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Looks like some took the initiative - version 2

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Ed N., Jul 22, 2015.

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  1. Ed N.

    Ed N. Member

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    Offered for your consideration:

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2015/07/22/navy-officer-murdered-marine-fired-back-at-chattanooga-gunman/

    In the Chattanooga incident, it appears that two servicemen were armed and returned fire. They were armed in what appears to be a breach of regulations (details are slim). I do not advocate breaking laws or regs, and I'm confident that the mods will shut this down if the thread strays into such advocacy, so please do not go there.

    Things to consider:

    1) Should the regulations be changed, to allow the military to be armed while on duty within the US? It might not have helped much here (though that's debatable), but it probably would have helped the Ft. Hood incident. Should we allow armed self defense for our on-duty soldiers?

    2) If the military is allowed to be armed in the US, does this have posse comitatus implications, even if the personnel are not performing law enforcement functions and are only armed for defense of themselves? What limitation need to be in place?

    3) In some states, the governors are ordering the NG troops to be armed in certain situations. How does this relate to 1 & 2 above? What are the practical and legal differences between arming NG versus regular troops? Should NG troops have a right to self defense that is denied to regular troops?

    4) There are reports of concerned private citizens arming themselves and voluntarily guarding recruiting centers. Is current military policy inadvertently creating a dangerous situation, and in particular endangering private citizens? Is this carrying a "sheep dog" mentality too far?

    Please discuss.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2015
  2. psyopspec

    psyopspec Member

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    Having lived through some times where America made knee-jerk decisions around attacks in the past, and being skeptical of armed troops on duty on US soil (notwithstanding bases–I'm talking here about off post but on duty), I have some big reservations about this.

    Those would be among the implications I speak of. But that said, I'm not a lawyer, and am not settled in my opinion. I'd be open to changing my mind with further looking into the matter.

    #3, same thing. Don't know, have further looking into it to do.

    Endangering private citizens, no. As you noted, the operative word is voluntarily.
     
  3. CoalTrain49

    CoalTrain49 Member

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    Armed with what, M-16's? The military can't and won't do that. We've had numerous murders/suicides here at JB Lewis McCord in the last few years. I don't think the military wants soldiers with M-16's on base. It's bad enough in combat. They shoot non-combatants frequently.

    Most of the folks that want to arm military personnel in the US have never even been in the military.

    Spend 4 years in the military and tell me you want them armed in a civilian population just because they are in the military. That nut job Hasan at Ft. Hood is a good example of people that can get into the military. You don't even have to be a US citizen to join the US military.

    Move the recruiting to bases with security. Let the recruiters have a sidearm if they want.

    Problem solved.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2015
  4. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Soldiers aren't civilians so the 2A isn't applicable to these questions except off base and in uniform and not on duty. That would mean going to and from work, where the prohibition on issued weapons wouldn't apply. In that case they're in a civilian role and may be beneficiaries of the 2A and carry laws.

    That makes 1) out of scope for THR since it concerned with issuing weapons in an official capacity, 2) interesting from a Constitutional standpoint,but also not a 2A question, 3) outside the context of the 2A since on-duty Guard personnel aren't off duty.

    4) is within scope as it addresses civilian actions taken within the scope of the 2A (but we'd have to limit the discussion to that).
     
  5. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    I think there are valid reasons for not wanting every soldier on a base, or facility such as this armed. I don't think it would be appropriate for recruiters either.

    I do think there should be guards, MP's if necessary, who are armed at the entrance to any military base, even reserve training centers. I'm not sure what could be done at a recruitment centers other than private security. Under the circumstances nothing would have stopped this incident at the recruiting office.

    Based on what I understand about the 2 who apparently returned fire used guns that they retrieved from their private vehicles. I don't think they were armed inside the facility. But to be honest the information is sketchy and nothing confirmed. If so, it would also be unclear if they actually broke any regulations having them in their vehicles. I suppose that would depend on where they were parked.

    I think it odd that it was legal for me as a former teacher to have had a weapon inside my vehicle in a school parking lot, but not military personal at a training facility.
     
