It’s interesting to discover General Jack Keane using the same argument to deny soldiers their natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms when they’re on-base as the antis do off-base. Namely, it would be too damn confusing for first responders to separate the good guys from the bad guys if the good guys are armed. This flies in the face of what went down at Ft. Hood, where the first responders led all personnel out of base buildings at gunpoint – because they didn’t want to take a chance that one of the people being rescued was an active shooter. Which is how it should be. It also ignores the fact that an armed soldier stopped the killing by confronting the killer with a firearm (10-15 minutes after the attack began). Kinda reminds me about that joke about military intelligence.

Recommended For You

62 Responses to Retired General Jack Keane: No Gun Rights for Soldiers on Base

  1. Thank God the general is retired. Stay that way. I believe everyone with a functioning sound mind, even the Detroit Police Chief, knows we are our own best defense. Soldiers are their own best defense and that of their families and friends. I trust them implicitly and explicitly. Period.

    I do not trust the politicians and bureaucrats. I do not truth the VA. (I know by personal experience).

    • 2 other colonels on O’Reilly both arguing over disarming soldiers. They were both totally for it, and didn’t see it as a rights issue. They had no solution of course, cause there is none palatable to the statists. To them its just something we have to accept.

      You can’t body cavity search 20k people in cars at the base gate. Its impossible and I’m glad there are people on the news saying that. They can’t afford police on every corner. They can’t even have MP’s on every corner. The watch sections would be insane and unsustainable. The base force protection level would need to be FPCON Charlie or Delta (military only on base), and they aren’t able to keep those up for more than a few days, weeks at most. Really had to fight shouting at the TV.

    • “… it would be too damn confusing for first responders to separate the good guys from the bad guys if the good guys are armed”

      Yeah, all those defenseless, dead patriots scattered on the ground makes it pretty clear which side they’re on.

    • You really want to serve with soldiers, except combat infantry, with loaded weapons? That’s crazy. Do you have any clue how much fighting went on between troops in ‘Nam? Even though most support troops did not load until under attack, there were lots of fragging incidents, assaults, and violent behaviors.. With loaded weapons, that would mean numerous deaths resulting from up close and personal “friendly fire.” That’s a sad, but truthful fact of life resulting from numerous cultural factors, poor family life, and mental instability. that you can’t always uncover before a tragic incident. ,

      • Harry, Nam was a different time with different social dynamics. However it becoming increasingly evident that cops cannot and will not protect you. Someone has to.

    • Bingo !!! The VietNam experience was culturally traumatic to the military. The rampant fragging of officers (and fellow grunts) burned itself into the culture. Combine that with the mentally / training to order groups of men to die on your word. Hence the diametrically opposed to civilian thinking about issues like rights, liberty, freedom.

  2. The biggest idiots I ever met in the army were MI Officers.

    The US has the most loyal Army in the world and its trusted the least.

    • Our soldiers, airman, marines, sailors come from our communities. They’re not recruited based on ethnic, or tribal or religious ties. They are a cross section of America. They can be trusted to serve their people.

      As Lanza was not representative of all gun owners, Ivan was not representative of all soldiers.

      Military Intelligence is not a joke. It’s an oxymoron.

    • Its because the Army (and military in general) is loyal to the US itself, not the politicians or party in power. Such a powerful force and they can’t turn it on the people, must be maddening for them watching all the other countries do it. The Enlisted ranks promote from within, culture breeds culture, and the good senior enlisted trains the young officers. The problem always comes in at the upper appointed ranks, just like with police chiefs getting cozy with the mayors.

  3. It seems to me that the general missed the point of the question. Nobody is suggesting that the DoD arm all personnel on an installation.

  4. Just another blithering idiot who thinks that because of experience and/or education that he’s seen it all, knows it all, and the rest of us shouldn’t be so disrespectful as to suggest reviewing the actual facts and not spouting assumptions. Go push bosh elsewhere. We’re all stocked up.

    • He wants to become an inner party member. All those former military officers want to. They were fired because they lost the favor of the anointed one, and they didn’t realize how much their personal power came from them. Now they crave being influential like a drug, and we don’t want nun of it.

