Militarization of Police

Rand Paul: It's Time To Demilitarize the Police

The line between peace officer and soldier of war has become far too blurry.

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In a free society, citizens should be able to easily distinguish between civilian law enforcement tasked with keeping the peace in our communities and the armed forces tasked with protecting our country from foreign adversaries.

Unfortunately, thanks to the federal government flooding our neighborhoods with billions of dollars of military equipment and property over the years, the line between peace officer and soldier of war has become increasingly blurry.

Police officers have an incredibly difficult and often thankless job where they lay their lives on the line every day. Without the rule of law, a civilized society cannot exist, and our officers deserve our gratitude. The horrific actions of a few bad actors should not erase all the good done by the vast majority of these brave and hardworking men and women.

But as the federal government has enabled our local police to become more and more militarized, it has placed them in greater danger by eroding the community trust crucial to doing their jobs well.

While I respect the determination to preserve law and order, sending in federal forces to quell civil unrest in Portland further distorts the boundaries, results in more aggression (including pepper-spraying and repeatedly striking a Navy veteran whose injured hand will need surgery), and has led to reports we should never hear in a free country: federal officials, dressed in camouflage, snatching protesters away in unmarked vehicles.  

Sending the feds into Chicago won't make the situation there any better, either.

Nothing you'll read here excuses the actions of those who have destroyed lives and property in a mockery of peaceful protest—actions I have condemned. But many of us have been inspired by seeing protesters confronting these rioters, making the difference between righteous cause and opportunistic destruction even more stark.

Restoring lost trust is essential to reducing the tension and returning to peace. This means stopping the federal militarization of our local law enforcement and keeping federal agents and troops on the national posts where they best serve our country. 

According to the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), which operates within the Department of Defense, "More than $7.4 billion worth of property" has been transferred to law enforcement through the Law Enforcement Support Office (LESO) program. DLA also reveals that "as of June 2020, there are around 8,200 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies from 49 states and four U.S. territories participating in the program."

Back in 2014, NPR reported the federal government had sent out 79,288 assault rifles, 205 grenade launchers, and 11,959 bayonets from 2006–2014. 

Yahoo recently reported that "the California Highway Patrol received what appeared to be a drone worth $22 million in 2016. The Howell Township Police Department in New Jersey received an MRAP [mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicle] worth $865,000 in 2016. An MRAP provided to the Payne County Sheriff Office in Stillwater, Oklahoma, cost $1.3 million."

As the Senate debates the latest National Defense Authorization Act, I joined a bipartisan group of senators to introduce an amendment based on my Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act, which I originally introduced with Sen. Brian Schatz (D–Hawaii) in 2015 and have reintroduced in each session of Congress since.

Our amendment would have limited the transfer of certain offensive military equipment including bayonets, grenade launchers, and weaponized drones—all without prohibiting the continued distribution of defensive equipment, such as body armor.

It would also have ensured that communities are notified of requests and transfers by posted notices throughout the area and on a public website, and it would have required that a jurisdiction's governing body approves of the transfers.

Though the Senate voted against these common-sense changes, my standalone legislation goes even further to reform the system, and I will keep working to advance it through Congress. 

Our bipartisan approach takes seriously the idea that cops on the beat can only do their jobs well when they are well-known by their neighbors and trusted by their communities.

The Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act will help build that relationship, making our citizens, police, and neighborhoods safer. 

NEXT: Federal Judge's Son Killed and Husband Injured by Men's Rights Activist Lawyer

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  1. WHERE oh where are the hordes of conservatard armchair warriors (JesseSPAZ? John? Nadless Nardless?) to come here to announce that ALL protestors are terrorists, rioters, and looters? And that they ALL need to be shot, gassed, bombed, hand-grenaded, and nuked from orbit, on sight? And treated like this guy?

    https://www.militarytimes.com/off-duty/military-culture/2020/07/20/federal-officers-in-portland-break-former-navy-seabees-hand/

    All protestors are LOOTERS and RIOTERS and need to be SHOT ON SIGHT! Right, all of ye blood-lusting right-wing nut cases?!?!

    1. They’ll be along any minute. But something seems to have happened to all the sock puppetry charges. I miss those days, brother.

