Firearms. A Misconceived Reality.

Firearms. A Misconceived Reality.

Since the Orlando shooting early Sunday morning, gun control has once again come into the spotlight. It’s often been at the forefront of the Left’s movement to quell individual freedom, and that is unacceptable. On the flip-side, the Right talks too much about being allowed to have whatever firepower we want.

These groups are missing the point on the gun question. Killing is bad. Even killing in defense of yourself or loved ones is something we never wish to happen. The Right’s argument is that if at least one person is carrying a gun they can help prevent some heinous act from happening. The Left argues that if they put more measures on one’s ability to obtain a gun at any level, than that will limit the amount of violence.

The sad reality is that both sides are a little off target (no pun intended), even though there may be some truth to their arguments. I say this as a conservative Army veteran who probably has more range time than most people who carry guns on a regular basis. In the military, especially combat arms (Infantry for me) we are taught that there are no accidents. If you are pulling that trigger the barrel is pointed either down range or at an enemy. We focus so much of our thought and control on what level of security our weapons are at so that we do not “negligently” discharge our weapons. These are very important things to talk about in reference to the regulation of guns. What are we doing to teach people about safety?

Newsflash: an 8 hour concealed and carry class will not cut it.

Every legal citizen of the United States who is sane and not a violent threat to society should be allowed to buy firearms and use them at their discretion as long as it is within the boundaries of the law. Obviously, they must adhere to state-specific statutes as well. One of the biggest pitfalls in what I just said is the word “sane.” In the last five years the majority of mass killings or domestic acts of terror that were gun related were initiated by someone who would not be qualified as “sane.”

The level of individual sanity and amount of training are two of the main causes of these tragic gun incidents. Now, as we have seen, time in and time out the Left does not give the same amount of levity to criminal killings as they do to the mass killings of innocent school kids and other groups of individuals. Local crime and one-on-one murders seem to escape the view of national attention. Instead the Left hovers around, waiting on bated breath for the next Sandy Hook killing to take place while they could be actively brainstorming ways to curb gun-related deaths in a bipartisan fashion.

Newsflash: Buying a scoped rifle, wearing camouflage, and going deer hunting does not make you a gun expert.

(1)  There needs to be local-government-sponsored gun safety courses. State legislatures have made it possible to have minimal amounts of safety requirements in order to obtain permits. So why not have additional training, either free or chargeable to the public in order to enhance knowledge and skill?

(2)  The problem is not the legal guns but all of the illegally obtained guns that are out on the street. We need to do a no-questions-asked buy-back program every 6 months for 2 years. Local, State, and Federal spending is ridiculous anyway, so why not put that money into getting rid of excess weapons? I compare this to nuclear de-proliferation. The governments should not hold these weapons but instead should publicly destroy them. You can never remove all of the illegal weapons off of the street, it is an impossibility. But boy you sure can make it harder for the bad guys to not get guns.

(3) This may seem like a radical idea but what if, before the legal purchase of a firearm the local government made the individual receive a notice of mental stability from a licensed professional? If you are spending money on a gun anyway what is an extra $25-$50? We currently have no gauges in determining a person’s mental health and therefore we will continue to see horrible shootings by the mentally unstable take place. Something must be done to curb this problem.

In conclusion, you may own as many guns as you want but there must be more safety nets and protocols in place to limit one’s ability to either have an accident or obtain weapons to kill innocents. We must come together in this effort and resolve it in a unilateral way to limit those who will cause harm, access to these weapons.

Militarization of the Police Force a Needed Reality

It has been about 2 weeks since my last posting, and for that I am sorry. I have not necessarily been in a dry hole on the idea for topics but instead my creative mumbo jumbo is not flowing from my mind as much as it did last month. My ever so insightful father prompted me to read an article concerning a book abut the militarization of the police force, and so I shall give my opinion of the topic. I wasn’t able to actually read the article because I lacked a subscription but the idea behind that topic is what I would like to discuss.

