Should Soldiers Today Be Able to Bring Back Weapons?


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SharpsDressedMan
May 13, 2012, 02:42 PM
Given that this has been an accepted practice for more generations, in more countries around the world, for about as long as history itself, should our soldiers, who risk it all for us and other countries, be allowed to continue the practice that our fathers, grandfathers, etc, have been able to do? (I guess you know where I stand). I resent the fact that current bureacracies have decreed that this is no longer acceptable. How do you feel? If it were not for these "liberated" weapons, domestic and foreign, we would have little gun history and soldiers tales brought back, either. We seem to like the stories here, in the "American Rifleman", etc, and those stories will not exist from our generation of combatants.

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coalman
May 13, 2012, 03:23 PM
Turn back the clock far more, to the very beginning of human conflicts. Spoils of war and booty have always been part of the affair, and often the motivation for it. Politically, it can be more problematic today, especially when you wish to argue the high road in your engagement on your CNN spot. So, the pawns may oft be prohibited from engaging in the very practice being conducted at FAR higher echelons and to a FAR greater degree behind the curtain. The politics of war.

BearGriz
May 13, 2012, 03:26 PM
Well you know they won't let them take home a fully operational M4. Perhaps if there was a program for the soldier to pay a nominal fee to "buy" their weapon and change it over to a semi-automatic version. I assume such a modification is possible.

I am not opposed.

Of course a program like that would be in serious danger as soon as one weapon was used in a crime (especially a highly publicized tragedy). The media would be all over an incident like that, and we'd see lots of political roundtable discussions where the "moderator" asks the group if they think this is a good program for us to continue. Then we'd see congressional inquiries, etc.

Tommygunn
May 13, 2012, 03:34 PM
Yes. It's why I have my M-1 Carbine.

Full auto weapons do pose a problem. Ideally they shouldn't but the reality is otherwise. Perhaps BearGriz's solution is the best.

shuvelrider
May 13, 2012, 03:35 PM
Even in past wars it was a regulated process, if allowed at all depending on unit SOP. Personally as a soldier, I'd like to bring something back from Afghanistan as a weapon to hang on the wall. Does not have to be a gun either.
At the same time, a common bolt action rifle is not the norm anymore, don't think the military is gonna let me ship home something fully automatic any time soon.
The times and attitudes of yesteryear are not the same as today, a lot more craziness these days. Some of the problem is that gran-dad sometimes brought home other things. In the past two years where I live, 2 hand-grenades were dealt with. A pineapple type found in a garage by kids, another brought in to the sheriffs dept by an old timer---------tired of having it around from the war. Both were detonated outside of town.

Eric M
May 13, 2012, 03:38 PM
Full auto weapons do pose a problem. Ideally they shouldn't but the reality is otherwise

Why not full autos?

I think war bring backs should be allowed especially because I want some :D

Apuuli
May 13, 2012, 03:42 PM
There are plenty of war-time practices that have been accepted for generations, even millennia, that are now considered repugnant.

More to the point, the current objective of most war is not simply to crush, defeat, loot, and/or humiliate the enemy and take their land. Rather, the ultimate objective is often nation building to create a stable, economically prosperous, and strong ally (note the difference between how post-war Germany was treated after WWI and WWII).

Allowing individual soldiers to take trophies of war is questionable when a force is trying, from the very beginning, to win the hearts and minds of the locals in part by appearing disinterested and professional. Forbidding soldiers from taking trophies of war is a last step towards a purely professional military force.

Don't get me wrong. I personally would want to take an AK-47 or some other weapon of the enemy home, but I come from a long line of headhunters so what I would want to do as a soldier is not the same as what I would allow soldiers to do as a commanding officer.

spazzymcgee
May 13, 2012, 03:44 PM
I like BearGriz's idea, but I don't really see how the Military could afford it. The soldier that wants his weapon would have to pay a LOT of money to literally buy an M4 and have it converted. I could see that process costing thousads and thousands if the Military isn't losing money from it.

Elkins45
May 13, 2012, 03:57 PM
I like BearGriz's idea, but I don't really see how the Military could afford it. The soldier that wants his weapon would have to pay a LOT of money to literally buy an M4 and have it converted. I could see that process costing thousads and thousands if the Military isn't losing money from it.
I think the OP was referring to captured enemy weapons, not their own issued one.

dubya450
May 13, 2012, 04:01 PM
110% yes, they should be able to bring home a "prize" they got while fighting a war protecting our country and citizens. Of course I think they can bring them back as long as they meet all the requirements a normal citizen has to when it comes to FA weapons and such.

Vern Humphrey
May 13, 2012, 05:53 PM
Of course they should!

I brought back trophy weapons from Viet Nam, and also carried a privately-owned weapon on my first tour.

In my opinion, officers and NCOs should be encouraged to buy their own sidearms and carry them on duty.

It is the height of stupidity to deny a warrior the right to take trophy weapons.

Apuuli
May 13, 2012, 06:28 PM
"It is the height of stupidity to deny a warrior the right to take trophy weapons."

Why? I can see how taking trophies on the battlefield can distract a soldier from what he should be doing (thus endangering lives) or give locals the idea that someone was killed just so their gun (watch, ring, etc.) could be stolen (thus fomenting resistance).

I don't see how denying that "right" is the height of stupidity. Are our best and brightest not going to sign up for military service unless they get a chance to loot some souvenirs? Is battlefield booty an integral part of their paycheck like tips are to a waiter? Does having an enemy weapon hanging in a case over the fireplace reduce PTSD?

The traditional rights of an individual warrior over the vanquished in single combat have little to do with functioning as a soldier in a modern military.

Vern Humphrey
May 13, 2012, 06:35 PM
Because first of all, it is part of the warrior culture. And secondly, it is an insult to a man who has used his weapons in the defense of his country.

The traditional rights of an individual warrior over the vanquished in single combat have little to do with functioning as a soldier in a modern military.
And you say this based on your own combat experience?

earplug
May 13, 2012, 06:44 PM
More weapons, more freedom.

Cosmoline
May 13, 2012, 06:50 PM
Yes, bring them back. If you have more than you can store, sell some to me.

I also see nothing wrong with letting all veterans purchase their own duty weapons from the gobment. Just make an exception in the NFA for it and re-open the registry. Unfortunately hand-in-glove with the worship of the warrior caste is *FEAR* of that caste among the very people who sent them to war in the first place. So there's no way it will happen.

Nushif
May 13, 2012, 06:57 PM
I dunno, coming from me at least I wouldn't let my guys bring any back, simply based on safety.
While there's surely a bunch of quality or at least safe weapons there is a *lot* of Khyber Pass copies that will cause my Nugs to lose all kinds of appendages I want them to keep. Just something to keep in mind.

[edit]

The traditional rights of an individual warrior over the vanquished in single combat have little to do with functioning as a soldier in a modern military.

As for this one, I wholeheartedly agree. We, the US Army re not about looting. We are not there as pillagers. We are not there for materialistic reasons. (Supposedly.) And it is an insult to the modern Army to insinuate that we ought ot or even want to participate in these acts.

This:

Why? I can see how taking trophies on the battlefield can distract a soldier from what he should be doing (thus endangering lives) or give locals the idea that someone was killed just so their gun (watch, ring, etc.) could be stolen (thus fomenting resistance).

Is spot on.

Our behavior as professional soldiers, not "warriors," must be beyond reproach. Beyond. It's not only against the NCO creed, the vow Officers take, but also a blemish on our rofession as a whole.

AlexanderA
May 13, 2012, 07:06 PM
The hunt for souvenirs would adversely affect good order and discipline. There's a host of reasons why the military won't allow weapon bringbacks. The same reasoning also applied in WWI and WWII, but the system was quite a bit more lax back then. (Nevertheless, front-line troops were warned that weapons lying around on the battlefield were possibly boobytrapped.) This is not a RKBA issue. Let everybody have what they want once they get back stateside.

SharpsDressedMan
May 13, 2012, 07:35 PM
Nushif, the fact that a CO or other officer has the attitude that they CONTROL this is based soley on current trend. My dad served in WWII, and could have drug a war souvenir around (for instance, a Nambu pistol), but he had enough to carry, and the common sense to not want to carry anything unnecessary. But let's say you were in a gunfight, and shot an enemy officer, and then seized his handgun, and decided to keep it. If you trust your men to do their job, and hand them an M16, why are you worried about a pistol? If they screw up with it, discipline them. My dad was given the opportunity to bring back swords and a rifle at the end of the war (there were piles of them, and they were given bring back papers, etc). No ill came of it. And, as noted above, it disrespects the warrior to deny them that. If it were current policy to allow such bringbacks, any officer would have to get on board with such Army policy, etc; not decide if they were going to ALLOW it.

Grmlin
May 13, 2012, 07:43 PM
During the Gulf war we took alot of weapons. We were told if we welded the bolts and weld pluged the barrells we could send them back. Then someone changed thier mind at least for us. I can understand automatic weapons not being allowed but others like semi-auto, knives, holsters, ect... Register them so all our laws are covered but your talking about alot of paper work and cost. It wasn't such a big problem before our laws became so restrictive. I would love to have weapons from my deployments even if they were no longer usable.

We had to search equipment, vehicles, containers before they were put on ship, you would not believe what we found and where.

SlamFire1
May 13, 2012, 07:50 PM
I don't know why the policy was changed. I think it was liberal envy.

I remember seeing a picture from WW2, in a 1944 Life magazine. A woman is looking at a Japanese skull, while at her writing desk.

Her boyfriend defleshed the skull and boiled the soft bits out and posted it home.

That might have been the start of the ban movement.

Picture to be found her: http://www.vho.org/tr/2003/3/Bartling301-308.html

Nushif
May 13, 2012, 07:54 PM
It all goes back to the "why" we are there.

In all our current conflicts we are there as a "friendly" force to "win the hearts and minds" of the local populace.

Our enemies regularly kill eople and rob their things. Let's assume we did the same thing. What does that make us? Thugs who happen to be on your side? Like it or not. This "warrior one thousand years ago" talk and the like has no place in a professional military. There is a very, very strong trend right now to review what we do as an Army in a professional context. We are professionals. Experts.
Our presence in any place of the world is spurred by political, humanitarian or moral reasons. And any indication to the contrary here is a threat to our mission. This isn't the same Army, mission, tactics or even raison d'etre as Korea, Vietnam or WWI or WWII.
Why? Because we do different things. It's simply not compatible with our mission.

