Archive for the 'Guns' Category

Notes From HPS

BY Herschel Smith
2 months ago

David Codrea:

A legal response filed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives claims a Freedom of Information Act-related complaint improperly targets them. “The ATF is not an ‘agency’ within the meaning of the F.O.I.A., 5 U.S.C. § 552 (f) (1), and is, therefore, not a proper party defendant,” the response claims . . .

The complaint, filed June 23 in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, seeks an order to compel the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to comply with a Freedom of Information Act request filed in March and ignored in violation of federal law. The FOIA sought copies of policies and rulings relied on in enforcement and determination actions.

The complaint was filed by Tucson attorney David T. Hardy. Plaintiffs include this correspondent, firearms designer and president of Historic Arms, LLC, Len Savage, and the FFL Defense Research Center. The information, as noted in the announcement of the lawsuit, is being sought to ensure consistency in rulings, policies and compliance enforcement.

This is what happens when Congress enables unaccountable totalitarians to enforce their laws.  Congress turns out to be pathetic little pussies, and the totalitarians shove everyone around, including Congress.  Do you need any more to convince you that the ATF needs to go?  No, not to give their functions to the FBI.  Just go away and never come back in any manifestation or form at all.  Pink slips for everyone – or option two – pack you bags for the border boys.  You’re going to be walking a beat at the line to see if any of those guns you sold to the cartels gets used against you.

Mike Vanderboegh needs to talk to some good reloaders.  That list would not include me, but I have looked for a .45 carbine before.  Didn’t find anything that interested me.  The advantage, of course, is that I shoot a lot of .45 and it’s nice to minimize calibers in your gun safe.

Bear attack and resultant human fatality.  I just can’t say it enough, folks.  When you go into the wild, carry guns, big sticks (trekking poles) and knives.

Notes From HPS

BY Herschel Smith
2 months ago

Kurt Hofmann:

Sanders’ idea of the “middle” would also ban semi-automatic, detachable magazine-fed rifles–popularly, if inaccurately, referred to as “assault weapons”–and the “high capacity” (gun ban zealot-speak for “standard capacity”) magazines that feed them. This is the “middle”? Sending people to prison for buying the most popular class of centerfire rifles in America is his idea of respecting the rights of gun owners? Prison time for buying an 11-round magazine is the “compromise” he wants to sell us? Outlawing the most useful arms for defense of one’s home, one’s life, one’s family, and one’s liberty is part of the give-and-take he proposes?

Here’s the key.  He is “proposing” it.  When hundreds of thousands perished attempting to enforce such a ban, he would have to reverse course.  The mistake they make is assuming that we will go quietly into the night and give up our rights.  There isn’t the slightest chance of that happening.

David Codrea:

It would help if we knew what protections equivalent to those provided in a jury trial that will provide. Specifically, will decisions rely on those who may have biases of their own, as can currently be the case, with ATF’s “clarifying the term ‘adjudicated as a mental defective’ to mean a determination by a court, board, commission or other lawful authority,” and with some states applying even broader “standards”?

Yea, but it would help even more if Cornyn were to fall off the face of the earth.

Mike Vanderbogh on recent events in Ferguson.  And he links what might be the greatest extemporaneous speech I’ve ever heard.

The latest on the sex and death cult called Islam.  Well, it’ll keep happening until someone puts a .45 230 grain fat boy into their belly and watches them bleed out.  And then does it to all his buddies too.


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Marine Corps Rifles, M1A Torture Test, And AR-15s

BY Herschel Smith
2 months ago

The U.S. Marine Corps is sticking with its Vietnam-era, M40 sniper rifle series, despite complaints from scout snipers who say they need the modern, longer-range weapons used by special-ops snipers.

Marine scout snipers are considered to be among the best snipers in the world, but many are frustrated at the limitations of the current M40A5 sniper rifle. The A5 is based on the Remington M700 short-action design that’s chambered for 7.62x51mm NATO, like the original M40 Marines used in Vietnam.

Seasoned scout snipers are deadly accurate with the A5 out to 1,000 meters.

Elite special operations units use sniper rifles chambered in more potent calibers such as .338 Lapua Magnum, a round that allows snipers to reach out to 1,600 meters.

U.S. Special Operations Command is currently in the final stage of selecting its new Precision Sniper Rifle for all of its sniper teams. USSOCOM awarded contracts to Remington Defense and another company in 2013 to make two different versions of the PSR – a multi-caliber sniper rifle that allows operators to choose .338 Lapua Magnum, .300 Winchester Magnum and 7.62mm NATO by simply changing barrels assemblies.

