I was horrified Aug. 24 to see, at the corner of Pine Street and Los Osos Valley Road, soldiers in full war uniforms — plus helmets, sitting on their haunches pointing submachine guns at each other. There was a “tank,” a command post and “soldiers” (sheriff’s deputies) running around practicing war among the abandoned houses, including one on the roof with a bazooka. This was in a residential zone with people walking their children.
Earlier this year, a man who lived on Los Osos Valley Road locked himself in his house after slashing his wife with a sword. Enter what must have been the San Luis Obispo SWAT team with its new BearCat vehicle from Homeland Security. They cordoned off my neighborhood for blocks in each direction. Battle gear, submachine guns, a helicopter circling above — it looked like a battle zone. And all for one man with a sword?
While our nation’s military is being shrunk to a tiny level, and China and Russia continue to build theirs up, America’s local and state law enforcement agencies are getting all this excessive weaponry and equipment to “practice” with. Why? And why practice in the middle of our community?