Is the military anti-gun?


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bill2
June 22, 2006, 08:56 PM
Below is the url and part of an article on a poll of the military on social issues. It appears that on the issue of gun rights the majority of military people in this survey are not opposed to restricting gun rights. I tried to copy and paste it but only the piece below came across, not the spread sheet part. It looks like less than half of the all facets of the military opposed gun restrictions. Any comments by current military people? I would have thought that it would have been the opposite of this, i.e., the majority would have been strongly opposed to gun restrictions.


Respondents were then given five options, Strongly Favor, Favor, Strongly Oppose, Oppose, and Don't Know/No Opinion. [/I][/U][/U][/B]


Making rough comparisons from what we know historically from surveys of the general public, soldiers don't appear to differ much on these issues (for example see Ben Page and Bob Shapiro's, The Rational Public for an overview).
http://www.mysterypollster.com/main/2006/06/update_ii_milit.html

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spartacus2002
June 22, 2006, 09:22 PM
young soldiers love guns, but the older brass generally frown upon folks owning and having them on base because "Oh Teh Noes!!!!11!!!1!! someone could use them to HURT someone!!!!"

It is generally a control issue. If you haven't lived or worked on a military base, it is hard to swallow how incredibly regulated everything is. It is socialism at its finest -- meant in the sense that the garrison commander and staff believe in passing tons of regulations to force people to conform to expected norms.

Before a ton of people chime in with "I'm in the military and I love guns, so you're wrong," let me explain that I've dealt with legal and regulatory issues for years on several consecutive military bases, so I've seen a lot of stuff that 90% of soldiers never see.

Leatherneck
June 23, 2006, 08:38 AM
I think you're right, Spartacus. It's a control issue. In my experience, soldiers and Marines have a generally greater fondness for guns of all types than the general populace, but not strikingly so. Sailors and airmen, not so much...

TC

04SilverSCFX4
June 23, 2006, 09:17 AM
I wouldn't be so quick to say that the AF guys aren't into guns as much as the Marines. I've seen plenty of guys bringing in firearms into the armory. At my last duty station prior to getting out, our armory was so full, we we had an unwritten policy that if the person didn't stay in the barracks/dorms, shy them away. I know that working the main post gate as an early enlisted SF (MP equiv.) when I discovered or was told by an on-comer they had a firearm and wanted to know what to do with it, I told them they could unofficially take it to base housing or register it in the armory where everyone can finger-bang it....Your choice. I don't remember seeing to many folks making the turn to the armory.

As far as the socialist comment, totally in aggreeance. I was spoon-fed so much B.S. at the hands of incompetent officers nco's I had enough.

steveracer
June 23, 2006, 09:25 AM
...there are a lot of guys in the Navy who I've spoken to who don't own a gun, have never held one except for duty, and don't have any interest in shooting. These are the great majority. Then there's the ten percent of us who are shooters, and enjoy shooting, even if it's with the craptastic Beretta.

MechAg94
June 23, 2006, 10:11 AM
The plants I have worked at always have had "no guns" policies. I asked an old manager about the restriction against even having them in your cars. His attitude was that he did want guns as the plant since some disgruntled worker might have easy access to his gun when he gets laid off or gets a bad review.

Not sure if that view is the same with generals or not. I never understood the things I heard of soldiers getting issued rifles with no ammo and such. I thought it was pretty stupid. I've never been in the army though.

crazed_ss
June 23, 2006, 10:27 AM
Hmm in my old repair shop in the Marines we had a number of people who didnt care for guns in the hands of citizens. They had no qualms about firing their M-16's or SAWs because those were weapons of war and I guess they same them as having a legit use.. Me and a couples buddies were into guns and other Marines would call us "crazy" or "gun nuts".. My boss was a Marine Capt.. He doesnt have a problem with people having shotguns, bolt/lever-action rifle and pistols.. but he doesnt think people should have military style EBRs. He also doesnt believe in Shall-issue CCW laws.

ID_shooting
June 23, 2006, 10:51 AM
As an armorer it was my job to store the POW (personally owned weapons) in my arms room. We had a company of around 125 people. I had the max of 5 POWs at any given time. All of them were nickle plated gangsta guns.

I don't think that the military is anti-gun as much as it is all about instilling control. Some, especially the non-ground forces or civilians may not get this and think it is a bad thing. In reality, when ordering people to do things that aren't in our nature (Hey you! Ya you! Go agress that machine gun nest!) you need a level of dependancy that somtimes violates the Bill Of Rights.

