As if you needed yet another reason to distrust CNN, now it seems the network’s reporters don’t really understand how our government works. For example, one reporter at the Pentagon wants to know if the Department of Defense can continue to stay out of the civilian debate on gun control.
CNN correspondent Barbara Starr on Thursday pressed Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White to explain why the Department of Defense is not more involved in the national debate on gun policy.
Starr asked White during a press briefing about the Pentagon’s role in the gun-control debate multiple times, referencing the fact that three of the victims in last week’s school shooting in Parkland, Florida, were Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps cadets.
“The Pentagon has always stayed out of the civilian gun debate, but given the emotion in the country, the president’s involvement in it, the fact that three Junior ROTC young people were victims, and it does involve recruiting young people into the military, can the Pentagon really continue to stay out of the gun debate in this country, realistically?” Starr asked.
White responded that discussions about gun rights and possibly enacting tighter gun restrictions are for political leaders in Congress, the White House, and their counterparts at the state and local levels, rather than the military.
Starr wasn’t done.
She continued to push for an answer, seemingly demanding that the DOD get involved in the debate.
“Again, there is a sense that this is a subject right now that has grabbed the national conversation. I’m not sure anybody would dispute that, and young people who might want to be recruited, might want to consider the military, certainly are watching this,” Starr said. “We have seen Junior ROTC people in this situation. No one is suggesting that the Pentagon would have the solutions, but do you stay out of the national conversation given the fact that the U.S. military most certainly involves the young people of this country?”
I don’t think Starr understands that the last thing this country should want is for our military to get involved in civilian politics.
For one thing, the job of the military is to focus on external threats to our nation. We have plenty of people focused on the internal, but the military is focused on the external. They’re the ones figuring out what to do if North Korea gave a nuke to ISIS, for example. They’re the ones who make plans to roll in and help defend Israel should it be needed.
They don’t need to be involved in the gun debate.
Further, if the military were to start getting involved in civilian politics, that could set a dangerous precedent. If they began worrying about gun control, then they may well start caring about other issues. And if they don’t like the direction the government takes on those issues, they’re in a unique position to change things…and I don’t mean that in a good way.
It’s ridiculous to think the military, once involved in civilian politics in any way, would suddenly slink back and not take any other positions ever again. However, if they did, I don’t think Starr would like the results. After all, the military isn’t really known as being a haven for gun-grabbing liberals hellbent on destroying the Second Amendment. In fact, my experience is that almost everyone who has seen combat tends to land on the pro-Second Amendment side of things. While there are exceptions, of course, those generalities seem to hold true. And that’s probably not what Starr was hoping.