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Machine Gun Fire From Military Helicopters Flying Over Downtown Miami

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the ok-ok-the-state-is-your-friend dept.

Government 1130

Okian Warrior writes with word that, as of Monday evening, multiple police agencies and the military were "conducting training exercises over Miami and elsewhere in the county. The exercise includes military helicopters firing machine-gun blanks while flying over highways and buildings. This YouTube video shows helicopters strafing highways with blank rounds near the Adrian Arts center. There are reports of similar actions in Houston From the Houston article: 'if you see the helicopters or hear gunfire, it's only a drill.'" Note: this time, it's not in The Onion.

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Provoking (2, Interesting)

Budgreen (561093) | about a year and a half ago | (#42725085)

Trying to provoke the gun nuts into attacking?

Re:Provoking (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42725147)

With "exercises" of this nature, are you sure the gun nuts are so nuts after all?

Re:Provoking (2, Informative)

ByOhTek (1181381) | about a year and a half ago | (#42725221)

Yes... because in all but a few cases, the weaponry they so desire to protect, is not terribly useful against the military, and is better suited for harassing/abusing minimally defended/hardened targets, like unarmed civilians in medium-large numbers or similarly armed civilians in small numbers.

Re:Provoking (5, Insightful)

i.r.id10t (595143) | about a year and a half ago | (#42725227)

And yet, how well is the US Military doing against the Taliban, etc. who are also armed with mostly small arms and some improvised explosive devices?

Re:Provoking (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42725385)

There doing pretty damn well in the cities, from my understanding. Mountains and jungles are pretty good for guerrilla warfare, the 97% deforested plains that comprise the vast majority of the U.S. are pretty bad. Appalachean mountains aren't really that much of an option, too small and too strategically important. I guess the Rockies could probably harbor some sort of long term armed resistance, but to fight a war like that you need supply lines, and I'm not so sure they couldn't be cut off.

tl;dr: Small arms vs tanks, bad idea. You need some way to get the tanks out of the equation with terrain.

Re:Provoking (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about a year and a half ago | (#42725457)

Tanks aren't vulnerable to mines/IEDs?

Re:Provoking (2)

sco08y (615665) | about a year and a half ago | (#42725435)

And yet, how well is the US Military doing against the Taliban, etc. who are also armed with mostly small arms and some improvised explosive devices?

Great once we got the locals on our side.

Re:Provoking (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42725281)

Yeah. With such limited weapons, they would probably be hiding behind trees and picking off targets of opportunity on their own timetable.

Seems I've heard of those kind of tactics somewhere before....

Re:Provoking (5, Informative)

RoboRay (735839) | about a year and a half ago | (#42725313)

And defending themselves against other civilians. Firearms are the equalizer that allow the weak to protect themselves from the strong, or simply against the many. If you look at the documentation of incidents, legal gun-owners are almost never the... "abusers" as you put it.

Re:Provoking (5, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#42725365)

How much of this is because committing another crime means they are an illegal gun owner?

If I buy a gun legally, then use it to protect my drughouse and in the course of that action kill someone. Will your statistics capture me as a legal gun owner?

Re:Provoking (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42725403)

that's a pretty stupid question.

If I buy an accord from the local honda dealership, and later use it to mow down people on the sidewalk, am I now an illegal car owner?

Re:Provoking (5, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#42725493)

That is how these statistics are often mangled.
Like the ones MADD kept for years that made any accident in which any passenger or pedestrian was in any way intoxicated into an alcohol related accident even if the driver was stone cold sober.

Re:Provoking (4, Informative)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about a year and a half ago | (#42725529)

If I buy a gun legally, then use it to protect my drughouse and in the course of that action kill someone. Will your statistics capture me as a legal gun owner?

Since being a drug dealer in the first place makes owning a firearm illegal (yes, the background check for every sale by a gun dealer will catch that sort of thing, if you're a known criminal. and if you're not known, it's still illegal and can be used as an additional charge when they catch you - "lying on a Federal form" or some such), I'd say that that makes your case impossible, and the statistics won't make you a legal gun owner, they'll make you one of those guys who bought his gun illegally.

