I expect that boats there are armed with .50 caliber machine guns, but nothing heavier. A .50 caliber round can go a couple of miles if you fire it upward a bit, but if you see what you're aiming at, the rounds mostly go into the water. So if I were the king of the coast guard, organizing live-ammunition drills, I'd set a buoy adrift about 3 miles out into the lake, set about 4 boats around it so civilians didn't come too close, post look-outs with radios so everybody knew the coast was clear, then take turns blasting the buoy to smithereens with the .50 cal, with M-16 rifle fire, and with M-60 machine gun fire. As a civilian, I really think that __IF__ the Coast Guard boats are going to carry live ammunition, I want the people on board to be used to firing it FROM the boats at targets in the water. Practice on dry land would NOT make me feel safe; I want to know that the people on the triggers have had some experience firing on the water.Ursula sent a link to an article -- the first paragraph is:
<<The United States Coast Guard has started to patrol the Great Lakes with machine guns mounted on their vessels and is conducting live-ammunition training drills on the U.S. side to prepare officers to combat terrorists flooding across the border from Canada by boat. >>
Sheer insanity. And can one of you military types explain to me what "live-ammunition training drills" really means? I mean, obviously they are practicing being prepared what they think they might have/want to with live ammo -- but why use live ammo? And what kind of safety boundaries are set so that no one gets live-ammoed to death by accident? And what do they aim at?