      1. Maybe Tulpa found something useful to do with his-her-its spare time? We can always hope!

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    2. “LOOK AT MY ONE SYMP CASE, GAIZ”–Shitmuncher.

      1. https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/16/us/martin-gugino-protester-skull/index.html

        Buffalo protester Martin Gugino has a fractured skull and cannot walk

        Oh Ye Great and Wise Drunkard-on-Drinking-Thine-Own-Maggot-Infused Yeast-Infected Self-Righteousness-Inducing Twat Juices… HOW MANY “anecdotes” do we need to collect, before Ye will admit, peacefully asking a Government-Almighty-empowered thug a question, should NOT result in being murdered, maimed, or dragged into the night and fog?

        1. Shitmuncher had to go back over a month to get his other anecdote. LMAO.

          1. Great and Wise Drunkard-on-Drinking-Thine-Own-Maggot-Infused Yeast-Infected Self-Righteousness-Inducing Twat Juices lives in a land of fantasy, whereby countless people abuse by cops (over MANY years, as documented by Reason.com) do NOT count, unless I list them ALL!!! Can YOU please list HOW MANY cases of “Universe saved by trigger-happy over-reacting bloodthirsting cops” that YOU know of?

            https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/north-miami-officer-who-shot-unarmed-caregiver-man-autism-found-n1018616

            North Miami officer who shot unarmed caregiver of man with autism found guilty of misdemeanor
            The jury found Officer Jonathan Aledda guilty of culpable negligence but found him not guilty on two counts of attempted manslaughter.

            1. Now Shitmuncher has to go back to last year! ROFLMAO

            2. Red Rocks-fer-Brains is just like Rob Misek… List the approximately 6,000,000 Jews slaughtered by NAZIs, name by endless name, and it STILL will NOT be ENOUGH of them (or it was TOO long ago) to have ANYTHING to say about, WHAT HAPPENS when Authoritarian Governments Almighty get carried away, and carry out the will of blood-thirsty, self-righteous BASTARDS like Red-Rocks-fer-Brains! Confirmation bias on steroids, and ideological idiots will NOT listen!

              1. Wooo he mad

                1. Is he the one who munches shit?

                  1. At least his insults are somewhat creative rather then kindergarten shit.

              2. What about the case of Crispus Attucks?

        2. Yeah, it’s almost as if old people shouldn’t be attempting to scan police radio freqs or something. The idea that the cop meant to knock him to the ground, let alone injure him seriously is laughable.

        3. Buffalo protester Martin Gugino has a fractured skull and cannot walk

          Martin Gugino, the 75-year-old protester who was pushed by two Buffalo, New York, police officers earlier this month

          The local police officers in the photo are dressed in the standard blues wearing face shields and carrying batons. So what does this have to do with militarization of the police?

        4. “…has a fractured skull and cannot walk.”
          I want to see the x-rays, because he didn’t fall with that great a force and a fractured skull doesn’t result in bleeding from the ear.
          As for not being able to walk…he says he can’t, and it’s impossible to prove it to be the case.
          He’s a scam artist and CNN would print anything they think will harm the country.

    3. Amen. If you give cops military gear (to go along with their fake military uniforms since a small town police chief has more stars and medals than Patton), they’re going to want to play army man.

      1. since a small town police chief has more stars and medals than Patton

        See? (After sifting through 50+ photos)* It’s a wonder a guy that old can stand up straight anymore with all those medals on his chest!

        Actually, it’s the big city where they tend to dress up fancy, hold a policeman’s ball, and hang medals around officer’s necks for escalating drug busts to violence.

        But keep parading your prejudiced ignorance around like you’re an idiot who went around to a bunch of small town police chief’s offices and inspected their uniforms. It looks good on you.

        *Not an endorsement

    4. You know… you anarchists would be more convincing if you didn’t rely solely on strawman arguments.

      1. You’d be more convincing if you could illustrate the alleged strawman arguments.

    5. We’re still recovering from the latest weekend crime stats from the Democrats’ cities. 14 gunned down at a chicago funeral for a man who was gunned down? I guess white Republicans are to blame. You ignorant slut.

