Generals for Gun Control Support Ban on Private Firearm Sales

Lieutenant General Mark Hertling, right (AP Photo/ Marko Drobnjakovic)

By Mark Oliva

When generals and admirals speak, veterans like me tend to listen. That’s why I perked up at a recent letter signed by 13 retired officers for the political gun-control group Giffords Veterans Coalition. That letter advised Congress that passing background checks that ban private gun sales is a moral imperative. They contend this infringement on Constitutional rights is necessary to protect American safety.

Let’s give a little context. There are a few things the military just won’t tolerate. Lack of discipline. Disrespect. Getting out of step. I should know. I spent 25 years instilling those values into my Marines. On this, though, I can’t salute.

These military officers claim the moral high ground in the gun debate. Their service is admirable, but they hardly speak for all of us. I’ve been to war and I won’t forget those who prey on disarmed societies.

I saw first-hand the aftermath of Haitian coup leader Lt. Gen. Raoul Cedras, who was responsible for murdering over 3,000 people following his overthrow of a democratically elected president. I vividly remember a Shia elder in southern Iraq telling me about Saddam Hussein’s brutality. The dictator’s thugs dragged this man’s three sons in front of him and executed them, just to keep them under his thumb. I’ve seen Afghan villagers living in fear of Al Qaida and so much more.

Law-abiding Americans must be skeptical when we’re told to abandon our rights. We wouldn’t tolerate military dictations on how to practice our religion. Historically the American public has gotten outraged after the government used war as an excuse to censor the media. We should all remember that our government once used the military to force Japanese-Americans to go into internment camps and that our Supreme Court said that was okay. This should also be true of the uniquely American right to keep and bear arms.

Enforcing Current Laws to Prevent Tragedies

These generals suggest that some high-profile tragedies should be a rationale for us to pass restrictive gun laws against the law-abiding. But the laws they propose wouldn’t have stopped these murderers. Enforcing existing laws would have, if the will existed to enforce them.

The murderers at a Las Vegas country music festival and the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, Calif., passed the same background checks they want Congress to expand. In Parkland, concerned citizens reported the murderer to the FBI, but it was never followed up. Police were called to the murder’s home 39 times. He allegedly threatened his mother and brother with a gun. Students warned school officials. The laws were there. No one stepped in.

In Sutherland Springs, the military failed six times to report the murderer as a prohibited individual. The Department of Defense was required to report him to the FBI. The Air Force didn’t tell the FBI of his domestic violence court-martial conviction, involuntarily commitment to a mental health facility and dishonorable discharge – all grounds for barring someone from possessing a gun. The murderer lied on his background check form four different times. No one knew better because he wasn’t reported.

It wasn’t the military that fixed this. It wasn’t Giffords Veteran Coalition. It was the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the firearms industry trade association, that worked with Congress and got the Fix NICS Act signed into law by President Trump. Now, DoD and all federal agencies are required by law to report prohibited individuals and states are provided resources to submit all criminal and adjudicated disqualifying mental health records to the FBI.

Let’s be honest about the other claims. The authors maintain nearly all gun owners support blanket background checks. But the NSSF presented the full facts to gun owners. Retailers at gun shows already perform these checks as required by law, and Internet sales require a face-to-face transaction with a federally licensed firearms dealer with a background check. Faced with the complete facts, more than half saw new laws as unnecessary.

The reality is most criminals admit they get the guns they used in crimes through two primary means – theft and the black market.

Let’s be clear about the language they use in this letter. They tell us this legislation is just a first step. They want more, including outright bans on entire classes of firearms and magazines.

Gen. Hertling’s ‘Full Semiautomatic’

Retired Army Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling even took a CNN reporter to a range to demonstrate the lethality of modern sporting rifles. He said they were weapons of war. The cringe-worthy performance, and utterances of full-semiautomatic,” revealed his agenda.

There’s no such thing as “full semi-automatic.” The truth is these rifles have been commercially available since the 1960’s. The truth is the majority of criminal misuse of firearms involves stolen and black-market handguns. The truth is gun control groups will use these generals claim the moral high ground to eliminate Second Amendment rights.

These officers don’t speak for all veterans, and certainly not for those of us who treasure our rights. We spent too much time and have spilled blood to simply wash them away.

Senior enlisted advisors, the salty enlisted types like me, have a special role with commanders. We offer quiet and sage counsel, the benefit of our years of experience.

Generals, you’re out of step with our freedom.


Mark Oliva is Manager, Public Affairs for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade association for the firearms and ammunition industries. He is a retired Marine Master Gunnery Sergeant with 25 years of service, including tours in Iraq, Afghanistan, Haiti, Albania and Zaire.

This article originally appeared at nssf.org and is reprinted here with permission. 

comments

  1. avatar Reason says:

    In the video it looks like the General hasn’t fired a weapon since basic training.

    1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

      No kidding!
      What so horrible stance.

      1. avatar james says:

        Agree, piss poor shouldering of that rifle. I have seen kids handle the same rifle with respect and skill.

        1. avatar frank speak says:

          remember “It takes a lot of training to master this weapon”….and it looks like the general could use some….

      2. avatar Rusty Chains says:

        “Full semi-automatic.” This goof needs to retire from expressing his opinion, he is nearly as uninformed and ignorant as the average Democrat politician.

    2. avatar SoCalJack says:

      I believe some, not all, higher-ups have must feel guilt for mistakes they have made earlier in their carrer, but have forgotten what it was like to be down range, assuming they were leading by example. Some of these high brass are focusing on the wrong mission. For them defending freedom has taken a back seat so they can feel they have closed their career on a high note by suposedly saving lives. Just opinion of a former enlisted.

    3. avatar Realist says:

      Unfortunately, by the time many Military Officers stars begin to rise, they are becoming political. They often lose touch with the enlisted and lower-ranked officers who do the work in the military. These generals that are supporting the infringement of our second amendment rights, to me, have disobeyed and dishonored their oath they took to defend the Constitution against all enemies both foreign and domestic, therefore they lose all my respect. The author of this article is one to be respected.

      1. avatar Felix says:

        Flag officers are politicians through and through.

        1. avatar ex-PFC Day says:

          A General is a 2nd Lieutenant who stayed in for too long.

    4. avatar Nam62 says:

      Also it looks like he doesn’t know how to clear the rifle!

    5. avatar binder says:

      1) He is NOT an expert in handling a AR
      2) He is NOT a member of Giffords Veterans Coalition (but the author sure makes you think he is.)
      3) He think that you SHOULD be able to buy one.
      4) He thinks that you should know what your are doing with one before messing with an AR(not that he is setting a good example, but I tend to agree)
      5) He actually shows the R.O.F. of an AR. (Something that most “pro gun” people don’t do for the “liberal” media)

      1. avatar cawpin says:

        2) He is NOT a member of Giffords Veterans Coalition (but the author sure makes you think he is.)

        The author never insinuated he was.

        3) He think that you SHOULD be able to buy one.

        No, he doesn’t. He said in the interview he doesn’t think civilians should have access to those “weapons of war.”

        1. avatar SouthernTrue says:

          One comment says he stated that he thought people should be able to purchase an AR then another commenter said no he didn’t. Well the former guy was right the General Did say people should be able to purchase an AR. If anyone doesn’t believe me you had better rewatch the video.

    6. avatar Gadsden says:

      Generals quit being leaders when they quit leading from the front. I don’t think any general has *actually* lead from the *front* since maybe Korea. Sure, in wars since generals go out on a foot patrol photo op, but it’s been a lifetime since we’ve had leader of an army.

    7. avatar Roger Long says:

      Basic training? I wouldn’t doubt if he started out being a 90 day wonder and decided to stay.

  2. avatar Reason says:

    let me guess he was in charge of the mess hall.

    1. avatar Quasimofo says:

      Hertling’s got the chicken wings…

      1. avatar NateInPA says:

        Yeah…that was painful to watch.

        1. avatar Victoryman says:

          General Eisenhower.

  3. avatar Ralph says:

    Dontcha get it? These military careerists are so much better that you and me that they deserve firearms and we don’t. And not one of them understands or cares about the Constitution that they are sworn to uphold.

    Show me a General without hubris. Just one.

    1. avatar YeahISaidIt says:

      Trick question!
      Hubris is that one piece of chest candy all Generals are issued with their fourth star.

    2. avatar Meuge says:

      As an ex-resident of the Soviet Union, I assure you that the generals there also supported gun control. Both the conventional and the secret police did too. I feel very safe knowing that our generals also feel that the unwashed masses should know their place… under the boot.

      1. avatar ex-PFC Day says:

        “When only the police have guns, it is a police state,” Col Jeff Cooper.

    3. avatar Rusty Chains says:

      What isn’t understood by most Americans is that the further you go, up the chain of command, the more political these guys are. By the time they start getting stars they are likely to be deep state minions who have forgotten the meaning of the oath they took

      1. avatar Danny Griffin says:

        So beware the military? You just stated that the more rank they get, the more political they get. So who would voluntarily join an organization knowing that in advance, and one that could be used against the American people?

        1. avatar John in Ohio says:

          Excellent question, Danny Griffin.

