The biggest unfortunate side of the Chattanooga, TN shooting of 5 service members is that it has become the cause celebre for all of the crazies. Or, should I say all of the bigots and fringe groups. Since that tragic day, the wacko bunch has come out of the woodwork faster than you can say “oh shit!”
One gun shop owner, a full believer in the Constitution of the United States announced that his gun shop is now “Muslim Free.” He doesn’t say how he intends to discover who is and who is not a “Muslim” but there he was standing in front of his all-inclusive Confederate Battle Flag making his announcement.
We have lunatics calling themselves “patriots” in open-carry states now saying they will “defend” our recruiters. They have started showing up in front of Recruiting Stations openly carrying guns declaring they would defend our recruiters. This is because they believe that the Defense Department is “wrong” in not allowing recruiters to carry guns wherever they go.
There has been a large outcry on Facebook about the President not ordering the flag put at half-mast in honor of these servicemen. They claim that the President is “disrespecting” our service members by not immediately issuing the order.
I simply don’t know where to start on this. So, I guess I will take them one-at-a-time. First, that gun shop owner who claims to have a “Muslim Free” gun zone in his gun shop. He claims to have the right to refuse to sell guns to anyone he believes is dangerous. But, there is no right to refuse to sell guns just because of a person’s religion.
What he is saying is that if you are an American Citizen protected by the Second Amendment of the Constitution and have a right to own a gun, you still cannot purchase one in his shop if you are a Muslim. In other words he has taken on the task of defining who is and who is not a citizen protected by the Constitution.
The simple fact that he is standing in front of a Confederate Battle Flag shouts loudly exactly what he means by “Muslim Free.” Since he claims he won’t be asking you what religion you belong to, the only way to determine if you are a Muslim is by skin color or name. If you are not white, and have one of those “funny middle-eastern names” you will obviously be considered a Muslim and refused service.
On the other hand, if you are white, you will be gladly sold any weapon you want. Apparently, he doesn’t know that there are millions of white people who are Muslims in the world. Even right here in America. I personally know dozens of white Americans who are Muslims.
The second one involves recruiters for our military branches. We now have crazies “walking the beat” outside recruiting stations carrying all sorts of weapons from assault rifles, sniper rifles, and hand guns. All without being asked by the Department of Defense to “protect” the recruiters.
One of the greatest things about our country is that our military doesn’t go around carrying weapons everywhere they go. You will find armed soldiers in other countries, even so-called democratic countries. I can guarantee you that if our military personnel have been carrying weapons in public before Chattanooga, these very same crazies would be screaming at the top of their lungs. It would be the proof they need that the government is trying to “take over” the country.
This so-called “protecting our recruiters” is nothing more than a very sick publicity stunt to get their names and pictures in the papers and on news stations. It serves absolutely no purpose. As a matter of fact, it is probably going to hamper these recruiters from doing their jobs.
Not many people are willing to cross a line of armed men to walk into a recruiting office. Additionally, the added publicity these wackos are creating only increases the possibility of another attack. If that should happen, what is going to be said when these odd-balls start shooting and innocent civilians are killed in the crossfire? It will be the responsibility of these “patriots” if that happens. But, of course, they will claim they were just doing their “duty” to protect the recruiters. Those innocent civilians were just “collateral” damage.
These same people are calling for recruiters to be armed. To many that sounds reasonable. However, there is a difference in the training of personnel to carry arms in a combat zone and carrying arms in a civilian area. There are lots of rules and laws that must be met, even for the military.
That means more training for recruiters, many administrative personnel, has to be conducted before they can carry arms in the office. It also means that armories must be built and established to house and protect those weapons when not being carried.
The Coast Guard, being law enforcement, has such training for personnel. However, not everyone goes through it. I did. I even had to go through the “shoot-don’t shoot” training. If you failed that test, you were not allowed to carry a weapon in public areas.
All of this costs money. The Defense Department is facing calls for cuts in their budgets. They are facing base closings and reduction in forces. How can they afford to add the costs of the training and armories needed before recruiters are armed?
Even if this all happens, how can they go to a High School or College Campus with weapons? If you ask recruiters, you will discover it is hard enough to get to these places already. Not many of them will be happy if the recruiter shows up carrying a handgun. As I said, this has more potential to hamper recruiting efforts more than help them.
Third, the issue of the flag at half-mast. I don’t have a problem with the President ordering flags being flown at half-mast in honor of these men. Actually, he has issued that order. But, on the other hand, I have a problem with it being flown at half-mast for these men and not the rest of service members who have been killed.
Yesterday I wrote about the problems at the VA and how fixing it is the best way to “support our troops.” What I didn’t put in that article is that a veteran commits suicide every 65 minutes. That means about 23 veterans commit suicide every single day! Are we to fly the flag at half-mast for them?
Where do you draw the line on that issue? If the flag was lowered every time a service member was killed, we would never see the flag at full mast again. That is just a simple fact. You don’t “respect” servicemen by lowering the flag in honor of their death. You show “respect” by making sure their families are properly taken care of after their great loss.
You see, once a service member dies, their families are basically cut off. Just as one example, the survivors of a fallen service member must vacate military housing within 30 days of the funeral. They lose most of their benefits. They lose almost all of their “privileges” like shopping at the exchange. They become just another survivor of a fallen service member.
I seriously mourn the five members who were killed in the senseless shooting. I also hate it when these kinds of situations brings the crazies out of the woodwork. These service members deserve better than that. Their families deserve better than that.
Yes, security at recruiting stations needs to be reviewed. The DOD says a report is due on Friday. There are thousands of way to better protect our recruiters than with arms. Especially when you consider that one “trained” recruiter accidentally shot himself in the leg when he began carrying a weapon. What would have been said if he had accidentally shot a recruit?
Honor those who were killed. Remember their families in your prayers, if you are prone to pray. But, don’t praise these wackos who are looking for nothing more than publicity. That is not honoring these brave men’s memory.