September 22, 2013

Military Industrial Complex Ain't Just the Military

Letter to editor in the Columbus Dispatch today:

I find it totally unbelieveable that Ohio State University, a tax-supported state institution of higher learning, would require the use of a Maxxpro (Navistar) Mine Resistant Ambush Protection vehicle to patrol its Columbus campus.

First, who does the OSU police department think it needs to defend itself against: mines in the streets or Michigan fans? Second, who is going to repair and maintain this type of military vehicle made with many military-only style parts, and I am not just talking about oil/fuel/air filters? And how expensive will repairs be?

It weighs more than the legal limit for most commercial trucks, so the roads will get chewed up faster. It will not be able to traverse the narrow streets around campus.

Why do I know? Because I have worked on these types of vehicles longer than anyone else in supplying spare parts for the Defense Logistics Agency. My statements do not reflect the opinions and policies of my employer, the DLA in Columbus, just me, a taxpayer.

I wonder why OSU would need a .50-caliber machine-gun cupola mount. I would hope the university doesn’t anticipate having to use that kind of weapon against students and alumni. The newspaper should investigate and ask our lawmakers and Gov. John Kasich why we are building militaries outside of the Department of Defense on the taxpayers’ dime. 
From Kevin Williamson's book "The End is Near": 
Here is an illuminating fact: The U.S. Department of Education owns a surprising number of guns—the Washington Post recently noted the department’s purchase of a few dozen Remington 12-gauge shotguns with 14-inch barrels. Ownership of such short-barreled shotguns—commonly referred to as “sawed-off shotguns”—is in most cases a felony for the private citizen, but apparently the Department of Education has need of paramilitary firearms.
in August 2012 the Social Security Administration placed an advertisement soliciting bidders to fulfill a contract for 174,000 rounds of “.357 Sig 125-grain bonded jacketed hollow-point pistol ammunition.” Dozens of other federal agencies—agencies outside the national security and law enforcement departments—have similar squads with similar arsenals, used for similar purposes.

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