[edit]

Liberal envy? Really.

Cosmoline
May 13, 2012, 08:04 PM
Our enemies regularly kill eople and rob their things. Let's assume we did the same thing. What does that make us?

People who have things.

In any case, the allied forces are *ALREADY* seizing the firearms in question. So if this is looting, then the looting has been going on from day one. Our brilliant decision makers destroy the seized arms, then tax me to buy new arms for local friendlies. The choice is really whether to pay people to destroy all the small arms, or to permit at least some of the nicer ones to be brought back as a bonus.

Nushif
May 13, 2012, 08:19 PM
I think the point where I'm arguing against our troops cutting the heads off of their enemies, preparing them and shipping them home, against people who refuse to understand the notion that we shouldn't act like the Taliban (who we supposedly are removing so democracy can move in) is right about the point where I need to stop talking. Because I'm dumb for even being in the argument.

jeepnik
May 13, 2012, 08:22 PM
Here's the thing. The military puts fully automatic weapons into the hands of our young men and women everyday. Then some politician decides they can't be trusted with them.

Now who do you think is better able to decide if a young man or woman should have an automatic weapon? The military personnel who know about such things, or a civilian who's only contact with firearms is TV and movies.

armoredman
May 13, 2012, 08:25 PM
Seized firearms and other items should be offered as memorabilia to returning troops. Most will refuse them, not wanting reminders of the conflict, but some would like them. Remember all the STg44s and PPsH41s burned during the Gulf War, irreplaceable items of history? Those should have been offered as bring backs. Want to make it fair? Charge each soldier $50 per bring back, and give the money to the newly installed government, make it look like they are being sold to help fund the newly installed "pro-America" government.
Re-open the National Registry to allow bring backs, and they are subject to the exact same rules as all. Make certain that no soldier is attempting to exploit this for gain - one NFA bring back per tour per service member, and group of service members bringing back NFA weapons to sale may face disciplinary.
I knew a gent who brought back a Mauser k98 from a beach in Italy, and used that rifle to take deer for many years before he became too old to hunt afield. The rifle still takes deer with his son.
Yes, allow properly sorted and cataloged bring backs, not battlefield pickups, but cleared items from the HQ section. Just my $.02, worth less than anyone paid for it.

Vern Humphrey
May 13, 2012, 08:37 PM
The normal method (in Viet Nam) was first to register the weapon with the intelligence people and get their certificate, saying it was not needed for intelligence purposes. Then you got a command certificate to keep it, a Viet Namese permit to have it, and finally permission to bring it into the states -- You needed four separate pieces of paper on a bring-back. That's plenty of controls -- more than needed, in fact.

qwert65
May 13, 2012, 08:38 PM
There's a big difference between cutting off a body part versus sending home an inanimate object.

cambeul41
May 13, 2012, 08:40 PM
So far armoredman makes the best argument although I can understand the desire to bring back a weapon one has personally liberated.

newfalguy101
May 13, 2012, 08:44 PM
I like BearGriz's idea, but I don't really see how the Military could afford it. The soldier that wants his weapon would have to pay a LOT of money to literally buy an M4 and have it converted. I could see that process costing thousads and thousands if the Military isn't losing money from it.
KInda depends really.

If the soldier were charged the same as the military for the M-4 then it would pretty cheap!!

On the other hand, if they charged the going rate of a transferable gun, ouch.............

Oh, then there is the pesky problem of no NEW transferable machine guns built after 1986......

In the long run, knowing the guvernment, it would probably cost less to just order a new M-4orgery when the guy gets home.

Oh, and for the original question, YES, I believe war trophies should be allowed

RickMD
May 13, 2012, 09:09 PM
My late father brought back a Walther P-38 and a 98 Mauser from the European Theater. He told me that full auto weapons were not permitted even in 1945. That policy, if still in effect, would rule out all modern day weapons with the exception of autoloading pistols and riot shotguns. It unfortunately makes any argument in favor war trophies moot.

Ingsoc75
May 13, 2012, 09:17 PM
At least they had a few amnesties between 1945 and 1968 for vets to register their NFA class war trophies.

You can thank this jackass from New Jersey for never allowing an amnesty to happen again:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/71/William_J._Hughes.jpg

Plan2Live
May 13, 2012, 09:37 PM
I understand the sentiment of most here encouraging the practice. However, I think this is a slippery slope and a bad PR idea. Why a slippery slope? Why stop with weapons? Once you open that door then where do you draw the line? Watches, jewelry, money, art, religious artifacts, computers, cars, where does it stop? We are Americans and we should set a higher standard by living that example.

moxie
May 13, 2012, 10:02 PM
I don't know what the earlier policies might have been, but I left Vietnam on "the last day", March 29, 1973. It was illegal to bring any weapons out with us. Which hurt, since I had a number of primo pieces, especially .45s. Never did see any "certificates" that might have allowed such. My commission was worth more than a gun, so I didn't take any chances, but it wasn't a big deal, to me. If I had to set policy, I would allow bringback of captured weapons, not auto. Very few would meet the criteria. My father-in-law brought an Arisaka back from the Phillipines in WWII. Something like that would be appropriate. Vietnam era would be a captured SKS, but not an AK. I don't know what would meet my criteria in Afganistan/Iraq.

armoredman
May 13, 2012, 10:17 PM
Plan2Live, if you read the suggestions, this was NOT to let individual soldier bring back "loot" stripped from the dead, but selected war trophies and memorabilia vetted by the local command and whatever local government was available. I think the cutoff would be operational main battle tanks - armored cars are just fine, but YOU have to pay for shipping! Weapons have long been acceptable war trophies, dating back to the swords and armor eras, where battle flags and captured "arms", shields with the vanquished coat of arms is painted, were displayed in great halls. I also cannot imagine a more fitting salute to a fallen enemy than letting his weapon continue working as a civilian firearm, helping to safeguard liberty, hearth and home.
BTW, I have seen many soldiers return with money, watches, etc., from the sandboxes, allowable memorabilia.

armoredman
May 13, 2012, 10:19 PM
Moxie, thank you for your service - one of my earliest TV memories was watching the fall of Saigon.

justice06rr
May 13, 2012, 10:40 PM
Although I'm all for it, the practice would bring some issues once the Veteran soldier returns to the civilian world. Already mentioned are full-auto firearms, which are regulated along with SBR's, suppressors, etc.

it would be great if a soldier could bring home his favorite duty weapon, but it would need to have very clear regulations on possesion and sale/transfers i.e. the soldier must keep it for himself (cannot be sold or transferred to anyone else without proper approval). As you can imagine, this would bring up more unnecessary paperwork and regulations to the already highly regulated system. Also it means that the firearm cannot be re-used by another soldier if needed, and new firearms must be constantly purchased by the Military.

Averageman
May 13, 2012, 10:42 PM
I work with Military equipment.
A couple of years ago someone stumbled upon a weapon cached in a vehicle years ago.
No small amount of hell broke loose upon finding this lump of ex soviet Iraqi ball of rust.
All in all I want none of it, legal or not.

Redlg155
May 13, 2012, 10:57 PM
Semi auto or deactivated trophies, yes.

I also believe that each soldier should have to purchase his own M4 with his first check. Afterwards the same rifle transfers with him to each duty station. Upon HONORABLE discharge, the weapon is coverted to semi auto and "discharged" as well with the servicemember to permanently serve as inactive civilian guard.

shuvelrider
May 13, 2012, 11:12 PM
Sounds like some of you are living in the past, those days are gone. We live currently in a world where the mindset has changed, in regards to the popularity of a war. Which in turn effects policy on the mindset of allowing soldiers to bring home souvenirs.

russ69
May 13, 2012, 11:44 PM
As far as keeping your service weapon, no. This is tax payer property and should be returned to inventory. Having a infantryman keep "his" rifle is like having a pilot keep "his" airplane. It never was "his" to start with.

Cosmoline
May 13, 2012, 11:50 PM
It would be very easy to put whatever limits and safeguards are needed on the practice of taking trophies. I guess the problem is that the very idea of trophies is frowned upon by the other side. As we've seen with the RKBA battles won and lost, worrying about how the other side chooses to demonize you is a losing strategy. You fight on their turf, and they'll ALWAYS find another way to undermine and attack. Maybe it's time to stop apologizing, placating and deferring and open the way for soldiers to bring at least something of value back.

arguing against our troops cutting the heads off of their enemies, preparing them and shipping them home

Since when is this the moral or legal equivalent to sending back weapons bound to be piled up and destroyed anyway?

It never was "his" to start with.

And as the guy who paid for it (yes believe me I've paid for it LOL) I would love to see that solider be given the chance to BUY it.

Warp
May 13, 2012, 11:51 PM
I don't see why not...until I read this thread and I see some very good points being made by some posters regarding the nature of the war, professionalism, the impression given to the locals, perception, etc. I can see why not, for sure.

Tinpig
May 14, 2012, 12:42 AM
Excellent posts by Nushif.

Tinpig

CapnMac
May 14, 2012, 12:55 AM
Some germane points:
1934 NFA made many of the WWII "bring backs" thoroughly illegal--yet society did not collapse into anarchy. And, large numbers of items wound up quietly sitting in barns and attics and basements ever since.

There was only ever the one amnesty; which was very nearly still-born as it required admission of guilt to be applied. This truncated several weeks off of the very short (6 to 8 week, if memory serves) amnesty period--which received little or no publicity at all.

Far too many of "us" have engrained 'reflexes' that selective-fire and FA are "bad" or in need of "higher regulation" than other arms. We should never forget that NFA items were stigmatized as part of a political "compromise" that, initially planned to ban all handguns.

This will become an issue.

The war generations are passing from this mortal coil. Their families, oft their grandchildren are going to start finding items cached away for years (especially in the dark days after GCA '68).

In all probability, a number of these families have already been treated quite shabbily by "the authorities." Equally likely, a number of historically significant items have been crushed/melted/bandsawn away. But, none of these cases has likely been much more than a local "firefly" in the news. Which will last until some decorated current war vet is found in "illegal" possession of gran'pappy's MG-42, or PPSh or Type 56 or the like.

Which the pop press will manager to spin as evil as if every conglomeration of hoodlums was being equipped, presto-chango with B-40 rockets, RPG, SA-2, SS-N-4 and the like, rather than have a sensible dialog about people being competent with their arms, and being free to use them.

