Arming military recruiters may not be the best answer

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In the wake of last week’s tragic shooting in Chattanooga that killed five members of the U.S. military, politicians and the gun lobby began pushing for the immediate arming of military personnel in recruiting stations as well as legislation requiring military leaders to allow the carrying of loaded weapons on military installations.

“It’s outrageous that members of our armed services have lost their lives because the government has forced them to be disarmed in the workplace,” said Chris Cox, head of the NRA’s legislative and political operation.

Saiga_12_shotgunCertainly, that’s one way to look at it. Another would be to question a system in which a young man suffering from depression and with a history of drug and alcohol abuse could obtain a semi-auto AK-47 with a 30-round magazine and a Saiga-12 semi-auto shotgun of the type pictured at right, both of which Mohammod Abdulazeez carried in his attack.

A few other points to consider:

— The day after the Chattanooga attack, a Navy recruiter in Gainesville, Ga., brought his personal .45 pistol to his recruiting office  — in apparent violation of military policy — and proceeded to shoot himself in the leg while showing off the weapon to a potential recruit. As that incident suggests, non-combat military personnel are simply not as well-trained and proficient in the use of weapons as mythology would suggest.

— I’m not sure how effective personal weapons would be in fending off the type of attack perpetrated in Chattanooga, in which a heavily armed gunman launched a surprise assault that began with him driving his car through a security gate. In fact, it turns out that one of the Marines killed in the Chattanooga attack may have been armed with a Glock handgun — again in violation of policy — although what role if any that gun played in the attack is still unknown.

— The military bans private weapons in the workplace for the same reasons that almost every private employer in the country bans weapons: The statistics tell them that the risks of workplace violence and accidental shootings far outweigh any benefits. Military leaders say they do not want or need a situation in which soldiers and others on base can carry loaded weapons and the military has no legal means of controlling it. They fear that tragedies such as the Fort Hood shooting, the Camp Liberty shooting and a 2013 case in which an armed National Guard recruiter went berzerk might become more numerous if weapons become ubiquitous on military property.

— No one was killed in the first facility attacked by Abdulazeez, despite the fact that he fired more than 50 rounds, because the recruiting office was protected by bulletproof glass. In contrast, the only apparent security measure at the second facility, where he killed five people, was a chain-link fence that he drove through in his car. So we have some idea of what works, and what does not.

In the wake of the Chattanooga attacks, Pentagon officials have promised to conduct a full-scale, professional assessment of recruiting-station security needs, and if that assessment produces a recommendation that includes arming recruiters in some fashion, we can debate it at that time. But if that change comes, it ought to be dictated by military leadership looking out for the safety of the men and women under their command, not by congressmen and presidential candidates with no expertise who are pandering to popular sentiment and powerful lobby groups pushing an agenda.

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699 comments
TinaTrent
TinaTrent

Wow, Jay, you really shoved your foot in it.


How crude is it to snarkily refer to an accidental workplace injury to smear the competence of all servicemen and women, when five of them have been gunned down by a terrorist?


I realize you'll go pretty much anywhere to change the subject when the shooter is a politically inconvenient type.  But even for you, this is breathtakingly offensive.  

consumedconsumer
consumedconsumer

so some want to arm all the soldiers in the US, but at the same time think the military may be poised to take over the US so that Obama can institute martial law. as always, fascinating

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

But if that change comes, it ought to be dictated by military leadership looking out for the safety of the men and women under their command...

You'll get no argument from me on ^^^ that.

But this?

The day after the Chattanooga attack, a Navy recruiter in Gainesville, Ga., brought his personal .45 pistol to his recruiting office  — in apparent violation of military policy —and proceeded to shoot himself in the leg while showing off the weapon to a potential recruit.

So one recruiter is indicative of all recruiters? Purely speculative, jay. 

td1234
td1234

From below: 


Facts are facts. You either address them or you do not. 


Under the set of facts presented then would it not be the most logical argument to disarm the black community if you are a progressive? 


As a Conservative I would say the good citizens of the black community should arm themselves because it is obvious that the police are not able to protect them. 

consumedconsumer
consumedconsumer

@td1234 re:"As a Conservative I would say the good citizens of the black community should arm themselves because it is obvious that the police are not able to protect them."


yeah, right, i'm sure you would  . . .

consumedconsumer
consumedconsumer

@td1234  you say a lot of thing here that I doubt you believe, so what's the point of your little comment to my comment?