Note that while it is possible to avoid the background check by buying a gun in a private sale, the law still doesn't recognize you as a "legal gun owner" if you're a criminal, and if the guy who sold you the gun knows this, HE is now a criminal as well....

Re:Provoking (1)

minogully (1855264) | about a year and a half ago | (#42725513)

By that logic, we should be encouraging other nations to develop nuclear weapons... after all, they would allow a weak country to protect itself from the strong, or from the many.

Re:Provoking (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42725317)

If you don't think a well placed .30-6 round can't take out a helicopter then you're a fucking idiot.

Re:Provoking (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42725505)

Did you intend the double negative?

I'm pretty sure that firing a .3006 round COULD take out a helicopter. It's called bullseye on the pilot.

Re:Provoking (5, Funny)

crazyjj (2598719) | about a year and a half ago | (#42725431)

Calm down citizen. It's just part of our new anti-terrorist Tactical Helicopter Offensive Response program. It's for your protection.

Re:Provoking (4, Interesting)

Joce640k (829181) | about a year and a half ago | (#42725483)

With "exercises" of this nature, are you sure the gun nuts are so nuts after all?

What possible excuse is there for doing this over civilians? I can't think of one.

Even if this is only "training", is there no way they could have painted some roads on the ground out in the desert or something?

Re:Provoking (-1)

Jawnn (445279) | about a year and a half ago | (#42725559)

Yes. Definitely. Ignorant, undisciplined, slack-jawed rednecks with a few AR-15's are not a match for Blackhawk helicopters. If it comes down to citizens fighting the U.S. military, it's going to be far more than the size of a militia member's magazine that affects the outcome.

Re:Provoking (4, Interesting)

bmo (77928) | about a year and a half ago | (#42725489)

In a time before 9/11, I had this prof...

Here in RI, we have the Scituate Reservoir, the water source for northern Rhode Island. The land surrounding it is state property. Couple this with the fact that if you grow weed on your land you lose your land (thanks Ronnie!) people either grow indoors or on state/city/town property.

The National Guard does training flights/drug interdiction over the Reservoir property, at low level, in their ageing Hueys and Cobras. This gets neigbors irate. So much so they call up and complain.

This is met, more often than not, with flat out denial that there are any helicopters in the area at all. "No sir, we don't have any scheduled flights there today."

Which was responded to by my prof, who lived in the area, "So if i discharge my gun accidentally, it *won't* hit one of your aircraft? Good to know."

Flights over his property ceased.

This could have been just a story, but it was entertaining anyway.

--
BMO

What the fuck... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42725095)

Reason does the government have for strafing public highways...

If you /really/ need to train like this then go build some fake highways in the middle of the desert.

Re:What the fuck... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42725159)

But don't spend any money. . . The government is already too bloated, correct? Or is that no longer a thing we say here?

Re:What the fuck... (4, Insightful)

ByOhTek (1181381) | about a year and a half ago | (#42725231)

Generally the "don't spend my money"ers are actually "don't spend my money except on things that cause violent death"ers.
They're all for a huge bloated military.

That being said. W.T.F. I have to agree with the GP... What the hell kind of reason do they have firing, even blanks in public areas like this. If it wasn't very well marked all over the place "military training exercise", I sure as hell hope someone gets fired/jailed for this idiocy.

Re:What the fuck... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42725379)

Consider it preparation of the population and military.

Re:What the fuck... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42725173)

This is exactly what I was thinking. Just what is it they're training for?

Re:What the fuck... (4, Interesting)

vlm (69642) | about a year and a half ago | (#42725297)

This is exactly what I was thinking. Just what is it they're training for?

Iran most likely. I recently finished "A year amongst the Persians" by edward granville brown (a (free) librivox recording) and if I were trying to pick a piece of american geography like Iran they could do worse than Houston. The miami connection is probably more to do with size/road architecture than climate. Although Miami is a 3rd world city, at least in parts, which might help with training.

Re:What the fuck... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42725331)

my guess would be for when some terrorist group tries to strafe a public highway with machine guns.

not having RTFA i would assume they were training against some terrorist scenario, so one group is acting as the terrorists, the other group has to respond to it.

i work at a university. A couple years ago, there was similar training for local police groups, SWAT, and EMTs, from a dozen different towns, that used an empty building on campus to simulate a shooter, so they might have an idea how to handle such a situation if it were to actually occur. We were notified they could be using blanks during the training.