The U.S. Army has watched the PSR program, but for now, it is sticking with its Remington M2010 sniper rifle chambered for .300 Win. Mag., a round that allows snipers to engage enemy targets out to 1,200 meters.

Currently, only the most elite Army and Navy special operations units use the MK21 Precision Sniper Rifle chambered for .338 Lapua Magnum.

Bob Owens is all over this issue, especially in his latest article on it.

The Corps will be upgrading the fifty-year-old M40 to the A6 version, which appears to be little more than a stock upgrade. Don’t get me wrong; the M40A6 will be a fine platform for inside 1,000 meters, against unarmored targets.

But we simply don’t live in a world where that is is “enough gun” for either anti-material or  anti-personnel use, now that so many of our opponents are issuing body armor that can stop the 7.62 NATO round at point-blank range, much less at preferred sniping distances.

Why are the Marines being stuck with using the same short-action cartridge in a military sniping landscape now dominated by magnum-class cartridges?


Factory match-grade ammunition for the 7.62 NATO/.308 Winchester family is cheap to manufacture, and the military already has tons of it contracted. Upgrading the M40A6 to even another short-action cartridge with better range and down performance such as the 6.5 Creedmoor would cost more than the meager Corps budget allows. Upgrading to a .338 Lapua Magnum, where both the gun and the ammunition cost more?

[ … ]

But snipers only destroy enemy soldiers and equipment, wreck their morale, cripple their battlefield leadership, and take out key infrastructure while providing a protective overwatch for our Marines on the ground and vital real-time intelligence for our commanders. They don’t create post-retirement jobs for generals, nor line the pocket of defense contractors, or contribute to the reelections of politicians.

The Marines on the ground will be forced make do, as they always have, with outdated equipment.

Thanks, Congress.

And of course, that’s just how the Marine Corps wants you to think about the issue.  Thanks Congress!  The problem is that this isn’t the whole story.  When the U.S. Marine Corps deployed the 25th MEU to the Persian Gulf in 2008, they deployed several Scout Snipers, one of whom I know.  He deployed with a .50 “Sasser.”  The Marine Corps armory is full of a broad array of weapons, including not only the .308 rifle for DMs, but the .50 Barrett as well.  If a Scout Sniper is qualified to the .50 and chooses to, he can carry it on deployments.  Be warned.  It has to be taken apart and carried on your back, but you can carry it.

As for the venerable .308, Carlos Hathcock made many of his kills with a .30-06 Winchester Model 70 (albeit not a .308). and only used a .50 (modified M2 for his longest kills).  Considering the traditional tactics of stalking, shooting and egress, Hathcock is still the most prolific sniper in U.S. history.  The ballistics data shows that there isn’t much difference between the .308 and .30-06, and if I was going to chose a new round to shoot as a Scout Sniper (and it wasn’t going to be the .50), I would probably choose the .300 Win Mag.  Of course, none of these compare to the effect of the .50 in range, power or capability against armor.  Suffice it to say that if the Marine Scout snipers cannot accomplish kills with their .308 rifles, they can with the .50, and they certainly have access to the large caliber rifle if they want it and are qualified to it.  They aren’t left wanting when it comes to firepower.

As for the Marine Corps’s decision to train exclusively with the M4 rather than the M16A2 or M16A4 (via Mike Vanderboegh), it must be remembered that the difference between them in muzzle velocity is negligible.  In fact, I cannot imagine having deployed my son to Fallujah, Iraq, in 2007, with anything but his SAW or M4 (he was a SAW gunner who sometimes used an M4 if the specific mission called for it).  Again, I cannot imagine him having to swing an M1A or M14 through a doorway clearing rooms.  It would have been a reprehensible thing to issue something like M1As or AR-10s for CQB (the .308 being much slower to recover sight picture).

The Marine Corps always makes the decisions they need to make to support the mission.  When I deployed my son in 2007, his entire Battalion went with M4s, SAWs, M4s with M203 mounted, or Scout Sniper rifles of some sort.  The M16s were nowhere to be found.  So what’s all this stuff about the Marine Corps leaving the M16 for M4s?

