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Comments about ‘Rep. Stewart seeking to demilitarize federal regulatory agencies’

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Published: Monday, Aug. 25 2014 6:05 p.m. MDT

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Informed Voter
South Jordan, UT

Keep up the effort. We need to de-militarize government agencies!

Herbert Gravy
Salinas, CA

How about the Department of Homeland Security. Does it really need all of that ammunition it is hoarding?

ECR
Burke, VA

I think the response from "informed Voter" illustrates how Congressman Stewart's pending bill is perceived by many.

First, let me say that I agree with the statement that only a handful of government "law enforcement" agencies should have armed staff to deal with dangerous situations. But isn't it the case that most of the armed response to protesters in Ferguson. MO were from the local police department and only recetnly has the National Guard been deployed to help with that situation? It reminds of my home town in rural Idaho. The entire county has about 4000 residents and what was a Sherriff's office with 3-5 badged deputies in the 70's is now more than 20 heavily armed deputies covering essentially the same number of residents.

Most federal agencies are not involved in armed assault but are being assaulted themselves by Congressional committees that have nothing better to do, apparently, than hold hearings making outlandiish accusations and witholding funding, promised long ago, which drives up the cost of projects for everyone. Then they hold hearings to find out why costs are going up. Well duh! Maybe Congressman Stewart can investigate that issue and do us all a favor.

Itsjstmeagain
Merritt Island, Fl

Is it the weapons or the leadership that created this problem? How could such a demographic leave no "minorities" in office or the police force. If the police had no hardened vehicles, what would have happened at the Bundy ranch had the Bundy supporters decided to open fire especially their snipers.

Mr. Brown was a tragedy. Trying to synthesize all of the media reports, it is obvious Mr. Brown showed no respect for the cop or the law. Society in general has lost respect for police. As an open target with untold numbers of guns in the wrong hands I can see their wanting to go home that night.

JWB
Kaysville, UT

Possee comitatus was made for a reason many years ago. I think of countries like Hungary, Czechoslovakia and others like Syria that uses muscle power inappropriately. Some administrative type Federal agencies have some of their personnel to FBI training and that is overdoing it. A federal police state is not what we want. Having military equipment everywhere is not what the small or large states wanted in the constitution. The states have their sheriffs, cities and states have police forces. The federal military is for military purposes. We have military sales to foreign countries controlled by Congress but I am not sure Congress is controlling military sales to States.

FatherOfFour
WEST VALLEY CITY, UT

Herbert Gravy, better question: do we really need a Department of Homeland Security? It didn't exist until the Bush administration. Can't we just get rid of it? There is a ton of overlap between several federal law enforcement divisions. I am betting we could nix a few of them. If they let go all of that ammo, then a few people in the ammunition manufacturing business might lose some jobs, but the taxpayers would save some money too by not having to buy more ammo for other agencies.

GaryO
Virginia Beach, VA

“Rep. Stewart seeking to demilitarize federal regulatory agencies"

Oh really? And I suppose this is in response to Bundy’s criminal activity over the last few decades and the motley conglomeration of armed supporters who flashed their weapons in the faces of BLM personnel.

Two of those self-described “Conservative Patriots” who assembled on Bundy’s ranch later went on to distinguish themselves by murdering police officers and draping their dead bodies with a Swastika and a Tea Party flag.

And now this Utah Republican wants to take weapons away from the BLM.

Well, that would definitely make it easier for them to be murdered by Right Wingers, but is that a good thing?

Face it, the BLM is an arm of the Federal Executive Branch of government. It is their right and their duty to ENFORCE laws. But now anti-government “Conservatives” are complaining mightily. Let them complain.

But let our Federal Enforcement Agencies PROTECT themselves while they do their jobs.

As far as I’m concerned, the BLM should have tanks, armored cars, and MORE tanks . . . Whatever it takes to defend themselves and this nation from terrorists who pretend to be “patriots.”

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

When a Senator or Congressman introduces a bill, it's assigned a number. That's about as far as I'd like to see this piece of legislation go.

Stalwart Sentinel
San Jose, CA

The over-militarization of governmental agencies of all stripes is alarming and needs to be addressed but I'll bet good money that had the protestors in Missouri shown up brandishing handguns and positioning snipers with sights trained on law enforcement, Rep Stewart would be singing a different tune.

