British historian/journalist, Dr. Tim Stanley, weighs in on the militarization of American society. He writes, "America is entering an arms race with its citizens."
The schools of Compton, Los Angeles, appear to have embraced the nuclear war principle of Mutually Assured Destruction. After a national wave of school shootings, local police are arming themselves with semi-automatic AR-15 assault weapons – on the grounds that if some nut opens fire in the classroom, they will be able to take them down with greater accuracy and punch. All of which has shades of Nato’s old assertion that if the USSR ever tried to seize Berlin, they’d level Moscow with ICBMs. It’s depressing to think that this time around the MAD principle is not being applied to the Cold War battlefield but a geography class full of eight-year-olds.
The subject du jour in the US right now is the militarisation of the state – not only because it is obviously unhealthy to have public servants armed to the teeth, but because it also represents an inversion of the American ideal of a light-touch government staying out of the affairs of an self-sufficient citizenry. Some liberals will doubtless say that arming school police in this way is a sign that America’s gun laws are “crazy”, but that’s to miss the real issue at hand. There’s something amiss in the traditionally distant relationship between citizen and the state.
...the idea of schools patrolled by people with assault weapons turns the stomach. It suggests a society where trust has evaporated, where peace can’t be guaranteed anywhere and where social dislocation has driven everyone to the brink of internecine war. Moreover, it suggests that the state has given up trying to find serious solutions to social problems. Easier to just embrace the coming anarchy and fight back with bullets.
Not only is that nihilistic, but since when did the agents of a state supposedly governed by a constitution think they gained the right to treat the citizens like savages?
...More faith, more personal activism, more compassion, more care for the mentally ill will not turn the situation around overnight. But it’s surely a saner long-term solution than sending the police equivalent of Curtis LeMay into the playground.