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TTAG has taken the Obama administration and the U.S. Army to task for its disgraceful decision not to call the Fort Hood shooter a Muslim terrorist. Here’s another, less well known example of the “lone wolf-i-zation” of a Muslim terrorist who murdered American soldiers, via “Arid Uka [above, right] is charged with two counts of murder in the killing of Senior Airman Nicolas Alden, 25, and Airman 1st Class Zachary Cuddeback, 21. He is also charged with three counts of attempted murder. Two other airmen, Staff Sgt. Kristoffer Schneider and Senior Airman Edgar Veguilla, were wounded. Prosecutors say the gun jammed when Uka aimed it at a third airman.” Here’s why Uka’s gun jammed, sparing the lives of other American soldiers . . .

The crime lab report said the bullets used in the shooting came from all over: the U.S., Brazil, the Czech Republic and Italy.

“That’s why the gun jammed,” Jens Joerg Hoffmann, Uka’s defense lawyer, said after the hearing . . .

As for the Muslim angle . . .

During his first court appearance in August, Uka confessed to the killings and said he was influenced by jihadist propaganda on the Internet.

He said he wanted to prevent American service members from going to Afghanistan, where he said he believed they would rape Muslim girls . . .

German authorities say Uka acted alone.

Sure. Absolutely. No contacts with the Muslim community. Just a jihadist yutz alone in his room, watching Internet terrorist porn, who decides to buy a gun and kill Americans. No man is an island—but this one was. And The New York Times‘ report at the time was wrong.

A German security official who is involved in the investigation but not authorized to speak about it said that Arid Uka had been friends with men known for their radical interpretation of Islam.

Here’s another question: why were our troops unarmed / unprotected during transport?

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  1. Because they are traveling on commercial air and travel under the same rules as you or I. Soldiers do not walk around armed all the time. They never have and never will. Do you think they carry their M-4s and M-9s when they are out on liberty? Clearly you have no concept of what the military is like.

    • It was a legitimate question. And it still is. Why should U.S. Army personnel travel under the same rules as you or I when they are clearly, obviously, demonstrably terrorist targets? Especially during a foreign deployment.

      Anyone remember the Red Army? General James Dozier? (bonus points for naming the music his captors played in his headphones day and night)

      • You have to accept some risk in life. How often does this happen? What are trade offs of soldiers carrying loaded guns all the time. A shooting, even a justified one, on foriegn soil raises all sorts of issues with status of forces agreements and the attitudes of the local population toward US forces. Far more soldiers die in training or traffice accidents then are killed by terrorists and criminals. What makes you think that your average sailor, airman or soldier not in a combat arm would be any good with an M-9. You just posted about how crappy LEOs are with gun based on your observation at a range. Military personnel who are not in a combat security arm qualify at most once a year. Do you want to turn these guy and gals loose in a crowed airport with live ammunition?

        MILAIR is the alternative to commercial transport. That is expensive, places burden on the troops who would have to wait until enough people were moving from one place to another and prevents speed relief for personnel whose tour is over.

        Perhaps you might also remember the attempted attack on GEN Haig when he was SACEUR. He pulled out his trusty 1911 and returned fire.

      • That would be The Red Brigade. They captured Dozier in December 1981 and held for 42 days. They blasted music into his ears to prevent him from listening to their conversations. Said General Dozier “Some of the tapes that they would play were what I would call hard rock. We had an argument and they brought in such things as [George Gershwin’s] ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ and some waltzes.”

        Do you know what iconic book he was reading the day the Italian SWAT team freed him from his captors?

  2. If anything, arming troops off duty would result in more accidental shootings and lost weapons (which would probably end up in the hands of terrorist or criminals.) It happens in the sandbox all the time, so if soldiers carried their weapons when traveling to and from the various theaters of war it would get even worse.

    Not everybody in the Navy is a SEAL. Not everybody in the Army is a Ranger. Not everybody in the Marines is a Sniper. For a huge portion of the military, their service is basically just a government job with some really crappy working conditions. Believe it or not, there are people in the military who hate guns and quite a few (a solid majority, I’d say) who are more or less indifferent to them. The average non-combat arms troop is no more enamored of his M16 than an average office worker is of his keyboard or printer.

    • are you kidding? you don’t trust the soldiers with guns. after 9/11 the airports were filled with national guardsmen wearing their m9’s.

    • I SERIOUSLY doubt you served and have no doubt you don’t have a clue what you are talking about. I guess if GIs should not be armed that goes double for the rest of us, right?

    • “The average non-combat arms troop is no more enamored of his M16 than an average office worker is of his keyboard or printer.”
      Look no further than that arrogant head case Jake from Top Shot.

  3. I was in Las Vegas in April dining at a hotel restaurant, as were about sixty uniformed Air Force noncoms. None of them were armed. It struck me that if a Muslim terrorist lone wolf were to attack, I’d be defending the military instead of the other way around.

    I understand and agree that it would cause more harm than good to arm all of our personnel while in transit or awaiting deployment. But couldn’t there be at least a few “safety officers” designated to carry arms? Y’know, well-trained shooters whose job is to protect our troops from Muslim extremist terrorist scumbags lone wolves during the time that the troops can’t defend themselves. Is that so crazy? Don’t we owe them that?

  4. When I was in Saigon, Republic of VietNam, working in the Headquarters Military Assistance Command VietNam communications center (1965-1967), we were issued no weapons at all. We had two M1911 pistols, two M1 carbines, and two M3 (grease gun) submachineguns mounted on the walls in case of attack.

    Luckily, guns were readily available on the black market so I picked up a Smith & Wesson .38 lightweight revolver, an M2 carbine, and an M1A1 Thompson submachinegun just in case.