It’s propaganda.  The Marine Corps want everyone to think that they are the poorest of the poor, when in reality they threw billions away on the ridiculous EFV (Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle), pretending that we are actually going to perform a land invasion from the sea with full armor capabilities like we did in the South Pacific.  They Marine Corps has wasted enough money (every MEU is a waste of money) that you shouldn’t feel too sorry for them when it comes to sniper rifles, Owens and his views notwithstanding.

When it comes to the M1A, you should spend some time watching these M1A torture tests.

Recall that we have showed you a sand torture test of an AR-15, we’ve made it clear that you can’t blame the gun for the battle loses at Wanat, and explained the simple things you must do to ensure reliable operation of your AR-15.

Finally, you’ve seen about AR-15s in sand, mud and operating bone dry.  For the final twist, see them operate with Twinkies installed inside the moving parts.  Yes, Twinkies.

John Cornyn: Gun Rights Traitor

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 1 week ago

Fox News:

Backed by the National Rifle Association, the Senate’s No. 2 Republican leader is introducing legislation that would reward states for sending more information about residents with serious mental problems to the federal background check system for firearms purchasers.

[ … ]

Jennifer Baker, spokeswoman for NRA legislative affairs, said the bill took “meaningful steps toward fixing the system and making our communities safer.”

By law, federally licensed gun dealers must conduct background checks on firearms purchasers.

Among those barred from buying guns are people legally determined to be “mentally defective” and those who have been committed to mental institutions. But states are not required to send those records to the background check system, which is run by the FBI, and its database is spotty.

Cornyn’s bill would increase grants under the government’s main law enforcement program by up to 5 percent for states that send the federal system at least 90 percent of their records on people with serious mental problems. States providing less data could see their grants from a broad range of justice programs penalized by the same amounts, at the attorney general’s discretion.

This asshole has tried this before.  But I don’t believe for one moment – I am not even tempted for a nanosecond to believe that maybe, maybe, just perhaps there is some way  – that this will have any effect on crime whatsoever.  And when is the last time you witnessed empowerment of the federal government with anything have good consequences or result in greater recognition of rights?

We’ve discussed how mental health (however that happens to be defined at the moment) has no correlation at all to violent behavior, and how mental health professionals simply cannot use their pseudoscience to be a predictor of violent behavior.  We’ve shown this again, and again, and again, and again.

Furthermore, I’ve warned former military never to engage the services of so-called mental health professionals.  You’ll never get your gun ownership rights recognized again.  As for those who believe in the so-called mental health “sciences,” you may as well believe in voodoo and bow down and worship totem poles or cut your wrists like the prophets of Baal for a god who isn’t there.  The mental health “sciences” is the refuge of collectivists and scoundrels.

Recall Menckenlite’s comment:

Control freaks love psychiatry, a means of social control with no Due Process protections. It is a system of personal opinion masquerading as science. See, e.g., Boston University Psychology Professor Margaret Hagan’s book, Whores of the Court, to see how arbitrary psychiatric illnesses are. Peter Breggin, Fred Baughman and Thomas Szasz wrote extensively about abuses of psychiatry. Liberals blame guns for violence. Conservatives blame mental illness. Neither have any causal connection to violence. The issue is criminal conduct, crime. Suggesting that persons with legal disabilities are criminals shows the nonsensical argument of this politician and his fellow control freaks. Shame on them.

Crime happens because of evil, not “mental health” issues.  As for Cornyn, you see what voting GOP has done for you, just in case you had any last thoughts about voting your way out of this mess.  As for the NRA, does it surprise anyone that they support this bastard of a bill?


DoD To Allow Weapons In Recruitment Centers

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 1 week ago

Military Times:

Following the recent fatal shooting of four Marines and a sailor in Tennessee, Defense Secretary Ash Carter is ordering the military services to consider new policies that would enhance security for troops at home, including potentially arming more personnel.

In a memo released Thursday, Carter urged top military officials to “develop action plans to improve the security and force protection of DoD personnel.”

His memo noted that current Defense Department policy authorizes the arming of additional “qualified DoD personnel (not regularly engaged in law enforcement activities) based on the threat and the immediate need to protect DoD assets and lives.”

Carter also urged military officials to “consider any additional protection measures including changes to policy and procedures that protect our force against the evolving threat,” according to the memo.

Another key aspect of the “action plans” should be identifying ways to “improve off-installation site security, including practical physical security upgrades and procedural improvements.”

Carter’s memo also calls for a new assessment of “mass warning notification systems and regional alert systems” to identify any problems or gaps.