I had no trouble with it while I served. I knew going in that I was giving up my life and my will while I was there.

striker3
June 23, 2006, 11:22 AM
Notice what he OP actually said:

It appears that on the issue of gun rights the majority of military people in this survey are not opposed to restricting gun rights.

In my 7 years of active duty up-to-date, I have found this to be true. While most of the Marines I serve with enjoy shooting guns, not many of them are opposed to government restrictions on ownership.

I am slowly winning over converts by giving them the nessacary history/government lessons, but it is slow going. Those of us who are in to firearms are labeled as gun nuts. Heck, just this morning as I pulled into work I got a comment about being the "bell tower" type. All because I have a nice collection of rifles. :scrutiny:

bill2
June 23, 2006, 12:01 PM
that I was in the Army, '74 - '78, including 3 years in Germany and the last 8 months in Fort Ord CA. I was one of a very few that owned any private guns at all. I had a couple of pistols in the company armory. the vast majority of the company, as best as I can recall, did not express any interest in shooting.

Phantom Warrior
June 23, 2006, 12:22 PM
Go back and reread spartacus2002's post (it's #2). This may not be the exact reason for the results of this survery, but it is 100% the honest truth about being in the military.

I know a fair number of people that are into guns. You will find more of them in the combat arms (Infantry esp). One thing to remember is that the Army includes a lot of people who, just like the a lot of the rest of society, see nothing wrong with "reasonable restrictions" on guns "for the children." The Army is representative of the rest of society in that respect.

But I think the senior people definitely fall into what spartacus2002 described. Looking back since joining the Army, I'm not at all surprised to have heard Wesley Clark say "If you want an M-16, join the Army" in the 2004 election.

ugaarguy
June 23, 2006, 12:39 PM
I think you're right, Spartacus. It's a control issue. In my experience, soldiers and Marines have a generally greater fondness for guns of all types than the general populace, but not strikingly so. Sailors and airmen, not so much...

Airmen, not so much? I'm currently on active duty in the Air Force in gun friendly SW Idaho. Here at Mt. Home AFB guns go in the armory if you live in the dorms. Others in base housing can keep them there as long they register them with Security Forces. An NCO in my shop who recently PCSed here, when offered base housing, said "I've got 38 guns I'd have to register, is that ok?" The reply from whomever he was speaking to in our leadership (can't remember who exactly) was "Sure, we've got one guy here who has something like 70 or 80." Now I also know that most folks who requset this base, from the Airman Basics to the Squadron Commanders, generally try to get stationed here because it's rural, quiet, and there are plenty of outdoor activities - like shooting, hunting, and fishing. On a comedic note our squadron medics made a recent gun show in Boise a 'mandatory' formation on a Saturday morning :evil: . I know the climate here is a bit different than many other bases, but I'd still say many Airmen (all ranks incl. officers) are very pro-gun.

LT1coupe
June 23, 2006, 01:07 PM
Funny, my oldest is in the AF & carries anytime it's legal & loves to shoot.
My other son is in the Navy & has a CCW permit.
I don't think I've ever met a military man that doesn't have an interest in guns. I know I've never met one who thought civilians should not be armed.
Maybe I'm just used to Texans :scrutiny:

leadcounsel
June 23, 2006, 03:30 PM
To me it seems odd that those in command of the armed forces seem to have such a concern with allowing their TRAINED soldiers own, carry or keep arms.

For instance, how about that order from the General in Alaska prohibiting OFF BASE CCW!!!??? :confused:

sacp81170a
June 23, 2006, 03:44 PM
Another factor that may contribute to low gun ownership in the military is the poverty level wages the lowest enlisted grades are paid. It's kinda hard to afford a nice collection when you're an E-3 with a wife and kids and constantly having to move around and deploy. Ya don't miss what ya can't have anyway. I remember when I was in ('79-'89) most E-5's and below with two kids qualified for food stamps.

Rockrivr1
June 23, 2006, 04:03 PM
"I think you're right, Spartacus. It's a control issue. In my experience, soldiers and Marines have a generally greater fondness for guns of all types than the general populace, but not strikingly so. Sailors and airmen, not so much..."

It's not so much that Sailors are against gun ownership. It's more along the lines that no Sailor is allows to own guns on a naval ship. Basically the only weapons allowed are whats in the armory and those only get taken out very infrequently. How often they get taken out also depends on what type of ship you're on as well. I've known several Sailors, including myself, who are gun owners who have had withdrawals like there is no tomorrow for thier guns back home while out to sea for 9 months. At Subic Bay in the Phillipeans, there was a gun range / Trap Field not far from where we docked. It got pretty busy there once we'd docked for a bit. There were other needs that came first though. ;)

dm1333
June 23, 2006, 04:20 PM
My experience with the Coast Guard has been a little different. In 14 years I have been stationed on one patrol boat and 3 small boat stations(all in rural areas). At all of the 3 stations there were a lot of gun friendly, anti gun restriction people but that may also have been because a lot of the people at these stations wanted to live in remote areas for the hunting and fishing opportunities. We are also required to maintain a personal weapons log at each station so that personnel can store their weapons on base. I have seen larger Coast Guard bases where shooting sports were encouraged with trap/skeet ranges and being allowed to use official ranges for personal use. There even used to be some exchanges that sold weapons. Some of the larger cutters still have morale shotguns and skeet shoot while at sea.

vito
June 23, 2006, 06:08 PM
I served for 24 years in the US Army, and most individuals that I knew in the service were comfortable with guns (even some doc's and nurses) and personally support individual gun rights. But the Army as an institution seems to be much less supportive. When living on base I was required to register every gun that I owned. I had the priviledge of serving as the Inspector General for a major US Army installation in the late 80's and I almost had the installation commander convinced to eliminate gun registration, but the Provost Marshal vigorously opposed this action and prevailed.

mbt2001
June 23, 2006, 06:36 PM
The military is anti-gun in the hands of civies, because it is an extention of government and like all government is despotic by nature...

I don't think that they are "anti-gun" in general when it comes to the idea of guns versus phasers or missles or something... I think in that view it is just an implement.

Monkeyleg
June 23, 2006, 06:37 PM
Many years ago, when my nephew was home on shore leave, the subject of guns came up.

He mentioned his extensive time in Japan, and how crime-free the country was.

His sister and I debated him endlessly, but to no avail.

He was an officer then (forget what rank), and is now a Commander, so the comments about higher-ups posted above ring true in his case.

rms/pa
June 23, 2006, 07:20 PM
rockrivr 1 said,
"no Sailor is allows to own guns on a naval ship. Basically the only weapons allowed are whats in the armory and those only get taken out very infrequently."

not in my limited experience. '77-'81 usn gmg

showed up at service school command with my .45 asked for the armoury and checked it in.
first ship (HULL DD945)asked for the duty gunnersmate and checked it in.
second ship(PAUL F. FOSTER DD964) same/same

never had any questions asked about it.

rms/pa

FPrice
June 23, 2006, 07:41 PM
I've known quite a few people in the Air Force who were gun owners and a lot who had concealed carry permits.

I've also known quite a few who were totally against guns.

Whether the percentages match the general US population as a whole, well they were probably close but I can't say for sure.

One of the most adamant against ordinary people having handguns was a reserve officer who was also a senior engineer on Patriot missles. In addition he was a Scoutmaster who had no problems teaching his scouts to shoot .22 rifles. But handguns? No one should be allowed to own them and there was absolutely no discussion about the subject 'cause he was right and everyone else was wrong.

That's about the time that I started thinking that maybe Michael Savage was right about liberalism being a mental disease.

30-06 lover
June 24, 2006, 02:19 AM
Funny how it seems the high ranking people (controllers) don't want the grunts to have any of the artillery??? Does this sound familiar to anyone else???

mljdeckard
June 24, 2006, 03:26 AM
I flipped through the survey and the responses.

Keep a couple of things in mind. Great joke; "You know what the difference is between the army and the boy scouts? The boy scouts have adult leaders."

Some of the smartest people in America are in our armed forces. some of the most UNBELIEVEABLY STUPID people in America are in our armed forces. (I once had to run a guy in our medic platoon to the hospital because his buddies tried to give him a Jack daniels IV. Really happened.) Soldiers will do stupid things among their ranks. For this reason, while they have the best weapons in the world, they are treated like children. They are so used to walking around with empty weapons, they become careless in their handling, and when they actually go to war, they make stupid mistakes.

Soldiers have a singular mentality about gun control. If there is a gun around, they want to be in control of it. They are looking at things (particularly now) from the point of view of an armed forces fighting among an armed population. (We have not sought to disarm the population of Iraq.) And from our perspective, we like to espouse that all people are allowed to be armed, but from their point of view, every armed person is a potential threat.

