Arizona -(Ammoland.com)- One of the promises President Trump made in 2015 interview with AmmoLand News, is he would review the policy of keeping service members disarmed on our military bases and recruiting centers.
“As Commander-in-Chief, I would mandate that soldiers remain armed and on alert at our military bases. President Clinton never should have passed a ban on soldiers being able to protect themselves on bases. America’s Armed Forces will be armed. They will be able to defend themselves against terrorists. Our brave soldiers should not be at risk because of policy created by civilian leadership. Political correctness has no place in this debate.”
President Donald Trump said Friday that he would review policies that keep troops from carrying personal weapons onto military bases.
“If we can't have our military holding guns, it's pretty bad,” Trump said in a wide-ranging speech to the annual Conservative Political Action Committee conference in Maryland, “and I'm going to look at that whole policy on military bases.”
The recent case in Florida shows how useful it would have been for our military officers to be armed with handguns in case of an attack.
The murderous Jihadi was armed with a handgun.
Watson’s father Benjamin told USA Today that his son was the officer on deck at the time of the shooting and sustained at least five gunshot wounds before being able to make it out to relay important information about the shooter before succumbing to his injuries.
“Heavily wounded, he made his way out to flag down first responders and gave an accurate description of the shooter,” he told the outlet. “He died serving his country.”
Watson, a rifle team captain, was reportedly sent to NAS two weeks before the shooting for flight training.
Watson, as a rifle team captain, would have been proficient with a pistol. Our servicemen should not be routinely disarmed on our military bases, when we are, essentially, under attack by a dispersed and deadly ideological enemy.
The brass in the military have treated the idea of allowing service members to be armed on base with disdain. They served President Trump with a “reform” which changed very little. An effete culture has crept into the military, with the idea service members, especially officers, should dislike carrying weapons, especially pistols, and should find it rather distasteful and beneath them.
This needs to be reversed. Here are two ways it could be done.
First, the direct approach:
Order, as Commander, that every commissioned and non commissioned officer shall be armed as a part of their duties unless an individual exception is granted by their commanding officer. The Commanding officer shall explain and justify why the officer is exempted from being armed at particular points, times, and places. Officers are expected to be armed at all times while in uniform.
Officers are to be encouraged to own their personal sidearms for this purpose. A list of approved sidearms could be maintained, starting with sidearms already in service. Some effort should be taken to give officers a wide variety of choices. Choosing and paying for an officer's own sidearm goes a long way to encourage familiarity and being armed. Checking arms into and out of armories is time-consuming, expensive and unnecessary.
Officers and Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs) who routinely go armed will have 1 point added to their annual evaluation report. Officers who score expert with pistol shall have another point added to their evaluation report. Annual qualification with pistol scores will be included on the evaluation report.
The Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA) has been upheld by the courts as a valid exercise of federal power. Every state, to my knowledge, has an exception to their restrictive gun laws, acknowledging the right of military members on active duty to be armed.
Second, the indirect, voluntary approach, from an earlier article:
Commanders in the military are responsible for their troops. Many are under the age of 21. Commanders, in some ways, are father figures that have enormous responsibilities and power.
As Commander in Chief, President Trump can require military commanders to respect the Second Amendment, but give them guidance and goals to allow them to exercise their judgment and enhance their authority while doing so.
He could require programs be set up to allow for the exercise of Second Amendment rights, in concert with the requirements of military discipline.
Soldiers could be expected to earn the ability to exercise their Second Amendment rights for protection of themselves and their unarmed comrades, in peacetime. The right to do so could be taken away for cause, just as rank can be taken away for cause.
The requirements to carry could include passing an objective written test about the use of deadly force, and a shooting test that would be no more stringent than officers are required to pass to qualify with a pistol.
Military members would know that any shots fired by them would be investigated. Carry under these circumstances could be made a part of their official duties. They would be subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice for any infractions. Because they would be under military discipline, they could carry in any part of United States territory under that authority.
Safeguards should be put in place to insure that Commanders do not play administrative games to avoid this duty to the Republic and the Constitution.
These circumstances would be similar to those of states with shall issue concealed carry laws. People who have taken the time and trouble to obtain a carry permit have proven to be extremely law abiding. There is little reason to believe that soldiers under military discipline would be less responsible.
Members of the military give up some of their rights in order to serve.
A combination of these two approaches could be used.
Having a significant number of our service members armed would prevent them from being sitting ducks in the current disarmed victim zones known as our military bases.
We are confronted with an implacable, ideological foe. Our service members should be capable of and encouraged to defend themselves and others.
About Dean Weingarten:
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.