(Click to embiggen.)
Caption: "Police officers with automatic weapons stand outside a home in Montgomery, Ala. on Monday. They believe the man suspected in the Auburn shootings entered the home."
Hey, Mr. Associated Press or MSNBC News Editor? While it's quite possible that the responding police did have some "automatic weapons," and it's likely that you consider most semiautomatic firearms to be "automatic" weapons, that does not accurately depict what is seen here. In the center of the picture (which generally is where the subject of the picture lies) is a man holding a bolt-action sniper rifle. Although I can't tell the make or model of the rifle, I can see that it is in a Choate Ultimate Varmint Stock, and would put good money on it being either a Remington M700 or a Savage M110, both of which require that the bolt be manually lifted and pulled back before chambering a new round, each time the rifleman fires. I say again: manually. This is the opposite of automatically.
There is no other firearm visible.
If you're wrong about such a basic fact, what else are you getting wrong, that I can't check at a glance to see?
Here's why I'm irritated. I hear all the time about the militarization of the police. How the cops are turning into strike teams and the like. But what I see is a couple of officers in blue jeans and body armor, who obviously got called out on their time off, to come respond to a shooting. "Automatic weapons" is a favorite buzz term for those who like to say that the police are black-fatigue pants-bloused-in-boots-wearing, goose-stepping, jack-booted thugs. While I don't have a problem with their proper use (which is usually to move the selector to "semi-auto" when shooting, and no further.), I find them generally unnecessary in my field, as do most thoughtful cops.