  5. Unfortunately, Obama and his cronies are only part of the problem.

    There’s an entire species of subhuman primordial ooze, identified by metal growths on their clothing shoulders . They closely imitate decorated military officers, but are in fact an entirely different species. This ooze advances in position by cronyism, by politics, and by sliding from one command to another.

    The ooze has no credibility, no integrity, and no honor.It simply feeds on the careers of honest men, and seeks to devour more. One example can be seen in the posted video.

  6. Not sure what the kerfuffle is. The Gen draws a clear distinction between ARMING everyone on an installation (not in favor) and ALLOWING those legally able to carry on the installation. If you live in the dorms, your weapon is at the armory (potential for improvement there). If you live in housing, you are already able to keep your weapons at your residence. It really comes down to personal (vs institutionized) carry on base, whether you live on or off base. The Gen does not appear to be opposed to personal carry for those otherwise legal to do so off base…

    • Gbo, Keane (over time he’s been a good guy) is not agreeing that carry on the base is OK. He merely agrees that soldiers should be allowed to own them. He didn’t disagree with the “barracks guys have their weapons locked in the armory, family-housing guys have them at home” policy. In fact he restated it positively.

      I think this is a very tough issue. I’m not sure I know the right answer. I am sure that arming E-1 through E-4 when in garrison offers very large risk. I’m going to think about it.

      • Right, I would not say letting E1 – E4 run around armed is a great idea. But by the time somebody gets to E5/E6 or O2 we should be able to cut the crap and start treating people a little more like adults. This is why war is bad but frankly getting deployed to a combat zone is almost refreshing – some of the nanny BS drops away because there’s no time for it.

  7. “They know how to defend themselves, but they are not police.”

    Wow. When he said that, I just could not believe it. Unbelieveable that he now considers the police to be more effective at killing an armed combatant than the military.

    • Controlling the narrative. “Oh no! If soldiers can’t protect themselves how can we?! Oh save us non-legally-obligated-to-protect-anyone armed force of swat men in blue!” They are close, oh so close to taking that last little step where they cut off that last part of the phrase “Only the Police and military…”

    • I think it is clear that he said police are trained, and most soldiers are not, to try and arrest, deescalate, rather than automatically shoot. This tells me he lives in a very comfortable prosperous retired generals and execs neighborhood/town, not in run-of-the-mill America. Otherwise he’d notice that not a lot of deescalating is going on among way too many PD’s.

      • He said defend themselves. He may as well have added “bless their hearts” with the contempt dripping in that phrase.

  8. I think the phrase “First Responders” is overused, especially in circumstances where the professionals are actually second responders. And since when did we want to manage violent situations? I’d prefer we end them.

    • Such BS about “confusion of first responders”. It seems that he prefers a bunch of victims dying and bleeding out on the pavement so the first responders coming in can say “nope that dead person isn’t the shooter…let me keep looking”.

  9. Hi Robert,
    I guess from your comment you have never been in the military. The General is using a pretext argument about on-base gun control. When the General was a young boy at West Point he would have heard the worrying stories about soldiers killing bad officers; at that time it would have been ‘fragging’ in Vietnam. 99.9% of soldiers are loyal and brave (privately*^&# scared; but controlling it). This is the same situation for armies all over the world. However, we do not like being lead by idiot officers who will get you killed because of their ego or stupidity. The problem here, as with all other mass shootings, is mental illness. You will note that the Commander at Fort Hood said the soldier was “being treated for PTSD; but this diagnosis had not been confirmed yet.” More military bullshit, as any Vietnam vet will tell you. If a country does not clearly ‘win’ the war, as we did in WW2, then there are far more mental health issues. The military denies causing combat zone induced mental health issues and induced disease (Agent Orange in Vietnam and Depleted Uranium in the Gulf war) because this costs money to fix. Look forward to reading how ‘bad’ this soldier is made out to be; just another military industrial complex cover-up. This is not a problem with guns (or knives in the case of China): it is a failure of leadership at all levels, both civil and military, to provide mental health care and recovery.