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  2. It’s time for Senator Paul to introduce a repeal of 40 U.S. Code 1315 of The Homeland Security Act of 2002, which extends the jurisdiction of Homeland Security to wherever they say it extends, and gives them the legal authority to arrest people in that area without a warrant for infractions that would normally require one in places like Portland, OR.

    https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/40/1315

    Like the AUMF for Afghanistan and the Patriot Act, that part of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 was an emotional reaction to 9/11. At the very least, that section should be reconsidered by Congress in light of it being used against American protesters (violent or otherwise) rather than Al Qaeda sleeper cells sizing up national monuments as feared in 2002. Arson and vandalism by “protesters” were already crimes without that law. That section of the law just makes it legal for Homeland Security to arrest people for other things and away from public property like they wouldn’t be allowed to otherwise.

    1. Both of which Joe Biden voted for. Hey by the way so did Adam Schiff.

      1. How about an actual argument instead of “see, other people got it wrong also”?

        1. Who said he was arguing? I know thinking is harder for some people than others, but maybe he supports the idea and is faulting Biden and Schiff. In which case, are you defending their decision?

          Considering one of the men who committed the fault that arguably created what is effectively the Gestapo is running for the Nation’s highest office are you saying no one should give pause to voting for him?

          Dumbass.

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  3. Thanks Rand. I am fine with the police as a civilian force to keep the peace. I am not fine with anarchists and marxists keeping up the rioting burning looting and other examples of bad behavior while we hogtie the authorities from doing their job.

    At some point you have to make an example of those who would do serious damage. If you think the police and military are now your enemies, perhaps you have already decided that resistance to the left is pointless. In which case we no longer have common cause and we are enemies.

    1. “In which case we no longer have common cause and we are enemies.”

      When were you not enemies with Marxists and Anarchists? I suggest never. I suggest it’s only now you’ve come to fear them.

      1. He’s referring to Paul, and by extension anyone who claims to be liberty-minded who would rather snipe at the police rather than stand up to the angry mob looting and burning.

        There’s a time and place for discussions about the militarization of police. But right now, conditions on the streets indicate that if anything the police aren’t aggressive enough with criminals (and that goes double for leftist DAs who refuse to prosecute criminals who attack police and law-abiding citizens).

        1. You seem extremely concerned. Escalating the violence in the streets by sending in military will not reflect well on Trump, which I assume is your main concern. Trump is falling into a trap and you are cheering him on.

          1. Only idiots think sending in more law enforcers “escalates the violence”.
            The violence, looting, arson, rioting etc. was worst where law enforcement was told to stand down.

            1. The demonstrating was way worse.

    2. At some point you have to make an example of those who would do serious damage

      Disagree. Politician Trump can make examples, but the officers are there to defend property owned by the American public and trusted to the care and security of the State of Oregon and the City of Portland.

      Don’t like it? Figure out a way for Oregonians to Appeal their cases to a Federal Court and/or get rid of the Ninth circuit or, at least, collect no monies from American taxpayers at large going forward. I’d even cede that they shouldn’t be defending smaller, less operationally critical property like national parks and monuments too. However, the way a civilized society undoes or removes such things is through the democratic process; for a number of reasons including safety, equality, and legitimacy. If Portland wants to let Portlandians raze local police departments, as long as they aren’t using my tax dollars to rebuild them, that’s their prerogative.

  4. “The line between peace officer and soldier of war has become far too blurry.”

    The line between citizen and terrorist is no less far too blurry.

    1. Yes but that line is actively being blurred by politicians.

      Of course that’s the same people blurring the other line as well.

  5. Privatize the police.

    Justice to the lowest bidder.

    1. Privatize the Jew-burning, Jew-skinning, Jew-gassing, and endless forms of Jew-torturing and Jew-murdering by NAZI bastards (of the old, or of the new, varieties), and then DENY it all, ye denizen of unreality! Don’t they have some OTHER planet, somewhere, set aside for YOUR kind? Under some big giant slimy rock, maybe?

      1. Nothing like a good bogeyman story to coerce the weak minded.

        1. And the “strong minded” like Rob Misek kill and torture Jews, and then deny that it ever happened! Heil Rob Misek! Sieg Heil!

          1. It’s gonna be a tough sell to make strong minded folk the bogeymen.

  6. Of course, but you achieve these goals simply by gradually reducing funding – to both the police and the military. Also we must end police exchanges with Israel. They have nothing to teach us other than how to tyrannize your own people. They are now using water cannons against people protesting Netanyahu.

