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Arm the Army, Part II

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

Congress Seeks More Guns

in Wake of Muslim’s Attack

on Marines and Sailor

“Bad Idea” says Gun-Law Expert

“Same mistake the anti-gun-rights advocates make”


Poorly drafted bills too

Yesterday we looked at why Congress is introducing all these bills to arm the army, when the commander in chief should do it immediately with a phone and a pen. Today we’re reviewing the bills themselves, to see if they make as much sense as we’re being told they do. You decide.

NOTE: The term “soldiers” is here as shorthand for all our military personnel, and “Army” is short for all armed services, no slight intended to the dozen or more separate names. I’'ve gone through the bills in order, line by line. Read the actual bills here by entering the bill numbers, easy: Sign on for similar reports here:

HR 3115 “Enhancing Safety at Military Installations Act”

The stated purpose is to repeal the laws and regs that disarm trained military personnel at military bases and recruiting centers, and prohibit reimposing the bans. A law cannot ban a future law to repeal it, that’s just for show and is silly. It declares all military personnel are trained to arms (hardly true) but also says they must be properly trained and authorized, without defining that. Authorizing soldiers to be armed is not the same as mandating that they be armed, but that’s getting picky. Rules and regs are supposed to be developed, but there aren’t penalties if they’re not. It could be years before this actually arms anyone (like the arm-the-pilots program after 9-11), if it passes, and doesn’t include being armed getting to or from the duty site, or stepping out for a bite, or a smoke. Hey, it was written quickly, there are bound to be some snafus (an army term, oddly enough -- “situation normal, all fircked up”). Read the details at NEW STUFF


HR3138 “Military Recruiter Right to Carry Act of 2015”

This declares that military recruiters have a right to carry a personal or service-issue firearm at the office. It’s only slightly ironic that this requires an act of Congress, and with just one co-sponsor and no matching Senate bill, this is going nowhere and is only for show. Sounds good when you say it on TV though, fools the masses. Nice that it introduces your personal firearms though, not just duty guns. Read the details at NEW STUFF

HR 3139 “Securing Military Personnel Response Firearm Initiative Act” or “SEMPER FI Act”

The heads of the military branches (“Secretaries”) are required to authorize officers and non-commissioned officers assigned to recruitment-center duty to carry military-issued handguns while at the recruitment center, despite any conflicting laws or policies. No punishment is provided for Secretaries, landlords or anyone else who fails to comply, and the Secretaries can decide to improve “structural security measures” instead of (or in addition to) authorizing armed personnel. That means walls, barriers, razor ribbon, things like that.

A posse comitatus clause restates existing law and means well but puts soldiers at risk. For example, if a jihadi operation (which would be subject to military response) is later falsely labeled workplace violence (a criminal act) a responding soldier would have unwittingly enforced civilian law, a serious offense. This is actually a very real dilemma. Read the details at NEW STUFF


S 1823 (Untitled; to safeguard military personnel on site, repeal firearm bans and more)

Congress declares that gun-free zones make DoD sites and recruitments centers vulnerable -- the first time Congress uses the term “gun-free zones” in such a context. That is a breakthrough recognition. Congress insists on removing the bans on arming the military, repeals the regs to do so (same as the matching House bill), and applies rules from 2005, with exceptions, to control things like engagement, use of force, etc. It prohibits the military from reenacting the bans, and then reaches very far, by attempting to prevent the president from instituting a ban through any action of any kind.

This reflects the tremendous angst Congress has at the moment, not power it actually has, over the commander in chief and executive branch, a very bad sign. The only action here is a progress report due from the Secretary of Defense in 90 days, but if there’s no report, nothing happens. There is no punishment for failure to act, no accountability, no one gets fired. Our guys might not be armed for years under this paperwork, if ever. Read the details at NEW STUFF

What it means

The bills aren’t the worst thing our electeds could do, or maybe they are, by making us think something is happening when it’s not. These are hastily thought out, poorly drafted, and reflect a completely wrong mindset with respect to running the nation, implementing the Bill of Rights, protecting our nation and military. They give our Armed Forces less access to firepower than the public has under the Second Amendment. If the Militia in the Bill of Rights really does mean the people, it has us better armed than the Army on the home front right now. Congress must loudly insist that the commander in chief act until he does, not issue feckless paperwork.



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