Alex Gallardo / AP

What’s Happening: A Ban on Military Equipment for Police

It's become a common sight on the nightly news: Cops facing off against protestors, wielding weapons originally meant for combat and crowd control overseas. On Monday, President Obama banned a federal provision that allows local police forces access to military-style equipment. Included in the ban are grenade launchers, tank-like vehicles, and some high-caliber weapons.

Reversing a 9/11 hallmark: The call for limits is meant to calm the growing tension between police departments and civilians in a number of American cities. “We've seen how militarized gear can sometimes give people a feeling like they're an occupying force,” the president said on Monday in New Jersey.

Not far enough? Some civil-rights activists say the measure doesn’t go far enough and want more of the actions promoted by former Attorney General Eric Holder to be adopted. Writing in The Atlantic, Russell Berman notes,Missing from those recommendations, however, was any mention of a change in the law that Holder proposed on his way out of office earlier this year,” namely a law that would make it easier for the federal government to charge and convict in civil-rights case, including those involving police.


Snapshot

Thirty-five years ago today, an ash plume billowed from the crater atop Mount St. Helens in Washington state. See more images from the 1980 eruption at The Atlantic Photo. (USGS / Robert Krimmel)

Quoted

  • Peter Beinart: "By claiming that the United States was right to invade Iraq given what its leaders thought they knew at the time, [Marco] Rubio and his fellow GOP candidates are making George W. Bush’s radical departure from past American practice the new normal. They are enshrining the idea that the correct response to potential nuclear (and perhaps even chemical and biological) proliferation is preventive war.”
  • Joe Pinsker: “It used to make sense that height would be valued when picking people to do jobs: The tallest people were often the biggest and the strongest, and most tasks demanded size and strength. But the height premium has persisted even as more and more jobs have become desk jobs. Economists have sought a satisfactory explanation ever since that change started taking hold.”
  • Spencer Kornhaber: “[Taylor Swift's ‘Bad Blood’ music video] is a corrective to the Smurfette syndrome that, for example, forces Black Widow into being defined almost entirely by her entire gender while the men of The Avengers enjoy a diverse set of storylines. All the “Bad Blood” women have their own signature powers, gear, and personas—imagine that!”

Pop Quiz

1. Analysis suggests that an extra inch of height correlates with an estimated __________ in increased annual earnings.

(See answer or scroll to the bottom)​

​2. According to the Department of Justice there are more than __________  active outlaw motorcycle gangs within the United States.

(See answer or scroll to the bottom)

​3. At ___________ feet, the Shanghai Tower is set to become the third-tallest building in the world. ​

(See answer or scroll to the bottom)


Evening Read

In our June issue, Liza Mundy looks at how a generation of powerful women is using age to their advantage:

These women are overachievers born into a world that presented both opportunities and formidable barriers. In a fairer world, they might have peaked earlier. [Elizabeth] Warren dropped out of college to marry her first husband, who wanted her to be a housewife. Soon after [Hillary] Clinton graduated from Yale Law, she moved to Arkansas, to further her future husband’s career. Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who also belongs on the later-surge list, did not join the Supreme Court until she was 60; the male justices she joined had been, on average, seven years younger when they were sworn in.


Verbs

Amtrak service restored, major Iraqi city lost, president tweets, American sweat stains spreading, Elian Gonzalez returns, and sea turtle nose job performed.


Answers: $800, 300, 2073 feet


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