File this one under "what the hell was he thinking?"
The sheriff in Richland County, SC has gone and bought himself an armored personnel carrier complete with a 50 caliber machine gun.
A .50 caliber machine gun will penetrate walls, reinforced concrete (with sustained fire), automobiles and even tanks (with armor piercing rounds). It's optimum range is about 875 yards. That's almost 9 football fields. It's can't be fired precisely but instead is generally "walked" to the target by choosing an approximate target and adjusting while firing until you hit your target. This is the same weapon used on tanks, on battleships as antiaircraft guns and even on aircraft.
It's a big damn gun. One that's hard to use accurately, apparently has a hair trigger and can easily penetrate homes, car and, oh yes, people!
There were 355,786 people in Richland County in 2005 and a total of 3,342 violent crimes reported in the county that year. My math is pretty wobbly but that looks like a fairly low crime rate. How do they justify the use and estimated $14,000 spent on this weapon?
They say it will save lives. Riight.