Re:What the fuck... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42725419)

They could just be training for the mass murder of civilian foreigners. That would be pretty ok in today's political climate, the right would be all for it, the left would be against it, and the centrists would split the difference.

Re:What the fuck... (2, Funny)

oobayly (1056050) | about a year and a half ago | (#42725175)

Somebody's obviously fucked up. You don't advertise that your training for a coup d'état

This is why (2, Insightful)

glueball (232492) | about a year and a half ago | (#42725105)

there's a second amendment.

Re:This is why (0, Troll)

morcego (260031) | about a year and a half ago | (#42725139)

No, it is not.

Re:This is why (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42725207)

Yes, it is.

Re:This is why (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42725223)

You clearly know nothing about American history.
Start reading the Federalist papers. Just a few pages at a time since it will be difficult for you to understand.

Re:This is why (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42725377)

It's called blind trust, and he's certainly not alone. He will never accept that "his" government could become tyrannical and turn against him.

Re:This is why (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42725363)

That's the *only* reason for the 2nd amendment you fucking moron.

Re:This is why (2)

Velex (120469) | about a year and a half ago | (#42725367)

No, it is not.

Wha? Huh? What part of

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

don't you understand?

This, by the way, is the language where they talk about a state-sponsored army in the enumerated powers of congress:

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

Now granted, there's this bit:

The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States

Except I can't help but to read that the power of the president to be "Commander in Chief of the... Militia" in a kind of jury nullification sense. Just because a judge says you have to convict if so-and-so is presented as evidence, doesn't mean a damned if that jury really doesn't want to convict. The power to rebuke authority is built into the system.

The only thing I don't understand is why the Militia doesn't work the same way as in Switzerland (or why feminists have no interest in being part of said Militia, but that's another topic entirely). The only ambiguity that's often raised is whether the National Guard constitutes said well-regulated militia. It's unclear since service isn't universal (or at least universal for the sex that cares about protecting freedoms).

Although in order to really get any context, you need to read the federalist and anti-federalist papers where it becomes apparent that most of the founders recognize that an armed populace is the only real check against the office of president or the government as a whole becoming a tyranny.

Re:This is why (4, Insightful)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about a year and a half ago | (#42725451)

The only ambiguity that's often raised is whether the National Guard constitutes said well-regulated militia. It's unclear since service isn't universal (or at least universal for the sex that cares about protecting freedoms).

Read the Militia Act, and it's pretty clear that the Guard isn't the Militia.

The line "every able-bodied male..." is pretty clearly NOT the Guard.

And I agree - why don't the feminists insist on being included in the militia?

Re:This is why (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42725517)

No ambiguity at all, the National Guard represents the organized militia, all able-bodied male citizens who're eligible to vote and aged 17--45 who are not members of the national guard, the reserves or the active military are the unorganized militia:

http://uscode.house.gov/download/pls/10C13.txt [house.gov]

``Well-regulated'' in the vernacular of the 18th century means that they should be trained to the drills of the time.

Re:This is why (1)

SteveFoerster (136027) | about a year and a half ago | (#42725473)

(or at least universal for the sex that cares about protecting freedoms)

You're engaging in this sort of collectivist thinking here. Neither sex cares about protecting freedoms. There are a few individuals of each sex who do, and overall probably more of them are men than women, but that's as close as you can get to your remark — which, in case you don't realize it, is more likely to be alienating than persuasive.

Re:This is why (1)

Dan Dankleton (1898312) | about a year and a half ago | (#42725511)

The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States

Except I can't help but to read that the power of the president to be "Commander in Chief of the... Militia" in a kind of jury nullification sense. Just because a judge says you have to convict if so-and-so is presented as evidence, doesn't mean a damned if that jury really doesn't want to convict. The power to rebuke authority is built into the system.

I parse that as:

The US has a navy and an army. The President is Commander in Chief of these. The individual states also have militias. Sometimes these will be called to serve alongside the army and navy. When this happens, the President is also Commander in Chief of these militias.