        2. avatar drunkEODguy says:

          if you’re in the habit of pigeon holing entire groups of people based on singular bad examples of them, then sure Danny. That more the other sides M.O. but you do you buddy.

        3. avatar Wyantry says:

          Hmmm. It may be that the more rank they get, the more RANK they get!
          “…uphold and defend the Constitution…” should not be an empty phrase soon forgotten nor ignored for political aspirations.

      2. avatar Phil Wilson says:

        If it comes down our military being used against the populace (for instance, to confiscate weapons), how much do generals really matter? What I want to know is what senior NCOs think. I’m thinking the generals won’t be able to get much done if the NCOs are against them.

        1. avatar Danny Griffin says:

          I’m thinking the generals won’t be able to get much done if the NCOs are against them.

          Interesting thought. Tell us when in history this has ever happened. You’ve got, what, at least 6,000 years to come up with one example.

        2. avatar Jon says:

          Danny,

          I can give you several example of junior and senior NCO’s telling their CO “no sir, we wont do that. That is stupid and good way to die fast and for very little gain.”

          Bagdad, 2007. My Battalion Commander (LTC), with the blessing of his Brigade and Division Commanders wanted to clear a well know IED laden route on foot when we had Bradley’s and HMMWV’s at our disposal. All for a show of force. The platoon sergeants and first sergeants from my battalion arrived in his office to tell him that they would not allow their men to do this. The LTC asked the CSM what he thought. He said his NCO’s were right. We never cleared the route on foot.

          Bagdad, 2006. My company commander wanted to enter an enemy stronghold of southern Bagdad before softening it by denying supplies and shutting off the utilities. My 1SG told him it was a bad idea. The CO was determined to enter anyways. My 1SG told him that he would not allow any of his men to go. The CO folded because my 1SG had the loyalty and respect of his company. (we eventually cleared the sector with little resistance after starving the area of supplies)

          Unfortunately, many stories like these do not make into history books because they are examples of soldiers not following orders. Instead, stuff where soldiers blindly follow orders to their death are heralded and recorded (charge of the light brigade, etc.) Those of us have been in heavy repeated combat know that good NCO’s are those who know when to say “yes sir” and when to say “no sir, we wont do that”.

        3. avatar Danny Griffin says:

          Thanks for those stories. Yes, you are correct, stories like that never make it out of the military. We mostly just hear about the Gallipolis.

        4. avatar Southern Cross says:

          Danny G, funny you mention Gallipoli because the Australian Military has a long reputation for open mutiny when it was felt the situations demanded it. If anything, officers know they have to get the enlisted people onside otherwise they will refuse to obey orders.

          The modern Bundeswehr, since 1945, have courses on ethics and emphasize every soldier has a duty to disobey orders considered illegal, unethical, or reckless.

          An example of the Australian Military telling politicians where to go would be just after Port Arthur the military were asked about going house-to-house (like Nancy Pelosi’s wet dream) to seize civilian firearms. The military spokesman said if that was ordered the troops would instead march on Parliament House. When the shocked politicians asked to elaborate the defense spokesman said “for this to be ordered, Australia is no longer the country our fathers and grandfathers fought and died for”.

        5. avatar Ragnar says:

          Does anyone think that the Generals that are pro-Constitution and support the 2nd Amendment are out there expressing their opinions like these treasonous Generals? There are oaths and there are rules. Most Generals, although political as stated above, still believe in the Constitution and their oath to protect it. They just know it is wrong to speak openly about political opinions and that supporting the Constitution should be a given for a military officer.

          Besides; if a General was to speak out in support of the 2nd Amendment, would he get the same media coverage as the weapons experty USAF operator general in that CNN video?

      3. avatar Kenneth says:

        Nobody ever remembers an oath for more than a couple days after they take it. Even the guys telling them what to say read it off of a card, because they don’t know it either.
        Don’t believe me? Just ask your doctor to recite his Hippocratic Oath for you the next time you see him/her.
        They cannot do so, because they don’t know, don’t remember, and don’t care. And if they don’t even know what they swore to do, how can they ever do it? Logical, but really difficult, question, is it not?

        1. avatar Rudemedick says:

          You’re almost right. I remember the most important part. The part to uphold The Constitution came before the part where I follow orders. Plus I remember all my training to say no to unlawful orders ie disregard the Constitution.

    4. avatar Southern Cross says:

      And if you thought law enforcement had sheer disdain and contempt for us “civilians”, senior military officers are worse by at least 3 orders of magnitude.

      To many senior military officers, civilians are unruly recruits who need discipline to be applied forcefully. For examples Burma/Myanmar and the south American juntas.

  4. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

    “The dictator’s thugs dragged this man’s three sons in front of him and executed them, just to keep them under his thumb.”

    seems like some loss of functional allegiance there.

  5. avatar GS650G says:

    If the left were to command the military to take a town or city in America they would prefer little opposition as possible.

    1. avatar 76shovel says:

      We can only hope that the N.C.O.’s and regular soldiers sent to collect our 2A tools remember The Posse Comitatus Act. From the sound of things we can’t expect much from some Staff officers and above. I don’t have a clue what to expect from the National Guard. Thoughts?

      The Posse Comitatus Act(18 U.S.C. § 1385) is to limit the powers of the federal government in using federal military personnel to enforce domestic policies within the United States. The act does not prevent the Army National Guard or the Air National Guard under state authority from acting in a law enforcement capacity within its home state or in an adjacent state if invited by that state’s governor

      1. avatar Danny Griffin says:

        We can only hope that the N.C.O.’s and regular soldiers sent to collect our 2A tools remember The Posse Comitatus Act.

        What are the odds they even know what that is? Want to bet?

        1. avatar Manse Jolly says:

          Seriously?!

        2. avatar Danny Griffin says:

          Yes.

        3. avatar jwtaylor says:

          Yes, I do. NCOs especially are far better briefed on the topic than their civilian counterparts. I’ve sat in on briefings about it, which started in basic training at Ft. Benning.

        4. avatar Danny Griffin says:

          Well, good to know at least the NCO’s are familiar with it. How about the other enlisted?

          And how do you square this with a somewhat recent documentary where a soldier was asked what he would do if ordered to mobilize against the American citizenry and he said he would do it?

          Oh, these troops were providing street security (why?!) in Indiana, if I remember correctly. I bet he got his ass reamed for talking to reporters if his unit found out.

        5. avatar Manse Jolly says:

          Instead, why don’t you ask the VETS on this board instead of a documentary on TV?

          just sayin’

        6. avatar Danny Griffin says:

          Instead, why don’t you ask the VETS on this board instead of a documentary on TV?

          So I’m assuming you went to school and graduated the sixth grade like Jethro Bodine, right? People who read and post here are not normal or average. People who read and post here typically know the laws, court decisions, etc. That isn’t the average person you find on the street or even in the military. I have several kids in the Marines, I know. So it’s not all from some TV documentary.

          Thanks for your concern of my opinion.

          (In case you are wondering, one is a Staff Sergeant, one is a Gunnery Sergeant, and one opted not to join after going through some university abbreviated officer program during summer semester. When he declined to join they were PISSED!)

        7. avatar drunkEODguy says:

          “you need to be careful of the kind of people who join those big corporations, they know they’re working to support a big anti-2A money machine. Who would go into that kind of organization”

          c’mon man

      2. avatar Jay Westham says:

        I’m an NCO and I won’t forget that.

        Rest assured that’s my stance and I won’t order my joes to do it.

        1. avatar Ragnar says:

          I am a retired officer, and I remember.

          Every year, I reaffirm my Oath and I live by that standard.

      3. avatar Jbw says:

        And that Act like any other can be repealed by Congress and the president in a few hours if they want to bad enough, think Obama and a dem controlled house and Senate.
        If confication is started it will be with a special police force recruited from far left wing nuts only to happy to kill some gun owners. These people aren’t dumb just evil

  6. avatar sam says:

    Generals are like the Hollywood elite…They don’t live in the real world.

    1. avatar joefoam says:

      Spot on. I tried to do work at Ft Huachuca in southern AZ and had to do the work without disturbing the generals. A special system was devised to accommodate them for the 3-4 week duration of the job. And just how do you suppose they got their stars, by leading men into battle? Not much of that happens these days, to advance you must be PC with the folks at the Pentagon.

  7. avatar Victoria Illinois says:

    Reminds me of the police chief who said, “Only law enforcement should have guns”.

    1. avatar rosignol says:

      …while that would certainly make it safer for police, it would make things a lot more dangerous for everyone who isn’t police.

      Aren’t leaders supposed to be thinking about the big picture, not just their own narrow interests?

      1. avatar Hannibal says:

        We’re not talking about leaders, we’re talking about bosses. I don’t know if people become like that as they get promoted or if they promote people who are like that, but it happens either way.

      2. avatar Kenneth says:

        “supposed to” are the operative words in that sentence. Sure they are SUPPOSED TO. They just don’t. That’s the difference between a ‘supervisor'(or “boss”) and a real leader. The leader has a sense of responsibility. Bosses, managers, supervisors, etc., do not.

  8. avatar bob says:

    People who are above common law in positions that allow them to do things without permission are always the ones who want the lesser man banned from doing the same.

