A Clueless Vet Wants us to Listen Because She's a Vet

A Clueless Vet Wants us to Listen Because She's a Vet

One of the annoying things to see is the “Vets for gun reform” crowd. Yes, a percentage of the military, even the front line ground forces, are liberals, and don’t seem to understand the history, context, etc. of the 2A, much less the realities on the ground. Start arguing with them and these regular guys start trying to out-vet you (“Well I have five generations of military service” – thus proving they are playing the vet card to hold a moral level, and in one specific case, missing the dig about my ancestors “fighting socialists – both national and communist – and other gun grabbers”).

So there’s a bait-and-switch article headline that starts with the cursing right away as an example of the kind of attitude they’re actually trying to counter called “Fuck You, I Like Guns“.

From the revised intro:

The tone, the language, and the style are intentional. This was written for people like my mostly conservative Army buddies who will never click an article that is titled “Gun control is your friend”, and tend to assume those who support such legislation have never seen a gun before.

So you admit from the outset the title is a bait and switch. And there’s a reason they’d assume that. Frankly, you may know how to use “a gun” but from the rest of your article, despite a degree in something that requires real world results, you are woefully ignorant of history and philosophy.

America, can we talk?

What have we been doing for decades? Oh, it didn’t get the results you want despite all the laws, and you didn’t like the answer “No”?

Let’s just cut the shit for once and actually talk about what’s going on without blustering and pretending we’re actually doing a good job at adulting as a country right now.

Gag me with a spoon. I hate condescending millenial baby-speak. “Adulting?”

We’re not. We’re really screwing this whole society thing up, and we have to do better. We don’t have a choice. People are dying. At this rate, it’s not if your kids, or mine, are involved in a school shooting, it’s when. One of these happens every 60 hours on average in the US. If you think it can’t affect you, you’re wrong. Dead wrong. So let’s talk.

Again, like there hasn’t been a conversation about this ad nauseum. And already with the crappy statistics. Stephen Crowder covered them well.

I’ll start. I’m an Army veteran.

A vet too? Sworn to protect the constitution? Against all enemies, foreign and domestic?

I like M-4’s, which are, for all practical purposes, an AR-15, just with a few extra features that people almost never use anyway.

A partial truth, as the most important one that is not available in the civilian market is the select fire option for a three-round burst. Incidentally, the M16A2 that most of the modern M4 and other rifles are based on went to a three-round burst instead of fully auto because the auto mode used up too much ammo while being wildly inaccurate.

I’d say at least 70% of my formal weapons training is on that exact rifle, with the other 30% being split between various and sundry machineguns and grenade launchers. My experience is pretty representative of soldiers of my era. Most of us are really good with an M-4, and most of us like it at least reasonably well, because it is an objectively good rifle. I was good with an M-4, really good. I earned the Expert badge every time I went to the range, starting in Basic Training. This isn’t uncommon. I can name dozens of other soldiers/veterans I know personally who can say the exact same thing. This rifle is surprisingly easy to use, completely idiot-proof really, has next to no recoil, comes apart and cleans up like a dream, and is light to carry around. I’m probably more accurate with it than I would be with pretty much any other weapon in existence. I like this rifle a lot. I like marksmanship as a sport. When I was in the military, I enjoyed combining these two things as often as they’d let me.

OK.

With all that said, enough is enough. My knee jerk reaction is to consider weapons like the AR-15 no big deal because it is my default setting. It’s where my training lies. It is my normal, because I learned how to fire a rifle IN THE ARMY.

Yeah, not the only place people learn to shoot though.

You know, while I may only have shot plastic targets on the ranges of Texas, Georgia, and Missouri, that’s not what those weapons were designed for, and those targets weren’t shaped like deer.

Shocker. People might consider a gun so they can shoot people. If they’re sane and normal productive people, they don’t want to shoot people, but there are two legged predators out there too.

Oh, and the 2A isn’t about hunting. it’s not even really about self defense against criminals, but that was a consideration wrapped into it as well. An intended side effect of it’s real purpose of having a population familiar with firearms to resist all enemies. Foreign and domestic.