Well, perhaps.  It isn’t clear that the DoD will authorize weapons in recruitment centers.  They still work for the current administration, after all, and the administration is as anti-gun and anti-personal defense as any we’ve had in our history.

This whole debate reminds me of the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki.  It split the conservative community.  Fight terrorists wherever they are, said some.  Others, like me, said don’t ever allow the President or anyone else the authority to kill citizens.  This power can be turned on gun owners and patriots of all stripes (or anyone else who happens to be out of vogue).  The debate would be muted if we actually trusted the government.

For the record, I advocated allowing Marines to arm themselves with personal weapons, although not issuing arming orders for them on U.S. soil.  This simple solution would, if adopted, solve all of the issues.  But I also pointed out the current Marine Corps Commandant orders via a MARADMIN that prohibits even personal weapons in personal homes of Marines except under very strict conditions (which would prevent their actual use in an emergency).

This question of arming Marines is a fake problem created by the gun controllers (some of who live in the military), which has real world consequences.  Solution: let the Marines arm themselves.  They’ll do a fine job.  They don’t need your help.

Recruiting Center Negligent Discharge Discussion At Oath Keepers

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 2 weeks ago

I was going to comment on the fact that when folks carry weapons – whether they are defending a recruiting center or simply carrying to defend themselves – and they have a negligent discharge, they are helping no one but the forces of anti-gun politics.  I’ve harped on trigger and muzzle discipline so much that I’m sure readers tire of it, but it always pays to rehearse the rules one more time.  But David Codrea beat me to the punch.

Basic safety rules are things Oath Keepers with real-world experience can share with all gun owners. So are command, discipline and training, all vital elements whether performing guard duty or participating in an armed event. Leaders organizing such operations must make certain those joining them understand all safety and conduct rules, which should be assured beforehand and then monitored for continued compliance.

Serious business is at hand that requires alertness and attention along with seriousness and maturity. If someone shows up and is resistant to that, you don’t need him.

Good intentions on the part of volunteers are not enough, because we all know where the road paved with them leads.

To me the most interesting perspectives are found in the comments:

flinter: Perhaps it is time to tell civilians who show up at recruiting centers to leave their guns at home. Lets leave the ARMED stuff to the veterans and oathkeeping LEO’S………….I will cook for them and give them any support I can.


Now, these two commenters could always be trolls.  God knows there are enough of them to go around.  But I find it interesting that these comments were made at Oath Keepers.  We all know LEOs and we all know the statistics.  LEOs have their fair share of NDs.  But differentiating between LEOs and ordinary civilians is a throwback to collectivist thinking, and saying that you will make dinner for boys who come out and show moral support has the obvious intention of insulting the reader.

As for the notion of carrying without a round chambered, you can make the decision you want to, and there are times I have a round chambered and times I don’t (depending upon the circumstances that would be too involved for this specific conversation).  But for a supposed LEO to say something like that is astounding.  If you join reddit/guns and tell those boys that you carry a gun without a round chambered, you will be savaged in the comments.  And honestly, if you cannot trust yourself to carry a weapon with a round chambered because you want to handle it or touch it or are afraid you’re going to stick your finger inside the trigger guard, you probably shouldn’t have the gun to begin with.  Something is wrong with you.

All in all, the entire exchange of comments at this Oath Keepers discussion thread is technically and tactically juvenile, and the tone is highly disappointing.  I expected better.

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Chris Christie On Guns Again

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 2 weeks ago

More Chris Christie (as if anyone can really stand that):

ANKENY, Iowa — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) got into a heated exchange with a skeptical voter who accused the presidential candidate of being “anti-gun” during a town hall on Saturday, citing New Jersey’s tough gun control laws.

Responding to the man, who did not identify himself but mentioned he was part of the Iowa Gun Owners organization, Christie defended his record, refuting every claim the voter mentioned, and, at times, even raising his voice.

“Come up with one fact that shows one thing I’ve done as governor in New Jersey that’s done anything, anything not to support the rights of legal gun owners,” Christie said as the crowd gathered inside a local community college auto body shop erupted in applause. “Don’t come in front of this group of people and lie about my record, which is what you did.”

The voter accused Christie of proposing to ban .50-caliber rifles, requiring a government-issued ID for every firearms purchase and setting up a statewide firearms registry of guns and gun owners. Christie responded harshly, holding true to the theme of his campaign, “Telling it like it is.”

“I don’t know where you’re getting your information from, but your information is wrong,” Christie told the man.