    Be it generals or politicians or billionaire mayors. They know they will still have access to everything if they want it, they just don’t want you to have it.

    The same thing goes down the ladder. You can bet at your local volunteer organization that the elite have access to certain things that the common volunteer or member does not.

    IT IS ALL ABOUT CONTROL!

    I don’t even need to read this article to tell you its about control, to control what someone else does.

    1. avatar Ed Schrade says:

      The old saying,” rank has privilege ” comes to mind.

  9. avatar YeahISaidIt says:

    Put them at the top of the list of people to round up and lock up when things go south.
    They’d do the same to you, so be committed to do it first.

  10. avatar DJ says:

    Managers not Commanders.

  11. avatar million says:

    “When generals and admirals speak, veterans like me tend to listen.”

    sorry to hear that

    1. avatar SoCalJack says:

      I was thinking the same. When someone like Mattis or McRaven speaks, I listen too. But the yahoo in the article, just “hear” him speak. He’s a leader that has lost his way.

      1. avatar SoCalJack says:

        Dang it. I was not clear. Yahoo = Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling. Sorry about that and thanks for catching that.

    2. avatar Huntmaster says:

      You heard it but you obviously weren’t listening.

    3. His comment was, “we listen, because of their rank and experience. Then he said, when they start saying that the safety is more important than the Constitution, that’s someting he wont “salute”. In other words when they start talking shit, “They Become Irrelevant”. You also notice his rank, “Senior Master Gunnery Sgt.” A leader, not a stuffed shirt senior officer.

  12. avatar Wiregrass says:

    If UBC’s didn’t require a record of sales be created as in who sold what to whom, and gun sellers were permitted to run the check themselves for a minimal fee rather than through an FFL, it might be a useful tool for gun owners seeking to avoid selling to prohibited persons. But then with the lack of due process being put in place with these red flag laws there goes any support for that idea too.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      THAT is the problem with universal background checks: fedzilla and state governments can arbitrarily declare any activity, affiliation, identity, or organization to be forbidden and disqualify said demographic from purchasing firearms.

      Remember Hillary Clinton’s comment about the tens of millions of “deplorables” (presumably in flyover country) in our nation? Yeah, those are the sort of people that Progressives desperately want to exploit, silence, imprison, and/or murder. Allowing the Clintons and their ilk to declare, by fiat, who can and who cannot purchase and own firearms would quite literally be a fatal mistake.

  13. avatar Sean G./The Rookie says:

    I don’t consider a general or admiral any more of an inherent authority on my 2nd Amendment rights than doctors or a police chief or the lunch lady who used to sell me smokes back in high school.

    In fact, it’s an example of an Appeal to Authority fallacy, IMHO.

  14. avatar KGMaiden says:

    DISGUSTING and SHAMEFUL. Simple as that, says this 22 year VET.

  15. avatar Ogre says:

    As a junior Marine, I thought of generals as heavenly beings with whom I would have as much contact as God Himself, and they were assisted by other beings known as colonels, majors and so forth. Later I learned that when officers attained the rank of colonel or above, they became political beings who did nothing if it did not advance their career to the next higher rung. As a retired Marine, I have never thought that retired general officers were speaking for anybody but themselves, although they were still political beings. However, a lot of former and retired military personnel still see generals and admirals as celestial beings to whom they should pay strict attention, and the anti-gunners of the Giffords organization take advantage of that by rounding up these guys to use their influence amongst those that formerly or currently wear the uniform. While they were on active duty, these officers had total control of their people and their bases, and often used that authority to impose highly restrictive gun regulations on their troops. Which I was never able to figure out, since the troops would be requird to carry firearms when they went to war, but couldn’t be trusted with them otherwise. Hopefully, that will change if/when we ever get a Commander-in-Chief who has the moxie and balls to order the military establishment to back down on this issue. So I wouldn’t pay much attention to what these generals have to say on the topic of guns – it’s something they are historically antithetical to. Just put them in the opposition camp and ignore them. And MGySgt Oliva, Semper Fi!

    1. avatar what would spock say says:

      yes, once you start seeing stars as an officer, you become a political creature by necessity. Those who don’t unfortunately get flushed out now somewhere between O5 and O7. There will never be another Patton. They now serve many masters, and their concern is no longer “do what it takes to win and nothing else”.

    2. avatar Huntmaster says:

      We need to pay attention to what they are saying, we just don’t need to agree with it. If you don’t pay attention, they can get away with anything.

  16. avatar Cooter E Lee says:

    Did you not swear an oath of affirmation that you would uphold the constitution of the United States? I don’t require you to like or agree with it, but actively seeking to undermine and nullify an amendment by means other than what is proscribed in the laws of our republuc is treasonous.

    You are a liar and a man without honor if you do such, and you have no respect from me despite your service.

  17. avatar MB says:

    These guys are the politicians of the military. They get into OCS because their parents knew some senator, they graduated with some talent and a lot of ass kissing. They moved up the ranks by making other people look less competent than they had competency, and more higher level ass kissing. People like Lt. Gen. Hertling are not the people I would trust in a time of crisis. Give me a Gunnery Sargent , or a 2nd Lieutenant or even a PFC when the $hit hits the fan. These guy have no authority of us civilians and if it comes down to it, they will be the first to become Judas if the time comes. Just more fear mongering to those who are uneducated, and they seem to enjoy it, which in itself is concerning.

  18. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

    I’d bet Maduro’s generals sleep well at night, knowing that when their troops open fire on a crowd of civilians there won’t be any return fire from the crowd.

    1. avatar Gerald Wayne Zirnstein says:

      Exactly. This is how Stalin and Hitler came to power. The Demonrats are using the same evil play book. They are not fooling those of us with an education and a brain that actually functions.

    2. avatar 76shovel says:

      I would bet that you were right, having said that lets hope our Generals have many sleepless nights.

  19. avatar dph says:

    With leaders like this I fear for our men in uniform.

  20. avatar Sam I Am says:

    General Officers are more plentiful in today’s minimal military (lowest since pre-WW2). From what I found, during WW2, there were 1.5 flag officers per 10,000 personnel. Today, there are 7 per 100,000. That’s a lot of generaling.

    With so many flag officers, they gotta do something; generals gotta general. The end result is mishmash of responsibility and capability. One of the major drivers for a high number of generals is the US legislature’s demand that someone of substance (a flag officer) be present for discussions with the various military committees. Luminaries do not talk to functionaries (you would be astonished at the level of responsibility assigned to lower officer ranks during WW2, that does not exist today). When I was flying, it was common to find Lt. Colonels as line pilots. One unit I served in had a cadre known as “couch Colonels”. These were aviators with no flight responsibilities, no command responsibilities, but were used as personal representatives of the wing commander (colonel). These “couch Colonels” were supposed to mean that whatever the wing commander wanted was really important because he was using Lt. Colonels to deliver the message.

    All of this means….?

    Rank is not an indicator of competence, accomplishment, or expertise. While it is true that the military in general takes use of firearms seriously, it is also isolated from the rest of the populace. Military training is valued in regards to firearms, and combined with a mindset that pretty much thinks in terms of, “only the military needs firearms, because the military mission is fighting America’s enemies; the rest of the population does not go to war, and does not need powerful firearms, or any firearms at all.” Embedded in that thinking is also the self-perpetuating notion that the military would never be called upon to fight its own citizens, so the purpose of the Second Amendment is obsolete.

    It all kinda boils down to the thinking that disciplined training in firearms is necessary, and people without firearms training are not allowed access. Therefore, since the civilian population is untrained in firearms, or has been distanced from firearms training since leaving the military, it is folly to allow untrained civilians to possess firearms…because the untrained are dangerous to themselves and others.

    1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

      your math has the count at less than half the former numbers.

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        “your math has the count at less than half the former numbers.”

        You are correct. The comparison should have been general to 10,000 personnel in both instances.

    2. avatar Southern Cross says:

      Civilians are untrained and unfamiliar with firearms? YMMV but down under service rifle competitors regularly did outshoot the services, on average as well as the top placings.

      At first it was thought because we had better rifles available: AR15s and M14s versus SLRs and Steyr AUGs. When we lost the self loading rifles the military thought they would clean sweep the competitions because we were restricted to old relics. Then they lost with greater margins than before.

      Why? Because the civilian competitors would compete 3-5 times a MONTH with their own equipment they could tweak and tune for maximum performance. The service personnel would shoot that many times in a YEAR with pool issued weapons and ammunition. We would shoot because we wanted to. They would shoot because they were told to.

      1. avatar Southern Cross says:

        (Still no edit button)

        Eventually the military got so sick of losing they stopped competing against civilian service rifle shooters.

      2. avatar Sam I Am says:

        “Civilians are untrained and unfamiliar with firearms? YMMV but down under service rifle competitors regularly did outshoot the services, on average as well as the top placings”

        The entire civilian population can perform to this level?

        Overall, the civilian population of a nation does not receive, nor practice, weapons training to the level the national armies achieve. Hence, relatively speaking, “civilians are untrained”.