    • Field grade and flag officers don’t notice the difference between crummy wars fought to inconclusive results and abandoned, as opposed wars the public stands behind and which have a clear goal that is achieved. This is because as they go up the ranks, the officers simply think “thank god there’s some kind of war, because otherwise I’d never make general. (Admirals get there without a war.) The psychology is completely different.

      I see no reason why E-6 and above in garrison duty in the U.S. can’t carry. I’d let the others season a bit. Been there. No way to tell who can resist pulling their weapon in anger. In garrison and bored, anger is not uncommon. It’s also not uncommon (anecdotally, I’m no expert…) for guys to feel very “dead ended and treated like used goods” late in their term of service. Put that together with bad blood on a guy-versus-guy basis and it really can be a very volatile situation.

      I may be the odd man out, but I think that given the number of active-duty troops who are young men, the number of tragic incidents is not surprisingly high at all. I do disagree completely with the “no gun zones” concept. It doesn’t work. The only question is how, exactly, to back off from the current status quo.

  10. “… it would be too damn confusing for first responders to separate the good guys from the bad guys if the good guys are armed.”

    I actually saw the General make that statement live. What a putz. If lots of good people were armed, there would not be an “active shooter” when police showed up because the spree killer would already be either dead, unconscious, or restrained and thus there would be no confusion or ambiguity.

    • He also fails to take into account that the good guys with guns will drop their weapons when the cops show up, while the bad guy will not. We had a situation where there were armed civilians. Gabby Giffords was shot. There was an armed civilian holding a firearm on the shooter(never going to say his effing name again) when the police arrived. They didn’t have to shoot the armed civilian.

      Ya know I’ve seen this argument popping up a lot from gun grabbers. They must think it actually has some traction.

  11. Arming soldiers already trained in weapons makes perfect sense. But you also have to consider that on ALL of these bases are Civilians. Civilians serve in support and management of these bases. Don’t those civilians have a right to defend themselves? Yes they do. Should they be denied their right to defend themselves just because they are working on a military base? No they shouldn’t.

  12. Since I was unable to serve in the military, can someone explain to me why all personnel are unarmed on military bases? It would seem to me that they should be armed, they are military, after all. Police are always armed, why not military?

    • Carryover from Vietnam. Bad officers had accidents. Mostly an urban legend, I’m sure. Armed conscripts wouldn’t have to necessarily march into the grinder, and bad leaders might not feel as free to take out their frustrations on the men.

  13. On-base personnel cannot be armed because dying is all they are good for. Every general officer knows this, as does every Fed.

    During the Vietnam War, the Feds knew exactly what a soldier was worth. That’s why the brass issued them substandard M16s with no cleaning kits, and shipped my friends back in cardboard coffins.

    • I thought it was bad then, the ‘river meat’ treatment of infantry. Landed one day at an FOB and a guy from my Basic Training company was there to unload the food. I recognized him, and said “hey, Black! E92!” He just looked at me, as I sat in the chopper, with complete disgust. Once I saw how much Washington valued ARVN lives (Feb-March ’71) I thought, “wow.” Opened my eyes for life. But I’d gone for adventure, having read “Hell in a very small place.” I got what I deserved. The last guys of the ARVN 4/1/1 in Laos shot at me as we took off. We put 460 in, 68 or so made it to the crater, extraction point. We got 16 out, some say 8 (we got 8). And nobody really cared. Just numbers. Kissinger and Haig. It was the only time I was written up for a major medal….for dooking it out with MG’s with desparate ARVNs. They knew they were toast, the few that were still alive. None of them made it out after we left. River meat.

    • What I was left with, overall, was just a stunned disbelief at the difference in treatment for four years’ difference in age, Spec 4’s versus 2nd Lieutenants, and especially a staggering disbelief that so many men and choppers could be expended (Lam Son 719) only to say the hell with it and pull back, claiming “useful if short-lived gains.” I’m so glad my son also has a Swedish passport and a college degree, in case we ever again have a draft for an absolutely pointless war in which the Washington brass has no real sense of commitment, no clear stated goal. (Sorry if this bothers anyone, especially vets.) I remember everyone talking about that wonderful new doctrine, the vaunted “Powell Doctrine.” Yep, that really sunk in. “Overwhelming force, clear goals.” Run that one by the Iraq and Afghanistan vets. I guess that concept was too much work, too expensive. End rant.