In all fairness, I think that just as warriors detach and have a different mentality in wartime than they would in peace, they have a different perspective about gun ownership when they are civillians again.

Another factor that comes to mind, at least in MY experience, is the fact that, many soldiers come from a violent environment, and join the army as an opportunity to have something better. When they think of civillians and guns, they have only negative experiences.

gunsmith
June 24, 2006, 06:27 AM
thinks only people in the Army "need" EBR's and if ordered to
take peoples guns he would.
When he was in Bagdhad it bugged him that they (Iraqi's) could have AK's.

I would hate to have to engage a soldier of his caliber in a firefight to protect my guns, my buddy is tough as nails:(

As seen by the NOLA video's soldiers and police will follow confiscation orders.

That stinks!

I would never have confiscated guns from Americans when I was National Guard...

Thin Black Line
June 24, 2006, 08:26 AM
As seen by the NOLA video's soldiers and police will follow confiscation orders.

That's right, no one wants to get in trouble and lose their pension. When
it's a choice between their financial future and your rights, you will lose
every time. If it's a PMC (Private Military Company), they will be paid very
very well to ignore your rights.

Werewolf
June 24, 2006, 09:38 AM
To me it seems odd that those in command of the armed forces seem to have such a concern with allowing their TRAINED soldiers own, carry or keep arms.It isn't odd at all...

Think about CCW and the restrictions in many, if not most, states about where license holders can and cannot carry.

Can't carry in government buildings, can't carry in bars, can't carry at professional athletic events and can't carry at schools.

What do all those places have in common? They are all places where our masters work, play or their children go.

Why should military masters - oops - officers be any different from their civilian counterparts?

Rockrivr1
June 24, 2006, 10:03 AM
"not in my limited experience. '77-'81 usn gmg

showed up at service school command with my .45 asked for the armoury and checked it in.
first ship (HULL DD945)asked for the duty gunnersmate and checked it in.
second ship(PAUL F. FOSTER DD964) same/same

never had any questions asked about it."

rms/pa, I'm glad your commanders were good about that. Were you in the East Coast or West Coast Fleet? It was not allowed when I was attached to the 7th Fleet 85-91.

Monkeyleg, I actually have to agree with your Nephew's experiences in Japan. I did a stint on the USS Midway that was stationed out of Yokosuka. Crime rate is just about nil. Japan is very strict about gun ownership, but that isn't the reason they have almost no crime. The reason is that the general population isn't scared sheeple like we have in this country. I've actually seen with my own eyes a girl yell for help on the street in a suburb of Tokyo and was completely shocked to see people come running out of everywhere to assist her. I'm talking what looked like the whole block. They assist if a crime is happening. I asked a Japanese girl I was dating at the time about this and she said that the mentality is that if someone yelled for help, it would shame a person if they didn't assist in any way they could. From what she told me, if someone witnesses a crime they most always volunteer to be a witness in court so the bad guy will be put away instead of let back on the street. You can say a lot of things about their culture, but being cowards is not one of them.

rms/pa
June 24, 2006, 10:56 AM
Rockrivr1 said "rms/pa, I'm glad your commanders were good about that. Were you in the East Coast or West Coast Fleet? It was not allowed when I was attached to the 7th Fleet 85-91."

service school was GLAKES IL.
home port for both the HULL and Foster were San Diego CA. 3d,5th and 7th Fleets depending.
3d fleet command was VADM NEAL at the time.

the range at 32 street base was horrible.

rms/pa

grimjaw
June 24, 2006, 11:15 AM
IMLE, working at Pope AFB for four years with Ft Bragg next door, it's somewhat representative of the population. There were Airmen who were loathe to qualify or even handle firearms, and some who loved it. Many just considered it a part of the job. Army was different, with so much infantry running around, but there were still people who just considered it part of the job. I agree that the control aspect is a big part of it. I think one of the differences in the military is that you will find fewer people who blindly fear firearms, because they will have had practical experience with them.

jmm

Pilgrim
June 24, 2006, 11:25 AM
It's not so much that Sailors are against gun ownership. It's more along the lines that no Sailor is allows to own guns on a naval ship.
During my senior NROTC summer training, I was on a diesel-electric submarine. The captain was an avid shooter. His favorite weapon was a M-79 grenade launcher which he used to shoot sharks.

I was surprised to find that several of the sailors had their personal weapons on board and were permitted to keep them in their bunk lockers as armory space was limited. I asked a sailor about this and he said, "The captain trusts us. He said if we really wanted to 'get' him we don't need guns."

As for the 'control' issue mentioned so often in this thread. I don't think it a psychological trait of military commanders, but a response to the military's 'zero' tolerance for error. If something can go wrong, it will, so the natural response is to regulate and restrict.

thumper723
June 24, 2006, 12:58 PM
Pilgrim,

It is still a CO decision. On an unnamed ship (to protect one of the few COOL SWOs I have dealt with, The CO carries 2 1911's EVERYWHERE Condition 1.

He let the Air Det do the same. I was the only pilot who brought his own. SA HiCap 1911. 14+1 of 45 ACP goodness.

On another cruise, the CO/XO made it a pain the rear to just get our M11s out of the armory, never mind carrying. Unless you could SEE Iraq from the bridge. Kind of hard to in CVOA 4.

Commissar Gribb
June 24, 2006, 11:49 PM
I wouldn't be so quick to say that the AF guys aren't into guns as much as the Marines. I've seen plenty of guys bringing in firearms into the armory. At my last duty station prior to getting out, our armory was so full, we we had an unwritten policy that if the person didn't stay in the barracks/dorms, shy them away. I know that working the main post gate as an early enlisted SF (MP equiv.) when I discovered or was told by an on-comer they had a firearm and wanted to know what to do with it, I told them they could unofficially take it to base housing or register it in the armory where everyone can finger-bang it....Your choice. I don't remember seeing to many folks making the turn to the armory.


I would agree with the marines being more into guns than AF.

I'm USAF and I'd wager that I'm more into guns than most servicemen. I'm an exception- not the rule. Most people I work with in the military think I'm a gun nut. My commander, who probably wouldn't remember what section I work in, remembers me as the gun nut guy.

A lot of people in the AF own guns for home defense (as in the civilian world, but I wouldn't say there's a larger number in the AF).

Old Dog
June 26, 2006, 02:14 AM
To actually answer the question posed in the original post, I'd say (a resounding) NO. In fact, I'd go so far as to say the the percentage of "gun people" in the (active) military is far higher than in the civilian community.

Please, let's not turn this into a "my branch is more into guns than your branch" thread. My take is that there's plenty of gun folk in every branch, in relatively high percentages (compared to the non-military folk).

I spent more than twenty-five years active duty USN (retired within the past six months) and can tell you that your average Sailor is far more amenable to the concept of the right to keep and bear arms than your average civilian. And yes, Sailors love firearms too (and I'd daresay the USAF guys as well) just as much as your average Marine or soldier...

From E-1 to O-7, I think you'll find that most who go into the military at least understand and appreciate the basic aspects of gun ownership, the attendent responsibilities, and the need for the right to keep and bear arms, far better than many civilians do.

jeepmor
June 26, 2006, 02:38 AM
The military is all about control, to the point it stymies progress. Much like a big corporation that swells in middle management. But my take is that military personnel can be just as influenced by social issues and the media as normal civilian types.

Deep down, it's a personal preference of the individual based on many factors. But for the military, the populace not having weapons makes their job a lot easier and safer without a doubt. Which is probably why you have the upper eschelon officers leaning toward more gun control and restrictions, not less.

And many military folks know they will, or may be, using firearms in duty and there is a certain thrill factor to this. Especially since most of the people joining the military are young.

As a whole, my only interface with the military is through my brother in the coast guard, and he is pro gun and quite the hunter to boot. But this by no means makes me remotely qualified for more than anything than the usual internet babble.

Old Dog
June 26, 2006, 02:42 AM
The military is all about control, to the point it stymies progress.
Sigh. Oh, brother ...

spartacus2002
June 26, 2006, 06:14 AM
Old Dog,
having spend the last 13 years in/around the Army, I do have to agree with jeepmor's comment about control. The Army has been hit with a zero-tolerance mentality since about 1992, when the RIFs began after the first Gulf War and great officers got let go because there was only room for really great officers. Since then, there has been a mentality of "I can't let anybody have judgment or discretion, else they might screw up and make me look bad because I didn't stop/prevent it." Not everyone is like that, but it is pretty bad.

Dannyboy
June 26, 2006, 10:36 AM
It is about control but it has nothing to do with socialism.

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