        1. avatar Southern Cross says:

          Certainly not all civilians. Not even many shooters. But then many service personnel will rarely use a gun in practice or operations once out of basic training. Non security personnel in the navy or (ch)air force even less so again.

          Remember the teeth-to-tail ratio in modern military is typically 1:6.

        2. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “Certainly not all civilians.”

          Precisely. From the viewpoint of militaries, all civilians lack training, and should be denied access to weapons because untrained/non-trained civilians with firearms are too dangerous for society to accept.

          While I do subscribe to the idea that owning a firearm without being rigorously trained is not a good idea, that notion is trumped by natural, human and civil right to self-defense with whatever weapon is available (it is possible to hold two opposing ideas simultaneously). Which is how I arrive at the position of being a constitutional absolutist, not origionalist, absolutist.

  21. avatar MyName says:

    How do they feel about Corporals and Sergeants selling Firearms?

    Some Generals get a bit too comfortable with the ability to dictate how the little people live.

  22. avatar StLPro2A says:

    How post this asshole’s contact info? Let’s bombard him with our thoughts on his anti-Second Amendment position. Hasn’t he served where only the police and military have “weapons of war”. That is what the 2A is all about. Paper punching and hunting are only practice for the true intent of the 2A. There is no “suitable for sporting purposes” stipulation in the 2A. It’s about shooting politicians and generals that become tyrannical.

  23. avatar bryan1980 says:

    Typical attitude of military brass. How about this; I don’t answer to you, so f-off already.

  24. avatar Rocketman says:

    I wonder just how many of these “generals” actually got their star when Obummer was the president. Pretty much all of them I bet.

  25. avatar Danny Griffin says:

    These military officers claim the moral high ground in the gun debate.

    These military leaders claim the moral high ground in all debates. Are you going to pick and choose now? And are you honestly going to tell me that they didn’t espouse the same thing when you were getting a .gov paycheck? Or did you just not choose to say anything because, you know, the military wants automatons who don’t think for themselves?

    And you stayed in for 25 years?

    Don’t worry, I’ve met a number of Marine NCOs who don’t trust their recruits and are against Marines carrying firearms on base because they might murder their superiors.

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      Yes, that’s exactly what I’ll tell you. I’ve never heard an active duty General officer talk politics with the enlisted at all.

      1. avatar Danny Griffin says:

        I’ve never heard an active duty General officer talk politics with the enlisted at all.

        One of us is insane because that isn’t what we were talking about at all.

        1. avatar jwtaylor says:

          Between the two of us, it ain’t me.

    2. avatar DirtyTaco81 says:

      You’re full of shit my friend. I’ve been a Marine for over 18 years, and I’ve never met one (in the literally thousands I’ve met or known) that was “afraid of his recruits” or are afraid their junior Marines will “murder their superiors.”

      Based on my observations (direct observations, as opposed to your horse shit) the general makeup of the ranks is a little right of center, tends to come from a slightly poorer background, either loves guns or dispassionately sees them as a tool with little more thought, and detests politics and politicians in general. They have a general understanding of the Constitution, and a detailed understanding of their oath and what it means. I don’t want to speak for JWT, but suspect he’s experienced similar observations.

      Anyone that you supposedly met that says otherwise either 1) flat out lied about their service, or 2) was unfit for said service. More likely, you’re making the entire thing up.

      I generally find it’s wise to stay in your lane of past experience when spouting off at the mouth incessantly. But it also appears that a keyboard and a beer turns turds like you into bad asses.

      1. avatar Danny Griffin says:

        More likely, you’re making the entire thing up.

        Another keyboard warrior that doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

        First of all, read my other post(s) in this thread. I have kids in the Marines (NCOs). Second of all, I have been around some of the other Marines. Most were okay, a few should have been ejected ASAP. Why they were kept in I have no idea. Neither does one of my sons.

        But to the point, when I was talking about the military not wanting young enlisted to be able to carry guns on base a lot of it came from one Army Master Sergeant (if I remember correctly) that I spoke with extensively on the subject. He was adamantly against Army personnel being able to carry guns on base other than those with a need to. He cited reasons such as ‘they push the young soldiers hard and they don’t want them to retaliate,’ etc. Some of this is actually in writing online, and if I could locate it I could give you the specific URL. I’m talking known people with real bonafides, not some 13 year-old in his mom’s basement.

        So you can think what you want, but given your Pollyanna attitude you probably think that all of the military is pro-2A and pro-Constitution, but that is simply not the case. If you don’t believe me, look at the news sometime.

        1. avatar DirtyTaco81 says:

          First of all, I’m an actual warrior…not a keyboard warrior. That much I’ve earned.

          You’re right that the military leadership is assed up for denying the rank and file (or anyone other than military police) from carrying on base or other federal property. The Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence issued a Directive (DoD Directive 5210.56) to all the Services in Nov 2016 to create open and concealed carry policies that met the Directive’s guidelines…the Services have since ignored the directive. So while there has been some (very little) effort to fix the issue, it’s still assed up. For what it’s worth, I’m a purist and believe everyone should be able to carry anywhere they are lawfully allowed to be, any time.

          I don’t believe for one second that all of the military is pro-2A. Most of the USMC absolutely is, and most of the combat arms I’ve come across from the other Services are too. I’ve certainly met plenty of anti-2A servicemembers, but can’t think of one that I would consider proficient with a firearm and, therefore, I wouldn’t be worried in the least even if they did support using the troops against the citizenry.

          Just because you have kids in the military doesn’t make you an authority on the military. There’s a difference between the Services disarming troops on base by policy (actuality), and NCO’s fearing their junior will murder their superiors (what you said). If anyone could actually scrounge up such a moron that feels that way, I suspect he has ZERO leadership skills and should have his ass bounced out post haste. Likewise, while there are certainly Flag Officers (possibly post) that support curtailing Constitutional rights from the citizenry, I doubt they could muster much support from actual trigger pullers toward that cause. They’re turds…they know they’re turds…we know they’re turds…end of story.

      2. avatar Danny Griffin says:

        Oh, yeah, while I’m at it, tell me at how many Army, Air Force, Marine, Navy, or Coast Guard bases can every single military person carry?

      3. avatar Sam I Am says:

        “I generally find it’s wise to stay in your lane of past experience…”

        I generally find that my “lane” of past experience is wherever my imagination takes me. So, there’s that.

  26. avatar NORDNEG says:

    Are these the same generals that work with Shaq I see on the boob tube?

  27. avatar Shire-man says:

    Oh, well, if a GENERAL says so then I guess I agree.

    Is that what these people expect us to say? If you’re going to piss away your ideals, beliefs and liberties just because somebody said you should you never had those ideals, beliefs or liberties to piss away in the first place.

  28. avatar Tracy says:

    There is a good reason why the military has a tradition of being apolitical.

    Sheer ignorance, that why.

    Stupid remarks by LTG Hertling shows he only a superficial understanding of the Constitution and is why this country needs the 2nd Amendment.

    Ignorants fools like him will just follow orders if told to confiscate firearms.

  29. avatar Marcus (Aurelius) Payne says:

    It’s beyond the legal authority of the federal government. That’s why it hasent been done yet.

    What is difficult about this?

    Disgraceful.

  30. avatar Irina says:

    Screw what these so-called Generals have to say. I grew up in gun-free, Communist utopia, then-Soviet Russia. I know what it is like to be disarmed and existing (it sure as hell is NOT living) in fear. These Generals can go to hell with their gun control, because those of us who have been in places where there are no gun rights for the citizens (basically slaves and serfs then) know good and well what can happen first hand when a public is disarmed. And for those in the U.S. who think it cannot happen here, because this country is “too darn exceptional”, you might want to wake up before you find yourself just like Venezuela or some other disarmed country that is nothing special.

  31. avatar Danny Griffin says:

    Subscribe, dammit. I think I forgot.

  32. avatar burley says:

    That’s because those bastards know that they will be given the order to remove the Constitution if the Dhims get a majority in both houses and somehow get one in the Oval Office. It’ll be so much easier to execute order 66 if we have been disarmed.

  33. avatar edward kenway's ghost says:

    This general is cut from the same elitist liberal cloth as old “Weasely” Clark. Both are/were obvious political hacks. Veterans who know better would do well to ignore him seeing as he’s a CNN consultant and associate of the Giffords campaign.

    1. avatar SoCalJack says:

      Veterans that left active duty below O5 would know better. But what I want to know is who exactly is the audience “Giffords Veterans Coalition” is speaking too?

  34. avatar DaveL says:

    When I saw the headline, I thought this was going to be an article about Venezuela.

    1. avatar Gerald Wayne Zirnstein says:

      We will be Venezuela soon enough if the DEMOCRATS ever get full control.

  35. avatar ANG Pilot says:

    General Officers are competent to comment military issues. They have no special insight to opine on my civil liberties.

  36. avatar Timothy Toroian says:

    What turns order followers into political philosophers? They have been taught not to think in political terms but have been taught to defend and support the U.S. Constitution.

    1. avatar Realist says:

      Power.

  37. avatar Specialist38 says:

    Too bad they are retired. If they were active, they should tried for treason.

    That’s why we don’t let the military run the government. Elitest asswipes!

    Long live the Republic.

