I can not understand the hypocrisy of the anti-Second Amendment vets.
SOME VETERANS in politics and media have taken it upon themselves to rescue Americans from the “dangers” of firearms, specifically the AR-15.
Their contention is that these are “weapons of war” and therefore unfit for civilian use. Pat Ryan, an Iraq War veteran who had run for Congress in New York’s 19th district, ran a campaign ad in 2018 expressing his desire to “get rid of assault rifles.” In the wake of the Orlando shooting, Congressman Seth Moulton, a former Marine officer, stated on Twitter that “I know assault rifles. I carried one in Iraq. They have no place on America’s streets.”
As a Marine trained on the use of numerous military-grade weapons, Seth and others should know better.
The original definition of “assault rifle” from a 1970 Army Field Manual (FSTC-CW-07-03-70) has been re-purposed by the anti-gun movement to nebulously define firearms they believe civilians should not own. One of the four requirements for the field manual’s definition of an assault rifle is a “select-fire” option (i.e. you can toggle settings between single shot and fully automatic or burst). The fact that the AR-15 currently sold to civilians in America only has a single fire option means it does not meet their definition of an assault rifle. And, just in case anyone’s wondering, the “AR” in AR-15 stands for “Armalite Rifle” not “Assault Rifle.”
But details like these don’t matter to the gun control lobby, and the issue with these anti-gun veterans is that they believe they know better than the rest of us. They tout their combat experience with these “weapons of war,” demanding that we trust their message and heed their warning.
The irony is either they do not know what they are talking about, or, worse, they have suppressed that knowledge in order to appease the politics of the time. At its core, this issue is less about civilian ownership of AR-15s and more about the elitist mentality of any veteran who believes civilians are incapable or irresponsible when it comes to firearms.
As a Marine Corps officer, I carried the same M4 in Iraq that Seth Moulton did. During my time in Iraq, my Marines investigated an officer who had experienced a “negligent discharge,” where he almost accidentally shot and killed another Marine.
In Iraq, I also witnessed a court martial trial for one of my Marines who had threatened to shoot an NCO in his chain-of-command. Tragically, we also saw a Marine who used his rifle to take his own life.
Human error and human factors affect members of the military just as much as civilians. Should we prevent veterans from owning firearms because they have a higher-than-average rate of suicide compared to the rest of the U.S. population?
At the end of the day, if a person is responsible and knowledgeable about the firearms they own, what difference does it make if he/she is veteran or civilian?
Governor Chris Sununu has done a great job stemming the tide of anti-gun legislation coming through the New Hampshire Legislature. Unfortunately, anti-gun veterans threaten to tip the scales of the discussion in favor of more gun control because they claim to know better than the rest of us.
Most veterans I know do not want to outlaw AR-15s or limit civilian firearm ownership and it is time for the silent majority of pro-Second Amendment veterans to speak their minds, especially in an election year.
If we fail to do so, we are foregoing a responsibility to speak out against the same injustices we joined the military to defend against. And sadly, this issue extends beyond just the discussion of Second Amendment rights.
The “I-know-better-than-the-average-civilian” mentality has become the de facto stance of the corrupt and powerful in our government. Look no further than the Crossfire Hurricane investigation, where a handful of rogue officials sought to undo the will of the people.