“But they’re trained!!!”

There have been a few shooting incidents at military bases the past few years.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_Fort_Hood_shooting

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washington_Navy_Yard_shooting

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_Fort_Hood_shooting

and very nearly this one,

http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-active-shooter-reported-at-fort-lee-in-virginia-20140825-story.html

One of the cries that you hear go up from anti-gunners after these incidents is that it shouldn’t happen because our military are trained on the use of firearms, and that they have M-16s that they could have used use to protect themselves, trying to justify their anti-gun stance, of course completely ignoring the fact that military bases are “gun-free” zones.  It seems counter-intuitive.

 

I want you to do something. Go to a military base, and look around.  How many guns do you actually see? According to the movies you would expect everyone there to be toting around an M-16 or an M-4 and to have a pistol, grenades, and any number of other weapons immediately at their disposal. Interestingly, you won’t see any guns. Everyone who is in uniform has been trained on how to use an M-16, and can shoot quite well with it.  (They wouldn’t be there if they couldn’t, it’s a requirement.)  But the best thing that they can use to defend themselves in an active shooter situation is harsh language.

I served in the U.S. Army, and while I was in, if you lived on base, you were not even allowed to keep your own personally purchased firearm.  If you owned one, it had to be checked into your battalion’s armory. It was kept under lock and key, and you had to sign it out if you wanted to use it for anything, even though the military had no claim to it. Our battalion armory was on a secure airfield, so if I had wanted to check out a gun, to go to the range over the weekend, I would have to go while our armorer was on duty, fill out a form, explain why I wanted to sign my gun out, tell them when I would sign it back in, and hope that my request for my own gun got approved by my battalion commander. Our armorer was on duty every Wednesday from 1:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. If he was on leave, there was no one in his place. Typically I needed to know at least a week in advance, because paperwork in the army moves at the speed of bureaucracy. Because of this royal pain, I didn’t bother with owning a firearm of my own while I was enlisted. There was really no point to it.

On our military bases, our fighting forces are unarmed. Ammo is even more difficult to get.  Even the Military Police, or MPs, are not allowed to keep their firearms. At the end of their shift, they turn in their M-9 pistols, and are just as helpless as anyone else on base.  Incidents like these go to prove the point that you can have all the training in the world, and it won’t matter a hill of beans if you do not have the proper tools.

I asked a few friends of mine what their standard training consisted of. One of them is one of Houston’s Finest, and one of them a former 11B in the U.S. Army. (For those that don’t know, 11B is the military job designator for our infantry, or “professional ass-kicker.”) I won’t tell you their names, because this is not about them as individuals, but rather about the difference in training between them. In the questions below, the answers each of them gave are arranged into columns for LEO, or Law Enforcement Officer, and 11B.

LEO

11B

Have you trained with a Military Style Rifle / Modern Sporting Rifle, such as an M-16, AR-15, M-4, etc.?

AR-15 M-16A2, M-16A4, M-4

Is the weapon you trained with capable of firing on full auto or in bursts?

No Yes, both Full Auto and Burst

How often did you train with this weapon?

Only once, unless a new training scenario is developed Once a week

How many days of training did you receive each time you were trained?

Seven days Two to Three days on average

Approximately how many rounds of ammunition did you fire during training?

Approximately five hundred Thousands. Too many to count

How often did you have to qualify with this weapon?

Once a year At least once a year, usually more often

How often is/was this weapon available to you during your normal course of active duty?

At all times. It is not issued but a personal purchase. Only for training or deployments

Is/was this weapon ever available to you when you were not on active duty?

Yes No

How large is the magazine that you used with this weapon?

Thirty rounds Thirty rounds

What are the qualification requirements?

Using Iron sights at 25, 50, 75 and 100 yards. 10 shots per distance. Must hit 32 out of 40 shots to qualify. Using the M-16s, Iron sights out to 300 meters.
Using the M-4, Optic sight out to 300 meters.
Must hit 32 out of 40 shots to qualify.

Now I don’t want to belittle our Law Enforcement friends, they have a crap job dealing with the dregs of our society, but you can tell who is better suited, at least on a military base, to have this kind of weapon. Especially for the purpose of defending themselves and others.

I think it is deplorable that our military, that we do so much to try and protect when they are deployed, are made into sitting ducks when they are at home. If we provided them with some basic tools of self defense these active shooter situations on military bases would be short lived and the casualty rate would be exceedingly low, if not non-existent.

I should also note, that anti-gunners also use the “training” excuse to try and suggest that people shouldn’t be allowed to own any modern sporting rifles like AR-15s because the police are trained, and they aren’t.  So what about our former military? Does their training knowledge evaporate on the day they leave the military?

I want to suggest that we allow everyone in uniform to carry a hand gun (which includes training specific to the pistols), and make it officially part of the uniform. I think every soldier should get a Glock, and be required to carry it while on base, or in uniform while they are not deployed.  Let’s see how many shootings happen on military bases then. Of course this would give anti-gunners fits, because the argument “they’ve been trained” wouldn’t apply anymore, since they would now have the tools as well as the training, that the anti-gunners claim qualifies them better than anyone else.

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