    1. avatar anarchyst says:

      Retired military personnel are still subject to the UCMJ. a recent Supreme Court ruling affirmed that fact…

      1. avatar Danny Griffin says:

        Retired military personnel are still subject to the UCMJ

        All military personnel or only officers (O-rank)?

        1. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “All military personnel or only officers (E-rank)?”

          Any rank can be recalled to military duty to face court martial for crimes committed while in uniform (not crimes committed solely in civilian jurisdiction, with possible exception of “conduct unbecoming”…which would just be a complete waste). Crimes after are handled by civilian systems. So, if one of these generals is convicted of money laundering after leaving service, the military would not likely seek to use UCMJ as additional punishment.

        2. avatar MB says:

          As far as my understanding is, all personal who served and took oath are subject to UCMJ, even those dishonorably discharged…

      2. avatar Specialist38 says:

        Then they ought to light their assses up.

        1. avatar Sam I Am says:

          Well I was wrong (which is apparently my natural state).
          “The Supreme Court decided last week not to review the case of a retired Marine who was court-martialed and convicted of sexual assault in 2015, upholding the Pentagon’s authority to prosecute retirees for crimes they commit even after leaving the service.”

        2. avatar John in Ohio says:

          I didn’t read it completely until after I posted it. Just so you know, I posted it for those interested in reading about it because I hadn’t heard of it before and not because I thought that you incorrectly remembered something. But, as always, you are a man of integrity and pointed out your own error. Kudos.

        3. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “…and pointed out your own error.”

          Kinda hard to ignore being a dumbass about some things (but I do give it the old college try).

  38. avatar Robert A says:

    The 2nd Amendment is sacred, BUT….” The butt in this video is this idiotic General. “Full semiautomatic”

    Liberals chose their language very, very carefully and are very good at manipulating language. Full semiautomatic will be used more and more, just like “Assault rifle” until Full semiautomatic becomes like “Assault Rifle” a scare tactic.

    We laugh now but soon there will be bills to ban full semiautomatic and the phrase will flow like assault rifle……

    1. avatar MLee says:

      I was wondering if anyone was going to bring up the “fully-semiautomatic” comment he made.
      I pondered that a while as I drove around this morning on how a service member could make such a inaccurate statement. Then it became clear, it was just a poor choice of words to describe what he was going to demonstrate in the next sequence of firing the weapon. He should have said he was going to fire multiple shots in rapid succession in semi-automatic. What he was tried to say but sounded less than elegant was that he was going to demonstrate the full potential of semi-automatic. That’s why he said he probably wouldn’t hit the target. It was a poor choice of words, not ignorance over the functionality of the weapon.

  39. avatar JOHN B THAYER says:

    2 words.
    General Boykin.

  40. avatar Burner says:

    I bet you would find a large percentage of people in the military think the same. There is this illusion that people think the military and police are on our side. They are not, we are on our own.

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      You will lose that bet.

      1. avatar Danny Griffin says:

        You will lose that bet.

        LOL. I used to be a member of INGO which had a very large police presence. The older cops were very vocal about how all the younger and new cops were very anti-“citizen”, very them-v.-us mentality, and they all hated where policing was going and they were all retiring as fast as they could.

        1. avatar jwm says:

          Danny, you stated upstream that you have kids in the corps. Would they turn their weapons on you at a Generals order?

          I can only speak for myself. I served during a very bitter and unpopular war. As it was ending Richard Nixon, who was very popular in the military as he had gotten us out of that mess, was being hounded from office.

          Things got weird and flaky at that time. Alerts for no reason. Riot training for no good reason. Rumors flew that Nixon was contemplating staying in power with military backing.

          We talked about it amongst ourselves. None of us were willing to turn our skills and weapons on our fellow Americans. Our families.

          At that point I had killed for my country. I was under no illusions as to where this would lead. And I would have not followed those orders.

          Your belief that soldiers would turn against their own kind, especially since you have kids in uniform, frankly puzzles me.

        2. avatar Danny Griffin says:

          jwm, I assume you are slightly older than me (I am 62). I registered for the draft during the Vietnam War but was not drafted because we were pulling out at the time.

          But you asked me about my kids. We’ll ignore the kid who declined Marine OCS even after going through the Marine OCS summer thing between his university years. Good deal because he’d probably obey any unconstitutional orders. Just a feeling. He’s extremely smart but I get the feeling he’d obey authority because that’s the way his mom trained him (he’s my step-son).

          Now the other two who are Marine Senior NCOs? No, but they are SNCOs in their upper 30’s, they’re not 18, 19, 20, 21 years old. I was talking about the younger kids and that is who I said was interviewed on TV. They’d do what they were directed to because that’s their job.

          Now of course, if they were ordered to murder some political opposition candidate, no one would, because that is OBVIOUSLY against the law. (Military order: don’t do anything obviously against the law).

          But gun confiscation? Yep, go ahead. Something like that needs to be adjudicated by the courts, and ultimately the SCOTUS. Until then it is their job to obey orders.

          What about cops? Same thing. Cops will tell you that they cannot arbitrarily decide which (major) laws they want to ignore because they are unconstitutional. They will tell you that that is up the the courts. Ask Hannibal.

          Law enforcement in the USA, including military, will violate your rights. There is no question about it.

      2. avatar Gman says:

        I think the greater likelihood is that, as with the general population, most service members are equally uninformed on the topic and choose their opinions based upon whatever the LSM feeds them. There once was a time that taking an oath had meaning. And this isn’t a 2nd Amendment issue. This is a basic Constitutional issue wherein the federal government has not been given the power to regulate intrastate commerce between private citizens.

  41. avatar Alexander says:

    I worked with military brass for over 25 years, of all levels from O-2 to two stars. In my experience, honesty starts to thin out around O-6, and to get a star, it must be buried very deep.

  42. Garbage officers like these are why I left the Army after 15 years of active service. They swore an oath that they openly break. Why isn’t this a felony? Instead of serving as Knights of the Constitution as intended they are political cronies. Not my Army, I suppose the only positive is that they’re likely too incompetent to ever do any actual damage against the US populous.

    1. avatar Danny Griffin says:

      Garbage officers like these are why I left the Army after 15 years of active service.

      It took you fifteen years to figure this out? That the military brass would turn against us as the rank and file cop on the street? You have a “high capacity magazine citizen? Prison for you!” As a nation we’re f’ked.

    2. avatar Sam I Am says:

      “Garbage officers like these are why I left the Army after 15 years of active service.”

      There is no dishonor in continuing to serve the nation despite the generals.

      1. avatar Danny Griffin says:

        There is no dishonor in continuing to serve the nation despite the generals.

        Really? Gun owners talk about sticking together to effect change, yet soldiers and sailors and airmen can’t do the same? Part of that is the contract you sign. No attorney would advise you to sign that. It is very much against your interest and outside of the military would be unenforceable in law.

        Then you come here five, ten, fifteen years later and complain how you are disappointed? Remind us again, what is your IQ?

        1. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “Part of that is the contract you sign. No attorney would advise you to sign that. It is very much against your interest and outside of the military would be unenforceable in law.”

          This from the “signature” line of a friend:
          “A Veteran is someone who wrote a blank check to their Government in the amount of up to and including their lives, so the next time you exercise your “Freedom of Choice”, thank a Veteran, not a Politician.”

          Kinda along the line of….
          “If you can read this, thank a teacher”
          “If you can read this in English, thank a soldier”.

      2. avatar John in Ohio says:

        “There is no dishonor in continuing to serve the nation despite the generals.”

        Food for thought… One cannot serve two masters. Eventually, everyone will need to choose to serve government in the push for tyranny or the People in the push for liberty.

        1. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “One cannot serve two masters. Eventually, everyone will need to choose to serve government in the push for tyranny or the People in the push for liberty.”

          Until that time, military service despite the generals is still honorable. Else, let the killing begin; the nation is not worth serving or saving.

          Just make sure you don’t slaughter non-government agents in the process.

        2. avatar John in Ohio says:

          “Until that time”

          Knowing the Hour of the Time is the difficult bit.

        3. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “Knowing the Hour of the Time is the difficult bit.”

          I’ve been informed that “Knowing the Hour of the Time” is impossible.

  43. avatar 22winmag says:

    Reason #1001 why the USSA military has become an utter laughingstock!

    I’m a combat arms vet and solidly part Jew so don’t even give me crap about this or my position on the ridiculously obvious PSYOPS that are Jewish-billionaire-directed hoaxed mass shootings.

    Wake up folks!

    See you in the proverbial trenches!

  44. avatar Ted says:

    The single largest source of unreported prohibited persons or persons that should have been made prohibited but were not, is the US military.

    As far as finding retired general officers who will take a position one way or another, there are huge number of retired general officers. At any given time you can find 50 who say the moon is made of green cheese.

  45. avatar Just Sayin says:

    Thank Mr. Oliva for your service to our country.
    Thank you also for a well written editorial on a specific aspect of gun control that I find personally repugnant. “The moral high ground.”
    Boy do I always have to restrain myself when I come into contact with these people.
    I’ve always thought that inside they are also bullies.
    I love me some bully bashing.

