There are certain little details that bring home to traveler the fact that he really is in a foreign country. One of these which frequently strikes Americans is the way, in European countries where the citizens are typically completely legally disarmed, the cops stroll around carrying machine guns.
The American thinks of his own police armed normally only with a pistol, and feels something akin to the way the Edwardian Englishman did about living in a country in which police officers only carried a truncheon.
Well, the recent Moscow subway bombings provoked New York City authorities to leap into action and dispatch an elite squad of officers with helmets, goggles, and fully automatic M16 assault rifles to ride the city’s subway trains.
That will show those terrorists! Try reaching under your clothing to detonate your suicide vest, and that Hercules squad stormtrooper will pull his goggles down, check to see that his body armor is securely fastened, and then spray the entire car with high velocity .223 rounds. After that, it won’t even be necessary to use the bomb.
I find the machine gun-toting cops on New York subways development symbolically appropriate. We are, after all, now just one more European-style welfare state committed to cradle to the grave benefits for everyone. We prefer equality to opportunity and growth. The state is our keeper. Our cops should all have machine guns. The state is our master and they are its representatives. They require enormous firepower to keep all of us in line.