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U.S. puts machine-guns on Great Lakes coast guard vessels

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posted on Mar, 16 2006 @ 11:57 AM

U.S. puts machine-guns on Great Lakes coast guard vessels
Last updated Mar 15 2006 04:56 PM EST
CBC News

For the first time since 1817, U.S. Coast Guard vessels on the Great Lakes are being outfitted with weapons – machine-guns capable of firing 600 bullets a minute.

Until now, coast guard officers have been armed with handguns and rifles, but the vessels themselves haven't been equipped with weapons.

The War of 1812 saw violent battles on Lake Erie and Lake Huron between U.S. troops and British forces, which were largely composed of militias from Britain's colonies in what is now Canada. After the war, the United States and Britain – and later Canada – agreed to demilitarize the Great Lakes waters.

The Rush-Bagot Treaty of 1817 allowed each country to station four vessels, each equipped with an 18-pound cannon, to safeguard the Great Lakes.

What are they e xpecting? This is odd.

What do you think?

posted on Mar, 16 2006 @ 12:04 PM
We get A LOT of illegal immagrants coming across from Canada from the lakes. Boats coming in from Canada don't even have to go through customs if stopping at a minor harbor. In fact, the MOST they have to do is the optional checking in with the harbor master. Of course, so many people stop thier boats just offshore and take a dinghey to shore that if it happened with a few illegals no one would think anything of it.

I think it's just an intimidation factor, if anything.

Also, I like your spin on the article... They're not mounting the guns on the ships permenantly...

The guns are typically mounted because of their weight. But a spokesman for the U.S. Coast Guard, Petty Officer William Colclough, said they will be stored below decks on the coast guard's 11 Great Lakes cutters and will be mounted only when needed.

Nice of you to leave that part out.

I also found this part at the very end of the article funny, as said by Frederick Stonehouse, a Michigan-based historian...

"Certainly the Great Lakes [have] not had any military vessels stationed on [them] since – gosh, really since the advent of that treaty."

Last time I checked, the Coast Guard was a branch of the military. Oh, and what about all the WWI and II training that took place on the lakes? Some historian!

[edit on 3/16/2006 by cmdrkeenkid]

posted on Mar, 16 2006 @ 12:43 PM
I would say the expectation stems from having the United States' third (sometimes second...DARN YOU LA!) largest city right on the lake, with its downtown district very near to the lake. Currently, if the coast guard was to try to stop a vessel for whatever reason, but the vessel decided it didn't want to stop, the coast guard would have to employ its most powerful weapon to stop them:

"Aw, come on guys, that's not fair! Slow down! Pleeeeeze? We just want to look around a bit."

Now they can down a vessel (with quite a bit of work, considering the caliber of guns they're getting) rather than call in other forces that may or may not get there in time. With the proximity of Chicago to the lake, there is a threat of an attack taking place off short and severely affecting the city. Anything from firing some mortars into the city to detonating a nuke would be devastating to the area on many levels.

I don't really understand what the problem with this is

posted on Mar, 17 2006 @ 08:28 AM
CMDR, Next time should i post the entire article? Give me a break, please.
I thought we were friends.

I appreciate your replies. I wondered which is why i posted this and i had no alterior motive.


posted on Mar, 17 2006 @ 08:50 AM
I hope those guns get used instead of just being there. Hope they get ammo too. The bombing of the marine barracks in Beruit happened because the guards didn't have ammo. The Iranian hostiages happened becuase the guards didn't have ammo.

And when the embassy in afganistain was overrun back in the 70's, a marine was actually court marshalled for using his personal 22 cal target pistol to hold off the mob til everyone got to the roof for evac.

posted on Mar, 17 2006 @ 08:57 AM
Personally I think they should be permanently mounted. Having to run below decks, grab the guns and ammo, get them on deck, mounted, loaded, and start shooting is insane. All USCG ships should be armed. They are the primary guardians of ALL our ports, and they should have the means immediately at hand to defend them, and themselves. Not locked up below decks "just in case." Dec 7, 1941 comes to mind. All the P-40s were lined up on the flightlines with no guns, and no ammunition.

posted on Mar, 17 2006 @ 11:45 AM
Greetings Fellow Believers,

A deck mounted gun? On domestic patrol vessels? A gun that can tear another vessel to pieces?

I submit to you, fellow believers, that this grand show of domestic force is not only aimed at illegal immigrants and contraband--these guns will also be pointed at us.

How often have you heard: "if you aren't doing anything wrong, then there is no need to be afraid of survellience"? What if I took my boat onto Lake Erie, had some engine trouble, and had a Coastguard boat pull along side with some Yahoo pointing a 50mm deckgun at me?

I'd probably have just enough time to extend a certain finger on my hand before the gun started blazing.

posted on Mar, 17 2006 @ 12:28 PM

Originally posted by Jack of Scythes
What if I took my boat onto Lake Erie, had some engine trouble, and had a Coastguard boat pull along side with some Yahoo pointing a 50mm deckgun at me?

I'd probably have just enough time to extend a certain finger on my hand before the gun started blazing.

lol, jack. Aren't you going a bit "overboard" with this?

They said the guns would be kept below deck, and only brought up if necessary. That in itself I didn't quite understand, seeing as if they were necessary, they'd probably be blown out of the water before they could start down the stairs to look for them. But all in all, I think the move to carry these guns was done to increase our ability to fight terrorism and drug trafficking, and as a general move to protect our borders.

Nonetheless, your point about the potential for accidents increasing is true, but only marginally, IMO. Note that they would not be mounted when they first pulled up to your boat. In the event of a terrorist attack with some forewarning, however, they could absolutely be useful.

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