    1. Also we must end police exchanges with Israel.

      Are you David Duke?

      1. Saying that Israeli military police tactics are overly aggressive is not anti-semitic.

  7. It’s good to come back for a laugh once in awhile.

    Ok, ok…left up to the phony libertarians that inhabit the comment section, the feds are just following the law, and the law allows them to protect federal property. Got a problem? Repeal the law. It’s the law that’s the problem, and you can’t condemn the feds when the law is on their side. Can’t have burning of federal property. Can’t have theft of federal property. Can’t let squatters squat. Living beings are carted away, without being told why? Well, don’t break the law.

    Gee. Sure we’re singing a different tune when it was the feds and Clive Bundy and cohorts. Those folks set fire on federal property, some even convicted of arson. They squatted on federal property, they broke the law. The commenters here howled when the feds rounded up cattle, no less humans. Heck, those neer-do-wells (terrorists, if it was protestors in Portland) pointed guns at federal authorities!

    Ya gotta laugh at the right wingers here who call themselves libertarians.

    Ok! There’s your cue, phonies! You know who you are!

    1. Watching your allies get party-vanned has been the highlight of the week.

      1. One shows up! Congrats!

        1. Thanks! Seeing the left reap.the fruit of it’s poisonous tree is always good for a laugh.

          We haven’t gotten to the part where the federal agents start shooting like at Ruby Ridge or Waco, but the year is young, right?

    2. If we’re doing strawmen arguments…

      Gee, sure are a lot of so called libertarians here supporting rape and murders as long as it isn’t the government. The only use for government is to arrest those who dare protect themselves against the tyranny of the violent but peaceful protestors.

      Ya gotta laugh at the leftists here who call themselves libertarians.

      Ok! There’s your cue, phonies! You know which socks you’re using!

      1. Number 2 checks in!

        1. “The government is supposed to oppress our enemies, not us! It’s not fair!”

    3. “they broke the law” — WRONG… The US Constitution is the Supreme Law (yes or no). The US Constitution granted the federal government rights to State land take-over WHERE???? The Supreme Court granted the federal government state land WHERE??? No, the Constitution and the Supreme Court ruled specifically the federal government has no right to “own” state land. It’s the LAW; clear as day.

      I’m so sick of lefties trying to compare the Bundy’s protest against federal communization of state land (every part of which is UN-CONSTITUTIONAL and UN-AMERICAN) and pretending it has anything to do with “law” abiding citizens. The Bundies were trying to enforce THE LAW against a lawless federal government.

      I guess for the “mob rules” communist dictatorship of which democrats champion compulsively it shouldn’t be so upsetting.. Maybe it’s time to actually enforce the LAW and stop entertaining communist theft criminals as anything but criminals.

      1. Right on cue…number 3!

        1. “You’re ruining our Gay Space Luxury Communist utopia!”

          1. Ok, ok…you’re insisting. I’ll give you credit twice…number 4! So phony he checks in multiple times.

            1. “You’re not giving us space to destroy, it’s not fair!”

        2. Now plug your ears and scream, “Nah,nah,nah,nah,nah… I can’t hear you.”… Your demonstration of pure ignorance is only surpassed by your idiocy.

          1. Ok, ok…you’re insisting. I’ll give you credit twice…number 4! So phony he checks in multiple times.

            1. “I shouldn’t have to suffer consequences, I’m special! My teacher told me so! (because daddy walked out years ago)”

    4. “I admit the Bundys were seiged, arrested, and tried by Federal Agents but now that Federal Agents are doing the exact same thing to violent instigators in Portland, I agree that their treatment was not fair!”
      – Fairweather “Libertarians’ feelings about rain cause public roads to get wet” Dumbass

      1. Woohoo! Number 5!

        1. “Give me my binky or I’ll burn this city to the ground!”

          1. Personally, I hope he makes a list of us on a personal webpage with a bitchy rant about we’re bullies and said he’s a liar and a fake.

            1. He hasn’t gone to mass bolded text or long copypasta yet. That’s level 2. Level 3 is the Enemies List.

        2. Unless you can point to a post where you personally defended the Bundys at the time, I’m calling you an even bigger fake and even less principled liar, and hold your assertion that I’m a phony libertarian as a point of pride.