Therein lies the rub: America has become a tiered society in many respects and no amount of police force or lack thereof will be effective long-term until we ameliorate the fact that leniency was given to a decades-long lawbreaker who is white when he summons "patriots" to arm themselves in a fight against a federal institution that has demonstrated in the court of law that he has broken the law repeatedly for years. Whereas throngs of black protestors in the streets are met with overwhelming force after they say "enough is enough" in terms of the society that has marginalized them for so long and they then band together to speak out against the shooting death of an unarmed young black male.

Kora
Cedar Hills, UT

Can someone explain why they believe the Dept of Education or IRS needs SWAT team like units?
Why does the BLM? If they are going into a potentially dangerous situation, why not bring in an FBI or Sheriffs Dept unit? Why do they need their own?

GaryO- Tanks are necessary to enforce cattle grazing laws? We are talking about cattle grazing! Is this really an issue that requires a military response? Considering liberals don't like a military response to acts of violent aggression such as cutting the head off of an American, or inner city violence, I find your response odd. That illegal grazing is a greater threat to our nation than the thousands of violent crimes and murders happening daily in the inner cities boggles my mind.
The type of armament of govt agencies you support is akin to what has been seen primarily in Communist Countries and Military Dictatorships. Is that what you want in America, a govt that can easily subdue the populace and enforce greater authoritarian control?

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

Kora,

"....Is that what you want in America, a govt that can easily subdue the populace and enforce greater authoritarian control?"
______________________________

That’s what government has a DUTY to do, not to make it a good government but to keep it a government at all.

The precedent for that came with the Whiskey Rebellion in George Washington’s second term in office. Farmers in Western Pennsylvania refusing to pay a Federal excise tax on liquor, were mobbing Federal marshals, beating them up or tarring and feathering them. President Washington responded by putting on his old military uniform to personally lead troops into to Pennsylvania to put down the rebellion which immediately evaporated. The farmers wanted no part in that.

Washington had little choice other than to do that. He recognized it as an open challenge to the authority of the new Constitution which he was sworn to uphold and defend.

mcclark
Salt Lake City, UT

Stewart came out with this nonsense in response to armed BLM agents surrounded by low lifes with assault rifles. He is on the side of terrorists and murdering thugs. I E-mailed him my outrage he was siding with a racist welfare cheat, and the thugs he surrounded himself with. I suggested he quit his job and join a militia if that was how he felt. Got a little form letter about how he grew up on a farm.

GaryO
Virginia Beach, VA

Hey Kora -

"Tanks are necessary to enforce cattle grazing laws?"

No, but tanks may be necessary to prevent enforcement officials from being murdered by "Conservative patriots," and from having their dead bodies defiled by both a Swastika and a Tea Party Flag.

If those officers in Las Vegas had been sitting in a tank eating their lunch, they never would have been gunned down by Cliven Bundy supporters, would they?

JacobLaw
Summit, UT

I think that I will continue to vote for this man, it is an honest effort to correct a major problem that is attacking our Republic.

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

First off, Bundy is a thief and a thug. He is stealing from every law-abiding, tax-paying citizen. If he wants to use the land, he should either pay the lease, or buy it.

Fatheroffour,
one could rightly question the existence DHS, especially the abusive TSA, and especially under the abusive misleadership of the BO misadministration. I think the intent was to better coordinate the various agencies. Oh well, the best laid plans…

Craig,
The duty of government is NOT to subdue the populace, but to protect it. Where did you get the idea they are supposed to subdue the population, the USSR? Did Washington subdue the population, or put down a rebellion by a minor faction?

GaryO,
What was to protect the branch davidians from Janet Reno? I think that’s what the militia was remembering when they showed up at Bundy’s ranch.

it's your beloved BO who is overseeing the over-militarization of government agencies; it is BO who is in effect draping swastikas over bodies, following in Reno’s footsteps

VST
Bountiful, UT

The only Federal agencies that should have armaments are the FBI, the U.S. Marshalls Service, and the ATF. No other agency should have or need such enforcement power. This includes the BLM, who should rely upon the Courts and their enforcement arm (the USMS), or the FBI, as needed.

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