I've got no idea what the legal situation would be if the militias were called to serve the United States and refused, but I think it'd be a moot point. To me, it reads like that clause is more to clarify that when the militias are fighting alongside the army they are under the same commander rather than being about when there is civil war.

Re:This is why (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42725401)

What do you think the second amendment is for? Its not about killing Bambi.

The second amendment has always been about killing other people.

Re:This is why (1)

sycodon (149926) | about a year and a half ago | (#42725149)

I guess we need those Rocket Launchers after all eh?

There was something like this that just happened in Houston. [go.com]

What potential threat do they believe is coming that requires attack helicopters to respond and support?

Re:This is why (3, Insightful)

sherpajohn (113531) | about a year and a half ago | (#42725477)

I love the fella who says something to the effect of "if its to protect the kids I'm all for it". Right. Miltary helicopters to protect schoolchildren. you people really are fucking looney aren't you?

Re:This is why (4, Insightful)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about a year and a half ago | (#42725169)

I have to admit, this is more than a little bit sinister. Even if it's not, using civilian infrastructure to conduct fire training exercises is extremely irresponsible. I mean what if someone on the ground had panicked and crashed their car?

Re:This is why (5, Interesting)

DeDmeTe (678464) | about a year and a half ago | (#42725247)

What if someone on the ground started shooting back?

Re:This is why (1)

sherpajohn (113531) | about a year and a half ago | (#42725433)

What if someone on the ground started shooting back?

"Charlie Delta Foxtrot - switch to live fire now!"

Re:This is why (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42725469)

They will take great care the shooting will only be allowed in one direction.

Re:This is why (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42725471)

They'd probably win if the helicopters only carry blanks.

Re:This is why (1)

kbg (241421) | about a year and a half ago | (#42725295)

What is even more scary is the possibility that someone would accidentally load the wrong type of ammo.

Re:This is why (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42725441)

An automatic weapon won't fire a blank without an attachment called a "BFA". If you fire real ammo with a BFA attached, you will have a very bad accident which will destroy the weapon and likely injure the person firing it, but likely not the person being aimed at (if any). At any rate, only one round will fire.

Re:This is why (2)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year and a half ago | (#42725333)

more importantly what's the possible benefit ? ? ?

why train like this? they could be training in nevada with live ammo. is the point to litter shell casings everywhere? (I'm aware that systems can be fitted that catch casings as they're extracted).

Re:This is why (1)

OzPeter (195038) | about a year and a half ago | (#42725233)

there's a second amendment.

Why is that? Because you are assuming that any action by your government is nefarious by default?

Re:This is why (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42725293)

Perhaps you should ask an American Indian.

If you can find one.

Re:This is why (5, Insightful)

sycodon (149926) | about a year and a half ago | (#42725319)

There is a sweet spot between paranoia and complacency in which all reasonable men should dwell.

The State is a wild animal that must be kept on a leash, yet can do great good when properly trained and handled correctly.

Re:This is why (1, Insightful)

OzPeter (195038) | about a year and a half ago | (#42725481)

There is a sweet spot between paranoia and complacency in which all reasonable men should dwell.

The State is a wild animal that must be kept on a leash, yet can do great good when properly trained and handled correctly.

That doesn't answer the question of why the OP thinks that this incident falls into the realms of the 2nd amendment. If anything it is an action of gross stupidity and/or totally irresponsible and not a call to arms to start shooting back at the government and should be handled that way.
 
But if you want to go down the path of believing that the government is planning on taking aim of its citizens, do you really think that they would conduct training exercises in the middle of city like that? If the government comes for you with armed forces blazing they are not about to give you prior warning.

Re:This is why (1)

RoboRay (735839) | about a year and a half ago | (#42725383)

The Founding Fathers were quite explicit that you should assume members of your government are nefarious by default. Subsequent events have born out their fears. They set up the government the way it is to minimize the harm any one member or group, even the majority, could do. Have you even read the Constitution?

Re:This is why (1)

kdemetter (965669) | about a year and a half ago | (#42725413)

Why is that? Because you are assuming that any action by your government is nefarious by default?

I assume any entity ( that includes governments ) will do what it thinks is best for itself.
So the government will do what is best for the government.

Don't be so sure that's automatically what's best for you.

