Blessed Are the Peacemakers: For They Shalt Have .50cal Machine Gun Turrets

Missed this story when it first broke, but can you think of a reason for a local police department to have an armored personnel carrier with a mounted 50 caliber machine gun turret? Can you imagine them actually using such a thing in a residential neighborhood in the U.S.?

Probably not. The Sheriff claims that the vehicle will “save lives” and reasons that when “something like this rolls up, it’s time to give up.” I’m all for the police being appropriately armed, but give me a break. First of all, this thing is not going to have time to “roll up” unless the police are either conducting a pre-planned raid, or having a long standoff. And in either case, I very much doubt that an APC is going to intimidate criminals any more than twelve guys in riot gear and machine guns already can. .50cal machine guns are for closed firing ranges and war zones: places where you either want to have safe, human-target-free gun fun, or else turn real human beings into hamburger. They don’t belong in residential or urban police operations for anything short of Die Hard.

But wait: what if I told you that it all made sense because… because… Jesus!

Sheriff Lott stated that the name selected from the entries will be “The Peacemaker” because that is the APC’s purpose and the bible refers to law enforcement in Matthew 5:9 “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God”.

As DrugWarRant points out:

In all my reading of the beatitudes, I never once imagined Christ astride an Armored Personnel Carrier complete with a turret-mounted .50-caliber belt-fed machine gun, surrounded by apostles in SWAT gear, as he said to the crowd “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.”

10 Responses to Blessed Are the Peacemakers: For They Shalt Have .50cal Machine Gun Turrets

  1. TKOZAK says:

    There is an early-medieval germanic version of the gospels in which Jesus is a warrior king and his disciples are armored knights. It’s kind of like Beowulf or Arthurian legend only religious.

    Usually this work is known as the Saxon Gospel or the Heliand. Check it out if you get a chance.

  2. Dean Esmay says:

    The name is supposed to be somewhat tongue-in-cheek. But in any case, the only thing unusual here is probably just the gun. Police departments all over the nation have what amount to tanks just like this one, usually with a battering ram up front. It’s for the same reason they have professional snipers and other SWAT team stuff: for special needs situations that generally don’t come up in everyday policing.

  3. Bad says:

    Snipers make a lot of sense in police forces: they’re discriminating and accurate. Mounted machine guns? Not so much. This isn’t a matter of sound police work. It’s a matter of the militarization of police forces.

    And I’m not sure how tongue-in-cheek it actually is, given the claimed reasoning.

  4. Alcari says:

    A tank for a SWAT team is perfectly normal, they use them everywhere. Except the gun is replaced with a battering ram, and the machine gun with a water cannon.

    You know, to NOT kill people, which is still kind of the main purpose of the police

  5. Bad says:

    It’s pretty easy to not kill people: I do it very day.

    The primary purpose of the police is to keep public order, prevent crime, and catch criminals for the purpose of deterrence and also to express social outrage in a non-mob fashion. My concern with the move to turn police forces into private armies is that it results in a lot more violent, sudden, and confusing conflicts that lead to a lot of mistakes, civilian deaths, accidents, and just a general atmosphere of the police being the violent, no-apologies for whatever tactics they deem-necessary and/or cool masters of their communities rather than servants of them.

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  10. I would also be intimidated enough by the twelve guys in riot gear and machine guns. haha :) Nice post!

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