  6. USAF_Vet

    USAF_Vet Member

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    Yes, and no. Military Law enforcement are already armed, but Security personnel (gates guards) are often not. They may have weapons, but they may not have ammunition. That needs to change as they are a significant line of defense.

    Combat arms fields who handle weapons on a daily basis as a part of their jobs should be allowed to carry government issued weapons.

    Non combat arms personnel should be allowed to carry personally owned weapons with proof of training. A state issued Carry license/ Permit should suffice. The base firing range should be open to all personnel when not scheduled for unit training. This would allow certification for a local (on-base only) carry permit, which would be limited to the personal weapon(s) qualified with.

    However, there are still places on base I'd expect commanders to limit carry. I was an aircraft mechanic. I don't see the commander allowing concealed carry on the flightline where everything, down to the smallest screw, must be accounted for. I don't really approve of gun free zones, but volatile and sensitive areas make a certain sense in limiting armed personnel.

    I don't see posse commitatus implications. If it's for personal defense, it's no different than an active, reserve or guard personnel carrying their personal weapons for defense while off duty.


    Military members, regardless of status, are still citizens of the United States. They are still afforded all the rights under the Constitution, even if some are suspended during service. The right to defend oneself, to me, trumps all else.
    While I don't advocate anyone break the law, or disregard a lawful order, it still comes down to a personal choice.

    Once again, just like the TSA, this is a redundant measure. The odds of a copycat shooting at recruiting centers is limited. Just like flying planes into buildings, or truck bombs in parking lots, or every other tactic used. They tend to not use the same tactics over and over again to become predictable. These self appointed guards can possibly be a hindrance.
     
  7. wideym

    wideym Member

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    I was the Company armorer for a few years in the 90's at Ft. Campbell. During this time the Military Police and higher ups repeatedly warned us that militias were trying to hijack military weapons whenever possible. During this time I routinely carried a pistol and often used my own .223 ammo to arm an escort when transporting ten weapons or more.

    I've been given flack over this on other threads. Most saying "you aren't allowed to do that" and "it's against regulations". I still did it and like the saying goes "It's better to ask for forgiveness than permission".
     
  8. OptimusPrime

    OptimusPrime Member

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    I concur with WideyM's recollection. A lot of armorers were granted privileges like that, same as guards at the ammo dumps. This was during the militia heydays in the mid-to-late 90s.

    I agree that armed military members comes close to posse comitatus implications and slippery slopes. If the recruiting station members were armed, what prevents them from "assisting" when the gas station next to them gets held up or a cop conducts a takedown in their parking lot? I'm a veteran and a citizen, but this is a sticky situation. I don't have the answers but my gut tells me that armed military members off-base in times of peace is a bridge too far.
     
  9. USAF_Vet

    USAF_Vet Member

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    If they are acting of their own accord, and not under orders of the military, how is that posse comitatus? They are still citizens. Just because they are wearing a uniform doesn't change that. It'd be no different than a paramedic, nurse, or anyone else who wears a uniform as part of their job.
     
  10. old lady new shooter

    old lady new shooter Member

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    a few thoughts

    -> I think there WILL be copycat cases, now that it's been publicized that recruiting stations are "gun-free zones".

    -> Even under current rules would it not be permissible to have armed MP's at recruiting stations? I think there should be two of them on duty whenever each one is open.

    -> Regarding the armed volunteer civiilian guards, I have mixed feelings. On one hand I applaud them for taking the initiative to stand up for our military. On the other hand I'm appalled that our military have until now been rendered essentially defenseless for a case like the one we just saw. But as has been pointed out on a few news sites, the downside to volunteers is that a particular volunteer could be a few fries short of a happy meal...
     
  11. BLB68

    BLB68 Member

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    I always went armed when transporting weapons or ammo as an armorer in the late 80s in Berlin. I don't see why anyone would have a problem with it. It's pretty common sense that if you're transporting tens of thousands of dollars worth of stuff that can kill people you go armed. Our CO had no problem with it.
     
