Supporters of the Davis Police Department’s acquisition of the MRAP cite the need for this tank in incidents involving gunfire, such as hostage situations and school active-shooter situations. No details are offered as to how a military tank could be helpful.
Do the police plan to fire military-style bullets into the house or business where hostages might be taken? Do they plan to ram the house or building with the tank to get closer to the situation without harming the occupants of the tank? I would think either of these ploys would result in more deaths of both hostages and hostage-takers.
As to school shootings, unless there are armed police on campus, the damage done is usually largely accomplished before the police arrive (I have not heard that a tank can move faster to a school than a normal police car). How would a tank serve once on school grounds? Once again, would they fire military-style bullets into the classrooms or school hallways? Would they ram the school with the tank?
I believe that all deadly uses of firearms would be better controlled through stricter gun control legislation, not the acquisition of military hardware.
The main use of military tanks so far in this country has been for “crowd control,” the kind of use that we condemn when occurring in other countries. Violent responses by police usually result in more violence. The supporters of our tank have not made a case to convince me we should keep this weapon in Davis. I join those urging the Police Department to send the tank back.