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By reader LC Judas

Everyone is worrying about the politics and possible future bloodbath potential of trying to limit scary black weapons and big magazines. That’s all understandable given the current climate, but something that’s been lost in the discussion are the warrior families among us that have defined this nation. Simply put, we are heavily reliant on the police and military in this country. They’re the ones who keep order and safeguard our way of life. But here’s the rub: if the president and the dedicated gungrabbers in Congress like Diane Feinstein succeed in prohibiting civilian use of “military style” weapons, they’ll also reduce the number of future recruits to these critical professions . . .

Like every other kid, when I was younger I used to watch TV and movies — cowboy shows and police dramas. And it helped inspire me towards my law-enforcement career. Having the ability to train with some of the same weapons used by the cops and the military helped me hone my skills long before I made my career choice. And mine is a story that’s similar to those of many of my coworkers.

The far more important consideration now, though, is those who will be following in their fathers’ and grandfathers’ tradition of military and police service. A significant portion of departments and battalions in the police and military services are staffed by people doing what members of their families have done before them. All of my uncles are ex-military and several of their sons are currently serving, too. Under a new assault weapons ban — one that’s even more restrictive than the last one — the tradition of teaching the new generation will be severely curtailed.

This country has a warrior tradition. That spirit is what freed us from British rule and made the US the global military presence it is today. And that tradition has been passed down from generation to generation.

But you can’t pass that down without exposure to and familiarity with weapons. The same weapons (or the civilian equivalent) as those used on duty, whether in the military or a police force.

There’s obviously a lot more to these career paths than firearms, but the weapons are intrinsic to the purposes of both vocations. If you can’t learn to love the ways of life that both jobs entail, you’re less likely to be the kind of cop or soldier this nation needs.

Restricting the kind of firearms in civilian hands will make recruiting for both institutions a lot harder. Despite what you’ve probably been reading lately, America doesn’t raise mass murderers with its gun culture; it trains our protectors and first responders.


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  2. Saudi Arabia will be very upset if the U.S loses its Gung-Ho attitude in the next few years, as I am sure will Israel and the United Kingdom.

    There is nothing wrong with being skilled in the language of violence, what really happens to be the problem is that some skilled folks out there will not wait their turn to speak, or otherwise choose to simply shout their heads off (see Team America World Police style.)

    Knowing when to enter the argument rather than argue for arguments sake is what really separates the men from the boys here.

    • Exactly. Politically, if we neuter our own populace we are not going to maintain the same presence overseas. Our populace will then stop even trying to support our global presence which could lead to all sorts of political backlash long term. Not something that appears to be on the priority list of the anti-gun brigade however.

  3. Nice, LC Judas. I would even push your argument even further that the training goes well beyond just practical, physical firearm skills – time spent at the range, whether it’s with a dad, uncle, grandpa, mom, auntie, scoutmaster, etc. also imparts other important things to our youth – discipline, self-respect, self-reliance, focus, and mastering one’s own fears and anxiety. There’s an almost martial art aspect to learning how to shoot and maintain a firearm.

    And yes, while these characteristics are important to a “warrior tradition,” I would go even further they also go a long way to making productive, responsible citizens of society. The greatest civilizations of the world have relied upon citizen-soldiers to protect and prosper their way of life.

  4. We need to keep the shooting sports alive – it’s critical that we teach upcoming generations how to shoot but I don’t think it’s all that important for military readiness.
    WWII showed us how you can take millions of draftees, and fairly quickly teach them how to shoot and move, as needed for battle.

    • Well, I don’t think it’s for military readiness so much as it is to make the firearm remain accepted in the minds of the populace. By making so many “Guns are SO BAD” laws you create a block on people even trying to learn the art of the rifle or pistol. It doesn’t make people untrainable but it doesn’t really lend itself to making shooting fun or worthwhile either.

      • I agree to an extent but in many ways it does help with military readiness and basic training.
        If you have volunteer and, if it ever happened again, drafted trainee’s who are already familiar up to proficient in the AR platform then the Drill Instructors are ahead of the game.
        Less time spent having to familiarize troops with the platform allows more time for training the unfamiliar or inexperienced troops bringing up their proficiency even more.

  5. Conversely, when it comes to those who have been deeply conditioned to be averse to firearms, there will be a significant psychological barrier to overcome before you can reach any of the folks who would otherwise be a good fit for military or LE jobs. There’s a parallel example among nations with poor Olympics programs: how do you find world-class athletes in a given discipline (i.e. shooters) if you don’t have a broad base to screen for promising candidates?

    Some days it seems possible that the satirical Judge Dredd future, full of cops who are horrified at the suggestion of using lethal force, will become a reality in a few generations if we go too far down the “guns are scary and bad” path. One need only look at the startling case of the decorated UK Army sniper who seems to be destined for jail time simply for possessing a SIG sidearm. This for someone who served his company with honor, and should be teaching the armed minority of the UK police.

    • I believe there’s already significant self segregation in the rate of red staters who join the military vs blue staters. If I’m not wrong about that, the presence or lack of a gun culture has to be a contributory factor.

      • Gun culture is definitely a factor, I would wager. Texas, a very big gun state, actually has an airport solely for the traffic that Fort Worth gets. I imagine it is because of the sheer size of that base and the welcome that the soldiers there get in that particular state. That presence alone does more for the culture in that area than I believe can be calculated as far as getting and keeping people in the tone of being interested in or at least respecting the military.

