No Support for Military Right-to-Carry from Obama, Everytown, and Odierno

NRA - Institute for Legislative Action
NRA – Institute for Legislative Action

Fairfax, VA -( Support for allowing military personnel to carry firearms for self-protection following the terrorist attack upon military personnel in Chattanooga last week has been strongly declared by several presidential candidates, is building in Congress, and has already taken shape for National Guardsmen in several states.

However, the same can't be said for the usual and not-so-usual suspects. In his off-the-cuff remarks about the Chattanooga attack, President Obama said only that he would consider what further precautions we can take in the future.” 

We have come to expect such as this from Obama. However, we expect better from the Army Chief of Staff, even one that Obama hand-picked for the job. On Friday, July 17, reported that Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno appeared to oppose allowing military personnel to be armed, saying “we have to be careful about over-arming ourselves,” because of the possibility of “accidental discharges and everything else that goes along with having weapons that are loaded that causes injuries.” In making such a statement, Odierno not only expresses a demoralizing lack of confidence in the soldiers he commands, he also inspires a lack of soldiers’ confidence in his ability to lead, because accidental discharges are reduced by training, and training is something for which he, as Chief of Staff, is ultimately responsible.

Expressing an even greater lack of faith in our troops—though considering the source, no one in uniform should consider it worthy of the term “insult”—is the editorial arm of Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety. On Monday, Bloomberg’s said that advocating that military personnel carry guns for protection is nothing more than a “political sound bite” that “does not hold up well under fact-checking.”

Bloomberg and his hirelings are hardly in a position to point fingers about “political sound bites” that don’t hold up to “fact-checking.” Their one-liners on background checks and other gun control issues have been taken to task by fact-checkers from the Washington Post (April 2, 2013), the Tampa Bay Tribune (July 25, 2012, Jan. 30, 2013, June 13, 2014,) the Richmond Times-Dispatch (Aug. 27, 2013, Sept. 6, 2013, April 28, 2015), the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Sept. 18, 2013, Dec. 19, 2014, May 12, 2015), and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Feb. 3, 2013).

On to the substance of TheTrace’s claims, “Most service members . . . are not in direct combat roles, but instead are technical workers whose specialties support those ‘tip of the spear’ troops. These include navigators, supply clerks, water purification specialists, and camera crews.”

This only demonstrates the anti-gunners’ profound ignorance of military operations during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Throughout those conflicts, combat support, combat service support and other troops not in infantry roles participated in countless missions, often alongside their infantry counterparts, took fire, and returned it.

Furthermore, many Americans in the active-duty and reserve armed forces have their own firearms, attend training courses, practice extensively, and participate in defensive skills-based marksmanship competitions. Arguably, military personnel today are more skilled with small arms than at any time in U.S. history.

TheTrace says “military security experts know better,” so to test that theory we asked three former U.S. Army Special Forces (Delta) soldiers, all combat veterans with awards for valor, who are the founders and operators of some of the best defensive firearm training schools in the country, what they think about allowing military personnel to be armed.

Sergeant Major Kyle Lamb, of Viking Tactics, told us, “Americans always have the right to protect themselves, and that is no less true in this day and age, when terrorists are attacking us on American soil. More Americans carrying firearms has helped reduced crime, and allowing those who serve in uniform to carry as well, will increase safety for us all.”

Master Sergeant Larry Vickers, of Vickers Tactical, told us, “Military personnel being armed and carrying is not only the right thing to do it’s the sensible thing to do. Military personnel have taken an oath to uphold and defend our way of life, and show unmatched determination and courage when confronted with danger. I find it ridiculous for anyone to think otherwise.”

Master Sergeant Paul R. Howe, of Combat Shooting and Tactics, told us, “There are many things that can be done to increase the safety of military personnel in off-base locations, starting with off-duty police officers armed with AR-15s while new policies are adopted for military personnel, to be followed with allowing military personnel who obtain state concealed carry permits and training to carry handguns.”

We think SGM Lamb,  MSG Vickers and MSG Howe agree, with millions of other Americans, that people have a fundamental right to self-defense, and that they do not lose that right when they put on the uniforms of our armed forces.

The reality is that attacks upon our military personnel, like the one in Chattanooga, have not been random events. Our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines have been targeted because of the uniforms they wear and the country they represent.

The last thing America needs to hear on this subject is two-bit sniping from the anti-gun peanut gallery and their witting and unwitting allies in positions of leadership.

About the NRA-ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the “lobbying” arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

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  • 8 thoughts on “No Support for Military Right-to-Carry from Obama, Everytown, and Odierno

    1. We expect this kind of trash from a trashy resident at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., and we should expect no less from a hand picked political general. It’s a very Sad time in our once great Nation. We can be great again, and it’s going to take a LOT of work to get there.

      I advocate for All NCO’s (some may prefer SNCO’s) be required to carry their loaded TO&E specified sidearm with 2 extra loaded magazines when on duty, and allowed to carry same or a Personally Owned Firearm (POF) off duty as well. Additionally, Company and Field grade Officers be required and allowed both options.

    2. I have yet to see a terrorist accidently fire his weapon into any crowd or target, yet the very person chosen by Ali Obama decides our trained Military are not qualified to be in possession of a weapon because of an accidental discharge? Really, so who do we question, the training method or the person responsible for creating a responsible program?

    3. My big concern is that you may have a sh*tbag Soldier who is constantly in trouble and as a leader, whose job is to deal with those kind of challenges, it is another thing to watch out for. Or you might have a great troop but he or she is having a bad day. Unfortunately, leaders at every level may not know that until it is too late. What if that young squad leader or platoon sergeant has to shoot one of his own troops to protect the rest of his crew? Is that something he has to go through and live with? I’m not advocating to not arm the troops but saying there has to be some sort of risk assessment done. I have read that some say ” well just arm the senior leaders” and that isn’t even well thought out. Most of the senior leaders are desk jockeys and are not in the motor-pools, entry control points, or any other place where the real manpower and the backbone of the branches are (with exception to specialized units whose working man is more than likely an NCO anyway). This really needs to be thought out with every kind of scenario played.

    4. I agree with not wanting to over arm our service members at home. Anything more than two weapons and four extra magazines is just too much.

      1. I’m not so sure 2 firearms are enough. That means they have to eliminate either the handgun, rifle, or shotgun. Which are you willing to NOT have? Each has a niche in the self defense mode and I want (actually have) all 3 available.

    5. I find it disgusting that the warriors we train to protect our country are not allowed to defend themselves at home. I can only hope that when Trump gets into office that he fires that so called general.

    6. What else can we expect from communist military hating control freak porch monkey and a butt kisser like Odierno.

    7. The Military wants a “few good men” to volunteer and when they get them they treat them like little kids.

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