Re:This is why (1)

OzPeter (195038) | about a year and a half ago | (#42725497)

Don't be so sure that's automatically what's best for you.

Similarly you can't just assume that the action will harm you either.

Re:This is why (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42725557)

I think it's far better to ask, "How can this be used against us?" when it comes to people who have far more power than a normal person does. That's why we have checks and balances to begin with.

This isn't difficult. People with power will abuse it, and history has shown us that. We must be very cautious about what powers we give the government.

Don't Worry (3, Insightful)

PlusFiveTroll (754249) | about a year and a half ago | (#42725109)

Don't worry, we're the government, we're here to help.

Private Joker: How can you shoot women or children?
Door Gunner: Easy! Ya just don't lead 'em so much!

Really? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42725115)

Who the hell thought this was a good idea?

Food for thought... (0, Troll)

benjfowler (239527) | about a year and a half ago | (#42725129)

Food for thought for teabaggers who think they want to go to war with Obama...

Re:Food for thought... (2, Insightful)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about a year and a half ago | (#42725253)

Who controls those choppers? It's Obama going to war, conservatives are purely defensive. Incidents like this are "sending a message", we WILL fire on you.

More food for thought for the mentally starved (2)

PseudoCoder (1642383) | about a year and a half ago | (#42725283)

It IS, in fact, possible to wage an effective and persistent guerrilla war against the U.S. Armed Forces. You have multiple theaters of operations as clear evidence.

waste of money (3, Insightful)

C0R1D4N (970153) | about a year and a half ago | (#42725151)

Right, lets waste money prepping for Red Dawn. The US has not been at risk of invasion for two centuries.

Au contraire (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42725181)

It's not a waste of money if you're in the business of government.

Re:waste of money (2, Insightful)

SJHillman (1966756) | about a year and a half ago | (#42725187)

We haven't been at risk even though we were invaded in the 1940's?
Granted, it was a remote part of Alaska, but it's still enemy troops on our soil.

A Soviet invasion was also not that far out of the questions in the decades following WWII either.

Re:waste of money (1)

vlm (69642) | about a year and a half ago | (#42725415)

Depending on your definition of "our soil" you've got our legal territory Guam being actually occupied for a couple years, and if you merely want "risk" then Hawaii was pretty much freaking out about it in late '41 to '42 era. If you really wanna stretch "our soil" into gunboat diplomacy then nearly everywhere the Japanese invaded between "us and them" was pretty much "our soil". A good example of a "gunboat diplomacy region" actually being taken over post WWII would be Cuba and arguably Nicaragua. In conus we were safe mostly because of the USN and the royal navy, combined with the lack of long range jet fighters and transports.

Re:waste of money (2)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | about a year and a half ago | (#42725305)

Ever hear of the Zimmerman Letter? [wikipedia.org]

Re:waste of money (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42725337)

October 30, 1938. Never forget.

Re:waste of money (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42725369)

Right, lets waste money prepping for Red Dawn. The US has not been at risk of invasion for two centuries.

Apparently you haven't been paying attention. Every day, hundreds of non-Americans cross our southern border. It's not your standard, recognizable invasion force, but much of the Southern US is home to a foreign occupation right now.

Re:waste of money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42725449)

The second largest Mexican city in the world is actually in southern California.

It's called Los Angeles.

Re:waste of money (1)

Coisiche (2000870) | about a year and a half ago | (#42725391)

Oh, I don't think invasion is what they're practicing for...

Re:waste of money (1)

RoboRay (735839) | about a year and a half ago | (#42725407)

Right. That's why US soil was occupied by a hostile nation in the 20th century.

Re:waste of money (0)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about a year and a half ago | (#42725423)

Two centuries, eh? Exactly two centuries ago, in January of 1813, the United States was six months into the War of 1812. The British invaded many areas along the United States' northern border, and at times a total invasion was a plausible scenario. Then there was the Mexican-American war, the American Civil War, World War I and World War II, all of which featured several invasion attempts. Finally there's the Cold War, the very Red Dawn you refer to, during which the Soviet Union entertained several very real plans for invasion of North America.