    5. 1000 up votes for your comments. Of all the websites I visit, this one has commenters that are least in line if not in actual contradiction with the theme of the website. “phony libertarians” indeed. !
      I will add that the intellectual level of the commentary here tends toward Yahoo and YouTube which is to say about zero intellect.

      Let the sloganeering, insults, and flaming of me here for writing this begin. Let me get the jump on y’all. I am an idiot, communist marxist, fascist retard, anarchist and aftifa. How’s that for a start? Carry on, oh “reason” commenters. BTW I consider what happened in German in the 30’s and 40’s to be appalling, and I stand against what Hitler did, and his ideology, so I guess that makes me anti-fascist. I am antifa, I’ll take that label with pride!

      1. Antifa starts a political movement that will exalt the nation of sexism, racism and capitalism.

        Fascism (noun) – a political philosophy that exalts nation and often race above the individual. a social regimentation with an absolute government.

        Nazi (synonym) = national socialism

        I’m against Hitler; I support national socialism…

        It’s soooooo hypocritical it’s almost funny.
        “>>take<< that label with pride" a perfect example of taking something that was never earned.

  8. Para ser sincero, la comunidad de WhatsApp plus no es divertida.

  9. This is a good article and I support stopping the transfer of military equipment to police forces. I also feel that this is a result of a need to support military contractors and we need to look at defense spending. We can not just ship equipment to the police so we can buy more equipment. We are past the point where we are supplying our military needs to where purchases are part of a job program.

  10. Senator Rand Paul, please join with other libertarian minded members of the House and Senate and form a (small L) libertarian caucus to help advocate and push through these kinds of reforms such as demilitarization of the police, ending or severely limiting qualified immunity and civil asset forfeiture.

    It is time that the burden of proof is returned to prosecution instead of the defendant. For example, the IRS should have to prove their case instead of the taxpayer, with civil asset forfeiture the government should have to prove that the specific property was purchased with illegal funds as well the person should also have to be found guilty of the crime where the illegal fund were derived.

  11. Assuming Amash is running for honest reasons, I think it’s a mistake because he has no chance of winning and can only play spoiler. I think he should run for his Congressional district instead, as a Libertarian. from http://185.61.154.49/

  12. How It Starts
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzHE_SY334o

    How the militarized police, especially the federal police, are growing from a chronic irritant to an acute threat to liberty.

    Too many think that tyranny is imposed by leaders that are strong, too strong. The truth is that tyranny is imposed by weak and cowardly “leaders” using their crudest tools, the police, in their nearly panicked efforts to keep and grow their power.

    Trump’s passion for tyranny and false bravado grow from the same seed, cowardice.

    1. Don’t forget that Joe Biden was a big proponent of the legislation that created the 1033 Program to give surplus military equipment to police.

      1. True; but, as Libertarians, we’ve long known that the two big parties were both bad in varying ways.

        The problem with Trump, as a lifelong Democrat and high-level democrat crony that hostilely took-over the Republican Party, is that he has added all of the worst of both together and thrown them at us.

    2. It would appear that the local leaders of paces like Portland are the real tyrants. And definitely the cowards. Trump has shown remarkable restraint. Maybe too much restraint, but we will see.

    3. The truth is that tyranny is imposed by weak and cowardly “leaders” using their crudest tools, the police, in their nearly panicked efforts to keep and grow their power.

      Trump’s passion for tyranny and false bravado grow from the same seed, cowardice.

      Between Trump, Wheeler, Durkan, Merkley, and Wyden, the latter 4 are the weaker and more obviously cowardly leaders.

  13. Legitimate question here. If my local police refuse stop violent crime against me/my property, do I have a right to expect state or federal authority to stop said crime?

    100% against the militarization of police force and fully support rand paul and this bill that stops moving over military equipment. But do I have an expectation from higher up if my local city, county, even state is unwilling to provide my person and property safety. I think so.

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  15. That leaves out dealing with violence, riots and migrant crime like they do in Europe, which is a complete militarization, including machine guns and tanks. I guess that’s one thing the Lefties won’t want the States to emulate from euroland. Sluts…

  16. Thanks for sharing from you, I feel what you say and go deep into your thoughts. novel online

  17. Our amendment would have limited the transfer of certain offensive military equipment including bayonets, grenade launchers, and weaponized drones—all without prohibiting the continued distribution of defensive equipment, such as body armor.

