that. Does it help them fight better?

                    6. Well, maybe they should stop being like that. Does it help them fight better?

                      No, it doesn’t, and it’s largely silly. And in a combat theater, in the event of a sudden chemical attack. the sleeves would take precious seconds to roll back down. But it still looks pretty cool 🙂

                    7. No, it doesn’t, and it’s largely silly….But it still looks pretty cool 🙂

                      I have a very easy time imagining something like this coming from the mouth of a British officer being questioned on the wisdom of wearing a bright red uniform.

                      N’yes…A bit daft, isn’t it? But how dashing we look!

                    8. Point out where I said “words don’t matter” or accused you of claiming authority for yourself. My point is that improper usage of a word can never become widespread because once it becomes widespread it’s not improper anymore.

                      Teabagger is a derogatory term and is understood by everyone to be such, so not the best comparison.

                    9. Point out where I said “words don’t matter” or accused you of claiming authority for yourself

                      You’re right, I misspoke, you said the armed services bureaucracy, not me in particular, so my apologies.

                      Teabagger is a derogatory term and is understood by everyone to be such, so not the best comparison.

                      Okay, replace “teabagger” with “Tea Partier” or “Republican.”

                      If at a family gathering your beloved (and completely apolitical) aunt Bessie said “why dearie, I hear you’re a ‘Tea Partier’ now, I’m so proud of you!” you’d likely offer a gentle correction, amirite?

  5. Clickhole also did this today, which was just great.

  6. I don’t even have to look to know the Army would win. The Army has weight and fitness standards…

    1. I don’t even have to look to know the Army would win. The Army has weight and fitness standards…

      Plus, they’re far less likely to cower or run away when faced with an actual adversary.

  7. This nails progressives perfectly:
    http://www.clickhole.com/blogp…..letely-738

  8. Dude this makes no sense at all man. None.

    http://www.AnonWays.tk

  9. The cod-piece aspect of the body armor?

    C’est tres chic!!!

  10. Balko did it!

    http://www.theagitator.com/201…..-the-quiz/

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