They were shaped like people. Sometimes we even put little hats on them. You learn to take a gut shot, “center mass”, because it’s a bigger target than the head, and also because if you maim the enemy soldier rather than killing him cleanly, more of his buddies will come out and get him, and you can shoot them, too. He’ll die of those injuries, but it’ll take him a while, giving you the chance to pick off as many of his compadres as you can. That’s how my Drill Sergeant explained it anyway. I’m sure there are many schools of thought on it.

Because if you miss a soldier trying to be fancy with a headshot he gets to shoot you instead you moron. I’m willing to believe your sergeant fed you that line of crap about casualties but all you have to do is look at WW2, fought with higher caliber bullets, to see that it’s a line of crap. Check out Hacksaw Ridge, especially since you’re a pacifist. Do you think the Japanese were trying to just maim the american soldiers? Yet many survived. Went back to fight after being patched up, even.

We went to 5.56 because you could carry more ammo. Given accuracy on the battlefield, unless you’re a sniper, you’re going to have a ridiculously low hit ratio on average. More ammo means you’re more likely to hit the guys trying to kill you. Soft kills that you discuss are an edge case that may be a bit more likely, but they aren’t the main reason.

The fact is, though, when I went through my marksmanship training in the US Army, I was not learning how to be a competition shooter in the Olympics, or a good hunter. I was being taught how to kill people as efficiently as possible, and that was never a secret.

As an avowed pacifist now, it turns my stomach to even type the above words, but can you refute them? I can’t. Every weapon that a US Army soldier uses has the express purpose of killing human beings. That is what they are made for. The choice rifle for years has been some variant of what civilians are sold as an AR-15. Whether it was an M-4 or an M-16 matters little. The function is the same, and so is the purpose. These are not deer rifles. They are not target rifles. They are people killing rifles. Let’s stop pretending they’re not.

Yes, and? You’re a pacifist. You don’t like killing people. You and I disagree on whether or not there are times to kill people. I’d say that makes our hero from Hacksaw Ridge a far more moral person than you are. He may not have been willing to pull the trigger, but he knew damn well he was helping get more people killed in the short run, hopefully to get less people killed in the long run, and he was willing to accept responsibility for that.

He understood that sometimes killing people is necessary, and was willing to help the people who would do the job. Put his own life on the line, even.

And not all of those people who will kill, steal, etc., and need to be stopped, and cannot be reliably stopped with non-lethal means, are on the battlefield. You can argue all you like how wrong it is to take a life – I’d argue that it is wrong to let someone take mine, or even a chunk of mine by stealing the product of my work and effort.

With this in mind, is anybody surprised that nearly every mass shooter in recent US history has used an AR-15 to commit their crime? And why wouldn’t they? High capacity magazine, ease of loading and unloading, almost no recoil, really accurate even without a scope, but numerous scopes available for high precision, great from a distance or up close, easy to carry, and readily available. You can buy one at Wal-Mart, or just about any sports store, and since they’re long guns, I don’t believe you have to be any more than 18 years old with a valid ID. This rifle was made for the modern mass shooter, especially the young one. If he could custom design a weapon to suit his sinister purposes, he couldn’t do a better job than Armalite did with this one already.

Fuck you.

It’s a tool. Every one of those features makes it useful to defend life and livelihood as much as it does to murder. A good sword is a good sword, whether wielded by a white knight or black. Also don’t think I didn’t notice your fudging the time scale for “recent history” because most of them outside of Vegas – by a guy who actually could have afforded machine guns – Sandy Hook, and Parkland, especially school shootings, have used pistols. If anything, outside of the few massively publicized events, almost no killings have been done with rifles, much less AR-15’s.

Oh, are you dishonestly including terrorist/religious attacks like the Pulse Nightclub (not even an AR-15, but still semiauto rifle), San Bernandino, etc., by people who also resort to trucks, vans, bombs, and planes via box cutters?

This rifle is so deadly and so easy to use that no civilian should be able to get their hands on one.

You’ve already made plain you believe no one should be able to take a life anyway, so I don’t believe you that it’s just the AR except that it’s in the news right now. And the very same things that make it deadly to people packed like defenseless sardines in kill boxes also makes it deadly to people trying to break into my home. Finally, given what the founders directly wrote, given what triggered the revolutionary war in the first place, given letters of marque and all that implies, and given their attitude toward standing armies, there’s a good reason to believe that the founders were ensuring that civilians had access to and familiarity with military grade weapons more than concern about hunting and self-defense from crooks.

