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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 8/20/14

The Uncivil War Escalating Across America

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Well then, if the regular military is, by law, banned from enforcing the laws of the land that apply to its citizenry then how did we ever get to this point in which the police can be referred to as pseudo-military? It's simple; these local law enforcement agencies created their own version of the military and, in effect, have made an end run around the Posse Comitatus Act; and what we have now is what might accurately be called quasi-military law enforcement.

While we know that Congress is normally ineffectual in these kinds of situations let's commend one of its members who has already stepped forward with a positive recommendation. U.S. Representative Hank Johnson of Georgia is going to introduce legislation to cancel the "1033" program by which the Pentagon has, for years, been distributing billions of dollars of surplus armored vehicles, assault rifles and other lethal equipment at no cost to police agencies all across the country. This is a politician who is fully aware that this program is one of the root causes of the entire problem.

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However, the overall solution for the longer term has to come from the American people who must make up their minds that this condition can no longer be tolerated. People at the local levels of this country have to get involved in their community's law enforcement affairs; they must demand that mayors, members of city councils and other elected officials overhaul police departments and transform them back to ones that concentrate on establishing dialogue with the community and maintaining a sense of harmony in order to prevent such dangerous confrontations.

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Yes, the answer to bringing this situation under control is to use logic and common sense instead of brute force. Law enforcement agencies need to be banned from using swat teams and armored vehicles in relatively minor civil disturbances; they must be prevented from using high-powered assault type weapons and even machine guns except in extremely dangerous and highly volatile confrontations.

Americans need to make clear to these mayors and other officials that the police must deal with people in ways that are firm but not overly aggressive. If these officials respond with positive and constructive actions then that's fine and the problems will be minimized over a period of time. But if they refuse to listen to reason and totally reject these directives, then those mayors and other elected officials should be thrown out of office by the voters post haste; get rid of the incompetents and bring in those individuals who are capable of addressing these problems. There is no reason why this cannot be done.

If these kinds of actions are not taken by the people and this very dangerous condition is allowed to escalate further, we could see a massive societal eruption in this society. The inner cities where there are guns everywhere could be the first to erupt and then this violence could spread across America. No one wants this kind of anarchy to take place in this country but if we the people do not take positive actions and do it now, then what is happening today will be nothing compared to the massive violence that will take place between the quasi-military police and the people going into the future.

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So where exactly do we go from here? Will logic, reason and rational thinking prevail and bring this situation under control or will we see anarchy erupt in America?

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Michael Payne is an independent, progressive activist. His writings deal with social, economic, political and foreign policy issues. He is a featured writer on Opednews and Nation of Change and his articles have appeared on many other websites (more...)

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