    As an aside, some of my first firearms training came from a fella who also retired from the Marines with the same rank. He swore an oath to the constitution , and then lived that oath. Very smart lessons from a very wise man.

  46. avatar EWTHeckman says:

    My guns are only a threat to those who pose a threat to life or liberty of me and my family.

    If these military leaders are so worried about my guns, I have to wonder which kind of threat they are planning to become.

  47. avatar RMS1911 says:

    I noticed they didn’t name these traitorous seditious scumbags.
    They aren’t the only one scared to name those beta cucks.
    https://bearingarms.com/tom-k/2017/12/14/nssf-takes-retired-generals-engaged-gun-grabbing-nonsense/
    While they were busy breaking their oaths Oklahoma passed constitutional carry.
    Another one bites the dust
    Another one bites the dust
    And another one gone, and another one gone
    Another one bites the dust
    Hey, I’m gonna get you, too
    Another one bites the dust
    If my state didn’t have such a weepy cuck before getting libturd Cooper (who stole that election) we would have constitutional carry now but McCrory was worried about being liked after being mildly Criticized for stopping perverts from going into girls bathrooms.

  48. avatar RMS1911 says:

    I noticed they didn’t name these traitorous seditious scumbags.
    They aren’t the only one scared to name those beta cucks.
    While they were busy breaking their oaths Oklahoma passed constitutional carry.
    Another one bites the dust
    Another one bites the dust
    And another one gone, and another one gone
    Another one bites the dust
    Hey, I’m gonna get you, too
    Another one bites the dust
    If my state didn’t have such a weepy cuck before getting libturd Cooper (who stole that election) we would have constitutional carry now but McCrory was worried about being liked after being mildly Criticized for stopping perverts from going into girls bathrooms.

    1. avatar Sam I Am says:

      “Another One Rides The Bus”

      Riding in the bus down the boulevard
      And the place was pretty packed (Yeah!)
      Couldn’t find a seat so I had to stand
      With the perverts in the back
      It was smelling like a locker room
      There was junk all over the floor
      We’re already packed in like sardines
      But we’re stopping to pick up more, look out

      [Chorus]
      Another one rides the bus
      Another one rides the bus
      Another comes on and another comes on
      Another one rides the bus
      Hey, who’s gonna sit by you
      Another one rides the bus

      There’s a suitcase poking me in the ribs
      There’s an elbow in my ear
      There’s a smelly old bum standing next to me
      Hasn’t showered in a year
      I think I’m missing a contact lens
      I think my wallet’s gone
      And I think this bus is stopping again
      To let a couple more freaks get on look out

      [Chorus]

      [sound effects]

      Another one rides the bus

      Another one rides the bus ow
      Another one rides the bus hey hey
      Another one rides the bus hey-ey-ey-ey ey ey eyyyyyy

      The window doesn’t open and the fan is broke
      And my face is turning blue (Yeah)
      I haven’t been in a crowd like this
      Since I went to see the Who
      Well I should’ve got off a couple miles ago
      But I couldn’t get to the door
      There isn’t any room for me to breathe
      And now we’re gonna pick up more yeaaah

      [Chorus]

  49. avatar RMS1911 says:

    This site needs to switch to disqus or something better than what they have now.

    1. avatar John in Ohio says:

      AFAIK, by keeping the comment system in-house, they have greater control. That’s a good thing.

    2. avatar Specialist38 says:

      Hell no! I’m not signing in to post anything.

  50. avatar merlin says:

    every general … and any other military person ( active or retired ) who does not support the 2nd amendment … “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”
    should immediately be fired and lose all military benefits.

    the oath that they took to support and defend the constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic applies 100% now, and for the rest of their lives.

  51. avatar Marcia Mason says:

    Being a mere civilian, with no knowledge of Posse Comitatus or anything else military does, I can only say one thing. Requiring background checks for private sales is quite frankly: (drum roll) unenforceable.

    1. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

      ” Requiring background checks for private sales is quite frankly: (drum roll) unenforceable.”

      It’s very enforceable, once a few key pieces are in place.

      Like – Time-of-sale 4473s reported to a database, Laws requiring lost or stolen guns be reported (that already exists in some areas), and all firearms registered. Then it only takes 2 generations for a record of every US firearm to be created.

      Oh, and if you have a firearm not in their database? Prison for you…

      1. avatar Mark N. says:

        California has UBC since 2000 for handguns, and 2013 for long guns, and, I believe, mandatory reporting of lost or stolen firearms (if not now, then soon). They record every single firearm sold in a CA DOJ database. (They do not cross-reference sales, though, and there is no mandatory, only permissive reporting of firearms you’ve sold). The database is not retroactive, so there are likely millions of firearms that are not in the system. (Which is why I always find it suspect that the police are constantly charging people for possessing “unregistered” firearms when there was no obligation to register prior to the effective date of the law AND there is no duty to “retroactive;y” register “unregistered” firearms. California is trying to fix that through a law that requires all unserialized firearms to have a state issued serial number engraved on them. (Not sure about the status of that law, not having any firearms that are unserialized.) There is also an affirmative duty to report ot the state any firearm you bring into the state when you move here. It will take a while, but other than black market firearms, all or most all lawfully possessed firearms will be in the data base in 30 to 60 years.

  52. avatar Gman says:

    They contend this infringement on Constitutional rights is necessary to protect American safety.

    So they admit it is an infringement which violates the 2nd Amendment. What happened to that oath of office?

    But the 2nd isn’t the real issue at hand. The real issue is that the federal government does not have the Constitutional authority to regulate or restrict commerce within the States between private citizens.

  53. avatar SwampDaddy says:

    The list of traitors continues to grow.

    1. avatar possum says:

      Indeed. It’s worrisome to me, I know what happens when Armies disarm the citizens.

  54. avatar former water walker says:

    Oh he!! my 1st born son(vet and DoD dude) is a fudd. Doesn’t support the 2A. Guns for the exalted Army poobah and none for us peasants. Any largess I give to him does NOT extend to criminal gentards…

    1. avatar MB says:

      @former I guess your son forgot where the military came from, the citizens created the military, and we can eliminate it at any time if we chose to. And forget about the army going door to door to collect firearms, it would be a blood bath… on both sides, but ultimately they would be out maned and lots of times out gunned. Tanks are not hard to stop. A determined person protecting home and family is a lot more dangerous than a M1A2. Perfect 2 examples, Vietnam and Afghanistan. Maybe your son need a reality check.

    2. avatar Danny Griffin says:

      Former Water Walker

      Will your will reflect your values? Dave Ramsey is a multi-millionaire ($55M) but openly states that if his kids stray off what he thinks they are out of the will.

      As I remember, you live in Lansing or Cal City or somewhere nearby. I’m going to be in Highland, IN next week. Want to get together for a cup of coffee? Email me. I’ll come to you.

      [email protected]

  55. avatar jbob says:

    “When I fire this on full semi-automatic fire.” What a tool!

  56. avatar DesertDave says:

    It has been my observation that military service doesn’t always change a persons political views. If they were a Lib before they went in they may very likely be one when they get out. I have had many discussions with older vets who were railing about gun control, not in a good way. They were Libs, and the military didn’t change that. When asked about the Constitution, Bill of Rights and the 2A in particular, they went into the same Lib rant about muskets vs AR’s.

    The military didn’t solve the mental illness that is called Liberalism.

  57. avatar Ed Schrade says:

    So general(s), you believe that it’s o k to subvert our constitution when it’s for our own good. Do you remember the oath that you took ? Sounds like someone encouraging treason and subversion. We often wondered who the socialists would get to run a roundup of citizens guns in this country, well we got our answer.

    1. avatar Kyle says:

      They remember it, they just long ago realized that it really didn’t matter. If congress is free to ignore the law, the states are free to ignore the law, why the hell should they give a damn about it.

  58. avatar Kyle says:

    Gun control seems to be a moral imperative. At least, As long as it doesn’t not affect them.

    I suggest that congress Pull all guns from the military. Let them apply on an individual basis (soldier by soldier) for permission to carry a fire arm in accordance to the laws of the state, or locality, in which they are currently in.

    Me think’s they’ll change their minds fast when they find out that all their troops need to disarm when they are in certain states.

  59. avatar strych9 says:

    In any reasonably large group of people you’ll find a few morons, assholes and jerk offs.

    The officer corps is no exception. It doesn’t mean the views expressed here are widely held. Hell, for a while we had more Admirals in the Navy than we had ships (still might, I haven’t looked recently).

    1. avatar Danny Griffin says:

      In any reasonably large group of people you’ll find a few morons, assholes and jerk offs. The officer corps is no exception.

      The difference is your idiot next door neighbor who operates a fork truck or digs ditches doesn’t have power over other people’s lives, nor does he have political sway or influence with Congresscritters.

      1. avatar strych9 says:

        Actually those people do have power over people’s lives, just in a different way.

        Also, each service caps the number of O10’s active in the branch as per the US Code. Last I looked all branches were at or near capacity, so not including ranks O7 through O9 these guys are 13 out of something like 650, or 1.99% at absolute most. But these guys are retired so you can probably at least double that denominator and then quadruple it again to include all your brigadeer generals, major and lt. Generals. Then there’s all the retirees in those ranks too.

