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In the wake of the Islamic terrorist attacks in Chattanooga that left five Marines dead and three other people wounded, debate has resumed in Congress on legislation that would permit service personnel to carry firearms while on base. Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts, a Republican, authorized the Adjutant-General of the Nebraska National Guard, Maj. Gen. Daryl L. Bohac, to “arm any personnel he deems necessary,” according to . . .

“This authorization extends additional protections to our servicemen and women who need every resource we can provide them to defend themselves and our National Guard installations,” Ricketts said in the release.

Nebraska National Guard spokesman Lt. Col. Kevin Hynes said Ricketts’ action was “a necessary step” before Bohac could beef up Guard security. He wouldn’t say whether, or when, additional Guard members would be armed.

“It’s still going to be part of the continuing evaluation that we’re doing,” Hynes said. “Because we’re dealing with security, we can’t say a lot, specifically.”

Nebraska joins a group of at least six other states — Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas — whose governors have ordered their respective National Guardsmen to be armed in the wake of the terrorist attack.

As the debate in DC intensifies on the issue at a national level, several current and former military personnel have come out against it, reports the Seattle Times. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno argued that it was too dangerous because of “accidental discharges and everything else that goes along with having weapons that are loaded that causes injuries.”

Former military judge and JAG officer Charlie Stimson, who now works for the right-wing lobbying group the Heritage Foundation, thinks it’s a bad idea, too, because military personnel aren’t expert marksmen.

“I’m a strong supporter of the Second Amendment,” Stimson, who held the civilian post of deputy assistant defense secretary in charge of detainee policy under President George W. Bush, said Monday. But “they’re not expert marksmen. They don’t have the annual requirement to qualify on a shooting range like a (Navy) SEAL would or a Green Beret or a Marine.”

Of the five military services, only the Marine Corps requires every member to qualify as a rifleman, in part because Marines provide security at U.S. embassies and other American facilities around the world.

The other four services provide only basic weapons training to most members, providing combat-level training only to those who are headed to war zones.

“You have a vast cadre of people in the military — doctors, lawyers, intelligence specialists, cryptologists, mechanics — whose jobs are important because they support combat troops, but it is not their job to point weapons at people and kill them,” Stimson said.

Oddly, when I looked into joining the military many years ago, I recall learning that persons being inducted into the service agree to use weapons against the country’s enemies, up to and including weapons of mass destruction. How unserious must ‘basic weapons training’ be if a significant portion of the military is unqualified to handle firearms? This sounds more of an indictment of the military’s training policies than anything else.

The one that takes the cake, though, is Cmdr. Rick Nelson (USN-Ret.) who at one point qualified as a Navy sharpshooter. The Seattle Times quotes him as saying:

“Training a Marine for combat in Iraq is very different from training a police officer to use force appropriately,” he said. “Conflating those two scenarios — putting a combat-trained military person into a law-enforcement situation — is not going to produce the results we want.”

Nelson would rather see changes such as hiring security to guard recruiting centers and installing bulletproof glass.

I have to respectfully disagree with the Commander, if he’s being serious here. This really isn’t a question of deputizing Marines (or other personnel) to act as civilian law enforcement, but of simply allowing — or ordering — those personnel who choose to carry a firearm for personal defense just as any civilian has the right to do.

One thing that might sway me would be if our military personnel are simply too undisciplined to be trusted en masse with firearms while stationed among civilians outside of a war zone, but I don’t see anyone making that argument. Instead, I hear the same arguments about accidents and training that are dragged out by the usual civilian disarmament suspects.

Or perhaps I’m not reading between the lines enough. Perhaps the point of these statements is a politically correct way to tell us that there’s a significant discipline issue in the military. If so, that sounds like a serious training issue, and one that needs to be addressed immediately. Regardless, though, I’m not sure I know of a better answer to any kind of small-arms attack than a Marine equipped with a firearm.


DISCLAIMER: The above is an opinion piece; it is not legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship in any sense. If you need legal advice in any matter, you are strongly urged to hire and consult your own counsel. This post is entirely my own, and does not represent the positions, opinions, or strategies of my firm or clients.

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    • Some of those quotes above are just “Twilight Zone” material.
      Makes the military look like a bunch of idiot prancing fairy fumble F’cks.

      Where did the America of just a few short decades ago vanish to?
      God help us.

      • fumble fvcks is right.

        All his excuses are bullsh*t.

        If soldiers can learn the rules of driving a vehicle, they can learn State law regarding the legal use of deadly force.

        Marksmanship arguement is bullsh*t as well.

        • Just out of curiosity, does anyone know how the hits-to-rounds-fired ratios compare between soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the NYPD? If marksmanship was some sort of justifiable requirement for being allowed to carry, we’d be back to London Bobbies with billyclubs in a heartbeat. In most cases probably for the better, but still……

        • As with all our arguments, the hit-ratio is one we need to handle carefully.

          Admittedly, not all rounds find their intended target. There will be some misses. What shall we say about that?

          The Antis want to make the public afraid that the more civilian carriers there are the more misses will hit innocent bystanders. We need to anticipate this argument whether it’s made explicitly or by innuendo.

          The first issue is that civilian gun carriers rarely shoot in self-defense. In fact, a civilian is even less likely to shoot in self-defence than a police officer. The cop’s job is to go looking for trouble and when he finds it, to dive-in after it. Civilians don’t have this duty. Sometimes they rise to the defense of others, even with defense of strangers.

          On the occasion where a defender has a right-to-engage with deadly force the civilian is less likely to do so than the cop if at all possible. The cop enjoys qualified immunity; the civilian is facing a risk of an indictment and a civil suit.

          The cop is much more likely to have to engage with deadly force when he arrives on the scene late and doesn’t have a score-card as to who is waring the black vs. white hats. The civilian is on-the-scene from the beginning and is pretty clear that the BG has violent intentions; the display of a weapon, egregious movements, orders to move to a secluded area are all unambiguous.