  12. Sol

    Sol Member

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    Lexan glass, buzzed in doors and a security guard.

    But I prefer they do nothing honestly.

    A few isolated incidents shouldn't have sweeping changes.

    Yeah some people died and that sucks but not enough for some kneejerk regulation change.
     
  13. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    I don't think you understand the problem. ISIS has declared war on the US. This is a far different war than has been fought in the past. Like or not we are now living in a war zone and military installations on US soil are being targeted. If we have armed guards at the entrance to military bases in war zones in foreign lands, why not here as well.

    Granted, this is a new concept in warfare and at the moment we have no plan to deal with it.
     
  14. Tirod

    Tirod Member

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    Like Fight Club, nobody talks about Big Boy Rules.

    Regardless of the evidence we see.
     
  15. psyopspec

    psyopspec Member

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    We do have armed guards at the entrance to bases, in the form of MPs or armed contracted security. Nothing new there.

    And as someone who's spent time in an actual warzone, I can assure you that we're thankfully not living in one.
     
  16. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn Member

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    ----yet.
    I hope what you said remains true.
    I fear it will not.
    Only patience and time will tell the truth.;)
     
  17. DeepSouth

    DeepSouth Member

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    Honestly this tends to be my thinking as well, but I don't know much about the issue but I haven't put a lot of thought into it.


    Maybe, maybe not. The fact remains currently in this country you are more likely to be killed by a cop, or a doctor, or an illegal immigrant than by a terrorist. That may be changing, but as of right now I don't see an overwhelming need for those knee jerk reactions.

    I personally would always rather be armed than not, but I don't really like the idea of walking into a grey area of having the military essentially being armed law enforcement in the civilian world. That requires a level of trust of the government that I do not currently have.
     
  18. JRH6856

    JRH6856 Member

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    I find it somewhat ironic that on many boards that purport to support the 2A and say its primary purpose is to defent against government overreach, two things often seen are calls to demilititarize the police, and lately, calls to arm all military personnel. A little consistancey would be nice. Like:

    1. Recognize, expand, and protect the civilian right to keep and bear arms for the defense of the individual the state.

    2. Recognize that the Posse Comitatus act prohibits the military from acting in a domestic law enforcement role, and that a military armed 100% of the time is a threate to civilian liberty, but perhaps treat military personnel as civilians when off duty and not in uniform.

    3. Recognize that a militarized police force is an attempt to circumvent the restrictions of the Posse Comitatus act and that a militarized police force is little different than a military force used as police.

    Just some ideas...
     
  19. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    But apparently there were no armed guards at the reserve center in Chattanooga. I'm not proposing every soldier in the facility be armed, but surely there is nothing wrong with having a few people who are armed in order to prevent such things.We have armed LE in most schools today, why not in all military facilities. And having the option of opening the armory and issuing weapons in the event of an attack. This attack, although on a far smaller scale was no different than the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.

    The shooting at the recruitment office is much different, I don't have a satisfactory answer for preventing that. And I think the source of confusion with these discussions. People forget there were 2 separate shootings at very different types of locations.

    For most of us this is true. But ISIS has specifically encouraged lone wolf attacks such as this on what they consider "soft" military targets in this country. This marine unit has been deployed at least 4 times to Iraq or Afghanistan in the last 10 years. They were told upon returning that anyone in the unit and their families were being specifically targeted by terrorists. To not take such a threat seriously and be prepared is I think negligent. I have several friends who were deployed with this unit multiple times. All of my friends are now retired, but still take the threat very seriously and are armed 24/7 if at all legal. That I think explains why there were personal weapons close by when the attack began last week. All but one of those killed had been deployed at least once.

    Once again to be clear. I'm not in favor of everyone in the facility being armed all the time. But some plan needs to be in place and is clearly not.
     
