As a veteran, I have a certain amount of builtin respect for generals and admirals. It’s kind of ingrained in you early in your military time, so much so that meeting a general today, decades after my discharge, I still find myself standing tall and adding, “sir” to my comments. It’s hard not to do that and I see no reason to really try.
However, the National Shooting Sports Federation’s Mark Oliva takes issue with a few who have joined gun grabbing causes.
Sixteen of our nation’s senior military officers recently penned a letter to Congress under the banner of the Giffords Veteran Coalition. They chose to lend their military authority and prestige to assist an ongoing political effort to further restrict their fellow law-abiding American citizens’ Constitutional right to keep and bear arms because they mistakenly believe they know how to reduce criminal misuse of firearms.
Generals and admirals, this is something that I just can’t salute.
The retired military leaders, who of course deserve accolades for leading forces in combat and humanitarian operations, cited the recent tragedy in Sutherland Springs, Texas, to call for more gun control laws. Unfortunately, they never mentioned that our nation’s military itself had the tools to prevent this tragedy from ever happening but failed tragically in that mission.
The Sutherland murderer had been convicted of domestic violence in a court-martial and involuntarily committed to a mental health facility before being booted from the Air Force with a bad conduct discharge. At least two of these instances would have been enough to bar the murderer from buying a firearm. But the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) was not informed of these facts because the Department of Defense never submitted the required disqualifying records. Because of DoD’s failure to follow its own regulations and our nation’s laws, this murderer was able to buy guns not just once, but four separate times. Each time he passed the background check.
The generals and admirals tell Congress their command experience is foundational to their moral authority to call for restrictions on law-abiding American gun owners. They didn’t tell Congress, though, that during the height of the fighting, while Army General Petraeus commanded Coalition forces, Iraqi families could keep a fully-automatic AK-47 and 30-round magazine in their homes. U.S. forces didn’t want these families left defenseless against the terrorists who preyed on them.
Olivia and I are seeing eye-to-eye completely on this. While I was out pre-9/11, I’ve spoken with a number of people who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and they corroborate the fact that a group of people who may well have been insurgents were permitted to keep a fully-automatic weapon for self-defense.
Yet these generals think we need to be curtailed?
Folks, there’s nothing wrong with leaving Iraqi and Afghani civilians with AK-47s, and for the same reason the average American should be able to keep similar weapons handy. The bad guys will still get them and the good guys need to protect themselves. Plain and simple.
When these officers took this stand, however, they undermined their own sacred oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America. They have failed to bear true faith and allegiance to the same. They blew it.
They have betrayed their oaths, and for what? Some misguided notion that Americans can’t be trusted with firearms?
It sounds like these flag officers believe the average Iraqi or Afghani is more trustworthy than their own countrymen. That’s just sad.