SharpsDressedMan
May 14, 2012, 01:28 AM
President Truman, as a Lt. in WWI, was allowed to keep his issued 1917 revolver. It was donated by Truman after he was president to a museum (not sure if is is the Smithsonian, or a presidential exhibit somewhere, or what). Countless officers of WWI and WWII were allowed to keep or purchase their issued sidearms (see the General Officer's Models and history). Probably half of the unaltered M1 rifles and M1 carbines from WWII were "liberated" by soldiers....most all the ones that remained in inventory have been altered by upgrades and replaced parts over the terms of their service before being sold through the DCM. I am not advocating stealing issued weapons, although that's exactly what it was at the end of WWII, but they may have been going to a scrapheap, dumped in the ocean, burned, or otherwise destroyed or abandoned in many cases (I know of a bunch of Thompson SMG's buried in the sand off the coast of Ascension Island in the Atlantic at the end of the war; my father-in-law was part of the detail that buried them). Foreign weapons that would otherwise be destroyed are prime candidates for repatriation to the US under some kind of supervised souvenir plan, should the military see fit. Why not dewatted AK's. permanently welded, etc? By ATF, they could be classified as "non-weapons", if BATF saw fit to do so. Could they be reactivated? Maybe, but not any easier than it would be to BUILD one from a parts kit and fabricated receiver. IF one WANTS to be illegal, there is always a way, but there are also those who comply, fill out all the blanks, and have dummy, dewat, or other non-guns in compliance of the laws, too. A vet bringback that followed set guidlines for persons not prohibited does not seem like a problem to me. Many of you naysayers are writing an awful lot of criminal intent and assumed social disapproval into this. Deactivated machineguns are wallhangers, and many have even been accepted in gun-hating countries like Great Britain and Canada for many years.

ScrapMetalSlug
May 14, 2012, 01:39 AM
Of course they should be able to, it will never happen though. You need a memorandum signed by the company commander to bring your own personally owned pocket knives back from theatre, and these are ones you bought!

Bringing back your own weapons would be great, but it will never be allowed. Besides, most possible bring backs would be NFA items anyways, which are already banned.

The best we can do is talk about the good old days, when whatever I stuffed in my duffel bag I could bring back. Coming back from Afghanistan I went through customs 5 different times to include an X-ray scan, and got an ink pen confiscated that looked like a bullet:scrutiny:

DammitBoy
May 14, 2012, 01:53 AM
The current objective of most war is not simply to crush, defeat, loot, and/or humiliate the enemy and take their land. Rather, the ultimate objective is often nation building to create a stable, economically prosperous, and strong ally...

Which is politically driven nonsense, which only serves to get our soldiers killed and a one-size fits all remedy that is ill-conceived at best.

If you want to send men to wars, don't fight in half measures. Scorched earth, winner takes all, no mercy to the vanquished and take all the trophies you want. Leave the politicians out of the military strategy sessions.

War is ugly and dressing it up with a bow doesn't change that. Trophy taking as an issue of losing focus is one thing. Debating on how it makes us look as regards our enemies is just political correctness gone mad.

Hearts and minds, my behind.

Warp
May 14, 2012, 02:11 AM
Which is politically driven nonsense, which only serves to get our soldiers killed and a one-size fits all remedy that is ill-conceived at best.

If you want to send men to wars, don't fight in half measures. Scorched earth, winner takes all, no mercy to the vanquished and take all the trophies you want. Leave the politicians out of the military strategy sessions.

War is ugly and dressing it up with a bow doesn't change that. Trophy taking as an issue of losing focus is one thing.Debating on how it makes us look as regards our enemiesis just political correctness gone mad.

Hearts and minds, my behind.

The argument is that it is about perceptions of many more than just our enemies.

doc2rn
May 14, 2012, 02:37 AM
I have been in several conflicts, and the reason my superiors gave made more sense than what I am seeing.
The reason we are no longer allowed to bring back weapons is that they are capable of full auto. The AK-47 is the weapon of choice by most of our enemies. Even with the barrels plugged and bolts welded, the trigger control group which allows for full auto fire is not disabled. There for allowing former military personel to transfer set trigger group to comercially available rifles.
There was an incident between a former Marine and LEO in California where the Marine did just that. There was even a YouTube video showing him pying off a corner to engage the LEO.
This is why we are no longer allowed to bring back war trophies.

asia331
May 14, 2012, 02:40 AM
QUOTE]Should Soldiers Today Be Able to Bring Back Weapons?[/QUOTE]
Unquestionably..yes. Will it happen ...no.

Shhhhhhh...I have a secret for you. The unfortunate sad truth is that too many, not all, but way too many Flag and General officers are politically driven, do not actually like small arms, don't really trust their soldiers and Marines with them and view small arms in the possession of their Marines/soldiers as too often a "career risk" to their next star. On the SecDef's recent visit to the Afghanistan a Marine General Officer ordered his troops to disarm before entering an assembly with SecDef Panetta. :( Shameful. The official justification was the CG wanted his Marines to show brotherly unity with the disarmed Afghans in attendance.

There isn't a Fleet Marine anywhere that believes that.

mljdeckard
May 14, 2012, 02:52 AM
As far as BATFE is concerned, there is no reversing a full-auto to a semi. Once auto, always auto. This is why CMP can sell Garands but not M-14s or M-16s.

I dunno. So a guy finds an AK or Dragunov and wants to bring it home? No big deal. but you know full well it leads to guys stuffing RPGs in their bags. Honestly, I see no real reason to allow it. It would also be extending a privilege to soldiers that civilians don't enjoy. You want an AK? Buy a civilian one.

SimplyChad
May 14, 2012, 04:51 AM
As far as BATFE is concerned, there is no reversing a full-auto to a semi. Once auto, always auto. This is why CMP can sell Garands but not M-14s or M-16s.

I dunno. So a guy finds an AK or Dragunov and wants to bring it home? No big deal. but you know full well it leads to guys stuffing RPGs in their bags. Honestly, I see no real reason to allow it. It would also be extending a privilege to soldiers that civilians don't enjoy. You want an AK? Buy a civilian one.
Or join the Army/Marines and defend our rights and bring that AK,dragunov,Enfield,Henry-martin,sks, TT-33,makorov, M-1, M1 carbine or random shotgun home with you. It kills me to see us destroy these things. Every weapon I listed I have personally seen destroyed after the intel guys were done with them.

Jacob L Freeman
May 14, 2012, 05:07 AM
I strongly belive that our soldiers should be allowed to keep any and all legitamitely obtained weapons, whether it's a retired M16 they bought, or a captured Taliban AK. As for full auto guns, well, they're already the best trained people in the world who I trust the most with them, so why not?

mljdeckard
May 14, 2012, 07:42 AM
Because soldiers shouldn't be allowed to keep weapons that regular citizens can't.

SharpsDressedMan
May 14, 2012, 09:10 AM
I have news for some of you. The full auto parts for AK's are already here; they came it with the parts kits (minus the receivers) imported years ago. #2. Dragunovs are semi auto. #3. The current laws could easily be modified, or added to, to allow soldiers, sailors, marines, etc, to bring back full autos. The US govt still imports full autos for their own use, and it would be an easy amendment to change that to recognize individual soldiers with returning souvenirs. Of course we have the political correct stuff, and the anti-gunners, but their rant doesn't really measure up to the sacrifice our soldiers and such give, and really shouldn't have a say in it all. Since legal ownership of full autos is still recognized by the US govt, a channel of exclusions and laws could be set up for vets with papered bringbacks, of all kinds. If a soldier tries to skirt approved channels and smuggle, nail his butt. There isn't a weapon out there that someone does not have legally registered here in the states already (grenades, rocket launchers, etc), so why prohibit them from active US combatants if they would wish to comply with a modified & permissive law designed for them? My brother has a Dragunov. The president of the US (Bush Jr.) was given a Glock 18 by the Armed Forces Command (belonged to Saddam). In a country where men are equal, I say that qualifies the rest of the second class citizens to a war trophy...................

hso
May 14, 2012, 09:15 AM
Gotta ask what they'd bring back out of the range of what's available.

With the fully automatic versions of the Kalishnakov design being the weapon of choice amongst the Taliban there isn't much opportunity to bring anything back with the way the law stands.

Opening the registry for new firearms isn't going to happen unless those troops clamor for it. That window closed years ago.

mljdeckard
May 14, 2012, 09:18 AM
Sharps, what's your idea of easily?

I am a veteran of both gulf wars, and I will not in any way support the idea that soldiers should be allowed to bring home and keep anything that regular citizens can't own.

303tom
May 14, 2012, 09:45 AM
Yes.............

northark147
May 14, 2012, 09:52 AM
It would also be extending a privilege to soldiers that civilians don't enjoy.
Because soldiers shouldn't be allowed to keep weapons that regular citizens can't.

Yea because they didn't give up any of their privileges (being home, drinking beer, not killing people and having to deal with that, so forth and so on, that civilians enjoyed while they were at it.

mcdonl
May 14, 2012, 09:54 AM
Thats what I was thinking HSO, but when I think of my brother, father and all of the others on here who have put their lives on the line it is more than just the weapon, it is a symbol that they faced that weapon and won. Perhaps even lost friends to that same gun. Maybe even family.

100% yes, they should be able to bring back whatever the heck they want to. It is well deserved.

Nushif
May 14, 2012, 09:57 AM
Yea because they didn't give up any of their privileges (being home, drinking beer, not killing people and having to deal with that, so forth and so on, that civilians enjoyed while they were at it.

But they volunteered for it. Believe me. I am all for giving my guys a pat on the back and gratitude. I like those, myself.
But the moment you give them "special rights" you stopped the standing Army from being "of the people, by the people."

CSestp
May 14, 2012, 10:06 AM
When I deployed we were briefed on this, I had asked my CO if we were a collector of firearms what we would have to do to be able to take some back to add to a collection of war related firearms. His response was that if I could show him documentation of being a collector, and that it was okay with my local sheriff that it would be truly considered on allowing me to bring home pieces of history.

Now note the wording not trophy 's, but pieces of history. They do not want to endorse war trophy's so people do not end up making necklaces of towelhead ears. While most of you think of war trophy's as rifle parts, vehicular parts, spent round casings and so on and so forth. The warrior who has lost a friend with true hate in his heart for the enemy has a very different view on what war trophy's are; ear's, scrotums, teeth, and the list goes on.

The latter are the main reason war trophy's are no longer allowed.

CSestp
May 14, 2012, 10:13 AM
I strongly belive that our soldiers should be allowed to keep any and all legitamitely obtained weapons, whether it's a retired M16 they bought, or a captured Taliban AK. As for full auto guns, well, they're already the best trained people in the world who I trust the most with them, so why not?


You would think differently if you witness a Range Safety Officer put a new hole in his foot because he thought it would be cool to blow through 400 ish rounds in a M16 in about 3 minutes. Then still have a round in the chamber as he "control carried" the weapon on the way to his target. Round cooked off right into his foot. Funnest thing I have ever seen honestly. If you have ever had to deal with RSO's on a military firing line you will understand.

RickMD
May 14, 2012, 10:56 AM
A lot of these guys are coming home with PTSD. PTSD and full auto weapons don't mix too well.

Driftertank
May 14, 2012, 11:47 AM
We are trying to convince a lot of the world that we are the good guys, a country worth befriending and emulating. This is where psychological warfare against our enemies comes in; convincing the civilian population where we fight, that we are better for them than the entrenched resistance. "War trophies" could hurt that a lot.

Imagine you are living, a civilian, in a middle eastern country fighting with itself. Into this, comes a large, occupying army, telling you they are here for your own good (as all occupying armies do). Imagine you're not sure what to think of them. But your friend and neighbor hates them, joins the insurgency. Takes the rifle he has used for years to defend his family. One day he is killed by the army. A soldier takes his rifle for a trophy. Maybe even some other valuables he had. How would seeing this effect your opinion of this occupying army, only here for your benefit?

Just trying to offer outside perspective on why it's disallowed these days.

SlamFire1
May 14, 2012, 11:52 AM
Shhhhhhh...I have a secret for you. The unfortunate sad truth is that too many, not all, but way too many Flag and General officers are politically driven, do not actually like small arms, don't really trust their soldiers and Marines with them and view small arms in the possession of their Marines/soldiers as too often a "career risk" to their next star.

Absolutely true. It is surprising, but the military is anti gun.

Apuuli
May 14, 2012, 12:08 PM
Because first of all, it is part of the warrior culture. And secondly, it is an insult to a man who has used his weapons in the defense of his country.

I asked why it was "the height of stupidity" to prohibit war trophies. Because war trophies are a part of tradition does not make changing tradition a height of stupidity. What will be the results of changing tradition that make it the "height of stupidity"?

It is not an insult to someone to expect them to do their job without taking personal bonus items home with them. Again, this does not rise to the height of stupidity.

And you say this based on your own combat experience?

HA! I see what you're trying to do here!

Neither traditional warrior's rights nor the role of the modern military are likely to be informed by my, or anyone else's, combat experience, but thank you for trying to make it about me.


If you want to send men to wars, don't fight in half measures. Scorched earth, winner takes all, no mercy to the vanquished and take all the trophies you want. Leave the politicians out of the military strategy sessions.

Um, yeah, no. Politicians (the civilian government) are the ones who get to decide the goals of military action.

Winner take all is short-sighted and impossible, unless you're suggesting genocide. That winner take all, no mercy to the vanquished kind of an attitude led to conditions ripe for the rise of a mad dictator after WWI. We learned from that and rebuilt rather than punished Germany and Japan after WWII. (And, no, I don't think that the same strategy will necessarily be equally effective on ethnically shattered states without strong centralization, but that's getting a bit far afield.)

As I said before, I fully appreciate an individual's motivation to take trophies and souvenirs but that does not change the fact that it is unprofessional and potentially damaging to the long-term goals of a mission to do so.

bobbo
May 14, 2012, 12:27 PM
I think it would be far more prudent to offer better physical and mental health services to vets than to worry about bringing home guns. It's not like there has never been a traumatized vet come home and shoot his family or drive his car into a bridge abutment... Or how about the thousands of guys suffering after Agent Orange or Gulf War Syndrome which still are not being treated without massive red tape? How about the guy down in the park who can't find a place to sleep? We have better things to worry about in the real world for these guys.

It sounds like many of those in favor just want another market to buy guns from, caring little about the actual veterans themselves.

Besides, anyone else remember the stories from WWII/Korea/Vietnam about leaving booby traps on dead soldiers so they set off a grenade or mortar shell when a blonde-haired, wide-eyed Iowa farmboy picks up a helmet or a cool sword? I think that's one of the reasons these rules are in place now.

Gunnerboy
May 14, 2012, 12:33 PM
^ Thank you my thoughts exactly

HGUNHNTR
May 14, 2012, 12:38 PM
Heck no they shouldn't. There have been enough stories of misdeeds of soldiers without the added incentive of collecting weapons as war trophies. You go, and you do your job, you aren't there to plunder ...period.

Sam1911
May 14, 2012, 12:39 PM
Apuuli, that was beautifully put.

There are a great number of things that have been "accepted practice for generations" that are the right of the occupier, the invader, the victor, the liberator to take, plunder, loot, rape, destroy, desecrate, vandalize (where did THAT term come from, anyway? ;)) and claim as "spoils" of war.

It is a mark of distinction that our soldiers are not sent to battle for such gains, and are neither encouraged nor allowed to act as the age-old conquerors did. It may be a fiction we tell ourselves that war can change and that WE do not use force to pursue unenlightened ends. But, if so, it is one we work very hard to maintain.

Now, I don't necessarily have a problem with allowing soldiers to bring back the abandoned/surrendered lawful property of the opposing army. (Which is quite different from the robbery of civilians of their arms as mentioned by Driftertank.) However, a U.S. soldier in any context has no more right to OWN a fully-automatic firearm than does any other citizen. (He does not OWN his issued weapon, and may not possess it outside of ordered duty.) It is a bedrock principle of this country that a soldier is not a special class of citizen with more rights than anyone else.

dogrunner
May 14, 2012, 01:25 PM
Well said! In all truth an understatement.

Soldiers are singularly an extension of FORCE........not social workers, and most importantly NOT nation builders. You defeat the purpose of the solder by minimizing both his mission and esprit de corps. Worse still, you set a pattern that is best reflected in every single conflict we've engaged in since 1945.

War has one purpose.........to defeat the enemy by killing or disabling him by any means possible!

Nations are built from the inside out and our model is not one acceptable to those of far different cultures.............frankly, some of those posting herein really need to read history in context of it's time and the forces that shaped it's direction.



This was intended to address DAMMIT BOY'S post #47.

Nushif
May 14, 2012, 01:46 PM
[...] frankly, some of those posting herein really need to read history in context of it's time and the forces that shaped it's direction.

I love how you put forth the notion of history *in its own time* and you're applying the pre-50s (mostly WW1, though) to the 2012 armies.
The last thing I will say on this one is that *right now* *this Army* is an Army of counter insurgents, nation builders, humanitarians and sometimes even social workers. And the leadership as well as followership of *this* Army is quite content following the direction of this *democratically* elected civilian government.

Whether you feel this is appropriate ... well. You have your right to your undemocratic opinion.

Ingsoc75
May 14, 2012, 02:10 PM
You can buy and own full auto AK trigger groups legally.

Just don't drill a third hole in the receiver.

SimplyChad
May 14, 2012, 03:11 PM
Accord to my COC there is no general order about bringing things back. But individual commands put the stops in place. According to out training room all it would take is to fill out the paperword to import whatever it is. Knife jewels non NFA weapon and wait. But it takes a form at company batt and bde to get it do and at any point the unit could take it as a unit trophy.

DammitBoy
May 14, 2012, 03:56 PM
Because soldiers shouldn't be allowed to keep weapons that regular citizens can't.

Incorrect sir, regular citizens should be allowed to keep any firearms that our soldiers can use.

Um, yeah, no. Politicians (the civilian government) are the ones who get to decide the goals of military action.


No sir, I said leave politicians out of military strategy planning. Our civilian govt. sets the goals, but if you want to win wars, leave strategy planning to the military.

Our current rules of engagement (thought up by our elected morons) has killed more soldiers than any other aspect of the way we conduct our wars.

Perceptions do not win battles or wars. Bullets, bombs, and guts win wars.

Warp
May 14, 2012, 04:06 PM
Incorrect sir, regular citizens should be allowed to keep any firearms that our soldiers can use.

That doesn't make mljdeckard incorrect. Your statement is actually pretty much identical to his, just flipped. You are in agreement.

mljdeckard
May 14, 2012, 04:09 PM
And the difference is......

DammitBoy
May 14, 2012, 04:24 PM
And the difference is......

Constitutional difference.

Accepting the idea that soldiers can carry and use weapons that citizens are restricted from using is in direct conflict with what our founders wrote the 2nd amendment to protect.

We certainly are not in agreement.

Warp
May 14, 2012, 04:26 PM
Which is EXACTLY what he said, and what he quoted.

"Because soldiers shouldn't be allowed to keep weapons that regular citizens can't."

You disagree? You think soldiers SHOULD be allowed to keep weapons that regular citizens cannot??

SharpsDressedMan
May 14, 2012, 04:29 PM
In a period of about 6 months after starting legislative action on it, the RIGHT of police officers to be armed all over the country, even after retirement, got approval from congress, and BOOM, it was law. They could easily exempt soldiers, etc, from the 86 machinegun ban, or just write some new law permitting soldiers to bring back weapons. You make it sound like the 1986, 1968, and other gun laws can't be changed. Once again, civilians DO own these type of weapons now.

Sam1911
May 14, 2012, 04:36 PM
They could easily exempt soldiers, etc, from the 86 machinegun ban,Without digging too deeply into the issue, lets assume that they could.

They should NOT. Again, a core principle of our system of government is that -- outside of one's official, sworn duties as a LEO or a soldier on orders -- the law that applies to one applies to all. None are a super-citizen, exempted from the same laws, restrictions, and requirements that apply to anyone else.

Even a soldier, no matter how valorous and distinguished, (or a LEO, Judge, Senator, or the President of the US!) has no more nor less rights than any other citizen of this country. And that is as it should be.

DammitBoy
May 14, 2012, 04:37 PM
There is no need to try and warp my words, they are right there to be read by anybody with the ability to read and think.

The OP question is: Should soldiers be allowed to bring back weapons?

mljdeckard: "No, because soldiers shouldn't be allowed to keep weapons that regular citizens can't."

me: "Yes, because citizens should be able to own any firearm used by our military. As the founders clearly intended when writing the 2nd amendment."

---

The first implies acceptance of an infringement upon our rights as citizens. The latter states clearly that this is unacceptable.

If you still have trouble with my logic or position, I'm sorry - I can explain it to you, but I cannot understand it for you.

Warp
May 14, 2012, 04:39 PM
"Yes, because citizens should be able to own any firearm used by our military".

^Allowing soldiers to return with firearms doesn't really do that. Changing the laws and removing restrictions on ownership/possession would do that. Nobody needs to be able to take anything home from a theater of war in order to make that happen.

Sam1911
May 14, 2012, 04:43 PM
Warp has a point. There are two facets to the question.

1) Should soldiers be allowed to take home personal trophies from the dead/defeated enemy?

2) Should soldiers be granted personal freedoms, when they return to civilian life, which exceed those of other civilian citizens?

Rail Driver
May 14, 2012, 04:50 PM
Warp has a point. There are two facets to the question.

1) Should soldiers be allowed to take home personal trophies from the dead/defeated enemy?

2) Should soldiers be granted personal freedoms, when they return to civilian life, which exceed those of other civilian citizens?
1: If the trophy isn't something of significant personal value to the enemy soldier's family (ie, a religious book or family photos etc) then my opinion is yes.

2: This one is tougher - They are the reason we have what freedoms we have - they should be rewarded for that, but at the same time, our nation holds equality of rights and treatment in high regard. I have to say yes but not in regards to weapons rights - we should all be able to have the "fun toys" - The way things are now is not how they should be.

mljdeckard
May 14, 2012, 05:47 PM
(What does an aneurism feel like?) Read ALL of my posts.

SharpsDressedMan
May 14, 2012, 06:12 PM
Sam1911, would that also apply to citizens vs. retired cops, with regards to CCW? Citizens should have the same "rights" as police officers, for aren't we all one and the same under the law? :rolleyes: It would seem we have lots of laws that create classes of citizens, and make us, well, NOT-equal. Once again, how many laws were broken when the Army brought that Glock back and gave it to George W Bush? I'm all for equality.

Cosmoline
May 14, 2012, 06:26 PM
A lot of these guys are coming home with PTSD. PTSD and full auto weapons don't mix too well

Contrary to this frothing nonsense, PTSD doesn't lead people to go on shooting rampages, murder their families or whatever. People who do that had other problems, likely long before they joined. PTSD can lead to depression, anxiety and difficulty coping. But it does not make veterans into dangerous madmen who think everyone is Charlie. That's Sillywood bravo sierra.

Nor does it have anything to do with the question in the thread. Unless you're going to bar all vets from owning any firearms because of misplaced PTSD paranoia, the issue is not whether they should be able to have firearms.

Sometimes I have to wonder what vets must think of us.

2) Should soldiers be granted personal freedoms, when they return to civilian life, which exceed those of other civilian citizens?

The way I look at it, this could be win-win. If the registry is reopened for veterans, then they increase everyone's freedom by expanding the transferable firearms under the NFA.

mljdeckard
May 14, 2012, 06:47 PM
(Do we even know for sure if that G-18 wasn't de-milled like every other bring-home?)

Sam1911
May 14, 2012, 06:59 PM
Sam1911, would that also apply to citizens vs. retired cops, with regards to CCW? Citizens should have the same "rights" as police officers, for aren't we all one and the same under the law? While I can't argue that I'm not for universal right to carry ... nor would I try and defend Congress' decision to extend their mandate to require states to recognize credentials issued by another state, that's still a far cry from opening the NFA registry to a favored class of citizen.

It would seem we have lots of laws that create classes of citizens, and make us, well, NOT-equal.So MORE of the same is good? That's not how I see it.

Once again, how many laws were broken when the Army brought that Glock back and gave it to George W Bush? I'm all for equality.
GWB was not "personally" given a machine pistol. He was officially presented a war trophy (don't know if dewat or not) but from what I've read it is part of his official Presidential museum collection -- not a toy he takes home to the ranch for blasting.

GWB, BO, BC, GHWB, JC, or even RR if we can resurrect him walk into a SOT3 gun shop and ask to buy a new machine gun -- they cannot. Until/unless the average citizen CAN, they should not be able to.

Sam1911
May 14, 2012, 07:02 PM
The way I look at it, this could be win-win. If the registry is reopened for veterans, then they increase everyone's freedom by expanding the transferable firearms under the NFA.

Well...now we're speculating on the intricate details of a law that is not now and never will be written. IF Congress granted "Uber Machine Gun Owner" status to returning veterans (:rolleyes:) would those machine guns they could then buy become transferable to non-special-class citizens? I can't see why anyone would expect that.

Fortunately this is all an incredibly moot point.

JohnBiltz
May 14, 2012, 07:27 PM
Speaking as someone who has seen American soldiers go through the pockets of a dead enemy for cigarettes and not been bothered by it, not like those cigarettes were going to do that guy any good anymore and they were not going to his family. I've read a few books about WWII and there was quite a lot of animosity over guns taken as war souvenirs. Jealousy, resentment over who it should belong to and cases of officers just plain stealing it from their men by means of their rank. I think that had a lot to do with it.

I don't think booby traps has a thing to with it. Its not as though we leave those weapons laying around after a fight. They are collected anyway and either destroyed or transported.

When the 1911s in armsrooms were finally replaced by M9s we were hoping they would be sold off to the public, they were destroyed. You think in an environment like that they are going to let you bring guns back from the war? Not going to happen.

SabbathWolf
May 14, 2012, 07:40 PM
As far as BATFE is concerned, there is no reversing a full-auto to a semi. Once auto, always auto. This is why CMP can sell Garands but not M-14s or M-16s.

I dunno. So a guy finds an AK or Dragunov and wants to bring it home? No big deal. but you know full well it leads to guys stuffing RPGs in their bags. Honestly, I see no real reason to allow it. It would also be extending a privilege to soldiers that civilians don't enjoy. You want an AK? Buy a civilian one.


Yes....and so what?
Civilians don't EARN that privilege. Soldiers do ya Goober.....lol

Warp
May 14, 2012, 07:43 PM
Yes....and so what?
Civilians don't EARN that privilege. Soldiers do ya Goober.....lol

Whoa-ho-ho there.

We are talking about rights here. Of United States citizens. They do not have to be earned. They are NOT privileges. They are RIGHTS.

The absolute last thing we need is more special, elite classes that are differentiated from the rest of the citizen body.

Nushif
May 14, 2012, 07:44 PM
Yes....and so what?
Civilians don't EARN that privilege. Soldiers do ya Goober.....lol

And you don't think that's mildly undemocratic?

Warp
May 14, 2012, 07:45 PM
Edit: Nvm, an above edit made this post irrelevant.

SabbathWolf
May 14, 2012, 07:47 PM
Whoa-ho-ho there.

We are talking about rights here. Of United States citizens. They do not have to be earned. They are NOT privileges. They are RIGHTS.

The absolute last thing we need is more special, elite classes that are differentiated from the rest of the citizen body.

We are "NOT" talking about Rights at all.
That's QUITE a stretch there Bud.
Please show me anywhere in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution or the Bill of Rights that explains war trophies.
If you want one one, then go earn and win one.

SabbathWolf
May 14, 2012, 07:52 PM
And you don't think that's mildly undemocratic?

I'm not worried about it being Democratic.
This is a Republic.

Zoogster
May 14, 2012, 08:01 PM
JohnBiltz said: When the 1911s in armsrooms were finally replaced by M9s we were hoping they would be sold off to the public, they were destroyed. You think in an environment like that they are going to let you bring guns back from the war? Not going to happen.

Yes the hundreds of thousands of 1911s that were entirely civilian legal under existing laws were destroyed by the government specifically to keep them from going to civilians.

Similarly the M14s, easily reduced to semi-auto only (and some have been welded to accomplish that) were destroyed specifically to keep them from going to civilians.

Many other guns from Thompsons to m3s were likewise destroyed in large numbers.
As well as various semi-auto marksman and sniper rifles not kept in inventory.



The military is relatively anti-gun, and untrusting of enlisted personnel.
They have in recent times tried to force all service members to register even guns owned off base. Guns stored on base often must be kept in armories. Even soldiers with CCW licenses in the state they are stationed in cannot have their firearm on them on base.
The military goes out of their way to reduce how often many soldiers have access to weapons. Unless they are in immediate need of a firearm they are kept disarmed in general.
Soldiers in the barracks often cannot even have knives, or knives over some relatively small length. Because they don't want them having deadly weapons.

The mentality that exists would not want to actually increase the number of arms personally owned by soldiers. All other considerations aside, just soldiers having more personal weapons would be seen as undesirable.





Beyond all of that:

Most modern arms on a battlefield are selective-fire. This means most legitimate war bring backs would be illegal to own as a civilian. Soldiers should not be allowed to own something civilians cannot.
So you would need to repeal the 86 machinegun ban to resolve that issue.

These various police actions and insurgent based conflicts have the military primarily dealing with civilians. Any motivation added for some soldiers to steal from the civilian population could be counterproductive to winning hearts and minds or reducing enemy recruitment.
This risk is further increased due to the machinegun ban, as since the majority of actual enemy weapons will be selective fire, soldiers wanting their bring back and unable to acquire one that is not selective fire from actual enemy fighters may turn to taking semi-auto firearms from civilians.
Soldiers should have no personal motivation to steal rifles, shotguns, or pistols, from civilians, or claim civilians were enemy combatants to steal from them for personal gain.
When you remove the opportunity for any personal gain, you reduce motivation for corrupt practices.

Warp
May 14, 2012, 08:06 PM
SabbathWolf]We are "NOT" talking about Rights at all.
That's QUITE a stretch there Bud.
Please show me anywhere in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution or the Bill of Rights that explains war trophies.
If you want one one, then go earn and win one.

You said civilians have not earned the privilege, but soldiers have, when the topic of conversation was full auto ownership by civilians.

This is most certainly a matter of rights that is covered in the Constitution/BoR

SabbathWolf
May 14, 2012, 08:13 PM
Have you read the entire thread?

If not, please do so.

If so, do you see how two separate ideas/discussions emerged and how you posted immediately following one that was about more than "yes/no" to war trophies?

Well thank you sincerely for your unsolicited advice.
My reading skills are just fine thanks.....lol

Point of fact is that I have no problems with civilians owning the same types of firearms as everybody else.
I'm Pro 2A and think many/all of our current gun laws should be repealed.
"This" however, still has nothing to do with soldiers "earning" the right to bring back weapons acquired through blood, sweat and tears in combat that civilians don't earn.
The discussion is based on what the OP originally wrote.
Not what "you" say it is.

Warp
May 14, 2012, 08:16 PM
"This" however, still has nothing to do with soldiers "earning" the right to bring back weapons acquired through blood, sweat and tears in combat that civilians don't earn.

So your position is that they should be able to bring them back, provided that they would be legal for any other civilian to have?

amd6547
May 14, 2012, 08:32 PM
I did not give blood, sweat and tears for my war trophy pistol...my father did.
He served in an armored cavalry unit in Europe in WWII, and brought home a Norwegian 1911.
After he passed away, it was decided by my family that my brother and I would divide my dads firearms.
I got the 1911, and my brother got a French 32, (german marked and also brought home), and a 9mm Radom he acquired circa 1970.
My fathers bring back 1911 is probably my most prized possession.
It is sad that future generations won't have these trophies to remind them of the sacrifices made on their behalf.
To say that most weapons of our adversaries are full auto is so wrong.
Today's soldiers have collected tons of bolt action rifles, commercial shotguns, and handguns...weapons that any one of us could buy without restriction...why can't they be brought home?

DavidMS
May 14, 2012, 08:35 PM
First, will it interfere with good order and discipline?

Second, will it be an administrative headache?

Third, will it interfere with our responsibilities to not take cultural artifacts of historical significance.

I know that my grandfather participated in the occupation of Japan and brought back a number of Japanese items that were brought on the open market. Would he have been able to purchase them in an arms length transaction had the Japanese economy not been destroyed along with their military?

bluethunder1962
May 14, 2012, 08:36 PM
H-- yes

Warp
May 14, 2012, 08:38 PM
bluethunder, I don't think you need to creatively spell hell. ;)

HankB
May 14, 2012, 08:51 PM
My Dad brought home a number of weapons - edged and otherwise - from WWII. (I inherited an Arisaka and some very nice samurai cutlery.) At that time, he did have to have a pass signed by the CO that the weapons were war trophies from the field of battle - he had a whole stack of these passes.

Quite a bit was stolen on the troop ship home (he was no longer just with his outfit) and he sold still more to green troops - going price for a Nambu with holster and a box of ammo was $75, not bad for 1945.

As for now . . . there's a basic hoplophobic mentality in the military today, starting with the Commander In Chief and extending through the general officer ranks. Hell, these are the people who saw to it that Major Nidal had a large group of completely unarmed soldiers to kill, who send men out on guard duty with no ammo - sometimes no guns! - to safeguard military installations, the same people who even in some cases want guns stored off base to be registered. Why do you think they'd want to let guys bring ANYTHING home?

Warp
May 14, 2012, 08:53 PM
It is sad how anti-gun the military does actually seem to be.

This post was mostly to increase my post count by one to get off the number

DammitBoy
May 14, 2012, 10:24 PM
"This" however, still has nothing to do with soldiers "earning" the right to bring back weapons acquired through blood, sweat and tears in combat that civilians don't earn.


It most certainly does. A main central factor of bring back weapons being forbidden is that they are full auto weapons (for the most part). Soldiers returning to civilian life would be forbidden by our current laws to keep them.

This is directly related to the fact that our 2nd amendment rights are infringed upon by unconstitutional laws.

Furthermore, every citizen of this country has a right to bear arms - it isn't earned or given by the government or military service.

Hacker15E
May 14, 2012, 10:31 PM
There is only one type of citizen in the United States -- one who is entitled to all the rights and privileges enshrined in the Constitution.

Military veterans are not "super citizens" who are entitled to more or different rights than every other American.

The military is an all-volunteer service. Although military members certainly endure hardships and sacrifices that many Americans never have to, they did so completely voluntarily and knowing full well that it did not entitle them to any special privileges.

I'm proud to be a military member and a combat veteran, but in no way does that make me any more special than any other free man who lives in America.

SharpsDressedMan
May 14, 2012, 10:50 PM
I'm still trying to figure out how all these high dollar Washington security firms (owned and run by ex-Secret Service and FBI guys) have late issue MP5's (post 1968, which means they were supposed to be dealer samples or for the military or police only), etc, for their security details. I'm thinking that having been connected in DC to all these cool agencies, they have somehow gotten exemptions to have them so that they can protect dignitaries and other political allies and assets to the US government. Does anyone have a fix on this? Blackwater is an example, but there are many more discreet ones. Meanwhile, us normal folks have to pay $14K and up for converted and otherwise "tranferable" machineguns, etc.

blarby
May 14, 2012, 10:52 PM
Yes.



Bring the guns home.

mljdeckard
May 14, 2012, 11:36 PM
I am a veteran of BOTH gulf wars. I don't think in any way, shape, or form, that this gives me any preference points over any citizen for any right.

ConstitutionCowboy
May 14, 2012, 11:51 PM
I am a veteran of BOTH gulf wars. I don't think in any way, shape, or form, that this gives me any preference points over any citizen for any right.

There is a simple solution to all of this: Repeal the NFA, the GCA of '68, and all the rest of those infringing feral(federal) 'gun control' laws, and then enforce the Second Amendment on the several states.

Problem solved.

Otherwise, anyone is able to join the military, go to war, and bring home a trophy. Just because you might be in a position to bring one home doesn't mean you have any special preference. You just made the appropriate choices in life to reap that reward. It's no different than the differences between what is earned by different folks based upon education, chosen fields of endeavor, work ethic, etc., etc., etc.

Woody

mljdeckard
May 15, 2012, 12:15 AM
That's a couple of BIG ifs down the road.

paintballdude902
May 15, 2012, 12:45 AM
i have an email from the ATF telling me i am allowed to send home an antique firearm...... with CO permission

sixgunner455
May 15, 2012, 01:50 AM
In my unit, just about everyone brought home several antiques. We had paperwork to fill out to authorize it, and a JAG officer detailed to check them all.

We bought them all, cash money, no stealing, no "trophy" taking. I was more interested in the cool old stuff than in anything that would have gotten me in trouble, had I been caught with it.

JSpear
May 15, 2012, 03:05 AM
This has been a very good discussion that has giving me a break from work multiple times, I don't have an over all opinion on this, there have been many good points on both sides, either way, all i want to say is thanks to all those who have served and thanks to all who have posted, it's been a very interesting read!

shuvelrider
May 15, 2012, 05:32 AM
Same here, Lot of good points pro and con, logical and asinine. But what I see, is way too many variables to ever reach a satisfactory compromise/agreement, on the issue from the OP.
As a soldier, yes I would like to bring something home. Will it ever be allowed again?, not anytime soon.
Anti gun sentiment and "some" dummies in the military who should not be around any firearms?, you bet-----plenty of them."Highly trained" is a glazed over word that sounds good, reality will show you otherwise.

mljdeckard
May 15, 2012, 07:44 AM
On the other hand, I do have a good friend who brought home three 1855 Enfield muzzle-loaders in different lengths. He had to repeatedly explain to officials that according to BATFE, they are NOT firearms.

beatledog7
May 15, 2012, 08:23 AM
Waited a while to post.

I agree with post 17. Tell soldiers they can keep what they capture, and for a handful of them, finding an enemy combatant who's carrying the desired item--then finding a way to justify engaging him--quickly supersedes the real mission. Commanders can't afford that sort of disturbance in the force, in you catch my meaning.

It comes to this: When a soldier writes something as part of his job, that writing is not his. He cannot copyright it, nor can he profit from it. His effort produced it; his understanding of the topic made it possible. But he did it for Uncle Sam, in Uncle Sam's employ. Uncle Sam owns it.

If a soldier manages to disarm an enemy--capture his firearm--he has done so because that's his job. His claim on that captured weapon is the same as the other soldier's claim on that piece of writing: Zero.

As for U.S. firearms that are leaving the inventory, all citizens should have an equal claim on them through legitimate sales (albeit in a somewhat demilitarized state). I see no reason for veterans to have dibs.

Yes, I am a veteran. No, I don't posses any of the firearms or other durable equipment that were issued to me over 27 years of service. They were mine to care for and use, not to own.

Sam1911
May 15, 2012, 08:42 AM
Interesting, another wrinkle:

The previous two questions were:
1) Should soldiers be allowed to take home personal trophies from the dead/defeated enemy?
2) Should soldiers be granted personal freedoms, when they return to civilian life, which exceed those of other civilian citizens?

To those we can add:
3) Should soldiers be allowed to purchase items (including antique firearms, or modern firearms of our "Title I" sort) on the (presumably) free market within the country they occupy, for import back to the States?

That removes both the stumbling blocks of NFA Title II items and the unseemly question of "trophy hunting." It appears the answer to this question is largely (or at least, often) yes, in today's Army.

Sam1911
May 15, 2012, 08:46 AM
As a side note, I recently read William Manchester's Goodbye Darkness (http://www.amazon.com/Goodbye-Darkness-Memoir-Pacific-War/dp/0316501115) and he recounted some very ugly incidents of the fairly common tendency of soldiers to become preoccupied with securing souvenirs from the battlefield, and/or the dead. These often resulted in men out of position, not performing their assigned duties, and all too often, seriously wounded or dead scavenging prized trophies.

rajb123
May 15, 2012, 09:10 AM
I don't see why a fully auto is more dangerous to society than a semi auto or bolt action rifle. Gun grabbers have used the argument that faster firing guns must be more evil than slow guns.

Frankly, this is garbage...

academy
May 15, 2012, 12:08 PM
Open the NFA registry to returning servicemen who have seen combat, allow them one registration and call the cost of their weapon a "service bonus." It's economic stimulus and a legitimate bonus to servicemen as well. Once they have their service weapon or another bring back, the free market gives our veterans up to a 20k bonus.

But that idea makes far too much sense for our politicians to allow it...

DammitBoy
May 15, 2012, 12:09 PM
This is how our government treats soldiers with firearms:

http://www.washingtontimes.com/blog/guns/2012/may/14/miller-injured-vets-guns-stolen-dc/

After being injured on his second tour of duty in Afghanistan, Lt. Augustine Kim spent the night in a D.C. jail for possessing unregistered guns.

Mr. Kim was transporting his firearms from his parentsí house in New Jersey to South Carolina when he stopped at Walter Reed in Washington for a medical appointment in the summer of 2010.

After being pulled over, handcuffed, arrested, thrown in jail overnight, his guns were confiscated by the city.

In the end, the platoon leader felt forced to plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge, which was later dismissed, but the District still refuses to return to him $10,000 worth of firearms and parts. The national guardsman will deploy to Kosovo this summer. The city should return his property before he leaves to serve our nation overseas for the third time.

Not surprising at all, considering this administration considers returning vets candidates for their "terrorist watchlist"...

Nushif
May 15, 2012, 01:17 PM
Well, he did go on a federal installation with a weapon that was arguably not registered to the base.

Did the cops (private contractors, probably, mind you) overreact? Definitely.
But is this factually a crime? Definitely.

Point is the administration has nothing to do with this one. A bunch of overzealous "private contractors" who are part of the wait for it .... military industrial complex were dumb. Newsflash, right?

Cosmoline
May 15, 2012, 01:28 PM
Uncle Sam owns it.

Sure, and (supposedly) we control Uncle Sam, so we could pass a law giving certain seized property to the soldiers. As it stands now, there is still abundant looting and pillaging, but the government doesn't share with peons. Only with corporate buddies. What's wrong with spreading the wealth a bit more?

Agsalaska
May 15, 2012, 01:51 PM
After reading much of this thread I am glad and a little surprised to see how many people truly understand why our soldiers are not allowed to take home weapons from the battlefield. It is great to have a professional army.

Vern Humphrey
May 15, 2012, 02:06 PM
I understand the sentiment of most here encouraging the practice. However, I think this is a slippery slope and a bad PR idea. Why a slippery slope? Why stop with weapons? Once you open that door then where do you draw the line? Watches, jewelry, money, art, religious artifacts, computers, cars, where does it stop? We are Americans and we should set a higher standard by living that example.
Where was that slippery slope in WWI? In WWII? In Korea? In Viet Nam?

You're erecting false obstacles -- there never was a problem in previous wars with soldiers bringing home trophy weapons. If you say there was, show proof.

Agsalaska
May 15, 2012, 02:14 PM
There are plenty of war-time practices that have been accepted for generations, even millennia, that are now considered repugnant.

More to the point, the current objective of most war is not simply to crush, defeat, loot, and/or humiliate the enemy and take their land. Rather, the ultimate objective is often nation building to create a stable, economically prosperous, and strong ally (note the difference between how post-war Germany was treated after WWI and WWII).

Allowing individual soldiers to take trophies of war is questionable when a force is trying, from the very beginning, to win the hearts and minds of the locals in part by appearing disinterested and professional. Forbidding soldiers from taking trophies of war is a last step towards a purely professional military force.

Don't get me wrong. I personally would want to take an AK-47 or some other weapon of the enemy home, but I come from a long line of headhunters so what I would want to do as a soldier is not the same as what I would allow soldiers to do as a commanding officer.

Best post on this topic so far and should answer your question Verne. The only part missing is the argument of soldiers making decisions not in the best interest of his unit or command just to get a trophy. This is well documented and Sam1911 gave a good reference to a book on this subject.

Vern Humphrey
May 15, 2012, 03:47 PM
I think it would be far more prudent to offer better physical and mental health services to vets than to worry about bringing home guns.
Fallacy of the False Delimma. We do not have to choose between allowing veterans to bring home trophy guns and giving them better care.

It's not like there has never been a traumatized vet come home and shoot his family or drive his car into a bridge abutment... Or how about the thousands of guys suffering after Agent Orange or Gulf War Syndrome which still are not being treated without massive red tape? How about the guy down in the park who can't find a place to sleep? We have better things to worry about in the real world for these guys.
You're coming very close to saying that no veteran can be trusted with a gun and that the reward for serving one's country should be to lose one's civil rights.\
Best post on this topic so far and should answer your question Verne. The only part missing is the argument of soldiers making decisions not in the best interest of his unit or command just to get a trophy. This is well documented and Sam1911 gave a good reference to a book on this subject.
Right. I'm amazed how people who have never been in combat know so much about that experience.

Agsalaska
May 15, 2012, 04:13 PM
Right. I'm amazed how people who have never been in combat know so much about that experience.


Ah yes. The been there argument. The argument most often used to silence critics in any circumstance. Also the least effective in rational debate. But I appreciate you bringing it again and again. The fact that someone has or has not experienced something does not eliminate them from having rational thought or opinion on a matter. Ever second guessed a football coach? Ever seen a doctor? EVer had an opinion on inner city violence? The fact that someone may or may not have experienced combat is completely irrelevant to the question posed by the OP. The fact that you say you did does not make you opinion any more legitimate.

Vern Humphrey
May 15, 2012, 04:19 PM
As a side note, I recently read William Manchester's Goodbye Darkness and he recounted some very ugly incidents of the fairly common tendency of soldiers to become preoccupied with securing souvenirs from the battlefield, and/or the dead. These often resulted in men out of position, not performing their assigned duties, and all too often, seriously wounded or dead scavenging prized trophies.
And how often did this happen?

I personally saw many men taking up battlefield weapons -- I was an adviser with ARVN Infantry on my first tour in Viet Nam, and a Company Commander on my second tour. I never saw collecting weapons cause a problem.

In fact, it is standard practice to police the battlefield, gathering enemy weapons and equipment, emptying the pockets of enemy dead and prisoners and so on for information. Afterwards, those weapons which can be legally taken home -- the SKS, M1944 MN carbines, and so on, are shared out to whoever wants one.

So wherever William Manchester was, he wasn't in a company that had a good Company Commander, Platoon Leaders and NCOS.

Vern Humphrey
May 15, 2012, 04:23 PM
Ah yes. The been there argument. The argument most often used to silence critics in any circumstance.
Ah, yes. The "My imagination is better than your hands-on experience" argument. The argument most often used to silence critics in any circumstance.

Agsalaska
May 15, 2012, 04:29 PM
Ah, yes. The "My imagination is better than your hands-on experience" argument. The argument most often used to silence critics in any circumstance.

With all do respect, only do because of your said combat experience, I do not believe most posters on this board who have defended the rule have done so using their 'imagination.' I also am quite certain there are plenty of people, including on this thread, who have 'been there' and still agree. But Im certainly not going to waist my day arguing with you. :banghead:

Have a good day.

Sam1911
May 15, 2012, 04:35 PM
So wherever William Manchester was ... IIRC, Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Saipan, Guam, Peleliu, the Philippines, Iwo Jima and Okinawa.

...he wasn't in a company that had a good Company Commander, Platoon Leaders and NCOS.
He was a Marine Sergeant throughout the Pacific Campaign.

Goodbye Darkness is not about trophy hunting. He makes many observations about the Marines he served with and their officers. The descriptions of that sort of behavior are merely one tiny facet of a truly momentous book.

Vern Humphrey
May 15, 2012, 06:03 PM
IIRC, Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Saipan, Guam, Peleliu, the Philippines, Iwo Jima and Okinawa.
Not possible -- different Marine divisions fought in those campaigns. For example, the First Division fought on Guadalcanal, New Britain, Peleliu, and Okinawa but not on Tarawa, the Phillippines or Iwo Jima. The divisions that fought on Iwo did not fight on Okinawa

He was a Marine Sergeant throughout the Pacific Campaign.
And fought in some battles, but by no means all.

Marines who fought in Viet Nam saw more combat than those in WWII -- albeit few Viet Nam battles were as intense as those of WWII in the Pacific. And the Marine Corps took more casualties in Viet Nam than in the Pacific.
Goodbye Darkness is not about trophy hunting. He makes many observations about the Marines he served with and their officers. The descriptions of that sort of behavior are merely one tiny facet of a truly momentous book.
So what you have are anecdotes -- not a serious study of the issue.

Nushif
May 15, 2012, 06:22 PM
So what you have are anecdotes -- not a serious study of the issue.

Following that logic, neither do you.

Agsalaska
May 15, 2012, 06:27 PM
Delete post.

Agsalaska
May 15, 2012, 06:30 PM
Following that logic, neither do you.

My thoughts exactly. He wants it both ways. Apparently now the amount of combat seen by Marines in WW2 is not good enough to have a 'been there' opinion. Which is, of course, the only way you can possibly have an opinion. :banghead:

Vern Humphrey
May 15, 2012, 06:41 PM
Ah, but I have more than anecdotal evidence -- I have observed many actions, and seen how the battlefield is policed. And my company was part of a battalion, which was part of a brigade -- so not only do I have my own personal experience, but I have the reports and communications of the whole force.

Find me an official report from any unit in WWII, Korea, or Viet Nam that said taking trophies "resulted in men out of position, not performing their assigned duties, and all too often, seriously wounded or dead scavenging prized trophies."

Agsalaska
May 15, 2012, 06:44 PM
Vern thats awesome. While I go act like I am digging thru official reports, can you explain to me again how your evidence and experience is somehow more relevant than a WW2 Pacific theater marines?


Never mind.

SharpsDressedMan
May 15, 2012, 07:13 PM
The world may seem more sophisticated, and would like to think that it is, but war seems to still belong to the very basic of human nature. If you deny the warriors their due, you insult them. Period. To think that this can be done without repercussions is naive. We try to make soldiers operate in some type of socially imposed mental "cage". You can't have sex and/or girlie magazines. You can't have booze. You can't can't shoot HERE (pick a place on the map of you AO). You can't shoot back. You can't use THIS weapon, and you'd better not get caught with THIS one. You must bottle up all you aggressions; do not get in a scrap with your fellow soldiers. You can't write home about THIS, or take a picture of THAT, etc. Do the great thinkers really think they can ask all of this (and more) from today's soldiers, and built up stress and future problems won't result? I think they know, and it is just one of the many easy fixes for the moment. They do not REALLY care about the soldier, as long as he does his job, and either dies, or moves on. In earlier wars, we had the conscription of the "average Joe", and he also made up the officer corps. People who were not career military, and many of them really DID care about their subordinates, or comrades, and acted accordingly, often in contrast to orders, military discipline & rules, etc. I think they are missing from the ranks, and now we have too many passive automatons, people calling the shots that feel nothing about denying others basic acts of human nature. Often, we call a soldiers "release" acting out (some physical or violent release), as if it were an act. People NEED to blow off steam to keep their sanity sometimes. There is no provision for that in the regs. And, as noted, it has been a TIMELESS act to bring back weapons and souvenirs from wars by the combatants. It is human nature. To try to deny this is naive, and possibly reckless when you take in the consideration that it is earned by those combantants. To put it bluntly, again, it is an insult, and anyone denying our troops THAT does not deserve to be in a position to do so. Non combatant citizens, politicians, and any other pantywaisted talking heads can shut up, step out of the way, or become a combatant and earn the right to LEAVE weapons and souvenirs behind, if they don't want them. War is a totally different reality than that which the talkers understand. A souvenir is a very small token of compensation for what is stripped (innocence, dignity, faith, life; the list is endless) from a soldier in a war. Many soldiers would even prefer to leave EVERYTHING behind in order to get over the experience. Some never pick up a gun again. I do not fault either, nor would I attempt to tell them what they could or should do. I believe in freedom of choice, and this is just one of them.

Vern Humphrey
May 15, 2012, 07:18 PM
Vern thats awesome. While I go act like I am digging thru official reports, can you explain to me again how your evidence and experience is somehow more relevant than a WW2 Pacific theater marines
First of all, you don't have "WW2 Pacific theater marines." You have anecdotes from one Marine.

Secondly, my opinion is based not only on personal experience, but on much wider experience across many units.

Third, the collection of enemy equipment, weapons and documents is automatic -- it always happens. So anecdotes relating to collection are irrelevant -- since we always do that.

So the only issue is what happens after weapons and equipment are collected.

Now explain to me what's wrong with allowing soldiers to pick trophies from a pile already collected?

The-Reaver
May 15, 2012, 07:23 PM
Seeing as I believe nothing should be regulated at all. I too believe that trophies off all types should be able to be brought home. I mean seriously do you know how hard it was for me to bring back a patch from Iraq... a Patch, not a gun, not mortar, but a patch. A piece of uniform that I got off an Iraqi police officer.

Might as well had to shove that thing in a dark little hole. Luckily no-one noticed it in my shoulder pocket when they did the search. =)

Agsalaska
May 15, 2012, 07:26 PM
The world may seem more sophisticated, and would like to think that it is, but war seems to still belong to the very basic of human nature. If you deny the warriors their due, you insult them. Period. To think that this can be done without repercussions is naive. We try to make soldiers operate in some type of socially imposed mental "cage". You can't have sex and/or girlie magazines. You can't have booze. You can't can't shoot HERE (pick a place on the map of you AO). You can't shoot back. You can't use THIS weapon, and you'd better not get caught with THIS one. You must bottle up all you aggressions; do not get in a scrap with your fellow soldiers. You can't write home about THIS, or take a picture of THAT, etc. Do the great thinkers really think they can ask all of this (and more) from today's soldiers, and built up stress and future problems won't result? I think they know, and it is just one of the many easy fixes for the moment. They do not REALLY care about the soldier, as long as he does his job, and either dies, or moves on. In earlier wars, we had the conscription of the "average Joe", and he also made up the officer corps. People who were not career military, and many of them really DID care about their subordinates, or comrades, and acted accordingly, often in contrast to orders, military discipline & rules, etc. I think they are missing from the ranks, and now we have too many passive automatons, people calling the shots that feel nothing about denying others basic acts of human nature. Often, we call a soldiers "release" acting out (some physical or violent release), as if it were an act. People NEED to blow off steam to keep their sanity sometimes. There is no provision for that in the regs. And, as noted, it has been a TIMELESS act to bring back weapons and souvenirs from wars by the combatants. It is human nature. To try to deny this is naive, and possibly reckless when you take in the consideration that it is earned by those combantants. To put it bluntly, again, it is an insult, and anyone denying our troops THAT does not deserve to be in a position to do so. Non combatant citizens, politicians, and any other pantywaisted talking heads can shut up, step out of the way, or become a combatant and earn the right to LEAVE weapons and souvenirs behind, if they don't want them. War is a totally different reality than that which the talkers understand. A souvenir is a very small token of compensation for what is stripped (innocence, dignity, faith, life; the list is endless) from a soldier in a war. Many soldiers would even prefer to leave EVERYTHING behind in order to get over the experience. Some never pick up a gun again. I do not fault either, nor would I attempt to tell them what they could or should do. I believe in freedom of choice, and this is just one of them.

I agree with most of that. Especially the part about a socially controlled cage. Bringing back War trophies is a timeless act. But there was a time when raping the local women, executing all men, and burning all of the fields was too. I think there is a line in the sand where you can expect more out of your soldiers and your army. I would agree that trophy weapons are probably right on that line. I can certainly see both sides of the story. I can see why the commanders, those that ultimately made the decision, did so. I can also see why soldiers who earned thru combat whatever it is they have in their possession feel they should be able to keep them. I dont believe, and have been playing around with Vern's responses, that the decision should be made in a vaccuum. There are always other considerations.

Agsalaska
May 15, 2012, 07:35 PM
First of all, you don't have "WW2 Pacific theater marines." You have anecdotes from one Marine.




That was singular. Hence the 'A' in front WW2 in my post. Not very good English I will have to admit. I should have said 'than that of a' or finished the sentence with 'Marine's observations'. I apologize for the confusing grammatical errors.




Vern. I shouldnt have responded to your earlier and am not going to now. Your right. I am wrong. I have no idea what I am talking about because I was not a Marine in Vietnam and should not even pay attention to comments being made on this thread by army officers, WW2 historians-writers-vets, or from my own experiences. There is nothing wrong with letting soldiers pick thru collected weapons to find guns that would be legal to own in the United States. Absolutely nothing at all. It could not cause any problems anywhere in the world and there is no logical argument against it.

Have a nice evening

Nushif
May 15, 2012, 07:35 PM
To put it bluntly, again, it is an insult, and anyone denying our troops THAT does not deserve to be in a position to do so.

Sounds like you should be reporting for your SitRep from the Command-in-Chief in the morning, then.

Vern Humphrey
May 15, 2012, 07:53 PM
Vern. I shouldnt have responded to your earlier and am not going to now. Your right. I am wrong. I have no idea what I am talking about because I was not a Marine in Vietnam and should not even pay attention to comments being made on this thread by army officers, WW2 historians-writers-vets, or from my own experiences. There is nothing wrong with letting soldiers pick thru collected weapons to find guns that would be legal to own in the United States. Absolutely nothing at all. It could not cause any problems anywhere in the world and there is no logical argument against it.
Maybe you should read your own posts before sending them.

Tell me what is wrong, what problems could be caused by allowing soldiers to take legal weapons as trophies?

Spell it out for us and let us see what your real complaint is.

Agsalaska
May 15, 2012, 08:00 PM
Maybe you should read your own posts before sending them.

You must have missed my sarcasm. Im pretty sure I know what I posted

Tell me what is wrong, what problems could be caused by allowing soldiers to take legal weapons as trophies?

I believe posts 2,5,7, especially 7, 12, and 16 along with Sam1911's posts cover it for me.



Spell it out for us and let us see what your real complaint is.

Oh Vern. What could you possibly mean by that?



Comments in Red.

Vern Humphrey
May 15, 2012, 08:18 PM
I've reviewed them.

Post 2 says, "Politically, it can be more problematic today" It's only problematical if we let it be probmatical.

Post 5 discusses a grenade found in a garage. We're not talking about allowing troops to bring live explosives home.

Post 7 says, "Allowing individual soldiers to take trophies of war is questionable when a force is trying, from the very beginning, to win the hearts and minds of the locals" which would include not allowing troops to take pictures, buy things in the local bazzar, and so on.

Post 12 says, "The traditional rights of an individual warrior over the vanquished in single combat have little to do with functioning as a soldier in a modern military," which has nothing to do with the issue -- it doesn't say what's bad about trophnies.

Post 16 says, "Our behavior as professional soldiers, not "warriors," must be beyond reproach. Beyond. It's not only against the NCO creed, the vow Officers take, but also a blemish on our rofession as a whole." What is this "Vow" officers take, and how does allowing troops to take home trophy weapons go against it?

Agsalaska
May 15, 2012, 08:26 PM
I've reviewed them.

Post 2 says, "Politically, it can be more problematic today" It's only problematical if we let it be probmatical.

Post 5 discusses a grenade found in a garage. We're not talking about allowing troops to bring live explosives home.

Post 7 says, "Allowing individual soldiers to take trophies of war is questionable when a force is trying, from the very beginning, to win the hearts and minds of the locals" which would include not allowing troops to take pictures, buy things in the local bazzar, and so on.

Post 12 says, "The traditional rights of an individual warrior over the vanquished in single combat have little to do with functioning as a soldier in a modern military," which has nothing to do with the issue -- it doesn't say what's bad about trophnies.

Post 16 says, "Our behavior as professional soldiers, not "warriors," must be beyond reproach. Beyond. It's not only against the NCO creed, the vow Officers take, but also a blemish on our rofession as a whole." What is this "Vow" officers take, and how does allowing troops to take home trophy weapons go against it?


Good to see you reviewed those posts Vern. Dont forget Sams too. You know, when you completely dismissed a WW2 Combat Marine because he saw less combat that a Vietnam marine and was 'anectodle'(which you are too)

I will have to say, after re-reading post 16 it could be written better.


By the way, you never answered that part about clarifying what you meant when you asked what my real complaint was.


And this time Vern I am serious. Go argue in circles with someone else. I am done with this thread. Now please smile in internet satisfaction and post that you beat me. Or come up with a real argument other than the 'been there' one.

Have a nice day.

JohnBiltz
May 15, 2012, 08:34 PM
Third, the collection of enemy equipment, weapons and documents is automatic -- it always happens. So anecdotes relating to collection are irrelevant -- since we always do that.
You are absolutely correct in this. Tell me this who do you think is going to get those weapons, the guys in the rear with the gear or the guys who actually collected them? My experience is that things don't get issued to the guys out front until every REMF behind them already has one and this begins with the generals and their staff, being part of the problem makes hard for them to have the moral authority to make it stop. Do you think this might cause a bit of resentment?

Robert
May 15, 2012, 08:41 PM
:rolleyes:

Ok let's stick a fork in this one.

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