I live in a world of many dangerous possibilities. In Afghanistan the Taliban in connection with Haqqani terrorists have been able to effectively deter us from doing our job. (That job which nowadays is rather watered down and very unknown in certain aspects.) They use whatever means they have to kill and maim Americans and Afghan security forces as well as destroying property. Suicide bombers, Vehicle born improvised explosive devices (Some having almost 7,000 kg of homemade explosives), and worst of all rockets are just some of the tools they use to accomplish their mission. These are the tools that extremist terrorist organizations use in places like Afghanistan where law and order is much like the Wild West. What is to say that terrorist acts on an equal or greater scale cannot happen at home in America as well? First and foremost I would like to say that repeated attacks on the home front are less then likely. We have a multitude of resources to prevent attacks back home unlike the Afghans who either do not care nor really have the ability to do anything about it.

 I am well trained in anti-terrorism and rule number 1 to destroying a terrorist cell is to THINK like a terrorist. It is not just suggested nor is it merely hinted for police forces to not be trained in fighting terrorism. It is pivotal to the over all stability and well being of the country for all police forces to be trained in anti-terrorism operations. As Americans we can many times be narrow minded in our views towards well armed and well trained police officers. I am sure that your average citizen gets enough peace of mind out of seeing a cop car driving down their street and that is all they want to see in regards to police. This is understandable to a certain extent, however, they need to have the means and the training necessary to accomplish any number of possibilities.

This is a quote from William French Smith, President Reagan’s first attorney general: “The Justice Department is not a domestic agency. It is the internal arm of national defense.” Today we see that attitude in the war on terror. Because it’s a war, we can arrest and imprison Americans indefinitely without charges. We can eavesdrop on the communications of all Americans without probable cause. We can assassinate American citizens without due process. We can have secret courts issuing secret rulings about secret laws. The militarization of the police is just one aspect of an increasing militarization of government.”

This is a frightening thought to a lot of us but in all honesty how much does the common citizen know about the laws that allow the government to defend against terrorism? Not a lot…Let us be honest for a minute… I ask my soldiers the names of important people in the government and some of them do not even know. Government and politics are rarely ever taught in schools anymore. Even during the national election for president I have seen videos of street polls and some people do not even know who was running. We must constantly educate ourselves, we must understand how the law affects us and our children otherwise all we are is a bunch of zombies. I saw a picture on Facebook of about 12 people walking down the street and every one of them was looking down at their smart phones with head phones plugged in. If we constantly stay plugged in and focused to only certain things how can we have the situational awareness that will protect us when the unexpected happens?

The answer to that is easy, that is where the police come in. Not the poorly trained overweight guy that pulls you over for swerving next to the mall, I am talking about ex-military cops who are passionate about their jobs. What does it mean to be passionate? Devoting all thought and attention to something that you care about is exactly what we need in our police officers. They need to have the training to be able to assess and understand all aspects of counter terrorism so that another Boston bombing does not happen, or 9-11, or Oklahoma City. Acts of terrorism come in all forms and as common citizens we need to be able to do 2 things. First defend our families, and second defend others.

Is the quote above true? No all aspects of what Mr. Smith said are not accurate but they are possible and the law in the hands of the wrong person is a very bad thing. We need to ask ourselves why are we vulnerable as Americans and do we want to stay that way? As people who cling desperately to freedom and what it symbolizes it would be unjustified for anybody to do the things that he stated. Although flawed to a certain degree our justice system is unique to our country and is about as honest as it can possibly be. Due to the fact that we are not perfect nothing we create can be perfect nor flawless. We pride ourselves on the freedoms we possess and that limits our abilities to reach outside the law even on things such as homegrown terrorist hunts. I wish I could say that every body thought the same when it came to religion and politics but then we would not have free will would we? I wish we could say that we always have good PresidentÕs, Supreme Court Justices, and Attorney Generals. But the way we define “good” and “morally acceptable” in today’s society is a lot different than 60 years ago.