Assuming you meant "two decades", you're still missing some key details. Two decades ago was 1993, shortly after the fall of the Soviets. That was actually one of the riskiest times for small-scale invasion, because rather than having a single powerful enemy, the United States had to shift its defense toward dozens of smaller states and groups who had access to the forgotten parts of the Soviet military. Any of them could have launched ICBM attacks against the United States, accompanied by air strikes and landing parties to claim a bit of territory. No, it wouldn't be long-lived, but it'd show the rest of the ex-Soviet states who was now the strongest.

Even now, the risk of a political-posturing invasion is very real. With enough advance planning, it's not too terribly hard for a terrorist group to effectively hold a city hostage. Nuclear materials for dirty bombs are relatively easy to acquire, though expensive. Acquiring a few offices or homes for long-term operations just requires some carefully-stolen identities and time. Finally at the right moment, a campaign of seemingly-random attacks, launched from completely ordinary places against completely ordinary civilians, can cripple the city's economy as the residents flee. The organizer can than take their place among the military powers of the world, and laugh at the American self-flagellating response.

Did someone think this was a good idea? (4, Insightful)

bhartman34 (886109) | about a year and a half ago | (#42725155)

Okay, so you have helicopters buzzing around and strafing highways with blanks in Die Hard-esque fashion, in highly populated areas.

Oh, yeah. Nothing could possibly go wrong there, right?

Re:Did someone think this was a good idea? (1)

muon-catalyzed (2483394) | about a year and a half ago | (#42725465)

Outrageously terrible idea! Especially in a town that is full of oldtimers, tourists, hotels etc.

I hope that its (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about a year and a half ago | (#42725157)

I hope that its really a secret operation against Muzzy terrorists in Miami [miamiherald.com]

take that trailblazers fans (4, Funny)

alen (225700) | about a year and a half ago | (#42725163)

if you watch the video, RTFA, the trailblazers were in town. the cops were just shooting their fans

Just a gentle reminder (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42725171)

Anonymous is about to disclose their warheads and they should be prepared if people finds that information disturbing.

At least it wasnt REAL. (5, Interesting)

lemur3 (997863) | about a year and a half ago | (#42725179)

This reminds me of the 2004 incident where the bullets were live.

somehow the pilot was miles off course when he started shooting...

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/11/05/nyregion/05strafe.html [nytimes.com]

The Air National Guard warplane, flying a night training mission out of Andrews Air Force Base near Washington, fired a burst of 27 rounds from its 20-millimeter cannon shortly before 10:15 p.m. as it streaked over Little Egg Harbor Township, 20 miles north of Atlantic City, New Jersey military officials said last night

desensitising? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42725191)

Trying to desensitise the public so that they don't react when it's not a drill?

Re:desensitising? (2)

vlm (69642) | about a year and a half ago | (#42725225)

I donno if that really works. In addition to Miami and Houston, there's also machine gun fire in Detroit and Baltimore today, although thats BAU people still duck anyway.

Good reason for this exercise? (1)

jimbodude (2445520) | about a year and a half ago | (#42725255)

While I'm sure they have their good reasons for this exercise, I don't think this is the sort of military behavior a "free" society should ever have to experience. Why can't they do it in simulation or in the middle of the desert? Why like this now? I can only imagine being in traffic when this happens...

This can't be a good thing (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42725269)

Just great, now Obama's having the military train with police to attack Americans.

What could possibly go wrong? (1)

hduff (570443) | about a year and a half ago | (#42725289)

Just like similar drills conducted over Manhattan after 9/11.

I wonder (1)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | about a year and a half ago | (#42725291)

I really hope there is a bag to catch all that brass falling from the machine guns.

A Counter-Terrorism Op? (0)

cyberfringe (641163) | about a year and a half ago | (#42725345)

In the movies, when there is a lot of shooting in public places, the official explanation is often, "This was just a multi-agency joint training exercise." Yeah right. I'm suspicious that this event may be a(nother) counter-terrorism op about which we may never learn the truth. Multi-city suggests nick-of-time disruption of near attack. Multi-agency including military suggests possible NBC weapon.