    I don’t see how anyone can seriously oppose this. We should not enable local police with military weaponry to become agents of government tyranny. Who will they use these weapons on? The answer is they will use them on us.

    Does a local police force need bayonets?
    Does a local police force need grenade launchers?
    Does a local police force need weaponized drones?

    Seriously, who can answer ‘Yes’ to those three questions. Make that case.

    1. Seriously, who can answer ‘Yes’ to those three questions. Make that case.

      Do you think police officers should be treated differently than normal citizens?

    2. Yes
      Yes
      No
      Course, non-LEOs are allowed to own the first two as well.

  18. Didn’t realize that the paintball guns shown in the lead picture were military gear.

    Now for real military gear going to the police, you can thank Joe Biden, an ardent supporter of the 1033 Program.

    1. Imagine for a minute if Antifa is trying to get Joe (or his VP) elected. Places like Portland will be locked into a 1-party regime, top to bottom, brought to power by violent mobs, and backed by federal officers and troops at virtually every level.

      Makes me wonder if Amazon didn’t/doesn’t have an algorithm that read the tea leaves and told them “Hey guys, time to relocate operations to someplace more like Virginia.”

  19. The only practical way to demilitarize the police is to make their weapons and other equipment civilian-legal. When the cops whine that they neeeeed this or that piece of gear, take them at their word – but make that gear fully protected by the 2nd Amendment and freely available to any Tom, Rick, or Mary. Anything else will get weaseled around.

    The real damage is done by the cop attitude of “We Need More Rights Than You, Citizen!” and its reinforcement by the special cop-exemptions to the ordinary laws. It does more harm to let cops have handcuffs when the peasants are prohibited from possessing them (as in NYC) than it does to let cops have Glocks in places with Constitutional Carry.

  20. If I assume that Biden represents the opposite of Trump to Antifa and vote for him, that puts Antifa, local politicians like Wheeler and Durkan, local police, regional politicians like Merkley and Wyden, regional forces like the National Guard, Joe Biden (or his successor), and national forces like the Federal Troops currently opposing the original forces all on the same page (and in pretty fascist control of some very powerful businesses). For places like Portland, it will be as effectively a totalitarian regime capable of violence as this country has seen since at least the Civil War and maybe even The Revolution. Moreover, depending on how these riots proceed into the voting season, it could be effectively considered and portrayed as a violent coup to establish such.

    One thing to keep in mind; Trump didn’t vote to expand POTUS’ power and militarize the police. Also, he’s been far more successful at criminal justice reform than his predecessors and peers. Additionally, the fact that he’s (once again) committed so few officers to cities, combined with the fact that they’re clearly using pepper weapons and picking people up in minivans rather than bearcats and MRAPs speaks volumes. I’m not a fan of the militarization of the police, but the essential nature of that ship sailed in the 2010s and is really just the tip of the iceberg here.

    Once again, I don’t like Trump. I didn’t like Trump in the 2016 election. I didn’t vote for him. But, once again, he’s become the candidate that is either ‘potentially equivalent to but absolutely not worse than’ his opponent.

    1. “If I assume that Biden represents the opposite of Trump to Antifa and vote for him”

      Antifa is essentially anarchist in their beliefs. Why would they vote for a corporate stooge like Biden, or Trump for that matter? And what does it matter if they do? There numbers are so small as to be insignificant, even in their west coast strongholds.

      1. Antifa is essentially anarchist in their beliefs.

        This is a bald-faced lie (intentional or not). Akin to saying the IRA, despite having the word ‘Republican’ in their name, are anarchist in their beliefs. They are anti-Facist by name but they certainly aren’t pro-business, pro-market, or pro-democracy. They are anarchist by method and even then only as a moral/legal justification of *their* lawlessness.

        There numbers are so small as to be insignificant, even in their west coast strongholds.

        Now do the NRA, Evangelicals, Trannies, Gays, etc. Hell, even the rather overt parallel I’m drawing is that the Brownshirts, their party, or their sympathizers didn’t compose the majority of the electorate either.

