Sunday, August 29, 2004

They Couldn't SWAT a Fly

Government goons no substitute for self-defence

"Federal and Colorado officials have transformed the April 20 killings at Columbine High School into a law enforcement triumph. Attorney General Janet Reno praised the local police response as "extraordinary," "a textbook" example of "how to do it the right way." President Clinton declared on the Saturday after the shooting that "we look with admiration at...the police officers who rushed to the scene to save lives."

In fact, the excruciatingly slow response by Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams and other lawmen to the killings in progress turned a multiple homicide into a historic massacre. And federal aid to local law enforcement, by spawning the proliferation of heavily armed but often flat-footed SWAT teams, may actually undermine public safety......

Jefferson County Sheriff John Stone later explained: "We had initial people there right away, but we couldn't get in. We were way outgunned." Jefferson County SWAT Commander Terry Manwaring, whose team entered the school but proceeded at a glacial pace, said: "I just knew (the killers) were armed and were better equipped than we were." SWAT team members had flak jackets, submachine guns, and fully automatic M-16s--rather more formidable protection and weaponry than the teenagers' shotguns, semiautomatic rifle, and shoddy TEC-9 handgun (which Clinton ludicrously described as an "assault pistol").

SWAT teams made no effort to confront the killers in action, but devoted their efforts to repeatedly frisking students and marching them out of the building with their hands on their heads. Jefferson County Undersheriff John Dunaway bragged to the Denver Post that the evacuation of students "was about as close to perfect under the circumstances as it could be." Even though none of the SWAT teams came under hostile fire, Denver SWAT officer Jamie Smith claimed: "I don't know how you could have thrown in another factor that would have made things more difficult for us."

Television cameras captured a SWAT team creeping toward the school behind a firetruck, each officer taking one small step after another, with the group hunched together as if expecting an attack at any moment. This maneuver occurred long after the perpetrators were dead.

SWAT team members did not reach the room where the killers lay until at least three hours after the shooting stopped."

More here.

Wacky toy-hater: "In the effort to eliminate guns in the United States, Rhode Island Attorney General Patrick Lynch has become a prominent crusader. Lynch is leading a campaign to smash toy guns throughout the state using a machine built by students at the New England Institute of Technology. It's called the Bash-O-Matic and it's used to pulverize the toys during Toy Gun Bash events. To date, the "Bash-O-Matic" has destroyed upwards of 1,000 toy guns, everything from water guns to gun replicas, according to Michael Healey, a spokesman for the attorney general's office.... While "sweeping the city's streets of toy guns," Attorney General Lynch disseminates his gun-control platform to educate the general public. He's stated that "children and adults alike find it hard to distinguish a toy gun from a real gun." (!!)

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