When the Government (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42725349)

- fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny." Thomas Jefferson

Does anyone get the impression that someone is trying to instill fear on somebody here?

shoot back (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42725375)

Shame no one shot back. If I have helicopters over my head, firing rounds, and I'm in fear of my life, it seems only natural. After all, we all have to be worried about terrorists nowdays, and this isnt something that our Government would allow.

Hey, I played that game! (1)

Quakeulf (2650167) | about a year and a half ago | (#42725395)

It's Hotline Miami, right? Right guys?

Oh ya? (1)

AndyKron (937105) | about a year and a half ago | (#42725405)

Good way to get shot at.

What happened to our usual training grounds? (5, Insightful)

VinylRecords (1292374) | about a year and a half ago | (#42725409)

Our military has enormous lands throughout the U.S. including large areas of forest and desert and even uninhabited towns and cities built specifically for training exercises. The government was building lots of little makeshift towns just to blow them up with nuclear weapons during the cold war. You can find lots of videos of the government testing bombs in massive stretches of the desert. I've taken weapons training on SWAT courses that are like little ghost towns where the instructors have makeshift bridged built all over the course where they can walk above you and take notes on where you messed up something.

It's one thing to have military planes fly over civilian airspace. You have to test these planes traveling for hundreds of miles so of course they'll eventually have to fly over some commercial airspace. Or to have security training exercises be done and rehearsed at an event before it happens. Like the security teams that are not rehearsing the Super Bowl security at the actual stadium. But low flying helicopters? Shooting blanks at civilians and civilian vehicles? What possible reason could there be for that?

What's next? Armed soldiers patrolling the streets shooting blanks at people on the sidewalk? Why not? It's a perfectly safe exercise that won't cause panic at all.

"Hey it's just a training exercise...now put that cellphone camera down or we'll have to detain you. Now go home and watch American Gladiators and go back to bed".

Imagine the fun it's going to be when armed soldiers start firing blanks and some civilian has no idea what is going on and fires back. Or when people start panicking and cause a riot. I'm all for keeping a well trained military....but using our own people as the targets? What kind of self respecting soldier went on this mission without protesting it?

Fun fact about blanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42725417)

They're still raining hot brass when they fire. It's really annoying when you call in fire from a helo and they're right overhead, ouchie!

Honestly (2)

fafaforza (248976) | about a year and a half ago | (#42725463)

what is the point of this? Does the guy with the gun not know what will happen when he pulls the trigger, or not know how to aim? I'm sure they have target practice So why do this in public, without notifying everyone ahead of time? To scare some old timers into cardiac arrest? To force some return fire?

This is just so bizarre.

Wow! Christmas came late for some folks ... (2)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about a year and a half ago | (#42725499)

For the folks who have always believed in Trilateral Commission, who had seen UN insignia wearing officers in Oklahoma city bombing scene and among the wreckage inspectors of WTC, who had seen Chinese character instructions at the back of highway signs, the government + UN conspiracy to subdue the local population after disarming them, especially for the people who believed in black helicopters, Christmas came a little late. Enjoy the gifts folks.

Miami? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42725503)

If some foreign power wants to invade Florida, I say let them have it.

Unless this is a drill for how to do something about Florida, in which case it's about time, but they're going to need something a lot bigger than some machine guns.

Gun Control (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42725527)

All while Obama proclaiming "Your guns......gib dem to me!"

Anonymous because its real... (1, Flamebait)

3seas (184403) | about a year and a half ago | (#42725565)

Obama is efforting to turn this country into a socialistic country, This is not a flamebait though its likely to be modded as such.
The fact of the matter is there is an energy market emerging for Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) and its infrastructure creation for exporting.
There are issues with licensing granted by the president. He intends to take advantage of this process. Already there are representitives erging Obama to grants licenses. There is only one so far having been granted. However with Obama position and intent to capitalize on it, take undue credit for the economic change this market will cause, he intends to manipulat the situation politically and at the price of converting the country to socialism and like hitler, he will have the support of the majority of the people, known as the sheeple. Look back in history at which president served more than 2 terms and realize he did the same thing, taking advantage of a market, the oil industry. With new technology in horizontal drilling and fracking, a huge amount of natural gas has been found...... and so has a lot of oil. You can see picture from space at night side of some of this gas being burn't off.

This is not flame bait or a troll, but as reall as it gets.

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