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Should Soldiers Today Be Able to Bring Back Weapons?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by SharpsDressedMan, May 13, 2012.

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  1. SharpsDressedMan

    SharpsDressedMan member

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    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.
     
  2. coalman

    coalman Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2012
  3. BearGriz

    BearGriz Member

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    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.
     
  4. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn Member

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    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.
     
  5. shuvelrider

    shuvelrider Member

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    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.
     
  6. Eric M

    Eric M Member

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    Why not full autos?

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

    Apuuli Member

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    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.
     
  8. spazzymcgee

    spazzymcgee Member

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    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.
     
  9. Elkins45

    Elkins45 Member

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    I think the OP was referring to captured enemy weapons, not their own issued one.
     
  10. dubya450

    dubya450 Member

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    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.
     
  11. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    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.
     
  12. Apuuli

    Apuuli Member

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    "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.
     
  13. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    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.

    And you say this based on your own combat experience?
     
  14. earplug

    earplug Member

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    Yes

    More weapons, more freedom.
     
  15. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    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.
     
  16. Nushif

    Nushif Member

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    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]

    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:

    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.
     
  17. AlexanderA
    • Contributing Member

    AlexanderA Member

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    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.
     
  18. SharpsDressedMan

    SharpsDressedMan member

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    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.
     
  19. Grmlin

    Grmlin Member

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    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.
     
  20. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    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
     
  21. Nushif

    Nushif Member

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    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.
     
  22. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2012
  23. Nushif

    Nushif Member

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    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.
     
  24. jeepnik

    jeepnik Member

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    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.
     
  25. armoredman

    armoredman Member

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    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.
     
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