For years, the traditional media was prone to state that police were "outgunned by the criminals," usually in the context of plumping for more repressive gun laws.
That may have been the case in the 1960s or '70s, but was not the case in the 1980s and certainly is not the case now.
Two examples: while technical editor of the American Rifleman, I routinely visited Heckler & Koch's offices in Sterling, Va. I popped by one afternoon and was buzzed through the gate into the parking lot. As I walked up to the front door, I passed a steel cart loaded with 50 or more MP-5 submachine guns that had been used in a training course and were headed to the shop for cleaning. Think about it; on an average Wednesday afternoon, it was so common to have 50 SMGs rolling through the place that there wasn't even anyone particularly guarding them.
And, on an average Wednesday afternoon, there were 50 cops in Northern Virginia getting trained to shoot SMGs. Clearly, the Barney Fife days were in the past even then, and that was more than 15 years ago.
A shooting buddy of mine, now at the FBI Academy, was a deputy sheriff in a Virginia County south of the Washington area. He attended a sniper school and shot with officers from a very small department in a very remote county in the Blue Ridge Mountains. They turned up with HK PSG-1 rifles (the hot ticket in those days), Zeiss scopes, night vision, the whole schmear.
I was amazed that the relatively poverty-stricken county these cops represented could afford such gear, and was informed the whole kit was bought with asset-forfeiture funds, and that many other agencies around the state were doing the same. Again, this was 15 or 20 years back.
Apparently, after two decades, this intelligence has finally caught up with what we now call the mainstream media:
As you might suspect, the "experts" quoted say it's inevitable that police need to be heavily armed, because, regrettably, the rest of us are.
My attitude is that it's fine for the cops to have a lot of guns so long as the rest of us, in aggregate, have a lot more guns. What do you think?