    My experience in the U. S. Army was that most soldiers were not interested nor proficient in weapons. In my short tour with the Infantry (1977), I found that even most Infantry soldiers were not particularly interested in guns.

  5. I’m surprised to read so many comments here in opposition to traveling troops carrying arms. Frankly, I feel much safer when I’m in the presence of trained people carrying firearms. Nothing relaxes me more when I eat out than to see armed cops having a meal in the restaurant I’m eating in. For the same reasons I’d feel much safer about flying if I knew the flight crew was packing heat and knew how use them. I’m not worried about accidental discharges, lost weapons, or firefights breaking out. Quite the contrary.

    I also think it is incorrect to dismiss the notion of military personnel weapons arms during transportation due to the false assumption that they would all be armed and that they’d all be carrying around M-4s. I’d be comfortable with properly trained military personnel who routinely carry weapons in the course of their duties to carry side arms (i.e. pistols) when they travel.

    But that’s just pie in the sky thinking. We’d never get the buy-in from all of the foreign countries to allow our military to carry weapons through their civilian airports.

    • You keep chattering about properly trained military personnel. A properly trained motorpool mechanic is very good a fixing vehicles. He might be a decent shot if he is interested in guns but for the average REMF is about as comfortable with an M-9 as is the head of the Brady Campaign.

      • Quoted for truth. Check out the stats on the number of negligent discharges and lost weapons (though those rarely get reported if the weapons are subsequently found) at our camps in the middle east and Afghanistan. And while Robert and others call out for “more training” to fix the problem, unless you have some way of squeezing more than 24 hours into a day, it just isn’t going to happen: Training time is a zero-sum game. Every hour a soldier spends at the range is an hour he isn’t spending doing something else, like his job.

        Ask any commander whether he would have his technical troops be expert pistoleros and poor at their technical job, or the other way around. Obviously in an ideal world they’d be both, but in an ideal world, why would we need a military? So, given the choice between spending more time learning a skill they’re not likely to need (pistolcraft) or learning a job they will do every day, it’s no surprise that shooting gets the short end of the stick.

      • If you actually read my post rather than dismissing it as chatter, you would understand that placing guns in the hands of motor pool mechanics is precisely the idiotic straw man assumption that I was addressing. Clearly not all military personnel should be armed. But let those whose primary business is handling firearms carry, such as combat infantry, military police, special forces, etc. That would arm about one in ten servicemen.

        • William: The military already does have personnel who are allowed to carry off-duty, in civilian clothes and on special assignments. They’re few in number and even then their are “issues” that come up involving lost weapons, negligent discharges, improper use of force, etc. Having a ‘blanket authorization’ for combat arms or similar personnel wouldn’t work, for a lot of reasons.

          Here are a few:

          1. Personnel in transit are often moving from one unit to another (Permanent Change of Station or PCS.) Weapons are part of a unit’s TO&E (Table of Organization and Equipment.) To have a soldier take a weapon from unit A would leave that unit 1 weapon short, and when the soldier gets to unit B that unit would have an extra weapon. Since weapons are accounted for individually (by serial number) this would create a record-keeping nightmare.

          2. Personnel in transit are often going to/from leave at home or some other location. Military regulations generally require that weapons always be either under the positive control of the soldier (i.e, on his person), or secured in a proper vault or arms room. How is a soldier to secure his weapon if he’s on leave? Worse yet, what if the aircraft breaks down and he has to stop in the middle of nowhere and be put up in a motel? Where does he put it while he is on leave with his family?

          3. Being trained on how to use a weapon doesn’t mean a soldier is trained on the proper use of force, particularly in a terrorism situation where there is no clearly defined enemy. Soldiers who carry weapons off-duty are required to be very familiar with the local laws regarding the carry and use of arms. It isn’t really practical to expect a soldier to be well-versed in the law of a country where he will be for only 5 or 6 hours while waiting on the next plane.

          Multiply the above factors x the thousands of military personnel who are moving from place to place at any given time and you can see just how quickly this would become a massive problem.

          The reality is that attacks like this are exceedingly rare, and just as Robert has (correctly) pointed out that the rare mass-shooting should not cause a wholesale change in American law, neither should the rare terrorist attack change long-standing (and well-justified) military restrictions on the use and carry of firearms by off-duty personnel.

  6. It pains me to speak so poorly about our servicemen but everyone is right. I would no sooner issue a SAW to an NYPD Patrolman then I would to an Air Force Tech Sargent. An honestly, the results would be about the same, if not worse given how crowded our airport are. Nevermind the idea of US personnel moving around armed in another country is a violation of their sovereignty.

    What’s worse is the number of soldiers in transit regularly. How would you keep track of all these firearms as the soldiers and sailors moved about the globe. And would we allow troops going home on leave to take their weapons?

    That said, I agree completely with providing them some form of escort. If you can arrange to have the troops escorted by US Military Police even in Berlin or Tokyo then even better… So long as those MPs were trained to deal with a shooting situation in a crowed airport during the holidays.

  7. I am in the service right now and travel a lot as part of my job. I am not allowed to bring a weapon even when in civies. I have often thought that myself and the service men and women I travel with are at serious risk for some sort of attack and have absolutely no way to defend ourselves. I wish it could be voluntary. You get trained and get a military carry permit. I know there are lots of problems with that but they could all be ironed out.

    • In principle that works fine but you would still be bound by local law and the Status of Forces agreeement. In the States you can alway get a CCW from you jurisdiction if available. I don’t think you would run afoul of UCMJ as long as you didn’t carry or travel in uniform. Virginia offers non-residents a CCW permit and I know many out of state military personnel get their permits when stationed here.


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