Unarmed Soldiers

TinCan Assassin has a post up about his anger that the slain National Guardsmen at the Carson City iHop were unarmed, and it appears were targeted by this nut.

I can’t even list all the stupid stories I’ve heard of our men and women in uniform while on base or stateside were disarmed or issued weaponry that was absolutely silly. I know Kurt Hoffman once told me about a guard duty he was posted on where he wasn’t even issued a full magazine. This is stupidity on the lines of Barny Fife, and the single .38 special round he was allowed to carry, and never in the gun, only in his shirt pocket, lest he hurt himself.

REALLY? What are we saying? Are our armed forces as incompetent as Barny? If so why issue them weapons in-country? Seriously! A close friend of mine did a tour in Iraq and he sent me a home video of him talking to people on base, and shopping in the local Bazaars…all with an M16 strapped to his back or chest. I assume the gun was loaded, I suspect he would have told me. But those kids selling him bootleg CDs and knock-off rolex watches don’t deserve to die…why let an armed imbecile near them? (Of course this guy went to school with me from K-12, and then 4 years of College…no shit! And I think in every one of those 16 years he kicked my ass in grades…and I’m trusted to carry a cocked-and-locked 1911, and I haven’t shot anybody)

Also the world is NOT Mayberry! To quote TinCan Assassin:

But I’m just being fucking paranoid. According to Fox News: “This happens in third-world countries, not here,” Swagler said. Bullshit. It happens here often enough for me to want to do something about it if it happens in my general vicinity.

He’s right. The Fort Hood shooting got HUGE media coverage, tho I’m horribly unsatisfied at the lack of outrage that the insane Islamic Doctor was shooting UNARMED SOLDIERS! Yeah everybody he shot was trained and qualified in at LEAST the M16 rifle, if not other weapons, and they were sitting ducks for one idiot with an underpowered pistol.

What got almost NO play was the Little Rock Recruiting Office where another violent Muslim targeted US Service members for murder. Again they were unarmed and unable to fight back.

How sick is this? Its not like US Armed forces are bombs or bio-weapons. We train them not only how to shoot, when to shoot, and how to make their shots count, but when NOT to shoot. If they can be trusted to kill enemy forces overseas, while not butchering civilians indiscriminately, then we can trust them to be armed while home or on base…at the VERY least with the M9 pistol.

This also brought up my thinking of my teen years when my school engaged in the DARE program (I won’t argue the validity or value of this program at the time, maybe we’ll save it for another day). From skimming the linked wiki article it appears that all the classes are taught by local Law Enforcement, and our class was no different. What ties this together was our officer taught the class in her town police uniform, but she drove to-and-from the class in her private car, and she would put on a DARE varsity-style jacket when she left the class. She told us once that she wore the jacket because while she was DRESSED as a cop, she wasn’t allowed to wear her body armor, or her sidearm while teaching the class. She had the outward appearance of a cop but none of the protections. She was concerned that somebody who may be targeting a cop might do just that, and she wouldn’t be able to defend herself.

Dunno how valid that was in our quiet home town, but you obviously never know, and such behavior DOES exist. Certainly I took this class in the days when everybody was talking about Ice-T’s song “Cop Killer”, so true or not, it was in the air those days).

Needless to say the rationale of a cop wearing a badge and a uniform wouldn’t also have their gun and handcuffs et al, just because they were teaching a class. Certainly she was one-and-the-same cops we used to waive to as they drove by in the cruisers as we played in the park or were out riding our bikes, and we were all thrilled when they’d waive back.

Obviously the gun isn’t the entirety of either military service or Law Enforcement. Most cops never fire their weapons outside of their qualification exam, and maybe if they are allowed, in private practice. I know many US Military members who never discharged a weapon, even while serving in a military campaign.

The gun is but one of their tools and skills, but just like many skills, when you need that one skill, you’re glad to have it. These instances these service members NEEDED their weapons training as they were being engaged by hostile forces, but through pure foolishness they were disarmed.

That should make us all FURIOUS.

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0 Responses to Unarmed Soldiers

  1. I was on Ft. Hood that day. We were deploying to Afghanistan then, and our commander had an appointment at that medical facility where it was going down. Good thing he was late. That’s the first reason I wanna carry in uniform. Lucky for me and the rest of my unit we were on the other end of Post. And it was AFTER deployment, AFTER all this had happened, KNOWING what can happen to unarmed soldiers that my 1SG decided that my carrying made me more like MAJ Hasan than someone who wanted to defend against him. THAT still burns, too.

    • Weerd Beard says:

      Wow, I had no idea you were there. That must have been horrible!

      Still I can’t believe your Sargent thought that off you. You would think a soldier of all people would understand the use of a gun as a lifesaving tool, and what can happen when people are disarmed…

  2. Sailorcurt says:

    I think it all goes back to the military tradition of Officers vs Enlisted…especially senior officers.

    Officers are taught from the beginning that they’re special and that we lowly enlisted pukes are just a tad bit higher in the evolutionary chain than trained monkeys.

    In short, the brass doesn’t trust the enlisted guys…in fact, in large part views them with contempt.

    We’re good for use as canon fodder, but TRUST us? Hah!

    • divemedic says:

      I agree. When I was in, I had an officer once tell me that “As far as you are concerned, I am God. Enlisted personnel are here to serve officers. That is your only purpose.”

      The military rank structure is an anachronistic holdover from the feudal system of medieval Europe, where enlisted men are assumed to be ignorant peasants and officers are nobility. That is why enlisted men eat from divided trays like prisoners and sleep in 100 man berthing compartments, while officers are served food by orderlies on real china and linen covered tables, and get to sleep one to four to a room.

      Because of this general disregard for the welfare of enlisted, coupled with a distrust of them, officers get in trouble for fratricide, but not for losses caused by enemy action. As a result, the officer would rather lose 20 men to enemy action that one man to friendly fire.

      That was the reason why I didn’t reenlist, and probably a big part of the reason why I lean so far towards libertarianism. Just because mommy and daddy paid for a four year beer bash called college does not mean that you are better than me, nor does it mean that you are qualified to lead men into battle.

  3. MattW says:

    I agree that soldiers should be able to exercise their 2nd Amendment rights while in uniform. Most other countries not only allow their on and off duty military to carry, they require it. I don’t know the reason for the US miltary’s policy, but I would guess it is to prevent fear of a “military state” in some way.

    • Weerd Beard says:

      When it comes to off duty, I ascribe to Off Duty is Off Duty, and one can do whatever they want.

      ON duty, and in uniform, a soldier is trained in the handling, and judicious use of firearms, they should be ready to use them at all times.

      Obviously life and liberty are there, but also to protect the investment in national defense. Seems so pointless to shape up a civilian into a physically fit and capable solider, only to have them slaughtered like sheep at the mere whim of a Terrorist or a Lunatic.

  4. MattW says:

    I guess I shouldn’t say “most” but definitely many countries allow off and on duty military to carry. For example, Switzerland.


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  6. alcade says:

    This is what happens when we let politics enter the armed forces. Instead of focusing on readiness and proficiency with a weapon, the military is forced to deal with the politics of women in combat, don’t ask don’t tell, racial quotas, and the carrying of weapons in what could obviously be dangerous situations.

    In addition, I work with a former Navy man, and he related doing guard duty with an unloaded shotgun. The shells were in a holder on his belt.

    Tell me how combat ready that is?

    • Weerd Beard says:

      I was at an airshow ages ago and that had an F-117 parked on the tarmac with a double rope line around it and guards with shotguns. I assumed you cross the first line they warn you and probably arrest you. You cross the second one they shoot you.

      But maybe the shotguns weren’t even loaded…so they’d just warn you louder and maybe butt-stroke you….

      What’s the point?

  7. I think I stood that same guard duty that Kurt stood. Heavy Drop Rig Site on Ft. Bragg houses the pre-rigged equipment for the 82nd Airborne. The HMMWVs were uploaded with machine guns, ammo, and Stinger missiles. We got 5 rounds for one M-16 for the three of us.

    Mostly I just played with the overhead hoist. Did you know that if you strap yourself to the hook and run the trolley one way and then the other, it will swing you? You have to be careful though. If you hit the door it will hurt. That hook weighs a lot. I always used the second hook. The first hook was big enough to lift a Sheridan “tank,” so it was too big for swinging on. The littler hook for trucks was better.

    • Weerd Beard says:

      We used to play the same games with the cranes on the salmon farm. LOL!

      Yeah that sounds like the same bullshit guard duty. It must be written down in some bullshit training manual.

      Did they at least allow you to keep one of those five pills in the chamber?

      • Are you F’n kidding me? Hell no we weren’t allowed to load our rifles. If we had loaded them we’d have been in a lot of trouble.

        There were two guard duties that I ever heard of in the military where the guards were permitted to use force. #1 was a guy who worked nuclear security in the Army. They had debarked dogs and were told that if anyone crossed the line, shoot them. If anyone crossed the line and took a hostage, shoot them and the hostage.
        #2 was the Air Force Security Police. On every Air Force Base’s airfield there is a line around the outside of the ramps (the area where aircraft is parked, loaded, and unloaded) If you crossed that line without an Air Force escort they would send out a truckload of SPs who would slam you to the ground and point M-16s at you. They were apparently really big jerks about it. I never wanted to find out for sure.

  8. Mycroft says:

    Just checked with my 8th grader – she had the DARE program last year. The officer that came into their school wore his full kit and pointed out the gun, taser, mace, cuffs, etc. on his duty belt.

  9. thirdpower says:

    When we were crossing through the Straight of Hormuz, the ship was on lockdown and all the sponsons had their .50 cals out w/ the crews manning them. The ammo for said .50 cals, however, was locked away.

    Reminds me of the British during the Zulu wars where units being overrun had to overwhelm the supply officer/sgt’s because they wouldn’t issue out more ammo.

  10. Stew says:

    When we were in Kuwait, we went down to pick up our new HMMWVs and vehicles shipped from the States before we were issued ammo. I was the best armed guy in the convoy and if I had needed and used it, I would have been court martialed…

    Asinine does not do it justice.

  11. hazmat says:

    I was deployed to El Salvador 3 yrs after the civil war had ended. We were the AF contingent of a JCS exercise, Fuertes Caminos 95 South; part of Task Force Builder in the San Miguel area.

    Anyway, 30 of us deployed to build schools and assorted outbuildings. We left with 30 M16A1s and 300 rounds of M193 ammo. Our security team (local El Salvador Army and Air Force, not even the lead US Army unit on the ground had weapons that we could see) routinely carried over 300 rounds….EACH. To add insult to injury, our weapons were secured in caskets and were not to be opened. I’m not even sure now where the magazines were, if we even had them. Needless to say, plans were made on how to get more ammo in the event the SHTF. Thankfully, nothing happened, but it always stuck with me that we couldn’t even get a basic combat load of 210 rds per person.

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  13. RedeemedBoyd says:

    I vaguely remember reading in a text book in school about the US Military Personnel never being armed on US Soil. I can’t seem to find the phrases I remember reading via Google searches, so I can’t cite any source. But what I recall seemed to follow this logic:
    1 – The US will have a militia for defense of the country. These will be citizens who know the land and know their neighbors.
    2 – Oh, looks like we do need to maintain a proper, armed force for fighting wars abroad.
    3 – We’re no tyranny, nor are we a military state, so let’s not make sure they are not armed in an official capacity while state-side.
    4 – Except MPs.
    5 – Well, maybe including MPs. We’re not sure.

    I can definitely understand and agree with not having an armed military marching in our streets. We don’t want an invader’s army doing that, nor our own. However, the individual members of said military should not be restricted from exercising the very rights they defend with their lives. So the trick is making sure they don’t carry in an official capacity as a soldier, but only in a personal capacity, as a citizen.

    • Weerd Beard says:

      Yep couldn’t agree more. I’m all for avoiding standing armies, as they are no less scary now as they were when the Constitution was first written.

      That being said, the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, and members of the military are also still members of the militia.

  14. Old Jarhead says:

    In the early ’60’s, my dad was sitting alert at Pease AFB, Dover, NH. About zero-early-thirty, the alert siren goes off, and all crews are headed for the B-52’s and B-47’s, and the KC-97’s. All of a sudden, a figure dressed in white (it was winter) hops down out of a B-52, and heads for the fence, 12 ft, with concertina wire at the top. Went over the fence like it wasn’t even there. At least 2, maybe 3 USAF guards, armed with M-14 rifles, could only shout for this person to stop! They were issue NO AMMUNITION!!! So, at least 60 aircraft were forced to sit on the runway instead of being airborne to protect the US, during an alert, which no one ever knew if it was real or not, because no one knew what this guy had done in any, or all of the aircraft.

    Reminds me of standing guard duty, patrolling around an armory, where thousands of M-14’s and M-16’s were stored, with an M-14, at port arms, 2 magazines, and NO AMMUNITION!.

  15. Dev says:

    I’m from Little Rock. I would say ‘I was just as surprised as you are when the LR shooting got no coverage’ but honestly, the media reports what it wants to. But I do remember that event.

  16. Richard Allen says:

    Any command officer who sends troops out in uniform without being armed should be court-martialed. If they don’t think the troops are adequately trained, then train them. The Cole, the Marine barracks in Beirut, Ft. Hood, Little Rock and now Carson City all had unarmed troops.

  17. Linoge says:

    Due to negligent discharges in their commands having a career-ending effect for COs in the Navy, my quarterdeck watches as Officer of the Deck largely involved me either having a full magazine in the M9 and nothing in the chamber, or no magazine inserted, nothing in the chamber, and two magazines on the belt (the former overseas, both here in the States). Aside from me and the Petty Officer of the Watch, though, no one was armed on the ship while it was in port Stateside, so if someone was quick and effective enough, they could overwhelm the quarterdeck watch and invade the ship without anyone else knowing or having a chance to break anything out of the armory, which alone took about five minutes to properly “issue” the weapons.

    The bases I worked on had very few armed military members, if any – most of the security was handled by rent-a-cops.

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