Lately there has been a lot of talk about the Department of Homeland Security buying millions if not billions of rounds of ammo, purchasing M4s or AR15s and calling them personal defense weapons (instead of calling them assault weapons as they do when in civilian hands), acquiring armored vehicles, buying ballistic check-point booths and so on. It all seems to fit right in with Obama pledge to create a civilian force as strong as the military and fits in nicely with conspiracy theories about the government preparing for to commit an illegal takeover of power from the people. Heck, I think such a conspiracy may actually be in the making. It seems quite possible, with the way things have been going, with the violation of our civil rights under the last two presidential administrations (yes that means under Obama and GWB too) what with the implementation of the Patriot Act under GWB, the strengthening of it under Obama, the passing of laws and implementation executive orders allowing for property to be seized by the government without due process or just cause, allowing for U.S. Citizens to be arrested and held indefinitely on U.S. soil by government agents without due process or probable cause if merely suspected of being a terrorist, the authorization of government agents to kill those suspected of terrorism without probable cause, the most recent being the nullification of our rights regarding Posse Comitatus, the obviously targeting of political groups by the IRS, and the NSA spying en mass on the telephone records, computer usage of Americans. In addition, the fact that certain states are blatantly disregarding, if not actually opposing, federal authority (such as MO saying it will not enforce federal gun control laws and AZ trying to implement its own form of Immigration, and it looks pretty bleak. It really does seem as if the government is preparing for war against the populace of these United States.
Lately, you can add to those disturbing facts one more, that the DHS and the U.S. Department of Justice have been reported to be using firearms targets to train their agents to fire on other than traditional threats. Those targets, reportedly manufactured by Law Enforcement Targets, Inc. are supposedly called “No More Hesitation” targets and depict such threats as pregnant women, small children and elderly folks all holding weapons. Many Internet conspiracy theory pundits are calling this a new type of target and see these targets as a blatant expression of a threat to the citizenry of the United States in as much as they believe that the government is training its civilian forces to shoot at patriotic citizens. They are saying that such goes toward proving that the government is conspiring to forcefully and illegally wrest power from the people and that it is trainings its officers to shoot down citizens.
There are many examples of such theories floating around in the Ethernet. Here are a few links to articles discussing just that, all with specific mention of the targets in question:
How much more evidence do you need? DHS trains to shoot pregnant women, old men, children with guns
NO HESITATION TARGETS
DHS Supplier Sells Targets of American Gun Owners
SHOCKING: DHS & Others Buy $2 Million of “No Hesitation Targets” of children, pregnant woman, and elderly holding guns
It may well be correct that the government is moving in the direction of an illegal takeover of power; I have been leery of it for some time now. That they are using these targets to that end so that government agents will readily shoot innocent citizens though, I think, may be an incorrect assumption. Of course with all the other facts mentioned above though, it is hard for some to see how these so called “new” targets are anything other than part of the preparations for tyranny to raise its ugly head.
The truth of the matter though, prior to the Obama Administration anyway, is that these types of targets, those depicting other than traditional bad-guy dirt-bag threats have been in use in law enforcement training for decades now. They may be a new product for the company that is reportedly the current supplier of such targets to DHS and DOJ but that type of target has been in use a long time without anyone coming out and claiming it is definitive proof that the government plans to murder citizens. That is until now, as far as I am aware. I know from firsthand experience that such targets were in use as long ago as the early 1980s. I trained using such targets while in the Border Patrol and in the United States Customs Service. In fact, in while I was in the Border Patrol, we used a predecessor of FATS (Firearms training Simulator) in which we fired plastic bullets, at a movie screen, from shell casings containing only a primer to propel them. The targets depicted on the screen included those such as armed elderly people, armed young children, armed teens, armed pregnant women, all armed with firearms – all depicted in threatening scenarios. There were also don’t shoot scenes with the same type of folks and with apparent dirt-bags who all were weaponless and innocent. Some scenes included plain clothes law enforcement officers who would turn on you, after you gave the command “Police don’t move” and if you shot them you could well have been justified or unjustified depending upon your post shooting statements. Subsequent to that type of training, I also trained on the FATS system which had similar scenarios. We also trained on similar paper targets although paper targets were not as realistic as were the movie/video type targets. Back then that seemed pretty cutting edge but no one that I can recall was claiming it had to do with the government planning to take over power and murder citizens.
Targets depicting folks other than dirt-bag types have been used by law enforcement for many years and LEOs utilized them with no intent of ever illegally or unconstitutionally seizing power for the People. Those targets did little more than to add realism to LE training because all different sorts of people can be real threats. The original manufacturer's intended purpose of the type of targets in question is/was not, I think, so much to anesthetize law enforcement officers as to possible citizen targets of a rampant administration but rather to prepare them for all possible types people who can potentially pose a deadly threat during the normal course of their sworn duties. Of course, that is not to say that those same targets could not be used and are not being used by the current governmental administration to do just what the conspiracy theorists, conservative and libertarian bloggers and pundits are claiming. After all, the current government is certainly the most unconstitutional and rights usurping tyranny since the likes of Franklin D. Roosevelt (Japanese interment camps) or Woodrow Wilson (proponent of racism and eugenics).
I would hope though that the oath takers of this great nation would have the wherewithal to realize when their training is geared to upholding the Constitution or to its destruction and if their training and training aids are ever used bent toward America's demise that they would stand in unison with the patriots of this nation to uphold the Constitution and not hesitate to destroy tyranny.
All the best,