Fox News wants you to believe that President Obama is trying to disarm the nation’s police forces
Following the street protests in Ferguson last year, an event that highlighted the militarization of America’s police, President Barack Obama called for a review of The Department of Defense excess property program which saw local police forces across the United States receive overstocked military equipment.
The surplus military equipment was to be used in counter-terrorism and counter-narcotic activities. In essence, the US military was giving its weapons to cities and states for use on the local populations. No more. The White House has finally realized you don’t need mine resistant armored vehicles and 50. Cal guns to bust a drug dealer or a non-existent terrorist.
Following the release of the report, Obama issued an executive order that bans law enforcement agencies from obtaining “prohibited” military equipment from federal agencies and requires guarantees for acquiring “controlled” equipment such as riot gear.
Basically, local law enforcement can still acquire manned aircraft, armored vehicles, tactical vehicles, explosives and pyrotechnics, riot batons, riot helmets, and riot shields. On the other hand, the executive order does ban local law enforcement from acquiring things like tracked armored vehicles, weaponized vehicles, firearms with ammunition .50 caliber or higher, and grenade launchers from federal agencies or using federal dollars.
Clearly Obama’s executive action is not going to demilitarize the police over night, but it is a step in the right direction. If Fox News is to be believed however (and it most definitely is not), you would think that Obama just plucked all the guns and riot shields out of the hands of police officers across the country.
As reported on by Media Matters, on the May 18 edition of Fox News’ Your World with Neil Cavuto, host Neil Cavuto suggested the new regulations could leave police officers “unarmed.” His guest, former police officer Lance Lorusso, said the president was leaving law enforcement personnel “unprotected.”
That same day, host Megyn Kelly accused Obama of denying riot gear to police officers. Kelly went on to defend local law enforcement’s use of heavy armored vehicles like MRAPs.
Fox News’ Fox & Friends misinformed their viewers with graphics. As anchor Heather Nauert reported on Obama’s decision to limit the types of military equipment local police departments receive from the federal government, the on-air graphics headline read; “Disarming the Force.“ Just a little misleading.
Obviously Obama’s executive action has nothing to do with disarming the police. He’s not coming for their guns, just as he’s not coming for your guns. He is simply doing what the report recommended.
“We’ve seen how militarized gear can sometimes give people a feeling like there’s an occupying force, as opposed to a force that’s part of the community that’s protecting them and serving them, we’re going to prohibit some equipment made for the battlefield that is not appropriate for local police departments.” Obama said Monday.
Fox News and their conservative followers pretend to be concerned with government overreach, oppressive federal agencies and the military (Jade Helm 15 anyone?). Why then, don’t they pretend to be concerned when people wearing a badge and armed with the same weapons and equipment march through the city streets? Ah yes, Obama doesn’t control them.