    • It’s claimed this treatment is due to a lack of resources and funding. Yet that would not be the case if we diverted a fraction of the resources we spend on fighter aircraft and tanks that will in all likelihood be decommissioned without ever seeing use. For a relatively trifling amount we could equip our soldiers with first-rate personal equipment and redress most of the grievances that devalue the lives of our fighting men and women. I often think of what could have been accomplished with the trillions we wastefully spend on pointless wars and occupations, equipment that no one wants that we produce simply to keep the factory owners and workers happy (pennies, many tanks, etc.), extravagant development programs like the Joint Strike Fighter program, and other fruitless labor. Meanwhile, our soldiers attach scrap metal to Humvees in a warzone because they’re not equipped with armored vehicles. Even worse are the little things, like how we give them steel personal armor, when commercial “off the shelf” armor now weighs 80% less for the same efficacy. Or how we cling to cartridges like 7.62x51mm for bureaucratic reasons when we could simply change some barrels and use 7mm-08 Remington or 6.5 Creedmoor which make far more sense for an anti-personnel marksman or sniper rifle. Or how we don’t even recognize our own success in weapons development, like the LSAT program, than could make our soldiers more effective and comfortable. Or how the brass chose UCP (the ACU pattern), despite the U.S. Army’s own camouflage trials at Natick that judged it far inferior to alternatives like Desert Brush and Multicam (sources: 1, 2, 3, 4). Neither our military nor civilian leadership cares to spare a relative drop in the bucket to preserve the lives of it’s “expendable assets” when it comes to giving them better than the bare minimum. Their well-being is not prioritized over politics, corruption, and preserving the status quo. To say nothing of how our military arguably hasn’t defended our nation since World War II, and shows no reluctance to throw American military lives away for the most marginal, slight, and inane reasons. I’d probably be in the USMC right now if I had any confidence that I’d be valued as a human being and my mission would be to actually defend my homeland, and not be ordered to invade someone else’s for no better reason than to stoke the ego of some chickenhawk. The low priority given by the leadership to making sure those who risk their lives for our nation have our full support and the best resources we can muster is a form of contempt toward those in the field.

  14. The reason the police can’t tell good guys from bad guys is they aren’t there when the bad guy does his thing. That is WHY the good guy at the moment of truth needs a gun. Jerez…do we have to keep explaining this… like its rocket surgery?

  15. But if military personnel were armed, by the time the “first” responders get there the shooting would have been stopped. Shooter shot himself after seeing an armed MP. Maybe he would have shot himself before walking into the base if everybody inside were armed.

  16. Perhaps the next Fort Hood (or whereever) shooter should target the Commander’s office. Maybe then these Generals (Ft. Hood Commander included) might reconsider their positions. But then, they probably have a Colt .32 or .380 in their jacket pocket already. Just in case.

  17. So, their brilliant plan on how to identify good peeps vs. bad peeps is…
    the unarmed dead/wounded ones on the ground are good peeps.

  18. Mr. Jack Keane, you are now a civilian. Please STFU and go fishing. Or whatever retired Generals do.

    • Hi Jus Bill,
      Good retired Generals fight for the rights and welfare of young soldiers.
      The barstards go and work for the military industrial complex.
      Thank you, Greg

  19. Yep saw those 2 retired colonels on O’REILLY. All 3 agreed you shouldn’t arm soldiers. Sad mopes. Sure glad my son isn’t active duty military anymore.

    • Did you see his opening monologue on how the cause isn’t guns, its freedom, and how this wouldn’t happen in China? Totally ignoring the mass knife attacks. He literally argued against freedom for 2 minutes before those 2 colonels discussed how soldiers couldn’t be trusted.

  20. As far as I can say, people that shoot children and unarmed citizens are bullies and cowards, enough said. Point a gun back at those chicken s_ _ _ s and they will fold like a bad pocker hand, or kill themselves. I personally think all of us have our God given rights to carry!

