Oct 8, 2012 No Comments ›› Pat Dollard
Excerpted from A Soldier’s Perspective:
“Sometimes it is said that man can not be trusted with government of himself. Can he, then, be trusted with the government of others? Or have we found angels in the forms of kings to govern him? Let history answer this question.” –Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address, 1801
A friend send me a recent New York Times article that details the Pentagon’s desire to take away privately owned weapons (POW) from troops under certain circumstances.
Up until about last year, military commanders used to demand that their Soldiers reveal the types and numbers of POWs they owned, regardless of whether they lived in military housing or not. This information was reported up to higher commands. However, the issue of suicide wasn’t nearly as bad then as it is now so military leaders are trying to use suicide as the excuse for once again documenting weapons in the hands of troops.
I’m completely opposed to this practice for many reasons. For one, I don’t fully believe that the real reason is to “prevent suicide.” If you take away the guns of a Soldier thought to be suicidal, he will just go get another one, either by purchasing it or borrowing it. And, there are other ways that suicidal troops will carry out their demise if they have no access to guns. It’s a hollow argument to use in order to violate one’s individual rights to self defense, even when their worst enemy is themselves.
However, I think there is a much more sinister reason behind wanting to track POWs in the hands of troops. In 2009, The Department of Homeland Defense released a controversial report that identified combat veterans as potential terrorists.
The possible passage of new restrictions on firearms and the return of military veterans facing significant challenges reintegrating into their communities could lead to the potential emergence of terrorist groups or lone wolf extremists capable of carrying out violent attacks.
It’s no surprise that shortly after this report was revealed that commanders began asking troops about their privately owned firearms.
Thankfully, the NRA and gun rights advocates successfully had an amendment to the much-reviled National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) the specifically prohibited commanders from collecting information on privately owned weapons stored outside of military installations…keep reading…