by Claire Bernish, Activist Post:
When a country wages military campaigns on a scale not fully disclosed to the public to feed the coffers of war profiteers, it cannot possibly be surprising when that militarism — so infused in the political propaganda masking it as national security — eventually comes home.
Thus in 2016 — as the rule of the longest wartime president in U.S. history, Nobel Peace Prize winner Barack Obama — draws to a close, it must be equally unsurprising the brief and altogether impotent attempt to demilitarize America’s police forces might soon be repealed.
However, the State’s continued proselytizing on the need for domestic security and citizen safety proffered as the reason for remilitarization only beclouds what, in actuality, has been a steady downward trend in both violent crime and acts of terrorism. As with any governmental propaganda, it’s imperative to cut through fictitious, nebulous fearmongering so the public can protest further curtailment of basic rights from a reasoned platform of fact.
For decades, police officers had been tasked with protecting the public they served from violent crime and property thieves. And, to a large extent, the image of Officer Friendly remains so ingrained in the collective consciousness, large segments of the populace perform logical gymnastics in order to defend even the most egregious brutality by cops — instead of questioning the gradual apparent erasure of constitutional due process. But as politicians and a growing number of prominent, if controversial, heads of law enforcement pontificate on the need for officer and civilian safety to fully reinstate the military’s handout of surplus equipment to departments nationwide, someone needs to slam on the brakes and ask:
Are we really in that much danger?
In short, the answer is a resounding No.
According to combined data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics and the FBI, since 1950, the homicide rate per 100,000 people reached a high point of 10.2 back in 1980, and then gradually declined until 1990, when it again rose to 9.4, peaked again the following year at 9.8, fluctuated briefly, and fell more or less continuously ever since.
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