I would like to comment on the Aug. 24 article on "Militarized law enforcement: Necessity or overkill?"
The type of weaponry the police use is not the issue. As I see it there are two areas of the government that are authorized to use lethal force to ensure the safety of American citizens and protect our way of life.
One is the military and the other is our law enforcement agencies: federal, state and local.
The military, in many ways, is not bound by any country's constitution or laws. This is why declaring martial law is virtually never used.
U.S. law enforcement agencies, on the other hand, are bound to obey the Constitution and to uphold the constitutional rights of all citizens.
When you create an environment that encourages the use of military-type weapons and rules of engagement, using men and women that in many cases come from a military background, you begin to create a situation where obedience to constitutional rights is questionable.
Now throw in zero tolerance and the ability of law enforcement officers to make intelligent decisions is severely limited. As a result you have what is bordering on a police state (everyone should understand the meaning of this term).
Police no longer seem to be there to protect and serve but rather to control and intimidate.
I am 68, so over the years I have seen law enforcement at their finest and at their worst, but what is happening today scares me.
I served my country so my children could enjoy the same civil liberties that I enjoyed, but today I am wondering if I wasted my time.