        1. “Akin to saying the IRA, despite having the word ‘Republican’ in their name, are anarchist in their beliefs. ”

          The IRA, at least in their heyday, were socialist or Marxist in orientation. And they are nationalist, in any case, something anathema to anarchists everywhere. I’ve never heard the IRA being branded as anarchist. I’m not sure what you are driving at.

          The NRA numbers may be small or large. I don’t know. But their methods are completely different. Antifa like direct action. NRA prefers press releases, lobbying and political donations. Again I’m not sure what you are driving at.

          1. I’m not sure what you are driving at.

            Anyone who’s ever opposed a government in any form can be considered an anarchist. That doesn’t, in any real way, intrinsically speak to their larger political/social motivations or beliefs. People accidentally confuse libertarians with anarchists, even exceedingly socialist ones, every day of the week.

            It’s weird how you can distill the precise political ideology of the IRA despite their label and are capable of reading Antifa member’s minds to know their beliefs but are unable to intuit my meaning from the words I write on the page.

            The NRA is but one of several organizations I listed who’s representation in the electorate is/was far outweighed by their political clout (and social threat) but it gets more difficult to selectively ignore what I’m saying across all those groups.

            I can’t force you to stop being selectively stupid.

            1. “Anyone who’s ever opposed a government in any form can be considered an anarchist.”

              Opposing a government and opposing government are two different things. Anarchism is the latter.

              “People accidentally confuse libertarians with anarchists, even exceedingly socialist ones, every day of the week.”

              I think Libertarian means supporting free markets, free minds, and free movement. Libertarians who are also anarchists definitely exist, though they don’t get much exposure on FOX or any other news media.

              “It’s weird how you can distill the precise political ideology of the IRA despite their label and are capable of reading Antifa member’s minds to know their beliefs ”

              It’s not weird. I’ve just been following these organizations longer than you have. I was on to Antifa since maybe 20, 30 years ago, while it was still a European phenomenon, long before the folks at Reason started covering them. The squatters in West Berlin in the 1980s, for example.

              “The NRA is but one of several organizations I listed who’s representation”

              Whose is the correct word. Aside from that, I still don’t know what you are driving at. Perhaps you are confusing NRA and IRA?

              1. Opposing a government and opposing government are two different things. Anarchism is the latter.

                And Antifa isn’t opposed to all government in name, theory, belief or practice. They openly support and actively accept socialists, Marxists, social democrats, and other leftists of all stripes. They aren’t anarchist, they are anti-fascist.

                I’ve just been following these organizations longer than you have. I was on to Antifa since maybe 20, 30 years ago, while it was still a European phenomenon, long before the folks at Reason started covering them. The squatters in West Berlin in the 1980s, for example.

                Just because it took you longer to read the wikipedia page doesn’t make you the expert. If you’d understood the first word of what you read, I wouldn’t have to explain to you that they aren’t anarchist, they are anti-fascist.

                I still don’t know what you are driving at.

                Again, I can’t stop you from being selectively stupid. Political concerns in a democracy (or other society) need not be strictly relegated to voting majorities. Just because they don’t have numeric superiority in the polls doesn’t mean they aren’t a social or political threat any more than the Nazi party’s minority status relegated them to political and social obscurity. Moreover, *unlike* the NRA, GLAAD, Evangelicals, etc. and *like* the IRA, Brownshirts, KKK, etc., their willingness to engage in direct physical action and violence in order to achieve their political clout and advance their goals makes them considerably different than just a the simple voting minority that you can’t fathom being described any other way.

                You’re really locking yourself into Moderation4ever’s “Captain Portland = Tank man” borderline retarded mentality here. I’m not saying you have to agree that Antifa is a purely socialist organization or that they alone represent an existential threat to (a) democracy, but to act like “They’re just a tiny group of voters, what’s the issue?” is categorically and wilfully retarded.

                1. “And Antifa isn’t opposed to all government in name, theory, belief or practice.”

                  Antifa isn’t opposed to anything. It’s not an organization, doesn’t have a leadership or a list of members, or a central committee responsible for formulating policy. It’s a network of individuals, essentially anarchist, who rely on anarchist tactics like direct action like attacking police, occupations etc instead of demonstrations, lobbying, political donations etc. These tactics tend to attract anarchists rather than, say, Republicans because occupations and burning cop cars isn’t in the Republican party play book. Or the Democratic party. Communists too. They go in for large public demonstrations like the ones ANSWER organized before the Iraq war.