  20. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    It is far more different than most of us here think. ISIS is waging an information war to use propaganda to have an impact they can't deliver on the ground here. Unlike any other conflict in the past their very clever use of social media and the internet gives them an effect unseen in the past. BUT that effect isn't producing armed threats to the U.S. Instead their goal is to create terror through creating the perception of a threat. They're very good at it, at least temporarily, as evidenced by our reactions. Getting us to react and alienate and oppress our own people (think how many Americans are angry at other Americans over this and the response to it and how strongly) is of benefit to them. We're not good at the "The only thing to fear is fear itself!" because we're addicted as a society and individuals to the instant news cycle and the over hyped adrenaline-soaked presentation of the thrill ride/monster movie from of news and response. Measured and thoughtful reactions get shouted down because we're deaf to anything that isn't shouted at us with the volume set to 11. We're easily exploited through information manipulation because of it and our enemy is aided in their efforts by our continued response this way. If they get a real shooting pop up it serves their purpose even more, whether they have any influence directly on it having occurred or not.

    So, yes, this is a different type of war. A marketing/propaganda/info war with real people who want to harm us behind it, but they'll get us to hurt ourselves more than they can actually accomplish.

    Here are some legal issues to consider.

    Is there a legal basis similar to that for LE to carry at all times that would be applied to military and national guard?
    Is there a legal basis for personal weapons at facilities?
    Is there anything prohibiting off duty military from carrying in uniform if they have a carry permit and is there a legal basis for them to carry off duty (when they're in a civilian capacity) without a permit?
     
  21. Devonai

    Devonai Member

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    I can only speak for my base, but carry by law enforcement is at the wing commander's discretion. The justification is that they may be called to perform law enforcement actions while in transit to and from the base.

    However, cops who may be armed on the base are expected to follow the same active shooter guidelines as everyone else, as only Security Forces are supposed to be engaging the threat. They are simply better suited to defend their shelter-in-place location/final defensive line, if the rest of us should be so lucky to be graced by their presence.
     
  22. OptimusPrime

    OptimusPrime Member

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    JRH6856, I disagree. A militarized police force is NOT the same as a policing military force. Different chains of command and differing scope entirely. The training methods, goals, mindset, the entire enchilada is 2 different animals. However, their abilities have started to look the same, but never confuse the end states and how each body will attempt to get there.
     
  23. JRH6856

    JRH6856 Member

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    The "end state" is the concern. Each may reach that state by different paths and for different reasons, but when the end state is armed and uniformed military and police a common sight in public, the existence of a military police state could easily become an unconscious assumption. Especially by a less armed civilian population.

    I don't know how that would actually play out, or what the reaction and result would be if it did. Just playing mind games with mind games. :uhoh:
     
  24. johncantiusgarand

    johncantiusgarand Member

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    Sadly, I've read a lot of opinions here that seem to support the policy of leaving the majority of the rank-and-file members of the military disarmed as some sort of safeguard against government tyranny. These are grown men and women who DESERVE the same right to self-defense as any regular citizen. I cannot believe some of the folks here actually recommend allowing only certain military personnel or only soldiers in combat arms MOS's to be armed. I've heard familiar-sounding sentiments before, though they were usually by liberal progressives, and they usually advocated that only Police should be allowed to have guns.
     
  25. CoalTrain49

    CoalTrain49 Member

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    The military has taken the recruitment process into the public domain. College campuses and strip malls are fertile ground for recruiters. Being that it's in a city with civilian authority, the military has no authority to arm anyone, including their recruiters. They can arm their security on base how ever they wish, but armed military personnel off base isn't going to pass muster unless they are within civilian statute.

    As was pointed out the military has it's own reservations where the UCMJ is the law. Outside of those reservations, federal, state and local statute is law.

    In some states a recruiter could OC and be within all federal and state code. In others they would be arrested because they are not on a military reservation.

    http://definitions.uslegal.com/m/military-reservation/

    Here I have seen military personnel fom JBLM in uniform OC off base. Perfectly legal because this state has always been OC from day one. I don't recommend that in NJ.

    As always, take a hard look at where you are. If you can legally arm yourself then do it. If you can't then understand that help may be too late.

    I regret that lives were lost because the US military has not provided adequate security for it's personnel.
     
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