Christie noted that he vetoed the .50-caliber ban, the statewide ID system and the law that was passed to reduce magazine sizes from 15 to 10.

The man in the crowd then asked if Christie is planning on pardoning Brian Fletcher, a North Carolina man who is facing prison time after telling a police officer in New Jersey that he had a gun in his vehicle, which is the customary and legal thing to do in his home state. Christie said he hasn’t made a decision yet, but is reviewing the situation.

“I’m not going to make that decision in 15 minutes nor should I. Nor should you want me to,” Christie said. “I see you shrugging your shoulders, why are you shrugging your shoulders about? You have your point of view, but have some facts about it.”

Good Lord!  Are we really going to have to listen to this loud mouth for the next year?  Chris, you are gun control collectivist from way back, and you made your fame in New Jersey pushing an “assault weapons” ban.  As for Mr. Fletcher, I do indeed want you to make your decision quickly rather than be cowardly about it.  And it should be to destroy all of the paperwork you ever had on him and tell your LEOs to stop arresting people who come across state lines with weapons, right after you pass a reciprocity law recognizing the permitting system of every other state in the country.

The fact that you won’t do that tells us everything we need to know about you.  The fact that you think we don’t want you to make your mind up about it should tell you something about yourself.  You have lived in collectivist-land for so long you don’t have even the slightest understanding of what the rest of us believe.

Notes From HPS

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 2 weeks ago

David Codrea:

“There’s a natural inclination to want to defend yourself, but if you can get through a situation like this and not do anything, and simply give these people what they want, and get the police out there as quickly as possible, that the way to handle it,” the Mesquite Police spokesman advises. “Let us handle it.”

Highly irresponsible counsel.  Never follow it because you don’t know what they really want.  All you know is what they say they want, and they are criminals who can’t be trusted.  Hmm …I seem to recall the Bible saying something about people who cannot be trusted (Titus 1:12).

Well, it appears that Mike Vanderboegh’s warning shot over the bow scared off the bad guys.

Visualizing the future battlefield.  For reasons I’ve explained elsewhere, I think this is pure fantasy.  The generals have been watching too many movies.  The so-called Big Dog sounds like a millions angry Africanized bees, won’t stand up to water, moisture or dust, and needs too much power to operate.  The so-called exoskeleton is fantasized because they want to see genderless battlefields.  Because they’re idiots.

Ben Carson again on guns:

“Early on, when I entered the political arena and I was asked the question about guns, I didn’t know at that time that you always start that off by saying how important the Second Amendment is and that you will never compromise that,” Carson said.

No, what you really have to do is tell the truth.  I think you did that the first time you ever opened your mouth on the subject.  And at that point we learned all we ever needed to know.

Things You May Not Have Known About The Remington Walker Fire Control System

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 3 weeks ago

Over the years, Barber has amassed a mountain of documents, including internal memos from Remington and thousands of consumer complaints, that he said show that the company knew about the flaw with the trigger mechanism, known as the Walker Fire Control, and did nothing about it.

“I believe that I am quite capable of defending myself with Remington’s own documents, which speak for themselves and clearly speak volumes about what the company knew, when they knew it and what they did or did not do with that body of knowledge,” said Barber.

Remington has adamantly denied that the Walker Fire Control is defective. But the company has agreed to replace millions of trigger mechanisms in its top-selling bolt action rifles as part of a class-action lawsuit settlement

The details of the settlement are still being worked out in federal court and aren’t expected to be released until December of 2015. But we do know that Remington does not want the trigger replacement program to be labeled a recall. Also, part of the deal is that Remington does not have to admit that its products are defective or concede to wrongdoing.

That does not sit well with Barber.

“Until Remington at least quits denying a problem and wrongdoing, the cycle of death and injury will just continue,” said Barber.

Barber said he wants Remington to come clean about the history of problems with the model 700 rifle.

He showed MTN an internal memo from 1990 that says, “the number of model 700 rifles being returned to the factory because of alleged accidental firing malfunctions is constantly increasing.”

The memo was dated January 25 and already 29 rifles had been returned that month.

Barber also released to MTN a confidential document on testing done within Remington’s own facility. It advised the tester to wear a glove for protection and “be prepared for the rifle to inadvertently follow down or fire.”

“Remington goes as far as telling their own employees, as shown in that document, they warn them,” said Barber. “They tell them to be prepared for the gun to fire during testing, but yet they deny this fact to the public?”

They prepared their own gunsmiths to expect the rifle to “inadvertently fire” during testing.  I had not heard this before, even though I have linked a good bit of evidence (likely obtained initially by Barber) in previous posts.  It might actually have been interesting and enlightening for the case to go forward to court to see how Remington reacted.

I had also intended to mention that Jack Belk sent me his book (personally signed) entitled Unsafe by Design: Forensic Gunsmithing and Firearms Accident Investigations.  It’s written in a breezy, conversational style with lots of pictures and technical explanation.  The section on the Walker fire control system beckons me again, since it’s involved enough to read through a second time.  I highly recommend Jack’s book.

Should The Marines In Chattanooga Have Been Armed?

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 3 weeks ago

There is in the news today a call for the Marines at the recruiting station in Chattanooga to have been armed, since “we are at war” with radical Islam.  A different take on the subject can be found (via WRSA) from Mason Dixon Tactical.  Here are some excerpts.

The question is somewhat easy to answer. “Should they have been armed?” The short answer is “No.”, at least not from an “On Duty” perspective. I find it interesting that some who have been crying to high Heaven about the “Jade Helm” exercise being a lead in to martial law, are some of the same ones saying the Marines should have been armed, and that we should arm all Service Members in CONUS. Those Marines were not acting in their combatant military capacity in those centers, they were there performing other duties. There was no reason for them to be armed anymore than the average citizen on the street, whom I might point out is just as much a soft target for terrorists, if not more so, from a “lack of training and awareness” standpoint. You want to arm the Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and Airmen within the U.S., fine, but not before every citizen who is not legally restricted from firearms ownership, get’s to be similarly armed for self defense as well.

[ … ]

Being armed while on duty (especially visibly), unless you are operating in a Military Police, or base Security Forces specialty, is not something that should be, or technically can be authorized. Most don’t even realize that the majority of service members never even fire a handgun while in the service, let alone qualify with and carry one on a regular basis. That’s not even mentioning the logistics nightmare of having to train and qualify every Service Member, and then issue  them a handgun for self defense, which they would have to turn in at the end of the duty day (No, you can’t take it home), and only then (off duty) would they be able to carry a personally owned weapon.

More on that in a moment.  The most idiotic thing I have ever read from a General comes from Odierno, via Mike Vanderboegh.

“I think we have to be careful about over-arming ourselves, and I’m not talking about where you end up attacking each other,” Gen. Ray Odierno, chief of staff of the Army, told reporters. Instead, he said, it’s more about “accidental discharges and everything else that goes along with having weapons that are loaded that causes injuries.”

Analysis & Commentary

Special Operations routinely carries handguns even when armed with rifles, and at the time “green on green” attacks began I advocated that all Marines be qualified to and armed with a handgun when deployed and under arming orders, and this having been the case could possibly have stopped a great many of the attacks perpetrated on the USMC in the Helmand Province.

As to whether this is feasible or a logistics nightmare, there is no question that it could be done if the decision is made to do it.  I’ve seen what Marines do to waste time.  “Lance Corporal, have your fire team move this pile of dirt from here to the building roof, and when it’s done, call me.”  Lance Corporal – “Aye Sergeant.”  Call made, Lance Corporal – “Sir pile of dirt moved as ordered.”  Sergeant – “Ahh … made a mistake because I was distracted ordering the Corporal to take out the trash, move the pile of dirt back, and then police the grounds for cigarette butts and gum wrappers.  And then head over to watch the PowerPoint presentation on base safety protocols.”  And on it goes.

I call bullshit on the notion that a Marine cannot qualify on a pistol just like he qualifies on his rifle.  The Marines make big stuff out of 500 yard rifle qualifications, and the DMs and Scout Snipers go much farther than that.  Muzzle discipline, weapons clearing and malfunctions, weapons maintenance, rules of gun safety, etc., etc., are all taught as if straight from the Bible, and if you fail at any of it, you visit the “room of pain” for a while, and never fail again.  There isn’t any reason this cannot be laterally transferred to handguns as well.  There simply isn’t any reason.

Odierno’s objection isn’t stupid because he really believes what he said, it’s stupid because he is toeing the party line and cannot come up with something better.  But it must be observed that all of this has to do with Marines who are deployed and under arming orders.

As for when the Marines are stateside, we have dealt with this before too.

