Fox News host thinks the police should drone-strike snow, or something
Dana Perino thinks the I-95 traffic jam, which left hundreds stranded in their car for a full day, wouldn’t have happened if the cops had military equipment.
On Monday, a crash involving six tractor-trailers brought traffic on I-95 outside Virginia to a standstill, just as a major snowstorm was hitting the region. The result was hundreds of people stuck in their cars overnight. Response from local officials was slow, and people felt abandoned — trapped with no food, nor water, nor way to get them. The situation was bad, bordering on dire as temperatures dropped below freezing overnight.
When something so bizarre happens, it’s worth asking what could have been done to prevent it — and it seems like there were plenty of stones unturned. Why weren’t the roads properly treated to prevent ice? (Officials say rain prevented them from deploying chemicals and salt on the roadways.) Why wasn’t a state of emergency declared? (Per Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, it wasn’t necessary and the state had what it needed to respond.) Why wasn’t the National Guard deployed to help? (Northam claims they were on standby but that it would have taken too long to organize them.)
Here’s one question that only Fox News host Dana Perino seems to be asking, though: Why weren’t the police properly militarized to take on snowflakes?
Perino was all too excited to raise this series of non-sequiturs, stating that “I do not believe [this] has been said yet” — an indication that she is suffering from a terminal case of pundit brain, which makes someone believe that it is better to say something new and attention-grabbing no matter how utterly stupid it may be.
She went on to say that “many on the left made a decision that local sheriffs should not be able to have military-grade equipment.” Perino acknowledged there are lots of reasons that police, who are tasked with protecting local communities in America and not fighting wars overseas, probably shouldn’t get tanks. “They said that was a bad symbol, and that it was too militaristic and authoritarian.”
“But imagine,” Perino said, as her head expanded in real-time to contain her galaxy brain, “if they were still allowed to have the equipment they had just a few years ago, it probably would have come in very helpful today.”
O ... kay.
A quick follow-up for Perino: What equipment? Like, what equipment specifically do you think that the Fredericksburg Police Department needs from the military in order to respond to a traffic jam? Let’s say the sheriff rolls up to the scene in a M1117 Armored Security Vehicle. Now what? Is he going to point the machine gun at the snow and tell it to clear out? Are you planning on putting tanks on the Interstate, Dana? Because that’s how you destroy pavement.
Let’s say, just for the hell of it, that military equipment would help here. Maybe Mother Nature retreats at the first sign that humans will respond with force. If that was the case, then the police should already be pretty damn well equipped for it. A 2020 report from the Newport News, Virginia, newspaper Daily Press found police acquisition of military equipment has been on the rise in recent years. “Statewide [in Virginia], transfers of military gear to police and sheriffs offices more than doubled, to $3.8 million,” the paper reported. That included armored cars that were supposedly acquired under the guise of “disaster response,” and the police said they would use the vehicles “to transport people or supplies during a natural disaster.” So where the hell were those yesterday?
Police across the country have been securing military gear under the guise of disaster response for years now. They claim that they need the equipment to respond to storms, floods, fires, and other natural disasters. And then natural disasters happen. Josh Lederman, a reporter for NBC News, was among those stuck on I-95 for nearly 24 hours. He said, while still stuck in traffic, “I have not seen an emergency vehicle, a police car, or a plow.” Apparently no armored vehicles pulled up, either.
Sure, there is probably military equipment that can be used in a disaster. But we can also just properly prepare and weatherize our infrastructure and have effective emergency response in place. Perino’s solution here is no different than Donald Trump wanting to nuke a hurricane while he was president. We are not going to win a war on nature.