                  “Just because it took you longer to read the wikipedia page doesn’t make you the expert.”

                  I knew about Antifa before I knew about Wikipedia, as I implied earlier.

                  “I wouldn’t have to explain to you that they aren’t anarchist, they are anti-fascist.”

                  I don’t know any anarchists who aren’t also antifascists. ie one can be both.

                  “They’re just a tiny group of voters, what’s the issue?”

                  Voting is not their thing. Though some, I’m sure, do vote. Direct action and occupations are more their style. They disrupt fascist attempts to organize and attract new members. They also expose closeted fascists and get their asses fired. I don’t feel threatened by any of this and support it wholeheartedly. If Republicans, communists and socialists want to join in the fun, well, the more the merrier.

                  1. Antifa isn’t opposed to anything.

                    You really need to start plainly lying through your teeth up front like the rest of them.

                    1. I’m giving it to you straight. If you don’t like it find someone who’s (who is) willing to tell you what you want to hear. Anarchists aren’t Marxists. Neither is Antifa. They don’t have a party program or list of demands, like ANSWER, for example. Don’t you remember Occupy Wall Street? That was the biggest criticism of the phenomenon level against them by Liberals, and everyone else.

  21. Trump unequivocally supports cops. Now Trump supporters are hostile to those who dare to criticize cops. In other news, water is wet.

  22. Perhaps Senator Paul could negotiate a sale of the Portland federal building(s) currently under assault. To the city of Portland. For pre-assault fair market value. And return that $ to the taxpayers. Then, if Portland wants to burn them down, so be it. A win win.

  23. “Police officers have an incredibly difficult and often thankless job where they lay their lives on the line every day.”

    Bullshit. The vast majority of cops spend an entire career never even drawing their gun on duty. Being a logger is more dangerous.

    1. I suppose the thankless part is true. I’ve never been helped by a cop, so I’ve never thanked one for a damn thing. But difficult? How difficult is it to use violence on anyone who doesn’t immediately obey your every whim? Seems like a pretty easy job to me. Strut around like a peacock, tell people what to do, punch them in the face when they don’t obey, and call your equally violent buddies if anyone gets uppity. Doesn’t seem that difficult.

      1. How difficult is it to use violence on anyone who doesn’t immediately obey your every whim?

        Uh… very? Not a lot of 90 lb. girls or 90 yr. old men resorting to violence to impose their will on people.

        Not to defend police officers’ every action but their job actually is harder than punching keys or grinding coffee during the week and setting things on fire on the weekend. Not much harder, but certainly not easier.

  24. Where is the Reason article on the federal agents who in camouflage uniforms without insignia pulling protestors (mostly non-violent ones) into unmarked vans in Portland? This is what authoritarians do. If you aren’t aghast at this, you are not a libertarian. It’s just like what Erdogan (who Trump is a fan of) does.

    1. Trump Deploys Lawlessness Against Lawlessness

      Sending Secret Police To Do Protester Snatch-n-Grabs Is Bad, Mmmkay?

      Your hyperbole is only exceeded by your stupidity. Both of those headlines are right there on the front page of the site. Fucking scroll down.

      1. They weren’t there when I made the comment.

  25. I agree with Senator Paul; Law Enforcement has militarized over the last two decades and changes need to be made.

  26. Who pays to maintain these huge machines?

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  28. You have agency and choose crime.

    I have agency and choose justice.

    We are in conflict that has nothing to do with race.

    1. Understand white guilt and how powerful it is, then you’ll understand what’s happening. There’s a youtube clown that walked around NYC claiming to be a part of BLM and getting white women to take a knee right there on the sidewalk. More than a couple obliged. The Black Lives Matter movement is more accurately named the Guilty Red Knee movement.

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  30. Rand Paul calls for Cuomo to be impeached over coronavirus response

    https://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/508581-rand-paul-calls-for-cuomo-to-be-impeached-over-coronavirus-response

    Is this going to get it’s own headline article here at Reason? He has two other, why not this one?

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  32. When, why and how come the police ceased being Peace Officers, getting to be what they seemingly have become?

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