Remember that oath you made? Yeah. That.

Also, a sane person with a gun is no more of a threat to you than without. Unless, of course, you’re trying to stomp his face in the dirt with a bootheel on his neck.

We simply don’t need these things in society at large. I always find it interesting that when I was in the Army, and part of my job was to be incredibly proficient with this exact weapon, I never carried one at any point in garrison other than at the range. Our rifles lived in the arms room, cleaned and oiled, ready for the next range day or deployment.

Bluntly, the army didn’t trust you guys. It’s not your fault. Between the overwhelming terror of a soldier not returning all the live ammo that could be accounted for as fired, the legitimate need for an armorer to keep all the weapons to spec, and such, the utter stupidity of the typical military policy towards weapons outside of armory’s, even personal ones in base housing or off-base housing, is something a lot of us vets are bitter about.

We didn’t carry them around just because we liked them. We didn’t bluster on about barracks defense and our second amendment rights. We tucked our rifles away in the arms room until the next time we needed them, just as it had been done since the Army’s inception.

There’s a lot of other rights you gave up too. There’s also a point to keeping the stuff in one easy to find place when you’re not in the field. You’ll notice that those policies went out the window out in the field.

The military police protected us from threats in garrison. They had 9 mm Berettas to carry. They were the only soldiers who carry weapons in garrison. We trusted them to protect us, and they delivered.

Fort Hood? That and other silliness because soldiers weren’t trusted by the social engineers.

With notably rare exceptions, this system has worked well. There are fewer shootings on Army posts than in society in general, probably because soldiers are actively discouraged from walking around with rifles, despite being impeccably well trained with them. Perchance, we could have the largely untrained civilian population take a page from that book?

You don’t realize what the job of the army is, or the operational regime of day to day life.

The army deals with centralized threats – which is why it had the devils own time with insurgent warfare. And again, you’ll note, that when leaving the safe zones of guarded encampments, weapons were distributed so that they’d be on hand.

Guess what. We don’t carry to be gung ho. Maybe there’ll be a rifle in the car if it doesn’t cross state lines a lot along with a trouble bag, maybe, but mostly they stay home unless brought out with a purpose – like defense of the home, target shooting, hunting, etc. While, especially if we’re smart and avoid areas with a high chance of criminal trouble, we’re likely to never have to pull a gun, we cannot predict when and where trouble will arise that should be most effectively met with deadly force. Distributed threats require distributed and unpredictable defenses.

I understand that people want to be able to own guns. That’s ok.

Really? Because the primary reason most people want to own one is for a reason that “turns your stomach” – a reason that you want to ban ARs for for the crime of being effective. Because you can’t differentiate between murder and self defense.

We just need to really think about how we’re managing this. Yes, we have to manage it, just as we manage car ownership.

Oh shit, we’re about to get to the ignorant stuff by someone who doesn’t know what the laws are.

People have to get a license to operate a car, and if you operate a car without a license, you’re going to get in trouble for that.

Slightly unfair but: You only get in trouble for operating a vehicle without a license on public roads. You’d be amazed at what kind of vehicles you can run. Even if we were to need a license similar to cars, then by his argument I could buy anything I wanted and use it at home.

We manage all things in society that can pose a danger to other people by their misuse. In addition to cars, we manage drugs, alcohol, exotic animals (there are certain zip codes where you can’t own Serval cats, for example), and fireworks, among other things.

Leaving aside the obvious “shall not be infringed” explicitly called out for weapons, so? We saw what trying to ban alcohol did. Besides, if I bought guns under the same rule I could walk into several convenient establishments in any town, take it anywhere with me, use it at home freely, use it on private property (bars/gun ranges) freely, and just not go shooting it off for no damn good reason in the streets.

I’d actually be tempted to give on a “gun license” that handled guns as flexibly as cars. One license, use and carry anywhere in the 50 states?

And I live in a state with pretty lax fireworks laws too. Love the neighborhood show during the 4th.

Don’t get me started on the stupid drug prescription laws.

We restrict what types of businesses can operate in which zones of the city or county. We have a whole system of permitting for just about any activity a person wants to conduct since those activities could affect others, and we realize, as a society, that we need to try to minimize the risk to other people that comes from the chosen activities of those around them in which they have no say. Gun ownership is the one thing our country collectively refuses to manage, and the result is a lot of dead people.

