Tanks for peace!


Well technically it's not a tank, but an "armored personnel carrier." It belongs to the Sheriff's Department of Richland County, South Carolina. Sheriff Leon Lott has named it "The Peacemaker" and it apparently uses a caliber of ammunition that's generally only reserved for use against armored vehicles. Sheriff Lott insists the tank will "save lives."  

As someone aptly commented on boingboing, "This may be a microcosm of everything that is wrong with our country distilled into one purchase."

(Thanks, Brian)





by Debbie Rasmussen
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3 Comments Have Been Posted

Richland County, South Carolina must be a rough place...

I can understand why a SWAT/SRT or whatever they call themselves team would want an armored personnel carrier (APC) in some limited situations, very limited situations. After living in that part of the country for a couple of years I saw a large number of "patriot" groups/militias whatever they call themselves live. Many of them are well armed and not the place you want to drive a sedan into once the cross is set ablaze. Again though how often does that really happen. Most arrests of white supremacists/"patriots" whatever... are done in individual cases, without armored vehicles. If I was a county auditor, my ledger note would read "WTF?!" The sick part is that unless it was donated from DRMO (army surplus) the cost and upkeep is enough to put floors/ plumbing and electricity in nearly 100 rural homes. Another fun fact about the Carolinas is that there are a lot of impoverished people in those states, a great ingredient for crime.

I can even understand the caliber of the weapon on top the APC in some cases. It is a .50 caliber BMG round, FIVE AND A HALF INCHES in length it can punch through an inch of steel, hit targets out to three miles, and will literally turn a human inside out or decapitate if hit. Again, verrrry limited cases. In LA or other high-crime cities, they are used in sniper rifles with giant precision scopes against barricaded suspects. Again, my "WTF?!" senses went off. The gun on top is a machine-gun, no-scope. WTF?!

This will save lives if the US is invaded by the Russians/Cubans whatever...but I thought that was someone elses job. I was in Homeland Security since the beginning. When people ask my opinion of it, I tell them I think it could be very effective compared to focusing our anti-terror efforts in the wrong country in a way that creates enemies faster than we can kill them but really it is simply a very lucrative field, expensive, wasteful, cluster-fucked, but it does make a handful of opportunists in and out of government very wealthy. Isn't that what's important after 9/11???

They have one, not a fleet.

They have one, not a fleet. I wouldn't be too concerned. Plus, if I understand correctly, they are paying a yearly fee (of $2k) to have access to high quality, military surplus supplies. Sounds like a pretty good deal to me. They aren't blowing away big bucks on stockpiles of toys that will never be used. Also, he states:
"The purpose in obtaining this equipment is the protection of life and our protection of our communities – that the mere presence of the APC will prevent loss of life or injury to any and all citizens"
I cannot honestly think of a scenario where the .50 cal. would be needed. However, a bullet proof tank could be used in many scenarios (<a href="http://www.cnn.com/US/9702/28/shootout.update/">Recall the LA armored gunmen</a>?). But then again, seven years ago I couldn't imagine New York without the twin towers. As the saying goes, "I'd rather have one and not need it, than need one and not have it".



Richland County has the army's largest training base in the nation, Fort Jackson, as well as the Mc Entire Air National Guard Base. Having lived near a military base for some time, I have seen first hand the hard-headed, hard-partying ways of those repressed young men when they are let out into the general populace. They can be very angry, focused and dangerous men. It would appear the sheriff feels he and the county need protection from the protection.

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