If the powers that Mr. Smith describes and those abilities to make decisions were put in the hands of the wrong politician it could be misconstrued as murder. A person or persons cannot be judge, jury, and executioner, it is not right. All acts of terror are not acts of war, so how can we NOT give people who are American citizens the right to a trial if they commit some sort of heinous act? The answer is we cannot make that decision. The CIA cannot assassinate an American civilian who makes a threatening phone call or a bomb threat. The right answer would be to detain, question, prosecute, indict, and then the punishment that is deemed just can be given to that individual.

I hope that in all this rambling my opinion is clear. The law of the land should not, cannot, and will not be twisted to create short cuts so that an individual loses his or her own rights granted to them in the Constitution. The punishment should always remain equal to the crime committed. If the person or persons commits an act of terror and they are a citizen they should be given the same rights as those who also commit manslaughter or any other sort of equal or lesser crime.

 The topic of militarizing our police force, and the Justice Department being more of an iron fist of secret assassinations as opposed to a righteous hand of moral rationalization can be discussed more in length then the above blog. I hope to be able discuss what it really means to have freedoms instead of the over regulation of the citizens rights that we actually have. For now however, it is my intent for you, the reader, to understand my initial opinion on the matter and that if you would like any clarification I will gladly give it in an even more in depth response.

What I See, What I Feel, What I Fear.

A boom sounded and I woke with a start. Names were yelled and voices responded…Everyone was okay. 
My friends and I have had a lot of close calls in this sad little country. We are able to decipher the difference between a whistle of a bullet and the crack of one. 

By the way if it’s cracking get the HELL down.
The enemy is good at what they do and I am afraid the next time we will not be so blessed. Shrapnel is an ugly weapon, due to its trajectory always being unknown. It is hard to stay safe in this home away from home.You never know when that jagged piece of metal will find metal instead of the wood at the foot of your bed.
I was always a little wary of living in a wooden hut which is so easily penetrated by almost any projectile. I just keep telling myself we are invincible and that nothing will happen. 
If I am going to be taken down in war I want it to at least be standing on my feet and returning fire. I honestly fear being taken down by the cowardly enemy without the opportunity to shoot back. 
All we can do is pray, that everything goes our way. 
I see so many vulnerabilities that we are doing nothing about. I feel so many chills running down my spine from the too close for comfort moments. I fear it will only get worse.

“Courage is not the ability to mask one’s fears, but the strength to stand in front of the bullets when everyone else runs away.”

A Decade Later- A Forgotten Reality

Where were you on September 11th, 2001? I still remember that day crystal clear in the back of my mind. The events of which I play over and over as I progress through my military life. I did not find out until the afternoon what had happened because my teachers felt that our parents should inform us of the incident. I was walking out to my car in my 11 year old shoes and went up to my moms door where she had the window rolled down. She was sobbing and listening to the radio. She explained to me what happened and then got out of the car to give me a hug…I started to cry as well.

10 years have elapsed since that dreadful day so many seasons ago. I still cry when I think of it and I have a hard time writing about this right now. I have fought for the families of the people that were lost in those terrorist attacks and I have helped kill taliban who would like nothing better then to do it all over again.

You do not kill Americans and get away with it, you do not fly planes into our buildings and destroy thousands of innocence without repercussions. We will hunt you down and we will destroy everyone of your evil souls. How many times do we read about terrorists attacks in Europe, whether it is a car bomb or what not and just shrug it off? It probably has to do with the fact that it never happens to us in America. We all lived safe normal lives…until that dreadful morning…they can attack us and kill us at home and they will. Do not forget about those people that died that day and do not forget about the soldiers that are still dying in Afghanistan because of that day.

“We will not tire, we will not falter, and we will not fail… I will not forget this wound to our country, or those who inflicted it. I will not yield – I will not rest – I will not relent in waging this struggle for the freedom and security of the American people.” -President George W. Bush