This is all subtly, but not obviously wrong. And don’t get me started on the stupid protectionism rackets that things like cosmetology licenses for barbers are. And the permitting for businesses at least has a reasonable excuse in having to interface with services like water, power, and sewer, and such, which cannot be equally distributed everywhere for all capacities at any rational budget level.

The biggest way in which we regulate people affecting others negatively that is by making people responsible for the results of their stupid decisions.

I can’t drive a Formula One car to work.

Not as set up stock, but you could add the needed lights, etc. if you didn’t mind it looking like crap. Again, it’s a stupid set of rules. See the utter fiasco passenger air bags were when it was discovered that they were killing babies and smaller than average people. But hey, safety mandates.

It would be really cool to be able to do that, and I could probably cut my commute time by a lot. Hey, I’m a good driver, a responsible Formula One owner. You shouldn’t be scared to be on the freeway next to me as I zip around you at 140 MPH, leaving your Mazda in a cloud of dust! Why are you scared? Cars don’t kill people. People kill people. Doesn’t this sound like bullshit? It is bullshit, and everybody knows.

Whatever you do, never, ever go near the autobahn in Germany, especially the actual unlimited stretches. you’d piss your pants. Oh, and someone simply having a gun on them, vice pointing it at you, isn’t a threat to you.

Not one person I know would argue non-ironically that Formula One cars on the freeway are a good idea.

Then you’ve got a bunch of pussies for friends. And not a lot of Germans.

Yet, these same people will say it’s totally ok to own the firearm equivalent because, in the words of comedian Jim Jeffries, “fuck you, I like guns”.

All the reason I need. Am I pointing them at you? No?

Yes, yes, I hear you now. We have a second amendment to the constitution, which must be held sacrosanct over all other amendments. Dude. No.

Stop with the condescension. Have you bothered to read why they wrote those amendments?

The constitution was made to be a malleable document. It’s intentionally vague.

More bullshit. It’s intentionally set up to lay out very few powers of government, and very broad areas the government should never touch. It is very specific about the few things the government should do at the national level, and the many, many things it should not do. All other matters are delegated to local authorities. There is a path to change it – a very onerous one that requires a vast supermajority to, in this case, be sheep.

We can enact gun control without infringing on the right to bear arms.

You just failed logic 101. Please explain to me how you can both limit what I buy and carry and not infringe on my right to choose how to do so.

You can have your deer rifle. You can have your shotgun that you love to shoot clay pigeons with. You can have your target pistol. Get a license. Get a training course. Recertify at a predetermined interval. You do not need a military grade rifle. You don’t. There’s no excuse.

I don’t need food either, unless I want to avoid starving to death in a few weeks. You’re not my bodyguard, you don’t get to choose how I protect myself. You do not have the responsibility, I won’t grant you the responsibility because you cannot possibly do it, and thus you don’t have the authority. You’re also not my mommy.

And I’m not getting licensed and registered if I can avoid it. Gun control has always been about control. Just ask the Jews for the Preservation of Firearm Ownership – they really mean “never again” – or at least did, under its founder.

The header image for this post? Nazi firing squad and a mass grave.

“But we’re supposed to protect against tyranny! I need the same weapons the military would come at me with!” Dude. You know where I can get an Apache helicopter and a Paladin?! Hook a girl up! Seriously, though, do you really think you’d be able to hold off the government with an individual level weapon? Because you wouldn’t. One grenade, and you’re toast. Don’t have these illusions of standing up to the government, and needing military style rifles for that purpose. You’re not going to stand up to the government with this thing. They’d take you out in about half a second.

Are you really that historically ignorant? Especially since the history that’s relevant is within your lifetime? No – one person even with a fully automated battleship at their disposal is not going to hold off an entire military or three.

But they don’t have to. Michael Z Williamson covers it in detail – and doesn’t go down several rabbit holes worth bringing up – that if it turns into a civil war, those tank crews willing to shoot at Americans? Where do you think they’ll be living? Where do you think the maintenance people, the officers, the politicians will all be living?

And if the army you were a part of starts shooting Americans, who will you side with? The Americans? Or the tyrants?

And what are you going to do about it?