        These guys are, at least in terms of speaking out publicly, a very small percentage of even of just active duty high ranking officers. You can’t extrapolate their views to the officer corps in general not can you assume that their former rank gives them an outsized power since they’re a tiny minority.

  60. avatar 24and7 says:

    Maybe the generals ought to consider one thing.. if they order their troops to confiscate firearms they’ll be left with skeleton Crews guarding them.. I will be willing to bet a vast majority will walk away from the ranks.. Hopefully the rest will be dealt with like the traitors that they are.. good riddance to them all..

  61. avatar Cal_lefty says:

    If you watch the video, they seem to clearly state that the General believes firmly that people should be able to buy the AR-15 if they want to. He shares the same opinion as the range/gun store they are visiting.

    HIs stance doesn’t seem so stable and his “full semi-automatic” statement is wonky, but his opinions about gun rights or what the weapon could do “in the wrong hands” isn’t that far off.

  62. avatar SurfGW says:

    These are the same generals who spent the past 18 years fighting Counterinsurgencies / Peackeeping (maybe longer if they served in the Balkans or Somalia). COIN manuals follow Max Weber’s government legitimacy requires “monopoly on legitimate violence” and all violence outside of government sanction is either vigilante or terrorist (including self-defense).
    Read: Patreus or McChrystal

  63. avatar will says:

    One day they no they will be in charge of cleaning out rural areras and no guns makes that easy

  64. avatar l2a3 says:

    Take their security protection away and let them experience reality. Make them live off base without Military police guarding their quarters or their family. Then ask them what they believe and NOT what they “feel”.
    If they are at all aware of reality they should want firearms for their own protection. But we all know they are positioning for political and or business positions upon retiring.

  65. avatar Jim Bullock says:

    Generals & other flag officers are used to commanding armed forces: people we entrust with dangerous tools on our behalf, sometimes.

    They become confused when dealing with citizens: not sometimes trusted, limited agents of the people, but hte people. We restrict arms among our agents so the arms and agents can’t be used contrary to our will. Arms we use are, pretty much by definition, used according to our will, whether Generals agree with how we use them or not.

    Rules Generals migh make for people who work for them don’t apply to people they work for.

    1. avatar frank speak says:

      they seek people like this our to lend credibility to their movement…a “useful idiot”….nothing more…..

  66. avatar Ralph G. says:

    When I was commissioned in the Marine Corps, I took an oath “to protect and defend the Constitution”. Perhaps these flag officers have forgotten that they did also, or do not realize that the 2d Amendment is part of the Bill of Rights of the constitution.

    1. avatar Danny Griffin says:

      Flag officers? LOL. Read this:

      I, , do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”

      This is the oath for Congress. How many defy this each day?

  67. avatar James says:

    Are you referring to the bill the house just passed? Because it doesn’t ban private sales. It says all sales must go through a background check, which is not the same thing. The idea is to make it harder for people to do straw purchases. I’m sorry you don’t like it, I’m sorry you find it inconvenient, but it’s not a ban. I don’t care for it, but I recognize why it is necessary. If you don’t like this happening, thank the people who use the private sales loophole to do a cottage industry of selling to prohibited persons. Also, just a little reminder that we, as a community, have again fucked ourselves by pouting about “not one inch” and refusing to be part of the solution, thereby leaving our side unrepresented in the marketplace of ideas, and leaving it up to people who are more than happy to actually take our guns away to do all the talking. If you don’t like this, remember that we largely have ourselves to blame.

    1. avatar Danny Griffin says:

      The idea is to make it harder for people to do straw purchases.

      What a bunch of horseshit. By definition a straw purchase would survive a NICS check, thus the need for a straw purchase.

      I swear, some people. And the federal government doesn’t give a crap about straw purchases (normally). Remember Columbine? Straw purchase. Know what happened to the purchaser? Nothing! I can go on and on and on. The only straw purchaser that I can remember who was prosecuted was an ex-cop who bought a Glock for his dad using his LEO discount and his dad’s money. (Dad was not a prohibited person, but it was still a straw purchase).

      1. avatar James says:

        As a matter of fact, you make a good point. “Straw purchase” was a poor choice of words on my part. You are correct that a straw purchase is knowingly buying a gun on the behalf of and then transferring it to a prohibited person. My bad.
        What it is intended to do is close the loophole that allows people who are prohibited from buying a gun to get around a NICS check by just buying it face to face from a non-firearms dealer, like via Armslist or at a gun show (though I can’t honestly remember the last time I saw someone selling guns at a gun show who wasn’t an FFL). It also is intended to prevent the sellers from pleading ignorance and thus providing a firearm to someone who shouldn’t buy one. Again, I think it sucks and it’s annoying, but I recognize the purpose and frankly, we’re long overdue to close that loophole. I’d rather be inconvenienced than dead.

        1. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “I think it sucks and it’s annoying, but I recognize the purpose and frankly, we’re long overdue to close that loophole.

          Perhaps there is a lack of understanding of the term “loophole”. An action that is not proscribed by law is not an action exploiting a loophole. Indeed, a “loophole” is never codified in law. The person-to-person provision is a design feature of the law, not a mistake, oversight, loophole.

          Secondly, there is no evidence at all that private sales of firearms is an epidemic, nor a pandemic, resulting is countless deaths every year.

          If, if, background checks could be 100% effective at the point of sale, such perfection would exist for exactly one moment in time and place. A person denied permission to purchase a firearm can simply go elsewhere and accomplish the purchase. That being so, how many criminal acts have been prevented by background checks? The answer is that no one knows. And that means all the inconvenience of background checks cannot be proven to lower “gun crimes” anywhere.

          How many times does one need to face the fact that background checks can only provide the illusion of crime prevention, before truth wears them down? Why would anyone want to install a government intrusion into private affairs that accomplishes nothing?

          How many thefts of firearms have been prevented by the existence of background checks.? Zero; background check failure.

          How many sales of firearms between criminals have been prevented by the existence of background checks? Zero; background check failure.

          How many “gun crimes” have been presented by the existence of background checks? Zero; background check failure.

          And so on.

        2. avatar cc says:

          You don’t even know what straw purchase are, or how closing the loophole has led to an INCREASE in straw purchase in states that closed the “loophole”.

          Less than 0.4% of guns used in crime come from this “loophole” and ALL the evidence from states that closed it, show that the crime guns get purchased at the same exact rate — in the same state – by straw purchase.

          this proposed Democrat law incentives straw purchase. Democrats are AGAINST measures that would reduce straw purchase by increasing penalty — because per capita straw purchase largest perpetration group is African american women.

    2. avatar John in Ohio says:

      “If you don’t like this happening, thank the people who use the private sales loophole to do a cottage industry of selling to prohibited persons. Also, just a little reminder that we, as a community, have again fucked ourselves by pouting about “not one inch” and refusing to be part of the solution, thereby leaving our side unrepresented in the marketplace of ideas, and leaving it up to people who are more than happy to actually take our guns away to do all the talking. If you don’t like this, remember that we largely have ourselves to blame.”

      Government alone is to blame for infringing. Stop your scape-goating.

      Shall not be infringed and anyone who doesn’t like it can go fuck a goat.

      1. avatar frank speak says:

        really..just trying to create an issue where none exists…show me where this creates a pipeline to criminals…the evidence is thin…if it exists, at all…this is all about controlling the general populace…not criminals…

        1. avatar John in Ohio says:

          Yep.

          No goat for you.

      2. avatar James says:

        Regulation doesn’t necessarily mean infringement. That’s why we have the judiciary. Their entire job is to determine when a law crosses a line from regulation into infringement, and they’ve said many, many times that the second amendment can be regulated to keep guns out of the hands of criminals. I’m sorry if you don’t like that, but it’s a fact.

        1. avatar John in Ohio says:

          Your reply has nothing to do with my comment.

          “Their entire job is to determine when a law crosses a line from regulation into infringement,”

          http://constitutionality.us/SupremeCourt.html

          “The Constitution shall never be construed to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms.”
          ― Samuel Adams

          Here’s your goat.

        2. avatar CC says:

          It says all sales must go through a background check, which is not the same thing. The idea is to make it harder for people to do straw purchases.

          Uhm you have it backwards, this has no affect on straw purchase. if anything it will INCREASE straw purchase as we have seen happen in states that applied it.

          You obviously don’t understand how gun laws work

          As far as your contention that we need more reduction of Fourth, fifth, first or second amendment rights, well that is specious.

          but do keep it up, more and more Americans own guns hanks to bloomberg! Real US gun ownership is sup from 40% to about 60%:
          http://www.pewresearch.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/FT_15.04.01_guns_Safer.png?w=310

      3. avatar Rocketman says:

        John, you are as wrong as you can possibly be. The problem is that socialists aren’t interested in “negotiating” in the normal sense of the word. If they can get rid of “assault weapons” then their next target will be shotguns or hunting rifles. After all what in their mind is a high powered hunting rifle with a telescopic sight but a sniper rifle? What is a shotgun but an fully automatic weapon, after all when you pull the trigger doesn’t more than one projectile come out of the barrel? (Expect them to change the law when they get control of the government) . See what I mean?

