As I think I’ve made clear, I have never served in any branch of the armed services or in domestic law enforcement. I would have been a poor fit since I have a very low tolerance for idiocy and petty fascism.
I have been known, because I’m tremendously irresponsible, to take Richard’s ancient Red Ryder BB Gun (“You’ll put your eye out kid!”) and plink some at Dixie Cups and Paper Plates against a backstop of dirt and rocks and trees and water extending some 600 yards or more.
Irresponsible? There were rocks. The BB could have bounced off them back at me and put my eye out kid. I’m not exactly proud of it.
I have also, in more formal settings, fired a .22 with sufficient accuracy to achieve an NRA Pro Marksman Rating which is basically the participation award they give you for following the Range Safety Rules and not killing anybody while getting at least some of your shots on the paper (I ran out of Water electives at Summer Camp).
Now I happen to know something about guns, but it’s entirely academic and a result of my being a War Gamer and Historian. For instance an AR-15 is a rifle, not a gun, and it isn’t even a particularly good one unless you value lightness of weapon and ammunition over accuracy and range. But there are tons of studies that show most firefights take place at 400 yards or less and current tactical doctrine is to lay down a volume of suppressive firepower to allow your maneuver elements to achieve advantageous positions. You don’t have to hit them, you need to keep them pinned down by making it suicidally stupid to move.
See, I know stuff.
What I don’t imagine is that I’m some kind of Sergeant York (who by the way had a much better rifle than an AR-15) or that I could take out a Machine Gun nest with a Browning 1911. There’s a reason they give Medals of Honor to people like that, not the least of which is that they were shooting at him too.
Also we give a ton of very expensive training to soldiers.
Arming teachers is sheer madness
by Lucian K. Truscott IV, Salon
The Army spends 10 weeks on Basic Training of recruits in order to begin to get them ready to be soldiers. They aren’t finished at 10 weeks, however. They spend another 14 to 16 weeks on Advanced Individual Training (AIT) of soldiers before the Army figures they’re ready to take up a position in an Infantry unit. That’s about 24 weeks of training — six months before the Army determines that a soldier is prepared to be issued an M-16 or an M-4 and take up those arms against enemy soldiers.
Army training on weapons is extensive. In Basic Training, a recruit will spend several days learning to handle a rifle safely. They learn to take it apart and reassemble it, how to clean the weapon and care for it so that it will shoot safely. All of this before a soldier even lays eyes on a bullet or a firing range. Then soldiers are taken to firing ranges and taught to fire an M-16 or an M-4 from several positions: prone, standing, kneeling, and seated with knees bent. Soldiers are then put through days of practice firing at targets from fixed positions before they are trained to fire their weapons while moving, either in a standing position or on the ground. Soldiers are taught how to safely drop from a standing position to a prone position carrying a loaded weapon without firing it accidentally. When this training is completed, soldiers are tested on marksmanship. All of this happens during Basic Training.
It’s not until they reach AIT that soldiers are taught to fire their weapons in situations replicating combat — that is, in situations that simulate facing an armed enemy, much as teachers would encounter if a shooter attacked a school. This training is difficult and dangerous. Before soldiers are issued live ammunition, they are put through drill after drill simulating combat. They are taught to move from position to position with their rifles in the company of other soldiers similarly armed. They go through this repetitive training because the first rule the Army wants soldiers to follow is not to shoot each other.
Training is continuous in the military, on firearms and everything else. It goes on 52 weeks a year. Trips out to the firing range for rifle practice can take place every two or three months. And at least once or twice a year in the Infantry, soldiers practice live-fire exercises.
After extensive training at fire and movement — imagine aiming a gun in a classroom of 25 or so students, or walking armed into a hallway crowded with panicked students — soldiers are issued live ammunition and put through live-fire exercises.
Truscott makes 2 other very important points one of which is that even after all that expensive training “mistakes are made”. Drill Instructors are not kidding when they say they’re allowed so many deaths per year. People die all the time.
The other is that we are talking about an armed force as large as our Army and Navy (that includes Marines) combined-
If you take the 3.2 million teachers we have in public schools alone, 20 percent is more than 600,000 teachers. We don’t even have 600,000 soldiers in the Infantry in our Army. We have only 480,000 rifle-carrying soldiers out there to defend us from foreign enemies. If you add in the 500,000 teachers in private schools, and 1.5 million on college faculties, because they’re in the nation’s “teaching force” too, that’s a total of 5.2 million people teaching students in this country every day. Trump wants to arm 20 percent of them. That’s over 1 million teachers he wants out there carrying loaded weapons in classrooms every day.
We have about 1.4 million soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines on active duty as of Jan. 31. So President Trump wants to arm a number of teachers nearly as large as the entire armed forces we have defending us from foreign armies. All of this to defend against the next flaming asshole who walks into a school or college carrying an AR-15 and starts shooting.
If that sounds insane… well, it is.
But Trump imagines himself an Alvin York. His Daddy who thought he was a weakling and a failure sent him to Military Academy for discipline. Of course when it came time to serve in the Big Muddy he didn’t even have the dignity to get himself posted to a National Guard unit that specialized in weapons only useful against a Soviet Nuclear Attack the way
W did. Instead he paid off a Doctor to invent some mysterious disappearing Bone Spurs.
Here’s what he said today-
‘I’d run in there even if I didn’t have a weapon’
By CRISTIANO LIMA, Politico
Donald Trump criticized the Florida sheriff’s deputies who reportedly failed to intervene during the deadly school shooting in Parkland, saying he would have “run in there” to help if he had been there.
“I really believe I’d run in there even if I didn’t have a weapon,” Trump said during a White House meeting with U.S. governors to discuss school safety.
The president called the actions of several local law enforcement officers to the attack earlier this month as a national “disgrace,” labeling their job performance “disgusting.”
The president on Friday hammered Scot Peterson, the armed Broward County Sheriff’s deputy who failed to enter the building as a gunman opened fire on students and staffers, killing 17 and wounding several others.
“A security guard doesn’t know the children, doesn’t love the children,” Trump said during a news conference at the White House on Friday. “This man standing outside of the school the other day doesn’t love the children, probably doesn’t know the children.”
Trump suggested Peterson might have failed to act because he was a “coward,” and criticized him for his “poor job” during the attack. The president, who over the past week has pushed for teachers to be allowed to carry concealed weapons as a deterrent for potential shooters, cited the episode as further cause for schools to do away with gun-free zones.
I think it’s fair to say that while Donald John Trump knows nothing about military or police service he knows a good deal about cowardice.