    • Don’t feel too sorry for Danny Nightingale – he worked hard to get himself in the trouble he’s now in. His wife tried to play the media card and it’s backfiring badly: turns out he didn’t just have a Glock 17 he’d “forgotten about” but he had other weapons and over three hundred rounds of buckshee ammunition, including some .338 API (which is *extremely* verboten under UK law) also illegally held: all of which are likely to feature in his retrial.

      Even decorated military men (and I’m one, for very small values of ‘decorated’) aren’t above the law and don’t get to pick and choose which ones they feel like obeying; at least, not without accepting the consequences if they get caught.

  6. Good catch, JWM. You are correct, it was Demolition Man I was thinking of. It is apparent that 3 days at Disney parks has dropped my IQ perceptibly.

  7. There is also the benefit of the private sector creating new products that also work for .mil Most of the modern shooting techniques taught today in the military have their origins in competitive shooting.

  8. America has a soldierly culture, not a warrior one. The difference lies in ethos. Warriors fight for themselves (loot, honor, a personal code like Chivalry or Bushido). Soldiers fight for more abstract concepts like nation, state, society, etc.

    Roman Legions were composed of soldiers. Gaulish raiding parties were composed of warriors. Not a perfect analogy, but it conveys the message adequately.

    • Personally, I use “Warrior” to be general in this context as I don’t think referring to cops as “soldiers” is perfect for my message in this instance. I understand your point and can see the semantic difference but it is more about respecting the tradition of understanding war and battle in general instead of shying away from it as these laws propose we should do.

  9. My daughter is six and has expressed interest in joining the Marine Corps when she gets older like her dad did. While I would be proud of her to serve in any branch of the military, I will not support her doing so if the government becomes restrictive and starts quelling the rights guaranteed in the Constitution.

    • Becomes? Starts?

      You mean, becomes more restrictive, and starts openly quelling via force, right?

      We are so far down the rabbit hole of restriction and infringement it isn’t even funny.

      Either way, Semper Fi brother.

      Badger 8-3

  10. As a former soldier and current police officer, I think the article is almost entirely correct. The difference in my view of the situation is that there will never be a shortage of bodies for military or police service. The shortage will be of men who have strong beliefs such that their introduction to service will not change who they are.

    I held off several years before enlisting after making the decision that I wanted to serve because I believed I was not strong enough. I knew the Army could teach me how to perform all the tasks, but I also knew that basic training was in part to take men from all walks of life, break them down, and remake them in the image desired by the service. I wanted to make sure I knew who I was and what I believed in, rather than wait for a drill sergeant to tell me.

    To the point of the article, shooting helped me do that. Neither the Army nor the police academy changed who I am as a person, but they gave me many skills and a greater respect for many things than I had before. Everyone who didn’t know how to shoot going in learned more or less how, but I wonder if they knew why, or even why they were there as well as I did. My fear is that these are the kind of men who will follow the immoral or illegal orders, not because they don’t care or because they have evil in their hearts, but because they just don’t know any better. Because they believe what they were told to believe, by the only people who ever told them to belive anything.

    While nearly all the men I served with seemed to have strong character and a sense of good and evil, around the world this is not always the case. Unfortunately, that doesn’t stop them from filling a uniform and carrying out their orders.

    • Well said. I hope you are in a position to mentor prospective military and law enforcement candidates. These institutions and the people they serve will benefit.

      Someone wiser than I once said if we separate our scholars from our warriors then our thinking will be done by cowards and our fighting done by fools.

      We need thinking, and moral, warriors. Pass on your wisdom.

    • There is a LOT to be said about taking up the firearm and the change in your thinking that it does bring. It doesn’t turn people psycho or give them delusions of Godhood like antis appear to believe.

      Also, I do not believe that the uniform of a police officer or military personnel changes a man. The decision to be a good cop or soldier does. Filling the uniform is one thing but the culture of good cops and soldiers is what we pass down in the families I mention in the article. There may never be a shortage of bodies to join the armed forces but there may be a shortage of dedication and heart to make the battalion or precinct the sort of organization that it should be. That was my main point but I see yours as well.

      I also would like to thank you for your service, past and current.

  11. Even as late as Second World almost half population was more skilled with a rifle then most professional soldiers in Europe before they were even drafted. With the exception of the latter stages of Vietnam the American infantryman has always been a skilled rifleman.

    America’s gun culture has always been about teaching the skills that are necessary to defend the nation against enemies abroad and criminals at home. We now have a counterculture that says that the average citizen is a ward of the state and is too immature and unstable to participate in their own defense. They would reduce us all to hapless victims.

  12. ‘After Newtown, some parents impose (toy) gun control’

    “One Chicago mother, Anupy Singla, had been wrestling for months with whether to keep the Nerf revolver-style blasters that her daughters, ages 7 and 10, enjoyed playing with, several times tossing them into the trash and then retrieving them. Her indecision ended abruptly on Dec. 14, as she watched the coverage of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School”

  13. Our warrior tradition dovetails with the goodness of our military. Most militaries around the world are little more than government thugs. The officer and enlisted corps are heavily populated with men and women who grew up with a traditional ideation of what is right and wrong. If we choke off our warrior class, no warrior tradition, and we’ll slowly get a military of thugs – just like the rest of the world.

  14. I know the idea will rankle many here, but I support the idea of UMT (universal military training). George Marshall advocated for it, building on the “citizen soldier” concept he learned at VMI. Many (but not all) young adults (18-22) are still maturing, strong in body and quick in mind, but lacking in judgment and direction. “National service,” which could be military or other public service would create a common experience for all Americans, instill a cohesive patriotism and free up our professional warfighters from building levees and managing natural disasters. Many young people, urban or otherwise, would learn how to handle firearms responsibly as well.


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