          When threatened, the civilian is much more likely to be in an unpopulated area. An attacker is likely to choose an empty parking lot, a dark street or the like. The civilian’s misses are unlikely to hit innocent bystanders who are NOT present.

      • Three squads of jarheads in rotating shifts on a base patrolling 8 hrs on at a time could solve the problem. One terrorist meets one squad of pissed off Marines. Problem solved.


      • Two Bushes a two term rapist and nearly two terms of ‘ Rules for Radicals ‘ and you get ‘ NOW ‘, UPSIDE DOWN WORLD . It really started long before this but was ramped up when Ronald Reagan won the nomination in 79 by popular uprising and the elites put in their boy ( Bush 1 ) at the convention . It was also Bush 1 that was behind the Iran Contra escapades , trading American arms from Iran to Central America in exchange for cocaine from Central America that was peddled here in the streets of America during the 1980’s for the cash to pay the Iranians for their American made weapons they couldn’t get parts for any longer to fight the Iraqis who were supported at the time by America . Clinton was governor of Arkansas during this time that the arms were flown into and out of , and cocaine was flown into and out of , a tiny airport in a small community named Mena , in the back woods of a southern state named Arkansas . Bush 2 came in and tidied everything up , giving us Homeland Security ( NSA ) , Wall street bailouts , destroy capitalism to save capitalism etc. and the grand finale was our current communist dictatorship we live under today .
        It’s all good , sit back and enjoy the ride . Here we are .
        They arrested him and threw him in prison and when the Pope came to inquire as to why he had returned , he declared unto the Lord , We don’t need you here , we are doing everything that man requires and taking from them the choices you so painfully laid upon as a burden when you refused the temptations of Lucifer in the wilderness .

  1. Spoken like an officer. Ooh, sharpshooter. People who have never shot before get marksman. As long as you hit the target every time when its close, you have enough points. Sharpshooter involves hitting the 2nd and 3rd targets a couple times. Expert is the only one that’s really impressive. A commander only getting sharpshooter is sad and not really worth bragging about. May as well have said he had a national call to service ribbon.

    You will never see senior active/reserve leadership support arming troops. Cause if you do, they get put on the short bus to not making rank and losing their commission. The national guard officers can say what they really think since they aren’t really in Obama’s chain of command.

      • Maybe Steve is advocating that we should be arming fetuses for self-defense? That’s the only way I can see his comment being on-topic for a gun blog…

        • Do you suppose the fetus could get comfortable with an NAA Mini?

          Would that qualify for Inside Womb Carry?

          *low-class rimshot*

    • Don’t you all see ? It’s all connected , destroy the constitution and the God responsible for it . Obama connects everything . This president is about anarchy . Everything he does results in a greater and greater riff between people , ideas and positions . Is as if he were the lawless one himself .

  2. All you need to know about Stimson is: “Former military judge and JAG officer….eld the civilian post of deputy assistant defense secretary in charge of detainee policy under President George W. Bush” which automatically disqualifies him from having one iota of common sense. If I was the Commander in Chief I’d have every JAG officer be required to spend 3 years in the Infantry and then get sent to law school. My experience with JAGs is that they are the defacto provider of aid & comfort to the enemy. Commander Nelson is out to sea. This isn’t Law Enforcement. It isn’t Lawfare.

    Armed Militants are attacking our military in the home country. This is an act of war. Our military needs to be able to respond to the threat with not only handguns, but give them rifles too. Let it be known that an attack on US soil will be met with overwhelming fire power. We don’t need investigations into why anyone from Kuwait who’s name is Mohammed shot up a recruiting center. That’s the functional equivalent of asking why the Taliban attack our troops in Afghanistan.

    • + [~ not sure how much].
      Had JAG, and even Dental officers that were psycho enough you’d let them take point.
      Want it so it NEVER happens again to U.S. and our guys. WHATEVER that plan is, they shouldn’t advertise, and they shouldn’t let anyone short of a Mad Dog Maddix flop their limp-dick ideas out there.
      (As an aside, Stinson gave us another, I’m for the second amendment “But”s)

  3. The allarming thing is that these “leaders” are terrified to give our “professional warriors” loaded weapons. Just what have they been doing with all the money we give them. They are admitting to dereliction of duty on a massive scale.

  4. A quick internet search listed recruiting stations being guarded by patriotic volunteers in Missouri, Ohio, Virginia, Texas, South Carolina, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Idaho, Georgia, Iowa,New Hampshire, West Virginia, Tennessee, Florida, North Carolina, Alabama, Oklahoma, Wisconsin and yes even Massachusetts. The New York City PD Terrorism unit posted guards too, but I’m not counting them because they got paid.
    Feel free to add any other state you are aware of.

    • I also found that everyday civilians are rising to the occasion and voluntarily standing guard, with firearms at the ready, outside of recruiting centers. And it is happening in even more states than Missouri Mule listed. This is a decent response in the short term.

      Of course the absence of coverage from the mainstream media is deafening. And it is for obvious reasons: this is exactly where OPEN CARRY shines, which is why the mainstream media will not show it. It destroys their narrative that we are inbred backwoods bitter clingers itching to attack our government, military, and police. Instead, it not only shows that we are deeply concerned with the security of our nation, it also illustrates that we are integral to the security of our nation. The mainstream media can’t have that, now can they.

    • With the exception of Massachusetts the states you listed are places were people cling to their bible and guns. At least that is what progressives say. I would say they have radical support for the second amendment. If the organized christian oath keepers can do it, and they set the example for a modern militia. Now there are many very small militia ‘s coming to the aid of the Republic.
      Progressives are very very scared now.

  5. Rick “Ozzie” Nelson is vice president for business development at Cross Match Technologies, a former director of the CSIS Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Program,

    Translation. He reads reports and puts ink on paper.

    and currently a nonresident senior associate at CSIS.

    (Works out of his home office. Real piece of work. Gov got low ROI on this Squid.)

    He is a former Navy helicopter pilot with over 20 years of operational and intelligence experience,

    (Naval rotor head aviators work with sidewinders, sparrows and sonar bouy’s…don’t qualify with pistols).

    including assignments at the National Security Council (NSC) and the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC). He joined CSIS in September 2009, after retiring from the U.S. Navy, where he served in a variety of senior policy and operational positions.

    (not a real job)

    His last military assignment was with the Joint Special Operations Command. In 2005, he was selected to serve as an inaugural member in the NCTC Directorate of Strategic Operational Planning. Prior to his assignment at NCTC,

    (Blue arrow stuff…no experience in the trenches)

    Nelson served as associate director for maritime security in the Office of Combating Terrorism on the NSC staff at the White House, where he led the development of the National Strategy for Maritime Security.

    (Qualified to say shoot threats on inbound at boats….no qualification for land based recruiting stations)

    Other career assignments have included counterterrorism team leader in Deep Blue, the navy’s operational think tank created after September 11;

    (Deep Blue…sounds like a gay drug distributed during steel beach operations and lonely moments staring at a ships wake)

    navy legislative fellow for Senator Edward M. Kennedy; assistant aviation officer community manager.

    (On call to explain why service members rape locals)

    and flag aide in Okinawa, Japan, to the commander of naval amphibious forces in the Western Pacific.

    (Floats Marines where they go. )

    He is operationally trained in naval helicopter strike warfare in the SH-60B Seahawk and SH-2F Seasprite helicopters, and he has deployed around the world and flown in support of numerous operations.

    (Said J.O.B. of a rotor head)

    Nelson graduated from the George Washington University in 1989 with a B.A. in political science, holds an M.A. in national security studies from Georgetown University, and is a graduate of the Naval War College.

    (Armed boat university. Check in the box)

    He is an adjunct lecturer at Georgetown University, where he teaches courses on homeland security and counterterrorism.

    (Is that a real collage course?)

    He is also a frequent contributor to media outlets, including the New York Times, Washington Post, NPR, CBS, CNN, and ABC, among others.

    (Main stream media blow hole.)

    • Conspicuous by their absence:

      – No operational command or shore command tour. He was not selected
      – No reference to an IA (Individual Augmentee) assignment in Afghanistan or Iraq

      All his post flying tours appear to be academic or at staffs with no operational planning or execution. Think tank guy providing thoughts based on academic courses vice hands on experience. And all the useful aviators with real strike experience (fast movers, not LAMPS SH 60B which were flown off cruisers/destroyers/frigates)- were assigned to more important real-world work. So the think tanks got the helo guy as their aviator.

      • Ok, so Resume’ never beat Do-some’. Sure, But the problem is always self-appointedness. It needs a fix, it doesnt need a debate, and it doesnt’t need to be public unless it’s Israel public. (a/k/a: hell yeah we’re ready for Armageddon, we even read about it in church).

  6. Hire body guards to protect what many people would consider the bodyguards of America. Then do we hire more bodyguards to protect those bodyguards?

    • Why not cut out the middleman and just send the bodyguards to fight our wars, too?

      Seriously, what sort of military needs to hire security guards? It’s embarrassing that someone could suggest such a thing and not be laughed out of the room.

  7. Last time I drove on Fort Bliss, MILITARY POLICE stopped me for doing 22MPH in a 20 zone. The 1st AD has over 33,000 soldiers. Cross train some as MP’s, use the existing MP’s, tell them to leave me alone!

  8. “they’re not expert marksmen. They don’t have the annual requirement to qualify on a shooting range like a (Navy) SEAL would or a Green Beret or a Marine.”

    Moron alert!

    Good grief! Then REQUIRE them to annually qualify! What is so hard about this people???

    Train an extra week a year in close combat defense or die at your desk. Which would you choose?

    • This doesn’t pass the smell test for me. This douche lumped Army into the “not qualifying annually” category and I think he’s talking out the side of his neck. I know I’ve been out since ’03 but during my 2 decades serving, not even as infantry, but as an artilleryman, I had to qualify every 6 months come hell or high water. They even pulled me out of the field and flew me and a handful of others in my Battalion to the range on a Chinook one time in order for the unit to check the box that all were qualified, although I’ve know some Air Force who don’t qualify annually. This guy needs to get his facts straight.

  9. To begin, military leaders are generally ignorant of civilian firearms practices and training. Few know that there are private companies providing firearms and personal security training that rivals or exceeds what the military can do.

    Secondly, being part of the generally uninformed, uninterested population of the country, they also believe law enforcement officers receive competent, intensive frequent training on managing tense situations. The police are also believed to receive more and better shooting training than anyone else other than special operations forces.

    Military leaders see the same television shows as the general population, where law enforcement personnel are extremely skilled, highly trained, proficient at employment of firearms, and deadly accurate with one or two rounds (and misses never ricochet or hit bystanders).

    Military leaders cannot comprehend that millions of gun owners fire thousands of rounds per year in attempts to improve their skills, or demonstrate them through competitions.

    Military leaders presume that once you train a ‘warfighter’ to use a weapon, that person cannot discern a proper use of firearms outside a combat zone. That these loos canons will end up waving their guns around dangerously, will be unable to distinguish a real threat from insults, will automatically “kill” anything that opposes them.

    In another time and place, military leaders disarmed their personnel (except security or units deploying immediately into “injun country” (or sometimes called “the arizona”). This resulted in the near-criminal disarmament of thousands of troops inside the wire, inside high-value targets, in the middle of hostile territory. In those locations, security forces were unable to successfully repel a determined assault, and could not count on those they were protecting to be able to assist in driving off the enemy.

    Military leaders walk among us, and vote.

    • I’m not sure we need to segregate the demographic by saying ‘”military” leaders.’ Have you had a look at the competence and motivation of political leaders?

      I’m not following either of them. For a long list of reasons, several of which you listed.

      So, who are they leading? Welfare recipients with no guns? Ooooo, I’m quaking in my flip-flops…

      • The ignorance of politicians is widely understood and accepted. It might be curious to many that the military leadership suffers just as greatly, which is why I highlighted “military leaders” in the comments. Point being we can expect no greater powers of logic from the military than demonstrated by politicians and the voting public at large.

  10. Have to ask – if the Guard and Reserve aren’t trained well enough to protect themselves, then why were they deployed to do EXACTLY that at EVERY military post in America?

    9mm loaded with two magazines, and one soldier with the M16 full magazine at every entry point of the post, plus others. “Not good enough” now, but after 911 required to do exactly that.

    Not to mention all the units who rotate thru Egypt for Brightstar – I was an interesting year for my unit, held in place because of 911, then we got 14 days of our 21, then four months later deployed to GTMO. Where Marines, then Army Infantry were sharpshooters in the towers.

    Hypocrisy that we can’t protect ourselves – with what was considered an “Inadequate” number of MP’s to fulfill all the roles needed after 9/11, we backfilled with Cav, Infantry, Artillery, whatever. It wasn’t a major issue then – WHY NOW?

    Politics. Generals aren’t supposed to play politics, they are supposed to do what they are ordered.

    Frankly, having your own troops pull security has always been part of the mission – what is being proposed is extending the DOD police to unprecedented levels. And that would constitute a large standing army in it’s own right, larger than the NYPD – which ranks 41st world wide.

    Why arm the Armed Forces when you can create a whole new career description of armed warriors who patrol American soil? Generals need more opportunities post DOD – and this creates them. There are more Generals than jobs in the hierarchy – they all want something to do, cause they didn’t all get to.

    Oh, yeah, we need more people on the tax payroll. Cause after 14 weeks of training the average soldier can’t carry a weapon daily – which he’s required to learn – but a hired security guard is safer and a professional?


  11. The author is recommending that the Posse Comitatus Act be repealed? That military that are not on a base be armed at all times. Allowed to use their military issued firearms while in uniform to do law enforcement duties? They be issued firearms and take those firearms home and given an allowance to secure those weapons at their home. Local laws would not be a concern to those military members in such states with insane firearm laws, CA, NJ, NY, etc… So state rights are tossed out the window? Or recruiters will only be armed while in the office? If state laws do apply to those military members?

    Where on this very slippery slope do we stop? E1 and up are armed, E4, E5, E6 or maybe E7? O1, O2, or maybe O3 is the lowest allowed to carry?

    Nation Guard are allowed to do law enforcement activities if the Governor issues the order, active duty military are not, USCG is part of DHS so they fall outside of the Act. Even on the high seas, if a ship was to be boarded and search for drugs a USCG LEO Det were conducting the search with the USN personal providing support.

    There is much more to this issue than handing out firearms to everyone in the military no matter where they are stationed. In a perfect world, no military would ever be charged with a DUI, they can be charged in local court and also held accountable under the UCMJ without double jeopardy coming into play.

    Let’s take this terror attack, had the Marines in the office returned fire with the terrorist in his car, missed and hit a civilian would he have the same legal protections as a law enforcement officer acting within his official duties?

    There is no simple answer to this issue.

    Nor can you ever be 100% safe from terrorist, they have the element of surprise and planning on their side, good has training and I hope luck on their side.

    • Local laws would not be a concern to those military members in such states with insane firearm laws, CA, NJ, NY, etc… So state rights are tossed out the window?
      So State Rights trump the Bill of Rights?
      So California can abolish 1A and it is okay?
      Get rid of the insane laws.

    • Okay…you are confusing a whole bunch of concepts…

      Posse Comitatus really only applies when using the military for law enforcement, such as drug interdiction, and there are pretty well defined rules.

      When you get to counter-terrorism and force protection, it is considered military action against a hostile force. The are basically two types of action…planned and self defense. Planned use of US military on US soil (non-wartime) gets squishy. Bad guys invading the US territory not withstanding, using the military on US soil would require some pretty high level approval.

      Self defense however is completely different. If a US military base of ship, whatever is attacked in the US, the security forces can respond to defend against the threat up to and including the appropriate and measured use of deadly force. If that means using an M2 on Christmas Eve in San Diego long as it’s justified. For instance, there may be DOD security guards at the gates, but at the pier, on the ship and waterside, it’s uniformed troops, standing armed watch, sentry and picket duty.

      • And as far as Posse Comitatus goes, don’t confuse active duty (Federal troops so to speak) with National Guard. The rules under which they can operate depends on who they work for at he time. If they are activated and transferred to Federal control it applies, but if they are activated by the state, they can be used to maintain the peace, such as enforcing martial law/curfew in a crisis. There is more flexibility with Nat’l Guard. But rules for self defense of self or unit would remain the same pretty much.

        • My question to smarter types: When I enlisted I swore an oath to defend against all enemies foreign and domestic. If this guy wasn’t a domestic enemy, who is? I’m not an expert in Posse Comititus, hell, I can’t even spell it. I’m just curious why thats in the oath of enlistment if we’re prohibited from ever defending our country domestically.

        • uuuhhhmmm, you know, like, uuhhhmmmm

          you and the guys on this forum are, like, you know, “enemies….domestic”.

    • Do you think he really cares ? Stupid people eat this bull s–t up , gobble it down and want more . WE are all in a real s–t hole and there are very few handholds left to pull ourselves back out and it truly does stink like s–t from where we are doesn’t it ?
      Boy’s and girl’s , I know most of us here are gun owners and probably own half the ammo in the country , but we need to make sure we have , seeds , tools , water and water purifying means and fuel , because all this crap leads to a s–t wind Julian . There’s a shit wind blowing in .

  12. I think this is just dumb. I’m USAF enlisted and true we don’t get to shoot pistols unless it’s required for your job. Got it. But guess what I took the time and due diligence to get my concealed permit. If I did that I should be allowed at a min to Cary and leave it in my lock box. I would rather keep it on me all day, but I’ll take what I can get. True there are some people I would not be comfortable with a gun, but if you don’t want to Cary that’s your right. Some comments on the supposed “troops in the dorms being stupid” true there are a few but it’s time to shape up and get the game face on.

    Crap I slept with an m16 for almost 8 months and ended up with a healthy respect for having to carry a long gun 24/7.

  13. the Heritage Foundation, thinks it’s a bad idea, too, because military personnel aren’t expert marksmen.
    You really think all those guys in WWI and WWII were expert marksmen?
    Does anyone know why the M1 Carbine was developed?
    Our military does not have to be elite forces to defend themselves and their respective bases.

    • One man ( or woman ) in that recruiting office pulls his ( her ) pistol and fires back that little punk runs , and I think that may end up being what happened . Expert marksman , WTF are they talking about . You have to defend yourself .Geez , this is frustrating .

      • Agreed. What is this “marksmanship” business in a close-quarters attack when you are a few yards from your target? If granny can do it; if a mother defending her child can do it, then why shouldn’t a soldier be able to do it.

        I’m just an OFWG. I don’t practice much. I don’t regard myself as a marksman by any means. And yet, in a stress-fire course I shot 294/300. If I can do it but our soldiers can’t I’m getting the hell out of here!

  14. So Granny from down the block can carry but a soldier can’t? Damn, I despise generals and admirals and all other forms of political lowlifes.

  15. I can’t stand guys like that. They give veterans, officers and aviator a bad name…

    In the two years I was responsible for Force Protection, Law Enforcement and Security for an aircraft carrier, we had ZERO NDs. I qualified over 1000 ship’s company personnel, everything from pilots to cooks, and maintained proficiency for probably a 1000 more on a variety of weapons (M9, M11, M14, M16, M60, M2). We lost a total of one round overboard. 24/7 we had armed sailors and Marines walking around in a big metal, ricochet box and around airplanes full of gas and bombs. My COs let us…encouraged us to shoot at every opportunity. We put the defense of a national capital asset in the hands of the young men and women…I think they are responsible enough to be trusted with fire arms….and no, hiring more DOD security clowns is not the answer.

    • What kind of gun ranges are onboard carriers?

      If a sailor would like to do some shooting, what’s the procedure?

      I’ve heard of skeet being shot off the fantail, is that true?

      • If the ship has a flight deck then normal targets posted on stands can be used. Steer so most of the wind is zero across the deck and do it on a day the seas are calm. Lower the flight deck safety nets and ensure the area around the ship is clear of other ships and boats. While not for quals but still good training, toss boxes in the water to let the sailors practice shooting while the ship and target are moving.

        • You do it whenever the schedule allows and and as long as you can be safe. Wind and seas only factor for the elevator position, not making a controlled environment. You get what you get. Sometimes rain.

      • Qualifications take place at the range on shore. We’d run through basic quals for watchstanders and aircrew, then advanced courses of fire for sentries, security force ratings, gunners and anyone else who wanted to go as space was available. Underway, we’d use the elevator for pistol qualification, and rifle proficiency. For M2, M60 and M14 we’d put targets in water and manuver ship to engage. We’d run daily non-shooting drills inport and no notice firing drills underway.

    • + + Nothing says stand down like “we don’t count on you for that” big mistake.

      You might protect young gray matter by making drinking illegal til 21, but your robbing 92% of the rest of them from demanding adulthood of themselves if you ain’t around for handholding (you delay them generationally).

  16. Security guards? Because not the military? WTF?

    I really try to put my mind into a gear that will let it go this slow but I just can’t do it. Bizarro.

    • ^ Took 5 days for Obama to command flags be flown at half-mast, ’cause it took him that long to confirm that the shooter was a muslim.

      • Just a wild guess on my part, but the delay was to allow time for the autopsy to be performed and the Flag would be at half staff during their funerals. The more it is done the importance of the act is lessen, it starts to become the norm. So maybe someone who understands Flag etiquette advised him to wait will the funerals of the dead were going to be conducted.

  17. Folks, the military is a bureaucracy. As with any such entity, it’s primary focus is on growing it’s funding, responsibilities, and manpower. Anything that detracts from that mission is to be avoided or minimized. At least since WWII, the vast majority of servicemen have not been assigned to direct combat roles. Instead they are assigned to combat support or service support duties. Some of you military history buffs may recall that is one of the primary reasons the M-1 carbine was developed. It was intended for support troops who were less likely to engage in combat but still needed some means of defense against breakthrough forces and guerrillas. Even back then it proved logistically difficult to train, certify, and regularly re-qualify upwards of 16 million men. So training was limited or curtailed, with the lions share of live fire practice going to infantry forces. The more elite a unit was, the more training it tended to get, including weapons qualification. That’s what makes them elite. That situation has not improved much in 75 years, at least not in stateside assignments. No commander outside of a combat zone wants to deal with the hassle of assigning weapons, tracking them, expending ammo, and maintaining ranges and equipment on the off chance that doing so will stop a a terrorist attack. Nor does any commander want to risk allowing personnel to go armed on base with their privately owned weapons, for fear of an accidental discharge or intentional misuse. The former problem may prove insurmountable, especially in the current administrative and budgetary atmosphere, but the latter can be mitigated. However, it will require either a policy change emanating from the President, Sec Def, or possibly even Congress. This change would involve absolving all commanders of responsibility for any personnel who opt to carry personal arms while on duty or off duty. Again, I don’t see this happening in the present zero tolerance, zero defects, CYA, nanny state mindset atmosphere.

    • “I don’t see this happening in the present zero tolerance, zero defects, CYA, nanny state mindset atmosphere.”

      Since the present atmosphere has existed since the Clinton administration, you’ve had 20 years of “natural selection” driving the combat leaders out of the officer corps and retaining the people who were willing to do what they needed to do to get their ticket punched and make rank. It’t the “stress card”, “risk assessment”, “death by powerpoint” its finest.

      • More than 20 years. Just finished the book “The Generals”, a look at molding of generals before and since WW2. Provides a very different look at the ineptitude of generals since 1991 that may have contributed to the mess in the Middle East. The book also looks at how politicians lack the clear thinking required to effectively use the military to support political goals (summed-up, politicians want to use force to “send messages” to other countries without really getting into another world-wide adventure). The wimpy political leaders we have had since Roosevelt just want to apply enough force to convince adversaries they should “stop that !”

  18. Spend civilian taxpayer’s money to pay other civilians to protect the civilian financed military while that said military protects the civilians?
    Kafka’s Castle, much?

      • Mega dido’s .
        Next , they will fix this problem by spending billions more tax payer dollars to make all the windows bullet safe and put technology scanners on all the doors and hire a bunch of people that couldn’t perform a real job to sit by the technology in a chair and watch a scanner . Better find a scanner technology company and invest now , I have no doubt this crap will be introduced in a bill long before they arm our recruiters .
        FAST TRACT

  19. Hahaha I expect such comments from someone in the Navy Stimson. Doesn’t the Navy already have security guards and aren’t they called Marines?

    Seriously though when the requirements of your mission change in the military you revise your training to cover the differences.

  20. I was hired once as private gate security to guard a military base here in New Mexico. We were issued the M9 with two mags from the armory at the beginning of the shift and turned it back in after our shift was over. We would qualify yearly with other military personnel, mainly base security.

    So we, as civilians, were consided qualified to guard the military base from terrorists with pistols issued by the military with some basic qualification in a weapons class, but the rest of the military personnel are not considered competent to do so.

    Typical. The same fear and distrust of the Powers that Be in the civilian world at the idea of the lower classes having weapons easily to hand as the military ruling class in fear of the lower ranks having weapons while not on a battle field.

    It’s all about those in power fearing losing control of the “lesser beings” by denying them the right to keep and bear arms.

  21. I really like moronic yammerheads that start a conversation, “I am a strong supporter of the Second Amendment, but….”

    well then, nimrod you’re actually not because there is no “but” in the Second Amendment.” The right of the people shall not be infrtinged”. See that? No freaking but

  22. Why bother, idiots who volunteer to die for politicians are a dime a dozen. Plenty more where that came from.

  23. “because military personnel aren’t expert marksmen.”

    Expert Marksmen… know like the cops… Oh wait.

    See kids? Not even soldiers and marines are good enough to keep and bear arms. And this hack uses his position as an officer to get ahead in the civilian world while spitting on the soldiers. Worst kind of person there is.

    And what’s worse is he probably has “support the troops” stuff all over his car/house…

    Just shows the contempt this country has for its military. Send them off to fight and carry weapons in the service of Uncle Sam, but to defend themselves? No it’s better that they follow that old heroic bullsh** of dying.

    I think it’s because most Americans can’t relate to military guys and don’t trust them.

    • “Just shows the contempt this country has for its military”

      LOL. Even as “thank you for your service” is the prayer of militarism, the official state sanctioned religion. That’s great.

      It is amusing how these idiot soldiers sign their lives over to the very people who deprive them of their 2nd amendment rights. 🙂

      • I hate to break it to you but I was (and still am in the IRR) one of those “idiot soldiers”.

        I think you’re misunderstanding my comment.

        • Nah, it’s quite clear. You correctly see that militarism is just a hollow shell, where people mouth platitudes for “the heroes” because it is the politically correct thing to do. It’s not contempt, they’re repeating what the government tells them.

          Of course the military works for the same government that robs soldiers of their Constitutional rights. The contempt comes from your masters, not the civilian population.

          But no doubt you’ll still gladly accept a free lunch and take the reserved parking spot in front of Home Depot. Thank you for your service. 🙂

        • DoomGuy, riddance is one of TTAG’s pathetic little trolls.

          They can be great fun when they dance on command like the puppet they are.

          Dance, troll.

          That’s an order…

        • Oh dear Geoff, you’re the one who is butthurt and mad as hell. 😉

          Besides, only dumb military animals follow orders.

  24. Oh and this is just me speaking from my time in the Army Reserves. Maybe if you spent less time pushing sensitivity training and saying the constitution and the Declaration of Independence are “propagation song hate and intolerance” and more time sending these units to the range more than twice a year and actually treated that whole “infantry first” thing more than just lip service, and didnt treat the soldiers like me (who are decent shots and actually took the time to maintain and practice with our rifles,) like a bunch of crazy gun nuts, maybe then they would be “expert marksmen” you blue-blooded f***.

    Sorry. I’m tired of the hypocrisy from current and former officers who look at soldiers like scum to be stomped on.

  25. Every soldier qualifies at least once per year and has the same Basic Rifleman training. I can understand a Navy Helo pilot not understanding this, but not one who is supposed to be speaking as an authority. Weak excuses backed up by hand waving…

    IMHO its typical Officer class thinking when speaking of the great unwashed enlisted class.

    • They’re so concerned with troop marksmanship that instead of spending the downtime drilling and sending rounds downrange, they sit them in front of a PowerPoint and tell them how racist the constitution is and that everything relating to America and being a white male is racist intolerant and evil.

  26. Lilly livered pukestains.

    I refer of course to certain elements of the military’s leadership, including the very top echelon whose initials are CINC, not to the guys and gals in the ranks.

    Sad to say it would take an unrelenting string of such attacks, close enough together that the outrage over one doesn’t die out before the next one hits, to sway enough people to override the veto. (I don’t think the subhuman turd with the veto pen will ever be swayed.)

    • And somehow the soldiers keep following their orders, like good little animals.

      Yes sir. Right away sir. 🙂

  27. Is this fool saying that military personnel with months and years of training to protect the United States are so incompetent that they need to be protected by minimum-wage rent-a-cops? How do they manage in Iraq and Afghanistan? What are the rules for carrying weapons in combat zones? That’s what military facilities are becoming.

  28. And I think this bears talking about, because this mentality stems from the distrust and contempt for the military be it conscious or not.

    I meant the whole “he probably has support the troops stuff” comment to point out the contempt officers and civilians have for the military.

    They say “thank you for your service” and they donate to “military charity” so they can look in the mirror and say what a great person they are (and get a nifty tax write off) but they openly state they’d never serve nor would they allow their kids to serve.

    And the coup d’grace sucker punch, when it comes to an act of real charity or compassion, such as giving a down on his luck soldier a job, suddenly that “support the troops” facade quickly melts and the fangs come out. They turn the soldier down claiming he has no qualifications (when he’d make a better employee than half of the people working there) or if he is employed the soldier is looked down upon and made to feel less than human because he may not have had a combat arms MOS and never deployed so he wasn’t a “real soldier”. (I’ve actually dealt with this personally).

    The soldier is made to work on Veterans Day while the boss gets the day off, he’s made to work while the boss goes to Warriors Weekend.

    I tell you something, as a soldier, I have more respect for those pinko America hating flag burners who call soldiers baby killers than I do for most Americans who claim they support the troops until they actually meet one.

    At least the flag burners are up front and honest about it.

    Sorry for the rant. I’m just angry and disillusioned.

    • In Great Britain the understanding is ‘Soldier First’; whether you train to be an engineer or a cook or a rifleman, an officer or otherwise, you always train to be a soldier first.
      I know that some civilians are staunchly anti-military, however, I doubt they represent the majority.
      But there is far more to our lives individually, as local communities, and internationally, than being combat ready – the world will do well by remembering, and to at least try, to be ‘civil’ first.

      • I was always told “infantry first” and I took it to heart. And as such I always had a clean rifle and I did well at the range.

        I just wish the U.S. Military would see the “infantry first” thing as more than just a saying.

    • Never mind the civilian boss-man paid for the soldier’s mass murder world tour with taxes extracted by threat of violence. On top of that he’s supposed to feel obliged to give him a job even if he is grossly under-qualified and has drinking and substance abuse problems. Plus he is made to feel bad for making the rational decision to dissuade his daughter from joining the military so she won’t get raped.

      Militarism would be classified as a freak cult if it wasn’t mandated by the government.

    • Lighten up Francis! Sorry, just kidding. I haven’t faced all the discrimination you describe, but I agree with the gist. Most American’s support the troops they see and meet, while believing the other 99.999% are PTSD riddled addicts that should be pitied. Unless you were an officer, you obviously only joined the military to escape a jail sentence. Even my wife thinks that every homeless person she sees has to be a vet.

  29. “, reports the Seattle Times. ” This is Seattle, a progressive anti-firearm mecca. And the Times is progressive anti-2A to the core. So reading the article is of no shock to me. The Nation needs to open its eyes a bit wider to see the damage the Seattle progressive/I-5 corridor is set to do on our 2A.

  30. And to add, I have a family member by marriage who works in recruiting for the Navy. And these folks who are unwilling to allow him the decency to at least have the Right to defend himself…let’s put it this way, I wouldn’t walk across the street to piss on them if they were on fire.

  31. “Conflating those two scenarios — putting a combat-trained military person into a law-enforcement situation — is not going to produce the results we want.”

    Ok, for you guys who did tours in Iraq and Afghanstan after we took them– Isn’t this exactly what we expected from a lot of our troops. Not to be carrying out combat operations, but patrolling and for a lack of a better term- providing a visible ‘police type’ presence.

    FWIW- I’m an ex SH60B pilot and completely embarrassed by this tool. Someone else posted his bio– he didn’t select for command, and primarily did staff work once he was out of the cockpit thinking thoughts but not contributing to any actual operational planning or execution. He also managed to avoid a tour as an Individual Augmentee to either Afghanistan or Iraq — you know, actually going in theater and having any idea of what we were actually doing there.

  32. I am coast guard so we have a little more Authority and Juistiction when it comes to powers on US soil but I find this whole thing ridiculous. Not all members but anyone who is a Boarding Officer or Boarding Team member is requried to qualify every six months with the Sig P229, M16 and M870. We are a stand alone unit on our own not attatched to any major base or facility we are just on a semi restircted pier on waterfront. The first thing our CO told us to do as soon as word of these attacks reached us was “gun up”. There is no reason that any unit, be it support, admin, or recuiter, army, navy airforce or marines, shouldn’t have at least some formed of armed response.. You may not need everyone qualified. But set a minimum, plus anyone else who wants the training and maintains the qualification, and let our military protect themselves. I am so sick of driving onto major bases ands seeing fat rentacops checking ID’s at the base. Your telling me these guys are held to a higher standard than the average military member and can carry a weapon on base, but i can’t concealed carry? The whole thing is insane.

  33. “How unserious must ‘basic weapons training’ be if a significant portion of the military is unqualified to handle firearms?”

    I was in the Navy for 10+ years, and never touched a weapon (in connection with the service). They used some laser tag thingamajig at boot camp. My wife was in the Air Force and fired a few rounds at boot camp, nothing else.

    • My experience was similar. I joined in 1972 (yes, supposedly we were still at war) and got two sessions on the range at Navy OCS to attempt to qualify (I didn’t) with the most shot out 1911’s you can imagine. They were so bad, one would go full auto about once a year. Several years later, some in our Reserve unit decided to try to qualify again. All the base had for qualification were some .38 Special revolvers (I didn’t qualify again – but I did learn not to stand to the side of someone shooting a loose revolver, that lead stings).