  21. So service people, even the most junior private, is trusted to safely carry a weapon amd ammunition for months at a time while deployed yet can’t be trusted to asfely carry a personal weapon (if they so desire) on military installations. That don’t make a whole lot of sense.

  22. I look at this incident as two or three casualties from the murderer, the remainder from gun control.

    To think of being the 19th casualty, 14 minutes after the first person was shot. If only someone other than the responding police officer had been armed. As soon as confronted with armed resistance, the rampage ended, as we’ve seen so many times before. You’d think we could train and trust soldiers to carry and use weapons safely and effectively. You’d think, but paranoia strikes deep.

  23. Former combat vet here, our general officer corps went to crap years ago. If you look at the record of who competed from the military at Camp Perry up through the 60’s and 70’s it was majors, LTCs, COLs. Then the golf courses were built, marksmanship was for enlisted, and along the way being a field grade officer became about what kind of comfy BS defense contractor (or media commentator) job they could get afterward. I know former general officers in charge of large serious organizations who could not lead a puppy out of a wet paper bag. Pathetic.

  24. I was about to leave a comment about anti-MIL type thinking- but my PC died last minute, so I had to come back and start over. Then I watched the video again (third time) and read the comments again, especially the guys that had actual enlisted experience, and thought hard about putting myself in their boots.

    Now all I want to say is thanks for your service, and I hear you. RESPECT.

    I think Gen Keane has made some good points, but he is also wrong, IMHO, on a couple things, and where he has been is blinding him to where we as a nation need to go. So, with respect for his service also, I would say- General, you need to think things thru, just as he suggest Congress needs to, and I agree with tdiinva and roping and a couple others that the first step is to allow senior enlisted and officers to carry, after proper training, on base.

    That can move down in the ranks as time and lessons learned pass, as the time and resources to add that training is huge, and would take away from more necessary training for how to fight and win on the battlefield.

    Look, the only way to change the culture on gun-rights, or as Ralph terms it, “the culture war”, is stay in the fight, engage, and inform and educate. Because the difference in values and integrity between more and more civilians who vote for politicians who have never served, is growing. Its like two Americas, and that alone is alarming to the prog-tards, as you can see from the hysterical fear of “militias” or “vets with PTSD” or some of the wargames scenarios for FEMA, or the hysteria over anti-“assault rifle”, anti-hunting, anti-meat, etc kind of progtard generalizatsions and other forms of group-think that passes for academic thinking on too many campuses, and in too many “news” outlets these days.

    And dont forget to vote, donate time and money to those who think the way you do, and to NRA, SAF, GOA and your state orgs to move the ball, legally, in winnable challenges to bad law.

    And remember- you dont persuade anyone if you start the conversation with an insult, or punch them in the nose. So lets practice some restraint here, to start.

    And most important- lets avoid the circular firing squads here- the progtards will send trolls here to start that $hit up, and there are some people with loose screws who have their own issues- I feel for ya, but take that somewhere else, ok?

    Remember- we want TTAG to be that “clean, well-lit space” – Hemingway

  25. Chris Kyle was one of the deadliest human beings on Earth with a firearm — and he died with a gun in his hand. We don’t actually have Spiderman senses or eyes on the back of our heads. Virtue isn’t the quicker draw or surer shot, whether your Wild Bill Hickok or Billy the Kid. A well-armed society is a hyper-paranoid society, one without much civility or trust.

    • I agree that we don’t have eyes in the back of our heads. And I agree that putting more guns in the hands of good people isn’t a guarantee that nobody will ever be shot by a bad guy again. What I don’t understand is how the anti-gun people continue to refuse to look at the actual data. It just mystifies me. Just to be clear, the data clearly confirms that more guns in the hands of good people will save more innocent lives and stop these mass shootings much earlier. Your comment about the well-armed society is based on emotion and has no basis in fact.

  26. “too damn confusing for first responders to separate the good guys from the bad guys”

    There would be no confusion at all! Bad guys would be lying dead.

  27. It’s like you can fight for this country, but you cannot vote? What the hell, Carr a gun in war, but wait a minute you can’t wear one here!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *