Fisk on Col. Jack Jacobs

Now first, I’m in no way impeaching the character of Col Jack Jacobs. He is a national hero, and I thank him for his service, as well as respect him as a Medal of Honor Recipient.

What I will discuss is his understanding of guns and self defense.

The Colonel is arguing from a position of pure fallacy, and Dr. Lott does a good job at pointing these out. Still let’s pull it apart.

It is impossible to physically secure a large post like Ft. Hood. I hope this isn’t true, its a damn MILITARY base and you need to cross checkpoints to enter it. Now logistically he is 100% correct, you simply cannot pat-down every person, and completely search every bag and vehicle that enters without grinding the facility to a halt. That being said, putting up “No Personal Weapons” signs becomes an act of stupidity, because the good people are likely to follow that order, and the bad people will not. Further bad people WILL note that sign when making nefarious plans.

Arming EVERYONE!!!11!! This is a mainstay fallacy of the anti-gun people. When somebody notes that a gun-free zone shouldn’t exist and there should be means to arm good people there, they immediately talk about ARMING EVERYBODY. A similar fallacy is the one where it is noted that the gun control laws only effect the law abiding so restrictions should be repealed. The anti-gun response is “So you want ALL LAWS REPEALED?????”. Further he seems to be implying that his opposition would arm people who are unqualified to be armed like wives and dependents. Now I have no issue with a wife (or husband for that matter) who carries off post to carry on post, but simply handing a gun to a person who is unfamiliar with it, and has no interest in it is just stupid. What’s more stupid is his fallacy to “Arm Dependents”, now maybe in the Obama-Care Era children up to the age of 26 might be CONSIDERED dependents, but I would assume he’s talking minor children living on base. Yeah, he should be ashamed of himself thinking ANYBODY is making that argument!

It just isn’t true. The best solution is an elective one. Let people CHOOSE to be armed or not. I’m even willing at this point to compromise in say allowing service members to go through additional training and screening to get an on-base type CCW permit allowing them to carry either a personal weapon or an issued one while on post. This is no different than some of the “Enhanced Permits” being issued to people to carry on college campuses or public schools. If you don’t want to go armed, you don’t have to, but I do see a problem with these gun free zones when many of the people WANT to be armed and simply cannot be.

Lawfully armed people responding to an active shooter will result in MORE deaths. This is pure fantasy. I would dare ANYBODY to find a SINGLE case where something like this happened. Even if there were one or two cases I haven’t heard about, that makes this unintended consequence of self defense extremely rare to the point of statistical non-existance. This is nothing more than a “Blood in the Streets” scare tactic, and has no root in reality. Further since we’re talking about a military base filled with soldiers, why is it solders in combat don’t shoot each other? Well technically friendly fire DOES happen, and it is thankfully rare, but is this a reason to simply disband the military? So even if it WAS true, the Colonel doesn’t even support his own point!

Military Life in a Civilian Post isn’t like Combat I’m sure to some degree this is true, still we aren’t talking about setting up claymores, machine gun nests, and mounting Mk 19 grenade launchers on post. So even at its most basic level this is a fallacy. Really what we’re talking about is at its simplest form is letting the soldiers who carry off-post, or carry in their home states to carry their own personal weapons while on post. If we want to step up and let troops carry their issued M9s and M4s around, I don’t see an issue with that either, but we haven’t really gotten to that point yet in this discussion.

Still, do you want to tell ALL the people who have now taken hostile gunfire at Ft. Hood in the two separate mass shootings that this isn’t remotely like combat? Yeah….

Mass Shooters don’t care if other people are armed This one he proves himself wrong right at the start. The shooter killed himself as soon as he was confronted by Armed MPs. He didn’t try to shoot his way out of the situation, he didn’t try to surrender, he didn’t try to somehow disguise himself so he could escape. This is true for almost all mass shooters. The moment good guys with guns arrive on scene, this is their end-game, and the shooter goes into the rampage knowing they will kill themselves as soon as they run out of soft targets to shoot at. I don’t know about this case, but all the mass shootings I’ve read about the shooter had plenty of ammunition to spare, they just stopped shooting good guys as soon as the “Game” was over. And I call this a “game” intentionally, I really think they see it as a timed game. Kill as many people before you encounter armed resistance. This leads me to WHY these shootings happen at gun free zones, they offer the longest response time from when the shooting starts to when police arrive.

Also the fact that the shooter takes their own life (or in the case of the Aurora Colorado shooting, stop shooting and surrender) the MOMENT police or armed civilians arrive on scene really shows WHY they select these places, and I 100% agree with Dr. Lott that simply removing the signs and punishment for being armed for self-protection would likely scratch these locations off the list of the shooters, or even make them choose a different “Cry for help”.

Now I’ll close on the headline getter. I’m not going to make a judgement call on the Colonel telling Dr. Lott to be quiet. These are not formal debates, so there are no rules. The Colonel was making a statement, and Dr. Lott was attempting to correct him in his misstatement. It is debatable if Dr. Lott was being rude to the Colonel, as is the Colonel chiding Dr. Lott like a child might be considered rude as well. There are no formal guidelines for appropriate conduct so its all up to the personal feelings of each man at what is acceptable.

I WILL note that once the Colonel allowed Dr. Lott to make his statement, he wholly ignored it, and closed with the very fallacy Dr. Lott shredded. Now THAT shows a HIGH level of disrespect, Dr. Lott corrected a hyperbolic statement, and the Colonel stuffed the hyperbole right into Dr. Lott’s mouth.

That shows a level of arrogance that is highly unbecoming.

This entry was posted in Freedom, Guns, Politics, Safety, Self Defense. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Fisk on Col. Jack Jacobs

  1. Will Brown says:

    Having actually been in the .mil (40-odd years ago), I do think there is a legitimate aspect to this discussion that isn’t being addressed; the various branches of the .mil have no mechanism for safekeeping, storage and handling of firearms outside of the training facilities and deployment proceedures. However simple or complex making this adjustment might prove to be (and it isn’t as straightforward as some will assert – consider the shipboard circumstances sailors and Marines encounter for only one example), it will be an expense the DOD budget doesn’t allow for currently – and I predict it won’t be a cheap transition, either.

    My point being that this problem doesn’t have a simple resolution even if the flag ranks weren’t afraid of the political consequences this adds to their promotion/retention concerns (in todays .mil, a very real consideration for all ranks really). The principle involved is simple enough on it’s face, but the implimentation is very complex.

    • Weerd Beard says:

      Well not to over simplify what you justly point out as a complex issue, I must question why you might think our military ships aren’t damn near 100% secure?

      I honestly don’t see military ships, either at sea or in port as the same level of soft target that our land bases have become. However I feel about making ships gun free zones like our bases are, they don’t see as much traffic as bases do, nor do they house families, or admit large amounts of civilians. So screening wouldn’t be as difficult as on a base.

      Maybe I’m still over simplifying thing, as I’ve never worn the uniform, and every boat I worked on was just that, a boat, not a ship.

      Still the idea that a military base is a soft target for terrorists and mentally ill spree killers is something that needs to be looked at.

      • Geodkyt says:

        The SHIPS are pretty well secured — including dudes with M4s at the quarterdeck where EVERYONE is checking in or out. And that’s even on a ship tied up inside a Stateside Navy base.

        At any given moment, most sailors, even those with ratings that are pretty much exclusively “shipboard” jobs, do not live on a ship. Between shore duty assignments, ships in long term pierside or drydock periods for maintenance, etc., most of a sailor’s career will include shore quarters. This ain’t the navy life described in Horatio Hornblower, with sailors locked on their ships to avoid desertion.

        Between these two factors, worrying about how difficult it would be to secure personal arms for sailors and Marines aboard ship is a red herring.

  2. Geodkyt says:

    Will —

    Troops generally don’t live in open bay barracks, living out of a wall locker and foot locker anymore.

    I’ll acknowledge that _shipboard_ possession of personal firearms presents a different problem (and I can address that on a professional basis, as NAVSEA OP4 Ammunition and Explosives Safety Afloat lives both on the shelf above my desk and as a shortcut on my desktop, I refer to it so frequently at work), one with real concerns that are somewhat hard to overcome. I’ll also acknowledge that unit deployments (even short ones, like annual qualification for a unit at a base without a rifle range. . . yes, they exist) where troops are temporarily quartered in transient barracks, present an issue. CERTAINLY, IET (Initial Entry Training, i.e., recruits in Basic) troops need to be kept away from personal arms.

    However, even junior enlisted are generally permanently quartered no more than two to a room, quite similar to junior BOQs (Bachelor Officer Quarters, to the civilians out there) of a few decades ago. Quite a large number of troops (including just about everyone from about E6 up) are in individual quarters or off post – certainly ALL troops with accompanied dependants live in single family quarters or off post.

    Simply requiring troops who are permanently living in shared billets (or even single rooms with shared common areas) to have an approved gun locker is do-able. A single handgun safe that costs no more than $100. Live in the barracks and want to keep a handgun? Buy a $100 gun locker, Private. That’s approximately 20% what you spent for your car and about 5% of what you were planning on your car stereo, kid. {snicker}

    Long guns can be secured in hard cases with locks or crappy sheet metal gun lockers, since the primary issue to be concerned with is immediate unauthorized access while you’re out of your room, NOT actual theft or fire protection. Again, I have NO problem throwing the security expense back on the troop in question.

    Troops in seperate, on-post, quarters present no difficulty, either. At worst (as much as I disagree with and disapprove of the “no thought required” solution), implement a “Safe Storage” regulation that applies when no adults are present. (Again, I hate the idea of assuming that a 16, or even 12, year old is automatically untrustworthy and legally rendering them helpless, but the risk of home invasion is also correspondingly lower on base, and the neighbors ALWAYS get involved when “strange things” happen, anyway.)

    Troops living off base? Hell, they ALREADY can keep personal guns at home, liable to the state and local laws on storage and access. So, the possession of arms “in their quarters” presents no issues.

    The military already has provisions for removing dangerous articles from troops who are thought to potentially be at risk of hurting themselves or others, so securing the gun in the safe under those circumstances is no more difficult than securing all other potential hazards he may have in his quarters.

    Regulations forbidding personal carry on duty are defensible — it’s a “workplace” rule. Regulations requiring that personal arms being transported or stored be properly secured in the vehicle are easily defensible, especially when combined with acknowledgement that you may be carrying to or from your duty station, and storing it in your vehicle when at work.

    For on post defensive carry, requiring a “Shall Issue” permit from the Provost that required you to sit through a JAG briefing, show competance with a handgun, and be legally permitted to carry in the state your quarters OR DUTY STATION (it’s not unheard of to be stationed in State A, but have off post quarters nearby in State B) is defensible (and permit requirements should not be more onerous than that).

  3. Maxwell says:

    I have a serious problem with the colonel’s last statement: “NO responsible commander would ever agree to arm all of his soldiers on post.”
    With all due respect, sir, you are in the wrong fucking business. If ALL of your soldiers (PARTICULARLY if it’s a combat unit), aren’t prepared to handle and employ firearms properly and effectively, all day, every day, then you are a FAILURE as a ‘commander’. Period. End of transmission. While I do appreciate your past service, do your nation a favor, and retire whatever military capacity you now ‘serve’ in.
    Of course, our once-proud military has long since become political, rather than martial, in nature. The results, I fear, are inevitable. Base shootings like these are only the tiniest trickle of the trouble we are in for.

    • Geodkyt says:

      There are LOTS of times and places where it isn’t SAFE to have troops armed, either because the guns get in the way to the point you cannot realistically work, or the guns present a safety hazard all by themselves (magnetic hazards, entanglement or entrapment, falling injuries, etc.) even without ammo. And unloaded guns are pretty useless.

      Add in some cases where the GUNS are plenty safe, but the AMMO is at risk from environmental effects. For instance, “HERO SAFE” isn’t an absolute – there are RF environments where a HERO SAFE rating is meaningless, and ALL ordnance is considered a HERO risk. Or where stray fire (even just muzzle blast) is UNBELIEVABLY dangerous.

      Plus, we don’t have anywhere NEAR enough resources to issue everyone a personal weapon and ensure they are 100% qualified at all times. Sure, the Army and USMC theoretically qualify everyone at least annually. Theoretically. But the USAF and Navy generally only run quals for personnel expected to need guns. An avionics tech who does depot level bench work at Andrews AFB or Pax River NAS isn’t one of those guys. Neither is, say, an Aegis Firecontrolman or Machinist Mate (Nuclear).

      Even if we did, we are talking about RIFLES, for the most part. That’s what most troops who are qualified are qualified on – M4s and M16s, not M9s. (No, you don’t get to just check out whatever the Hell you feel like – you get and qualify on the gun your billet says you get. Hell, I was on the Brigade pistol team, instructed pistol shooting, ran pistol qualification ranges, and I wasn’t allowed to shoot pistol officially “for qual”, because it wasn’t my assigned duty weapon.) Rifles get in the way A LOT. Especially for office workers and technicians.

      And, of course, without matching federal legislation that provides military personnel 100% exemption to carry restrictions off base and off duty, you’ve eliminated any realistic opportunity for military personnel to get things done off base (kid’s school, shopping, driver’s license, vehicle problems, friggin’ MACDONALD’S) during a break in the middle of the day (like, uh, say, lunch?), because the arms rooms (oh, yeah, gotta build –and man– a LOT more of those suckers for enough guns for everyone, everywhere, at all times; second echelon and depot small arms repair, too) couldn’t handle the constant check in and check out of weapons. Remember, SSG Smith probably only has an hour for lunch – waiting 45 minutes behind everyone else who wants to sneak off post to turn in, and then waiting 45 minutes to get his weapon back, is unfeasible. BTW, getting that federal legislation, that would actually be more lienient than Switzerland or Israel? Good luck in 21st Century America. (Remember, we’re talking about government owned, AUTOMATIC, rifles WITH AMMO.)

      But there is an alternative to buying a whole bunch of extra guns, building a whole bunch of extra ranges (and arranging transport for personnel stationed where there is no way to have adequate range facilities for the increased volume), buying a whole bunch of ammo (outside of combat ops, most ammo is expended in qualification. . . even at a paltry 49 rounds per year), excepting the safety risks of every Swinging Richard in uniform carrying a rifle with ammo 100% of the time on duty (even when the rifle makes his job MORE dangerous or impossible to do by just getting in the way), etc.

      A “Shall Issue”, “on base, off duty” carry permit system for personal arms. You would have to include the right to leave their personal weapons (properly secured) inside their POVs when troops get to work on base. Now, PVT Snuffy is paying for his OWN sidearm and ammo (including qual ammo), and we don’t have to worry about him leaving the base with it. Nor does the government have to worry about storing or maintaining it. (“Yo, Snuffy – you want to keep and carry a gun on post? Buy a damned lockbox at the PX. Go to the Provost, arrange time to shoot a qual on the MP range on your own time, sit through the JAG briefing, and get your gun card.” “Hooah, Sergeant!”)

      • Geodkyt says:

        Oh, and implementing a DoD standardized (and reciprocal throughout US-based DoD facilities) CCW system is not that hard, and should be allowed for ALL persons who have regular base access privileges (dependants, retirees, DoD civilian employees, DoD contractors, etc.) who could normally possess and carry a gun off base.

        See my comments below to Will — the current DoD ID card system means that the CCW card can be a cheesy cardstock printout that looks like an insurance card or old style library card. It carries the unique DoD ID card serial number, and must be carried with that DoD ID card to be valid. Security personnel already have wireless scanners that can scan the barcode on teh DoD ID cards, and display the card data (including the same exact photo on the card) from the secured centralized DoD database. Adding “CCW? Y/N” as a field is no problem. (And that assumes you even need a seperate CCW card for those interactions with authorities where they might not have the widely issued scanners handy – AFAIK, all gates, MPs on base duties, and DoD civilian patrol officers all have the scanners already.)

        Heck, I’d even settle for permission to leave my gun in a locked container locked in my car while I’m on base. That way, at least, I don’t have to be disarmed en route to or leaving the base (especially if I’m travelling before or afterwards).

        • Maxwell says:

          Obviously, you’ve thought this through, and I think you’ve devised an excellent solution.
          The statement I cited brought to mind a certain incident from my time in service (Army), when my unit’s 1SG told me he didn’t trust me with weapons, even though I was the unit armorer at the time. Long story, but my reply to him was similar: If you can’t trust the very troops you may have to rely on in combat, you have a very large problem.
          I understand that there are situations where it would be inconvenient or downright hazardous to be armed, and admittedly, I hadn’t considered the limitations aboard ships or aircraft. It’s not that I believe that ALL soldiers/sailors/airmen should be armed at ALL times, but that they should be ready and able to use the weapons they are qualified with when the situation allows.
          My comment was in response to Col. Jacobs, an Army officer, seeming mistrustful of arming his troops on a land base. I may have misconstrued his comment, but given the context, it sure seems to me that he would not trust rank-and-file, land-based soldiers to have firearms on ordinary duty.

  4. Bob S. says:


    I’m not sure people fully comprehend the size of Fort Hood. The entire base area is 355 square miles — 1/3rd the size of Rhode Island. It isn’t physically possible to secure the entire base; areas of it yes, the whole thing….not a chance.
    Especially since at least one high way runs through it, not to it but through the entire base. Add into that mix a lake accessible to the public and there is a nightmare in the making.
    Of course, that just points out the inanity of making sure most soldiers on the base are disarmed. Wouldn’t you want MORE people being capable of responding to issues, not fewer?

    Military Life in a Civilian Post isn’t like Combat

    And ? Life in the civilian world isn’t like combat (exception a few cities like Detroit, Washington D.C. or Chicago) or on a military post but millions of people carry concealed, openly. Isn’t amazing that people without the discipline of the military personnel, the training and facilities available to them can do something like that?

  5. Will Brown says:

    Sorry about the slow response, just returned to work from an injury and didn’t turn on the computer when I got back home last night.

    I think I should make clear that I support the idea of the US .mil creating a permitting system so personnel (and let’s point out here this would mostly affect enlisted) could own/carry private firearms – or even issued sidearms – while on DOD property.

    The issue of the financial cost of creating and installing such a system is one that I haven’t seen much discussion of. In addition to the tax dollars not presently in the DOD budget, the question of SOFA agreements controlling foreign bases and ports are considerations of equal and similar impact.

    I raised the shipboard issue (which Geodkyt acknowledged as having unique circumstances already) mostly because that was the most obvious situation I am familiar with. Most CHL systems allow employers to bar firearms being carried in the workplace already; one of the reasons I don’t often see being considered is that wearing a gun while performing a physical task creates an added level mof difficulty in doing the job-at-hand in addition to the increased potential for inadvertant discharge. Soldiers and Marines in combat have to undertake this added risk – anybody got any actual data on people performing those same jobs while armed and not in combat (which has accepted added costs and risks as a basic assumption of the job that other work environments don’t have)? I suspect not directly, and I submit the .gov isn’t going to consider such a complex change of policy without a good deal of direct-to-the-point data to support making such a change. Specific to the Navy, let’s just confront the brutal fact that the USN thinks ships far more than the human crew who serve as cogs in that seagoing machine. The Marines on security duty go armed routinely (while on duty), but the Aviation Electrician’s Mates (and all the other ratings) who live on the ship (while deployed on a cruise somewhere) work on the flight deck, or sometimes the hanger bay, and sometimes in the shop work area itself, and none of these places has any facility available to temporarily store your sidearm while you (and I have actually done this very job) crawl into the pencil-drained (you push a #2 pencil into the drain port and catch the fuel in a bucket) fuel cell of an airplane to replace a wonky fuel quantity probe. Other rates have equivelant jobs. Of course, this all gets done at the NAS when the airwing isn’t deployed aboard while the ship is in homeport, but the same firearm temporary handling and storage requirements still exist there too. And, let’s also acknowledge that the majority of military duty assignments (and MOS’s) do not involve the carrying of a firearm – maintaining a basic level of competancey doing so in a .mil environment is itself a substantial financial expense all on it’s own and is also not in current DOD budgets.

    The point being, it is disingenuous to call for “carry on post” without resolving these (and a laundry list really of other legitimate considerations) concerns that the .mil simply avoids at present by not allowing personal firearms to be carried on base. Some better way needs to be created for dealing with this admittedly rediculous situation, but let’s not make for a differently dangerous situation instead.

  6. Geodkyt says:

    Will —

    Simply implementing DoD-wide Shall Issue permit good for DoD property (based on the pretty boilerplate Shall Issue requirements in most states) while off duty, creating a regulation that states that weapons not being lawfully carried must be securely stored (meaning “locked in a box” or “with a locked action cable” and allowing such storage in POVs even if driven to the actual duty location, not “stored in the arms bunkers with the unit machine guns”), restricting personal arms storage in open bay or shipboard type billets or by recruits in training, and leaving at that would implement “on post carry”. Same rules to be granted a “DoD CCW” should apply to _all_ personnel allowed regular base access, including adult dependants, DoD civilians, and DoD contractors.

    Such DoD CCW permits could be limited to bases on US territory — as you point out bases in foreign countries have SOFAs that would present problems.

    Two pieces of documentation would be needed — the permit application and the permit card (which doesn’t even need to be a photo ID, it can be printed cardstock). But how do we verify that this piece of cardstock (that, frankly, could easily be counterfeited)?

    With every troop, civilian employee, retiree, dependant, contractor, etc., who has authorized regular access to a DoD facility being issued photo ID in the form of either CAC cards (yes, “CAC card” is redundant — it’s also what all of us with one actually call the damned things) or Uniformed Services ID cards for ID, verification that the permit is valid is a snap since it can literally list the ID card number and state it is only valid when presented with the issued ID card. (The difference is that CAC cards are for people who require a background check — dependants, retirees, certain reservists, etc., who have base privledges but do not need a background check to qualify for their ID card get the USIDs that don’t have the embedded computer chip like a CAC.)

    Since the very apparant direction of base access is 100% ID verification anyway with the gate guards having wireless barcode scanners that display the card data (including photo), not from the card he’s been handed, but from the central DoD database (so he can match, line by line, to detect falsified badges), adding a field to the database for “CCW” isn’t really a problem. (The CAC doesn’t have to carry the data — the _database_ carries it; the barcode just tells the scanner which file to query, and the scanner’s screen displays the card, including file photo, and certain other fields. The USID card can’t contain the data, as it doesn’t have a data chip. But it DOES have a unique barcode and is issued through RAPIDS, just like the CAC — so the gate guards or MPs can get the same data.)

    So, anyone with business on base on an on-going basis (and thus eligible for the hypothetical DoD base CCW) already carries a point-of-contact verifiable photo ID that can be tied to the CCW for verification. And POC scanners are widely distributed to DoD law enforcement and security personnel that are designed to scan and verify these cards. So a CCW card that is no more sophisticated than an old library card is MORE than sufficient, since it will be teamed with a secured ID that can be verified remotely.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *