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Is Military Anti-Gun?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by ForeignDude, Dec 27, 2006.

  1. ForeignDude

    ForeignDude Well-Known Member

    I've only gotten "into" firearms in the past year or so. In that time, I've noted a bit of a paradox. For those of you who have been in the service: Is it just me, or does the military seem like a very "anti-gun" organization? There are so many regulations surrounding the possession and carrying of firearms on Army bases, that it seems as if the goal is to discourage independent training with pistols or rifles. I’ve found that many bases have closed, or are in the process of closing, on-base “rod & gun clubs”. I’ve even heard from a few older guys that the Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) used to carry firearms for sale at many of the larger bases.

    At the individual level, most of the officers I know shoot to qualify barely once a year, shoot once or (maybe) twice before being deployed, or go for years without touching a pistol. Given the current operational tempo, you’d think the Army would be pushing all service-members to become proficient with a firearm – especially in the Army, where we don’t have the equivalent of the Marine’s concept: “Every Marine a Rifleman”… I began training on my own only after realizing that there was no-way, no-how I was going to be able to shoot in combat. Oh, I passed the shooting qualifications, but I had no friggin’ idea how I was doing it. Certainly, I knew how to keep the weapon “on safe” and how to field-strip it for cleaning, but I didn’t really know how to shoot the damn thing anywhere near accurately! Luckily, when I finally did deploy, I was never caught in a firefight.

    For the most part, I also don't think this is an officer/enlisted issue. At all my postings, including my current assignment, all the enlisted personnel are required to qualify on the M-16 once a year, too. To the best of my knowledge, they're not even required to qualify using 3-round bursts.

    I presume this is very different among the infantry folks. What about armor, engineers, and combat support? I can tell you that the picture looks bleak among the combat service support folks (especially medical).

    How do you instill a “warrior” ethos or mentality into military personnel trained to disdain or fear the tools that can save their lives in combat?
  2. Dr. Dickie

    Dr. Dickie Well-Known Member

    I suspect, but do NOT know, that this is just more trickle down of the "guns are evil" mentality in our society.
    Tight regulation of military firearms on a military base makes sense. The tight regulation of civilan firearms on a military base may make the regulation of military arms easier, but I would still bet that deep down it is the huge media and societial bias againt guns that is the root of it.
    If you cannot trust your soliders to own firearms, why would you trust them in combat?
  3. jaysouth

    jaysouth Well-Known Member

    Speaking only from my experience with the Army, the establishment has an institutional memory of the draft era and the quality of the people furnished under that system.

    It was safe to assume that every barricks held a goodly number of criminals. those folks that were caught up in the draft and those 'recruited' by juvenile judges. "Boy, you gotta choice, a year in jail or join the Army".

    Seldom did a payday weekend go by without a brawl or murder. On larger posts, there would be a 'lineup' several times a year. Every soldier would line up on the street in front of their company area while a victim in the back seat of an MP sedan would cruise up and down looking for a rape/murder/robbery assailant.

    Then the racial problems started. Draftees from inner cities would band together and go wilding. These thugs would beat, rob and murder over the least provocation. When Enlisted Men's clubs closed for the evenings, there would be UPs and MPs stationed all around to provide a show of force. When the thugs came back from the clubs, they would provoke fights in barricks. Weekends were a stressful time. These same thugs would go off post and commit gang rapes and robberies. By the 60s, most Germans wished that they were occupied by Russians rather than Americans. By the time the Russians were more disciplined that our troops.

    These thugs were emboldened by the way their depredations were classified. If seven blacks that had been drinking jumped a white soldier and beat him senseless, the event was recorded as a "racial incident". This very term whitewashed their criminal intent and actions.

    Anyhow, the Army has long memory of troops misbehaving enough without access to firearms. Hopefully the high quality of our current troops will prevail and the Army will accept them for the dedicated professionals that they are and not prejudge them as criminals. (they will always be accomplished thieves as any supply sergeant will attent.LOL)

    And yes, the military is a microcosm of society. Political correctness has hurt them as much as cutbacks and budgetary issues. During the clinton era of shame, the Defense Advisory Commitee on Women in the military (DACOWITS) got to vet every promotion to flag or star rank. If you were too blood and guts or too harsh or judgemental (you stood for something or were a warrior) you quietly retired as a an 0-6 and were thankful to escape the madness. This is the same group of hillary devotees that seriously proposed removing sonar from submarines so there would be room for female wardrooms. This would give female officers an opportunity to serve on subs so they could get promoted as rapidly as men.

    Think this was bad? Wait until Nancy Pelosi begins reviewing promotion jackets and begins 'helping' the pentagon with policy decisions.
  4. hornadylnl

    hornadylnl Well-Known Member

    When I lived in the barracks, I think we were allowed knives with blades less than 4 inches. I forget what the length was for sure, but there was a set length on how long of a knife you could have. I never did figure out why you couldn't kill someone while drunk in a fight with a 3" knife buy you could with a 4" knife. Before I got in, soldiers were only allowed 1 6 pack of beer per soldier per room. So what did soldiers do? They kept the case in the trunk of their car and the 6 pack in their fridge. When I got to my first station, I had my own barracks room and their wasn't any regs on how much beer you could have. We deployed to Bosnia and I got stuck with a roommate when we got back because we got a ton of new guys right before we left. We went back to the 24 hour barracks babysitters (cq) and so on.

    This is one of the biggest reasons I despised the military. I had more respect and was given more responsibility from my preschool teacher than I was given as a 2 year specialist in the Army Infantry. Very few people had personal weapons in my units. In Germany, they all had to be locked up in the arms room. I think there was one place that you could go to shoot and you had to practically get an act of congress to do so. Stateside, E4 and below could not keep guns in their barracks rooms or off post apartments. Isn't that nice. Second amendment and self defense denied to our own soldiers.

    I think I'd take a court martial before I would live in a barracks setting again. I never felt like such a child as I did while living in one.
  5. dracphelan

    dracphelan Well-Known Member

    As others have said, this has been caused by bad behaviour in the past and a reflection of our society in general. Almost every regulation or prohibition against firearms is directly linked to people who abused their second amendment rights.
    As an aside, the ammo budget for training of combat units is dismally small. IMO, every member of the military should be expected to go through at 500 rounds of ammo per week. Unfortunately, some do not even go through that many rounds a year. :(
  6. Crazy Uncle Al Gore

    Crazy Uncle Al Gore Well-Known Member

    What's even more paradoxical is that the liberals hate the military despite the fact the that we are everything the social "progresives" believe in. We are a group of people that is completly employed by the goverment, everyone has goverment provided health care, we have goverment provided housing etc. It's everything liberals want for the civilian world yet they still hate us :scrutiny: .
  7. Eleven Mike

    Eleven Mike Well-Known Member

    The military's not anti-gun, nor are our soldiers taught to "disdain and fear" guns. But the military has become as burdened with red tape as everything else in society, and just as frightened of lawyers. We had inspections of Privately Owned Vehicles on a regular basis. Not just to look for "contraband" in the trunk, but also to check headlights and brakes, and so forth. Even though our cars went through state inspection that should have taken care of that.

    If you're an officer or NCO and one of your subordinates gets into trouble with his car, his gun, etc, you'll have to answer for it. So, the military has learned to cover its assets, just like the rest of us have. If some soldier goes on a shooting rampage on or off post, the chain of command would be embarassed and feel the need to axe some officer or another. So, letting Private Snuffy have fun with his .22 is not a priority.

    You'd think the military would want to encourage its people to shoot as often as possible, so they would make it easy for them to shoot on their own time. Not so. Like other bureaucratic entities, the military thinks it can manage that better than you, the individual soldier, thank you very much.

    Only slightly different, in my experience. I was infantry for about three years, and got out just before 11 Sept. We carried our weapons in the field frequently, but fired blanks more often that live ammo. We "qualed" at least once a year, but I recall being at the range a little more often than that. Not much.
  8. U.S.SFC_RET

    U.S.SFC_RET Well-Known Member

    Foreigndude You are right in the regard that officers only have to qualify once a year with a pistol. It is sad that the Army doesn't have the policy like the Marine corps that "every marine is a rifleman"
    Officers are taught to lead from the front but when it comes to leading in quite a few areas they really don't. The Army pins a badge on you if you get familiar enough with a certain weapon when you fire it down range and it always galled me when I never seen Officers never qualifying with an M16/M4, I am talking combat service support and not infantry. An officer shouldn't be an officer if he can't fire a weapon, M9 pistols included. The regs are there, it's called untrainability. I have seen some personnel "try to qualify" with pistols and it by and large was something to be embarrassed about.
    Shooting a firearm simply isn't enough in the military, you really have to gain rock solid confidence that that particular weapon will.
    #1 Put steel on target any and every time you require it.
    #2 Accurately
    #3 Know that weapon like the back of your hand, inside and out, it's characteristics, flaws, strengths.
    #4 You have to undeniably trust that weapon with your life.

    When you get put into a tight squeeze that weapon then becomes a part of you and all of that training takes over.
  9. 308win

    308win Well-Known Member

    When I went through basic training I was very proficient with all types of firearms except handguns (not even sure I had ever fired one). We trained using AR15's that were 'retired' field issue from Viet Nam and they were what you would expect. I was on assigned KP when my training company qualified and I was sent with another company to qualify with a weapon I had never had an opportunity to shoot before qualification so you can imagine how that went. My Sgt. was expecting me to shoot expert and I barely qualified. During all of my weapons training I never saw any cadre shoot - officer or enlisted. All they did was a lot of yelling.

    Is the military anit-gun? Let's just say IMHO they certainly aren't pro-gun.
  10. Sistema1927

    Sistema1927 Well-Known Member

    When you stop to think about it you will realize that the militia exists due to the evil inherent in a standing army. At least that was the way that the Founding Fathers saw it.
  11. crazed_ss

    crazed_ss Well-Known Member

    This military is not anti-gun. Everything is regulated in the military.
    They are simply out to protect their "investment". That's why guns (as well as knives, hot plates, incense, etc) arent allowed in the barracks and people in base housing have to register their guns with the MPs.

    In the Marines we were certainly taught how to shoot. Not everyone was a sniper, but just about everyone understood how to make a wind call, adjust sights, assume a good firing position, etc

    In five years, I got to use burst once. We had to waste up a bunch of ammo at the end of the year and were instructed to fire it off as fast as possible.

    3-Round burst on the M-16 blows.. leaving it on semi and pulling the trigger really fast is more effective in getting rounds downrange IMO
  12. Eleven Mike

    Eleven Mike Well-Known Member

    That is about the only time we used the burst setting, although we were told to use it when our SAW was changing belts or jammed.

    When I went into the Army, I did not know how to shoot. I would have left the military in the same condition, except that I bought a rifle and started getting into it on my own time. And I was in the infantry. :eek:
  13. Janos Dracwlya

    Janos Dracwlya Well-Known Member

    My little brother is an Air Force (now Air Guard) officer. He didn't qualify with an M-16 until he was on his first posting and was only able to do so then because he had become friends with the NCO who ran the base rifle range. On the other hand, he was already a gun person before he left college and ROTC. I went shooting with him the weekend he graduated and was commissioned and he could hit a five gallon bucket at several hundred yards reliably with his Garand.
  14. Chuck R.

    Chuck R. Well-Known Member

    In addition to the discipline issues, and yes there are/were quite a few of them, there's the suicides.

    In 22 years I served in units that had a total of 6, to include one of my lieutenant's, the mix of young soldiers, away from home for the first time, alcohol, and the holidays often had bad results.

    My command OERs also hinged on the actions of my unit/soldiers, the majority of whom were great Americans, but there was a minority that I had a tough time trusting with anything larger than a penknife.

    As for weapons training, it's a question of budgets and priorities. The Infantry usually gets it, the support guys don't. My guys qualified with small arms annually, but live fired our howitzers quarterly.

  15. hornadylnl

    hornadylnl Well-Known Member

    Chuck R.

    I hope you weren't one of the officers and ncos that ruined my view of the military. Yes, there are idiots in every group. But why did everyone get painted with the same brush? Was it because officers and ncos were to lazy to lead and manage? I distinctly remember standing in a morning formation with our first sergeant demanding that all team and squad leaders will go to the barracks every morning and make sure that all of their soldiers were at formation on time. As he is saying this, a married soldier pulls up in his car. He didn't say a freaking word about married soldiers being late. I couldn't stand the class difference between married and single soldiers. It involved everything from housing, off duty treatment, pay, you name it. If a sensitive item came up missing, you can bet that the ncos and officers were tearing our barracks apart while the married soldiers sat in the company area and slept.

    If any officer or nco is incapable of discerning a responsible soldier from an irresponisble one and thus treating him like an adult instead of a child doesn't deserve to lead the drive through at McDonalds. As far as I'm concerned the nco corp is one of the biggest hindrances of a professional army. The "back when I was a private, I had to do this or that so you have to also" attitude drives good people out of the military. A good soldier screws up once, he is marked forever and a bad soldier does something good once, they want to pin a medal on his chest.
  16. Glockfan.45

    Glockfan.45 member

    Its funny I was reserve and remember hearing the media criticize our deployments because we "didnt recieve the same amount of training as full time grunts". We drilled every month (although it was mostly blanks) where as your full time guys seemed to only touch their weapons once or twice a year.

    Ditto our armory was a time capsule. Rack after rack of M16A1's, and 40 year old M60's with shot out barrels. I always had to wonder if the rifle I was carrying was the same rifle carried by my Uncle in Nam. Hell I never touched an M4, A2, or SAW untill we were deployed. Its not so much that the Military as a whole is anti-gun, alot of posters here are either current or former military. I think its all about covering their ***. Think about it when a rape happens in Detroit it stays in the local Detroit media, when a rape happens on a military base its world news. Now imagine Private Pyle snapping one day and shooting up the Officers Mess with his issue. Its all about CYA not personal feelings IMO.
  17. JonP

    JonP Well-Known Member

    Speaker of the House has nothing to do with military promotions. Senior level promotions are selected by senior military boards, the SECDEF, and the President.
  18. Eleven Mike

    Eleven Mike Well-Known Member

    Maybe you're getting the wrong impression. I don't know who pulled the trigger more often, but we went to the field several times per year. These usually lasted about a week, during which time we had weapons at all times, slept with them, carried them at all times, and so forth. We put on the laser-tag gear and loaded up with blanks about twice a year, I think. It was only the live ammo that was uncommon. We did sometimes clear trenches with live ammo, I think. It's been a few years now, so I might be a little fuzzy. Unfortunately, in a mechanized unit, shooting the big guns on the tracks sometimes crowded out the training on personal weapons.
  19. hornadylnl

    hornadylnl Well-Known Member

    If we want a military made up of adults, we need to make several changes.

    I believe that a private enlisting should start off making $30k. Barracks need to be done away with and converted to apartments. Make it like the real world. Pay single soldiers the same as married soldiers. If you are a single soldier, you get the choice of renting a barracks room or getting an apartment off base. Why should a single e4 have to share a room with another e4 while a married private gets housing allowance and can have his own off base apartment? Even when I was in Bosnia with separate rations, hazardous duty pay and no federal taxes taken out, I still only made less than $1600 a month. I can make half that in a week now working a little overtime in a factory now. I'll make $48k this year. I know when I'm going to work and when I'm leaving. My boss doesn't come to my house to make sure that I'm up and at work on time. It's the real world. I'm an adult and am expected to do my job. If not, I get fired. No babysitting and coddling out here.

    I got married while on leave pcs'ing from Germany to Fort Carson. I took home about $1700-1800 a month then. Quality of life was a huge improvement living off base in my own apartment. I didn't have to worry about my squad leader coming to my house to inspect my quarters. I had a 123 GT score so I qualified for every open mos at reenlistment. I was ordered by my sergeant major to go to reenlistment to talk to them. I was forced to answer to all the higher ups as to why I didn't want to reenlist. I never knew how good of a soldier I was until my reenlistment window came up. I took 36 days of terminal leave and left Carson eary. All of my superiors were aware of that and yet they still couldn't get my ets award out to me on time. I had to call my E7 a couple of times to ask about it. I was in the Battalion S3 shop as the Battalion Commanders humvee driver. I finally called the S3 himself and I finally got my award. Somehow I wasn't such a good soldier after I got out.

    Officers and NCO's are rated on their OER's and NOCOER's by reenlistment. Do they think that soldiers are that stupid that they can't see through their "interest" in getting soldiers to reup? If Officers and Soldiers would actually lead instead of punishing all soldiers with blanket policy, then maybe the reup numbers will come into their own.
  20. hornadylnl

    hornadylnl Well-Known Member

    11M, what units were you in and when? I was 11M from Sept. 95 - March 99 I was stationed in Vilseck, Germany and Ft. Carson. I went to 2/58 at Benning.

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