      So yes, the military didn’t train REMF’s very well, at least Navy aviation maintenance REMF’s, in the use of firearms. Perhaps had I been assigned to a carrier in WESTPAC as I requested, instead of shore duty in Virginia, I might have gotten more training but I don’t know.

      It seems, from those with more recent experience, that even though our enemies in Iraq and Afghanistan brought the war right onto the bases where even HQ staff could be under personal attack, that the military is still not training everyone on basic weapons training (Marines excepted). That needs to change, regardless of what the gutless politicians actually do about on-duty and on-base weapons possession.

      • But the Navy has cammo uniforms (Blue no less). Is that what you wear in a sub or on a carrier? It is to laugh.

    • I remember on my second deployment to Iraq, some Sailors came up to me (I was Army) and asked how to break down their M16s to clean. I think i stared at them for a couple of seconds before responding.

  34. ISIS recruiters carry AK 47’s at their recruiting stations. Somehow our politicians and brass are missing that point.

  35. How hard is it to train soldiers to handle firearms safely? If civilians can be qualified as proficient then certainly those that are entrusted with the security of the nation should be capable.

    All this dodging from senior officers does seem to reflect a discipline problem as the elephant in the room. And if this is the case, some people at the top or very near it need to be held accountable.

  36. “I accuse the senior military leadership of dereliction of duty”.

    “I accuse senior leadership of cowardice in face of the enemy”.

    “I accuse them of a leadership failure in performance of their duties”.

    “I accuse senior military leadership of failing in their most basic responsible to insure the safety of the soldiers, marines, sailors, airmen, and coast guard men under their command”.

    The reading of these charges in a future court martial will not happen.

      • There was a time in America when morality was something that every leader would strive for. Correct moral behavior was a goal for everyone. Back then sex had very little to do with morality. Now people only think morality means some kind of sex activity.

        The “admirals revolt” in the 1950s and the court martial of General Billy Mitchell in the 1920s are great examples of true moral leadership. What they did had nothing to do with sex. Most civilians have never heard of them.

        • True moral leadership would be refusing to work for the political cabal.

          Meanwhile your Admiral’s Revolt was little more than Pentagon infighting for power and funding.

  37. More than any other issue, arming our “Armed” Forces demonstrates the utter incompetence of Congress, to say nothing of the Commanders-in-Chief (H.W. to BHO).

    When shooting breaks-out at a military base or recruiting center the ranges are typically within a few yards, not 100+ yards. At these short ranges, rifle marksmanship has nothing to do with safety or efficacy. You have a SHTF situation where just about anything is better than NOTHING whatsoever.

    The only argument qualifying arms-bearing by military personnel that I can see that has any merit is the distinction between SHALL-carry vs. MAY-carry. We civilians have “rights” to do things not prohibited by Constitutional laws. Soldiers do what they are ORDERED to do; the notion of “rights” of soldiers is relatively inapplicable. Within the concept of arms, it seems to be that soldiers are properly subject to ORDERS rather than some notion of “rights” to some personal decisions (e.g., to marry or worship, etc.)

    We WANT soldiers to carry; if we push for change “allowing” them to carry we are making a GRAVE TACTICAL MISTAKE. Clearly, the chain-of-command wants to prohibit soldiers from carrying; what they are frustrated by law from doing they will do indirectly. The officer-corps will – by wink and a nod – communicate to soldiers that carrying-by-choice is a career-ending decision. Few soldiers will be willing to defy the wishes of their superiors except those who enjoy KP duty.

    We NEED Congress to use its plenary power to “make Rules . . . for the land and navel forces” REQUIRING base commanders to arm at least X% of soldiers on their bases (recruiting centers, etc.) No commander who wants to preserve his commission would dare defy such a Congressional “Rule”.

    Whatever move is made, what we want is for it to succeed. Shall we allow our RINO Congress-critters to pass a feel-good law that the C-in-C and chain-of-command could obviously frustrate? Shall we allow the RINOs to introduce a bill which the Democrats can counter with the argument that it would strip commanders from their ability to keep the one screw-ball on the base from carrying?

    We need to anticipate these obvious subterfuges and insist that the RINOs produce a bill that will stand-up to an obvious Democrat pretext to kill. We need a law that the C-in-C and chain-of-command can not quietly undermine.

  38. Military personnel are needed to protect Military personnel. A rent-a-cop guard is useless and cannot be expected to put his life on the line for others. He is there for the pension, money, union membership, donuts, etc.

  39. These folks want to hire Barney Fife to protect the U.S. military. They are certifiable and should never be let out of their facility for life.

  40. I really can’t see why civilian employees on military bases who have state issued permits to carry a concealed (or not) handgun should not be allowed to carry on base. If we can be trusted in the grocery store or shopping mall what makes it any different at our desks on the base?

  41. So many good points in the comments. Has everyone forgot all the National Guard troops posted to every airport in America immediately following 9/11? All of them I saw were carrying M16A2s with magazines inserted (though I doubt there was a round in the chamber). I’m betting they didn’t only use SEAL/SF national guard troops with special training in those airports.

    When I was active I carried my concealed handgun to work every day and took my chances with a random search at the gate. I think that is all military members are asking for. If we so choose, let me carry the handgun I normally carry when I want.

    I would definitely be pissed off if I had to go to an arms room and sign for a pistol and be forced to carry it around during duty hours, then get in line to turn it in at the end of the day. Screw that. We need less rules against stuff, and don’t need more rules making us do stuff.

    • The presence of armed soldiers at airports was not for safety, it was pure security theater. And it had the added bonus of impressing the omnipotence of the state to gullible civilians (the government will keep us safe), thus furthering the power of the state.

    • Very good point Gary.
      Aren’t firearms just like first aid kits and fire extinguishers; you wouldn’t expect to sign out those from stores everyday, would you?!


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