YouLibs
YouLibs

Global warming sheets.

gotalife
gotalife

 Please run trump said Hillary.

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

Jay picked a real scary "assault rifle" picture and everything!

consumedconsumer
consumedconsumer

@DownInAlbany yeah, i'd have preferred a nice crime scene photo . . . oh, wait, we only publish those if foreigners are the ones killed, my bad. 

juvenal
juvenal

every military in history arms the officers....... 

gotalife
gotalife

The circus is much better this cycle.


How many gop are running?


20?

gotalife
gotalife

trump gave out graham's cell number.


Hilarious.

josef
josef

TD



Tantum potest ridere hic nazi linguisticas. Sed sicut noster Sic Transit Kamchak diceret, illorum "modus operandus" est!  LOL

YouLibs
YouLibs

@josef


So available is to laugh here nazi linguistics. But even as our SicTransit Kamchak to say their "modus operandus" is!


?

gotalife
gotalife

I propose to use war funds for two losing  gop wars of 4 trillion to build new infrastructure for driver less vehicles for jobs baby jobs.

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

@gotalife I propose that we use $14.95 of those funds and spring for a new AJC website.  That's about twice what they currently have invested.

Lucifer12345
Lucifer12345

OK. I'm getting a little too low on this thread to be heard, so I'll again visit the mountain top. Last word on gun possession. In an ideal world the U.S. would be like other countries, with limited guns in the hands of law enforcement only that results in low gun deaths and injuries. But in the good ole' U.S. of A we are still living in the wild, wild West. We have tens of thousands of guns in the hands of people who should not be owning them.  But I believe in the theory if you outlaw guns then only outlaws will have guns. And where does that leave us - at their mercy. So, I believe the rational answer to that theorem is by arming yourself, at least in your own home. This way I know I will have a fighting chance if fate beckons. Others, who decide against it, are left to their own devices - and prayer won't get you there.

td1234
td1234

@Lucifer12345 We also have that little pesky thing called the 2nd Amendment to consider that other nations do not have. 


Also, look at the data from Nate Silver below that I posted. It seems the white community is on par with all those other nations in the world in gun homicides so it is not such a wild, wild west afterall. 

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@Lucifer12345

And where does that leave us - at their mercy. So, I believe the rational answer to that theorem is by arming yourself, at least in your own home. This way I know I will have a fighting chance if fate beckons.

That's a bit silly.

Fact is, overall gun ownership in America is declining, and almost certainly will continue to decline, as people continue to move inevitably to more urbanized, less rural settings.

there's less and less practical value to having firearms in the home; eventually Americans will be sufficiently fed up being told to accept this ridiculously broad interpretation of the Second Amendment we have now, and we'll adjust accordingly.

How long before that happens? I dunno.

But, it'll happen.

Lucifer12345
Lucifer12345

@Visual_Cortex @Lucifer12345  It may be silly in your mind but very rationale in mine. It's survival. There is absolutely no reason that I should listen to your advice that might get me killed.

td1234
td1234

@Visual_Cortex Facts are a pesky little detail that most progressives do not like to deal with. 

Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

@Lucifer12345 @Visual_Cortex 

"There is absolutely no reason that I should listen to your advice that might get me killed."

Advice don't kill people.  People with guns kill people.

barkingfrog
barkingfrog

@Lucifer12345 @Visual_Cortex 


It may also save your life. In a home invasion the abrupt

savagery would probably leave you no time to arm yourself

and may allow the invaders access to your weapon or cause

 them to shoot if you are armed. They usually want money.


Lucifer12345
Lucifer12345

@barkingfrog @Lucifer12345 @Visual_Cortex  All I am hearing is "probably," "most likely," could happen,"  "polls and studies show," all a bit tiresome. If you visit my home with the intent to harm me, I will shoot first and ask questions later. That's reality. None of your senseless polls, or studies, you will be dead and I won't be. That's the reality of it. To each his own.

td1234
td1234

@Nick_Danger People kill people not people with guns as Nate Silver's research clearly states. 

td1234
td1234

@Lucifer12345 Get the shotgun brother as I said to an earlier post. You will be better able to protect yourself and family. 