If I am not mistaken NCOs could never have personal weapons on reservation property, and officers could only with base commander approval.  But what this MARADMIN appears to do is expand the stipulations even farther.  Take note of the requirement for “government family housing … privately-owned firearms will be stored in a fully-encased container that is capable of completely enclosing the firearm and must be locked with a key or combination lock.  All firearms will be fitted with a trigger lock.”

This expands the rules to property off of the federal reservation, and if you live in housing that is in any way subsidized by the government for families, your personal weapons must not only be in a container large enough to contain the whole of the weapon, and locked, but it (or they) must also have a trigger lock(s) on it (them), even while inside the container.

Damn.  Heads of households had better hope they aren’t the victims of crime.  Their families are completely unprotected and unsecured.  This, from a Marine Corps Commandant who is alleged to be trying to secure his Marines from harm.  Oh well.  This is also from a Commandant who was allegedly involved in illegal command influence in investigations under his charge.  Readers already know what I think of airman Amos.  When Daniel graduated from Boot Camp I presented him with a present.  It included several things signed by Marine Corps Commandant Alfred Gray, with personalized notes to him.  I’ll never request anything like that from Amos.

Airman Amos was a worthless, spineless sniveling lackey crap-weasel and a traitor to the USMC.  Notice that the MARADMIN that is the subject of the post had to do with personal weapons off federal reservation property.  Marines couldn’t even have those unlocked, within arms reach and ready to be deployed without risking NJP or dishonorable discharge.  As best as I know, this MARADMIN is still in effect.

As for whether the Marines in the recruiting office in Chattanooga should have been armed, the answer is a resounding yes and no.  Mason Dixon Tactical raises a very important point.  It wasn’t too many hundreds of years ago in our history where men were required to carry long guns to worship, practice with the other men after worship, and use the day for fellowship and training.  This could one day become more regular in America as the security situation degrades.

But at the moment, LEOs are the only ones who regularly openly carry pistols (and sometimes patrol rifles).  This has been the source of much mistrust, and may yet prove to be the catalyst for worse things than mere mistrust.  The history of the use of the military for battling insurrection is complex and varied.  But the armed forces carrying weapons in the states just doing battle with anyone or everyone is a dark road to start.  We don’t want to travel that road.  I have been critical of Operation Jade Helm, and for what I consider to be good reasons (I will hold in abatement the question of what I think of Robin Sage, since it isn’t an analogue to Jade Helm given than Jade Helm involves not just the armed forces but coupling with law enforcement – which I think is the most dangerous part of it – and scenarios that paint locals as the enemy).

The effectiveness of pistols in a situation where the shooter is in a stand-off position putting rounds through glass is dubious anyway.  The best defense against a rifle is another rifle and better training, but remember, whatever Soldiers and Marines get to carry, we should too.

There was no reason whatsoever that the Marines should have been carrying armory-issued weapons in a recruiting center, as no training was occurring and no one was at the range.  That “we are at war” isn’t a salient objection, as Congress must declare war in order for it to be legal.  Arming orders were not issued, and moreover, they shouldn’t be in the states (the exception I have often advocated is arming orders for troops at the Southern border) excepting an invasion.

But also remember that self defense is a God-given right, and those Marines in Chattanooga, if they had chosen, should have been able to carry personal weapons for self defense.  Odierno’s objection is ridiculous.  Negligent discharges can be trained out of people, and as for consequences of NDs harming others, we who carry on a daily basis learn to cope with and minimize that risk every day.  We are just as liable to do time in the penitentiary for reckless endangerment or negligent homicide as a Soldier or Marine, perhaps more so, and certainly more so than LEOs.

Should those Marines have been armed?  No, not in an official capacity.  Let’s don’t go down that dark road.  But yes, in a personal capacity if they understood and took seriously their God-given duty of self defense and the Marine Corps allowed it (which they don’t).  It’s important to understand and properly categorize the reasons for arming Soldiers and Marines.

UPDATE #1: Washington Post – “The FBI has recovered a pistol that might have been privately owned and used by one of the Marines killed here Thursday during the shooting at the Navy Operational Support Center, according to law enforcement officials.

Investigators are trying to determine based on forensics whether the pistol, a 9mm Glock, was used in an exchange with the shooter, Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez, and possibly wounded him, officials said.

The standard-issue pistol for military personnel authorized to carry a sidearm is a variant of the 9mm Beretta 92. According to the Marine unit’s commanding officer, Maj. Mike Abrams, Marines are not authorized to carry personally owned firearms while at the support center.”

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