Being the libertarian leaning citizen that I am, I confess that on some issues the ACLU and I are on the same page. Those pages may not make up a large book, mind you, but I'm not in favor of unnecessary government intrusion any more than they are.
We differ on the issue of some law enforcement realities that the ACLU interprets as unnecessary government intrusion. Their recent screed against SWAT and "militarization" has been a loud voice in the chorus of anti-police rhetoric that has swept the country and plagued its public servants.
Since I am open to correction I am willing to donate $100 dollars to the ACLU if any American citizen can prove that tanks and machine guns and "militaristic" gear is a plague upon the nation. That's right, a crisp Ben Franklin for the first of any of the following brought to my attention and verified as having occurred within the last two years in the continental United States:
1. The existence of any tank in the inventory of any local or county law enforcement agency. A tank is a tracked vehicle with a functional revolving turret on which is mounted a functional cannon capable of firing explosive rounds and with such rounds in that agency's inventory. Armored rescue vehicles do not count.
2. A documented use by any local or county law enforcement agency of an automatic weapon used in a tactically offensive (i.e. not defensive; not emotionally or socially offensive - I mean shooting at somebody) manner during a police operation in which no suspect was armed with formidable weapons, or against a citizen not engaged in criminal behavior.
3. A documented use by any local or county law enforcement agency where an item of protective headgear (helmet) or other personal protective item worn on the body (ballistics vest or gas mask) has been used in an offensive (i.e. not defensive; not socially or emotionally offensive - I mean used to hit somebody) against a citizen not engaged in criminal behavior
I would like to invite the ACLU or any other police critic to formally accept the challenge by donating $100 for each of the three issues to a cause of my choosing if no one comes forward.