End militarization of police
Earlier this month, Rep. Hank Johnson reintroduced a piece of legislation that has gone unnoticed for quite some time: The Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act. The bill was originally introduced over four years ago, shortly after Michael Brown was killed in Ferguson.
For weeks after the shooting, our television screens were filled with surreal images of police officers in military gear rolling down suburban streets in army tanks. The national outcry led a bipartisan group of lawmakers to craft the SMLA. The bill aimed to halt police militarization by increasing control over the flow of military grade weapons. It created new rules for the 1033 program – the Clinton-era government initiative responsible for giving extra military equipment to local law enforcement.
The program had flown under the radar until 2014, primarily because much of the equipment given to law enforcement consisted of innocuous items like jackets or boots. Few were aware that grenade launchers, military grade assault weapons and MRVs were also being handed out to officers who hadn’t been trained to use them.
While its days of dominating national news networks may be over, the 1033 program is still going strong. The SMLA is now seeking co-sponsors. I urge our state representatives and senators in Washington to join Rep. Johnson and co-sponsor the SMLA and bring much-needed reform to a broken program.
Better solutions than a wall
You already know there is no invading army at our southern border. We all realize that there needs to be a plan between both parties that deals sensibly with the immigrants who want to come to the United States. A wall won’t do the job. Perhaps you saw the brief interview with a man who lives near a portion of wall which exists on the border. When asked how long it will take a person to climb over the wall, he answered “15 seconds.” And how about while carrying drugs? “Twenty seconds.” Actually, our drug enforcement people tell us drugs come here through ports of entry. The 9/11 terrorists arrived by commercial air lines. Recall, also, that the Great Wall of China, despite intention, is merely a tourist attraction.
Certainly, we should not simply have an open border, but the vast majority coming this way want to work hard for a better life, not a criminal future. Attempts at entering illegally are the lowest in 20 years. The most caring solution would be to assist countries with their crime and weak economies.
Separating immigrant children from parents has been a shameful disaster. There is no invasion, and this is a fake crisis. We should solve this political struggle without hurting more people and without building a costly, useless wall.
Roby M. Kerr,
Are drug cartels keeping wall from going up?
No one has asked this question. Why not? First the Mexican drug cartels send tons of drugs to the USA. I know some get caught. For every pound caught at least 10 or more pounds move across the border scot-free. The drug lords have been known to buy the politicians of Mexico. They can afford to pay millions so their product of death is safe. They do not want a wall. The wall will cut their profit by 90 percent. There are many politicians in this country that are fighting that wall. The question I wrote of earlier is this: Have our politicians been bought by the drug lords and pushers? Maybe they just hate Trump so much that they allow death by drugs to have a free range in the USA.
Brian T. Reid Sr.,