In all the hullabaloo over the past few days about the San Diego School District's new MRAP, we missed the most wonderful news of all. Not only is the Los Angeles Unified School District getting an MRAP, too, they also casually disclosed that they've had three grenade launchers since 2001.
Oh, not to mention their 61 M-16 assault rifles, according to the LA Times:
[LA School District Police Chief Steve] Zipperman said that although the Pentagon identifies the three launchers as grenade launchers, civilian police call them less-deadly ammunition launchers. He assured me that the school police never had any intention of lobbing grenades at anyone, ever, and that they would not be used against students to launch anything.
Well then I guess that's settled, right? The school police doesn't intend to launch grenades at anyone, least not the very students they're supposed to protect, and of course there's that old saying about history and intentions. What's that saying again? "The road to high test scores, student well-being, a constructive learning environment, and educational heaven is paved with good intentions."
Yes, I'm sure that's it.
Alright, so the presence of three old grenade launchers probably doesn't have a direct impact on the test scores of students, but I can't imagine knowing that your local K-12 campus police have access to explosive arms is very comforting for them. Plus the LA school district is massive, and does educate kids in some tough neighborhoods. That's really not an excuse for assault rifles and grenade launchers, however, among almost any police force, let alone one belonging to a school district. Even if it is the largest school-specific police force in the country.
And Zimmerman plays it off like it's no big deal, anyways, they're really just holding all these grenade launchers and assault rifles for a friend:
But as a police department, he said, LAUSD's finest engage in mutual-aid pacts with other police agencies, and the ability to move those launchers out of storage might come in handy then.
See? They're just keeping it safe. That excuse always works with the cops.
But all of this heavily-armed bullcrap among local school districts are just the tip of the iceberg, and it's even worse than what we saw in Ferguson, Missouri. At least 117 colleges across the country received military equipment from the same Department of Defense 1033 program that the LA School District received its MRAP, grenade launchers, and assault rifles from, according to the Chronicle for Higher Education.
And the 1033 program is huge, and is definitely not limited to school districts. It extends to all local law enforcement agencies, and a report from NPR found that between 2006 and 2014 it disbursed not only 205 grenade launchers, 422 helicopters, and nearly 80,000 assault rifles, but also 11,959 bayonets.
Yes, almost 12,000 bayonets.
As if the ghost of Theodore Roosevelt himself was about to go lead the local yokels and the Keystone Cops up San Juan Hill once more.
Because The Children Of America Are Our Future (™).
Photo credit: US Army