        1. avatar John in Ohio says:

          Blame lies with government. That is the entity encroaching on the individual’s exercise of their unalienable right.

          “If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”
          ― Samuel Adams

          And… Here’s your goat.

  68. avatar Chris Morton says:

    If I wanted generals running my life, I’d move to Burma.

    NO, I REFUSE.

  69. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    It has been quite a learning experience to see on TTAG that there are many here who agree with these military generals that civilians, should have their gun rights restricted.

    Like their dismissal of the Bump Stock. A low cost alternative to a real machine gun. But they do support sending a million select fire weapons from military storage to law enforcement agencies. All across the country. Including armored vehicles and hand held artillery.
    The founders had a great fear of a standing army. A check on that standing army was civilians having the same weapons as the nations military. Armed private boats, private cannons, private armed aircraft. All historically, legally, owned and used by american civilians.

    That is why the word ARMS is used not word, guns, in the Second Amendment.

  70. avatar former water walker says:

    THIS is for Danny Griffin(this site works like crap). I have nothing to leave my eldest son. All will go to my wife. My love for my son’s(all 4) does NOT depend on them toeing the line politically. Peace out…

  71. avatar Joe B says:

    As a Vietnam veteran I’d like to say this general is full of shit……look closely at the shooters trigger finger in the videos……In both instances when he fired the rifle it was as a semi automatic ……he just pulled and released the trigger FASTER when he fired the five consecutive rounds. MORE FAKE NEWS

  72. avatar theguynextdoor says:

    I just wonder if they remember the oath they took?
    I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, FOREGIN AND DOMESTIC; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed.

  73. avatar Alan says:

    With all due respect to the past service of these former officers, their common sense among other things seems to have suffered in retirement.

  74. avatar Frank says:

    F*CK All 13 of those POS wastes of carbon and other elements. The Oath is “I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same”. The Second Amendment is in it to protect our natural Rights. End of story.

  75. avatar SurfGW says:

    Maybe someone with better google-fu can find the Marine Corps Times article from Obama’s time showing attitudes by rank.

    Bottom line: most ranks thinks they are following the Constitution but the percentage of Democrats and gun controllers increases in higher Officer ranks… probably because many were promoted under Obama.
    The ranks reflect what elected officials promote.

    1. avatar frank speak says:

      officers…particularly the high-ranking ones…are elitists…and therefore not to be trusted…remember what happened to the bonus army for a hint to their thinking….

  76. avatar DarryH says:

    I was told a while back that new and current officers were asked if they would be willing to confiscate firearms from private owners if they were told to by their superiors. The ones that said NO were relieved of duty and replaced with officers that were willing. So…now…are these the same officers backing gun control??? If any of this is true, I call foul, and we need to realize that there are a lot of military officers who may also be socialist. How safe is our country now? Are they waiting for a coup?

  77. avatar Redcoatsarecoming says:

    Communist Duchebags

  78. avatar California Kid says:

    They have been making semi auto rifles for 100 years. This clown General needs a history lesson.

  79. avatar Aleric says:

    Im sure he was one of the replacement officers Hussein Obama put in place of the 800 combat experienced officers he removed from command in his reign.

    1. avatar lizardman_actual says:

      This is an intensely smoothbrained take. All of these people are retired.

      1. avatar B7 says:

        majority do seem to toadies of Obama.

        Hertling is an active Democrat and got a sweetheart appointment by Obama to be one of 25 people serving on the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition.

  80. avatar lizardman_actual says:

    *redcoats for gun control

  81. avatar Indiana Tom says:

    Face facts, if you join the military or police you get to be a liberal politicians little bitch. Might as well join the Soviet Army.
    Military and police have nothing to do with defending USA ordinary citizens

  82. These Generals took an oath, like I did, upon entering military service. Part of that oath states they will “Protect and defend the United States Constitution against all enemies, both foreign and domestic.” The Second Amendment is part of the Constitution. They are have failed their oath. Further, they may qualify as domestic enemies of the Constitution. I spent 35 years defending the document that is the law of the land. Where do these military leaders get the idea they can only support parts of it.

    1. avatar SurfGW says:

      The oath says “protect and defend Constitution” not “play amateur Supreme Court” which is why the default military position is that any order from an elected official is constitutional and will be obeyed.

      1. avatar John in Ohio says:

        ““play amateur Supreme Court”

        http://constitutionality.us/SupremeCourt.html

        ‘Since the power of Judicial Review is not expressly granted to the Supreme Court by the Constitution, this power, per the tenth amendment, is “reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”‘

  83. avatar Mott says:

    They know something we do not, Everyone is trying to take our weapons so they can just roll on in.
    When only “Bad guys” have guns, I will become a “Bad Guy”!

  84. These soldiers refused to protect people like Shevon Dean, Stephanie Kuhen, Joseph Swift, and Jamiel Andre Shaw.

    And now they want the state to keep us from protecting ourselves.

    How does that make sense?

  85. avatar Dexter Winslett says:

    Hang the traitors by their neck until dead.

  86. avatar Gerard Chaffee says:

    USMC/81-85:
    My training/knowlage with fire arms, I believe to be better than most. To include instruction on and sales of firearms to various levels of shootest.
    I had watched the video before reading the comments and I see two things with the Gen-Gen.
    1)”Training is Parrishable”…. the General’s rearward posture and uncomfortable placement his head, was textbook sigh of a natural “Range-Warrior”. -OR- “Often wrong, seldom in dought” 2) He did perfict one thing accurately when he mentioned ‘I wont hit the target’ (at ten yards!)……
    So who here on this conversation knows of a friend or family that has a charge on their criminal record that prevent them from owning a firearm, that you would rather have them covering your back in a combat situation??????
    INTERESTING VIDEO!

  87. avatar sound awake says:

    they dont understand
    when politicians that hate us want our guns thats one thing
    when military leaders begin to agree with the politicians that control them it doesnt make us want to keep our guns less
    it makes us want to keep them more
    all of them

  88. avatar kgbdhfksf says:

    Retired faggots have opinions.
    Fuckem

  89. avatar 24and7 says:

    My question is what is a generals plan on doing about it? The military can’t even defend our borders from an invasion from foreign Nations.. check out the Posse Comitatus Act.. gun control is really unenforceable if the citizens don’t want it enforced.. military member should take a look at their oath of service.. they do not have to follow illegal orders to take away anything from American citizens because they can’t do anything to American citizens.. the United States military cannot perform law enforcement duties either.. and you don’t have enough cops to enforce any gun confiscation law.. they would become endangered species or worse, if they even tried, within days..

    1. avatar Sam I Am says:

      “Posse Comitatus Act”

      The operative word is “Act”. That is, mere legislation. Posse Comitatus Act was a legislative convenience to solve a political problem of the time.

      Today is not forever. Things change to suit the times.

      Depending on politicians to protect you should be considered uncool.

      1. The time to have changed that was in the early 1990’s.

        I am old enough to remember when the news focused on gang violence in the inner cities.

        There were kids being shot to death just for the shoes on their feet.

        Children slept in bathtubs to avoid stray gunfire.

        Time magazine put Yummy Sandifer on the cover.

        The Long Beach Press Telegram ran a series of articles titled Javier’s Legacy, which had something to do with gang violence.

        I remember reading about Shevon Dean and Stephanie Kuhen.

        And I was thinking, we had the most powerful military force in the history of humanity.

        Why not bring them home, and deploy them here, to put an end to this shit?

        How many more kids have to die before we brought the troops onto our streets?

        The enemy was within our borders.

        The enemy was savage, with no regard for human life.

        The only way to defeat them was through overwhelming force.

        1. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “Why not bring them home, and deploy them here, to put an end to this shit?”

          Government gets to decide which s…. is to be ended. Careful what you ask for.

  90. It’s admirable the author avoids the ammophobic’s mischaracterization of the problem as “gun violence”, and correctly labels it as “criminal misuse of firearms”, focusing the blame squarely where it belongs, in the evil hearts of the sociopaths who drive the numbers and emotional backlash fueling the gun control movement.
    However, calling the “Fix NICS” anything but another step towards social control through government is rediculous. Case in point: NY (and others) have created a secret database and extra-costitutional mandatory reporting mandates for the mental health profession all to justify to the federal government many millions of dollars of our taxpayers money that they receive. Since 2013 this has resulted in more than 200.000 NYers being put on this list without their knowledge, and with no mechanism for getting off of it…
    In sum, the laws already existed for every state to report ineligible persons to the NICS database, but compliance was poor, that bill is nothing more than a monetary carrot for the states to over report or fear reprisal from the boot of our increasingly tyranical overlords bent on controlling the masses in the name of security, at the cost of our freedoms and our Republic’s future…
    Su Vis Pacem Para Bellum
    Sic Semper Tyrannis,
    GH, Justice, ret.

  91. avatar Tom S. says:

    The part of the video I like the most is when he says he is going full Semi-auto, but I probably wont hit anything when I do it. P.S any Weapon even a hammer in the wrong hands is dangerous. I just could not get over how I saw him holding the rifle and firing.

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