From the fact you can’t imagine what a rifle team would be good for, even leaving your pacifism – bought and paid for by men willing to do unto thieves and murderers as they would do unto you – aside, not much.

Let’s be honest. You just want a cool toy, and for the vast majority of people, that’s all an AR-15 is.

I hope to god that it is all I’d ever have to use one for. Ditto my fire extinguishers, windowbreaker for the car, and other tools. I hope they end up cool toys to spend some time training with.

Would suck if I needed one though and didn’t have it, eh?

It’s something fun to take to the range and put some really wicked holes in a piece of paper. Good for you.

You’re not my mommy, so cut it out. That’s all the moral justification I need because I’m not going to point my guns at a person without just moral cause. Neither will the overwhelming majority of gun owners – look up the stats on crimes committed by CCW holders.

Y’know, you’re not terribly observant. But then from the header of this post and other posts you have, you already think of conservatives and people in the military as uneducated unthinking morons. You really think after that bait and switch they’ll actually want to listen to your condescension?

I know how enjoyable that is. I’m sure for a certain percentage of people, they might not kill anyone driving a Formula One car down the freeway, or owning a Cheetah as a pet, or setting off professional grade fireworks without a permit.

You really are a fearful person with fearful friends… and conflating things in different action scopes to make a point. Can you really not tell the difference between lighting off explosives in public (and you’d be amazed what explosives you can legally get) and simply posessing inanimate objects? That’s bullshit.

I hate bullshit. Especially with a side of moralizing and mommy-ism.

Some people are good with this stuff, and some people are lucky, but those cases don’t negate the overall rule. Military style rifles have been the choice du jour in the incidents that have made our country the mass shootings capitol of the world.

Facts just aren’t a thing with you, are they? By your logic the areas outside of Chicago where guns are available should have the crime rate of downtown, and Bataclan and Nice shouldn’t have happened.

Stop with the magical thinking. Hint, it’s not the inanimate object. It’s the person. In the case of Parkland, the person who should have been arrested multiple times before the shooting for violent behavior constituting assault and battery.

And the government we are supposed to trust to protect us? There are IA affidavits that that department had been deliberately failing to arrest people to keep their numbers down for federal funding – and that you could go find stolen goods that had been squirreled away in the evidence rooms so they wouldn’t have to return them, because then they’d have to explain where they got them. The same deputies who ignored what has been national SOP since Columbine and cowered outside while their charges were murdered, instead of running in.

Formula One cars aren’t good for commuting. Cheetahs are bitey. Professional grade fireworks will probably take your hand off. All but one of these are common sense to the average American. Let’s fix that. Be honest, you don’t need that AR-15. Nobody does. Society needs them gone, no matter how good you may be with yours. Kids are dying, and it’s time to stop fucking around.

You want to protect kids?

How about home school?

How about not packing them defenseless into kill boxes protected by nothing more substantial than a “gun free zone” sign?

How about any form of defense in depth?

How about listening to what experts like gun store owner and author Larry Correia have to say? Or Michael Z. Williamson, who’s had his time in the sand?

You’re right – kids are dying. They’re dying because time after time shooters who should have been in prison for actually committing crimes or blocked from accessing firearms were able to do so through everything from simple bureaucratic error – something even more laws won’t prevent – to outright malfeasance. Because those who we’ve delegated our safety to in the mirage of “gun free zones” can’t be bothered to do their jobs. Because there is no defense in depth, no one available to stop a shooter.

Are you going to address these issues?

Nope, instead you want to moralize at me like you’re my mommy, tell me what I need and don’t need. Don’t think I haven’t noticed that at no point have you listed self defense as a legitimate use.

So fuck you – because you don’t get to wave the bloody shirt at me to shame me into compliance.

Fuck you , for betraying both an oath and foundational principle rooted in hundreds of years of common law.

Fuck you, for trading on your status as a “vet” for moral high ground.

And if you’re wondering why, despite your shameless mommying soft tyranny, despite your ignorance, despite your moral smugness disguised as “having a conversation”, despite you opening the article with those very two words, why I’m saying fuck you…

Fuck you. I like Guns.

And ponder what the world would have been like without Leonidas saying “come here, then take them.”

About Last Redoubt

Ex nuke mechanic, jack of all trades.