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@Lucifer12345 @barkingfrog @Visual_Cortex

None of your senseless polls, or studies, you will be dead and I won't be.

Odds are way more likely that you or a family member will use your precious binkies to kill themselves, but believe what you like.

td1234
td1234

Someone asked for research to be completed on gun homicides earlier: 


"There doesn’t appear to be all that much of it. But mass shootings represent a tiny fraction of homicides overall. And thanks to recent efforts by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), which published data on homicide rates for almost every country, we can compare the overall homicide death rate in the U.S. to those elsewhere.

According to the CDC’s WONDER database, 5.2 out of every 100,000 Americans were homicide victims, on average, from 2010 to 2012. That’s not especially high by global standards; the median country had 4.7 homicide deaths per 100,000 persons over the same period,1according to the UNODC data. The highest homicide rate in the world was in Honduras, with 87.9 homicide deaths per 100,000 persons.

But the homicide death rate in the U.S. — as Obama intimated — is more unusual in comparison with other highly developed countries. In the chart below, I’ve compared each country’s rate of homicide deaths against its Human Development Index (HDI), an overall measure of welfare and the standard of living.2


Whether the U.S.’s homicide rate qualifies as an outlier depends on exactly where you set the cutoff for an “advanced” country. Among countries with an HDI of .850 or higher — these are the 31 most well-off countries in the world — the U.S.’s rate of homicide deaths, 5.2 per 100,000 persons, is easily the highest. The next-highest are Brunei (2.0), Finland (2.0) and Israel (1.9). And the U.S. homicide death rate is more than three times higher than neighboring Canada (1.5).

The U.N., however, sets a slightly lower threshold for a developed country, describing all countries with an HDI of .800 or higher as having “very high human development.” Several countries with an HDI between .800 and .850 have a homicide death rate comparable to the U.S., including Lithuania (6.9), Argentina (5.5), Estonia (5.2), Cuba (4.2) and Latvia (3.8). The U.S.’s homicide death rate is also much lower than Mexico’s (22.0), though Mexico’s HDI is just .755.

But these comparisons neglect a massively important fact, and one that is especially pertinent in the wake of the Charleston shootings.


http://fivethirtyeight.com/datalab/black-americans-are-killed-at-12-times-the-rate-of-people-in-other-developed-countries/

td1234
td1234

The research goes a little further: 


"Extending on an analysis by the academic Kieran Healy, I calculated the rate of U.S. homicide deaths by racial group, based on the CDC WONDER data.3 From 2010 through 2012, the annual rate of homicide deaths among non-Hispanic white Americans was 2.5 per 100,000 persons, meaning that about one in every 40,000 white Americans is a homicide victim each year. By comparison, the rate of homicide deaths among non-Hispanic black Americans is 19.4 per 100,000 persons, or about 1 in 5,000 people per year.

Black Americans are almost eight times as likely as white ones to be homicide victims, in other words.

So for white Americans, the homicide death rate is not so much of an outlier. It’s only modestly higher than in Finland, Belgium or Greece, for instance, and lower than in Chile or Latvia."


But there’s no other highly industrialized country with a homicide death rate similar to the one black Americans experience. Their homicide death rate, 19.4 per 100,000 persons, is about 12 times higher than the average rate among all people4 in other developed countries.

Instead, you’d have to look toward developing countries such as Mexico (22.0), Brazil (23.6), Nigeria (20.0), Rwanda (23.1) or Myanmar (15.2) to find a comparable rate. The Charleston killings were unusual in that it was a mass shooting — and also in that the suspect is of a different race than the victims (both black and white homicide victims are much more likely to be killed by someone of their own race.) But that doesn’t negate that the threat black Americans face from homicide is radically different from the one whites do.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@td1234

the median country had 4.7 homicide deaths per 100,000 persons over the same period

Awesome! The richest, most powerful country ever on earth manages to be just a bit more murder-y than the median country on the planet.

Keep your eyes on the prize, America.

U-S-A! U-S-A!

td1234
td1234

@DownInAlbany Most will just ignore because it makes their entire argument look silly or they would have to come to one conclusion that they are not willing to come to. 

td1234
td1234

@Visual_Cortex Seems the white community is doing a little better than average and we have more guns than any other nation on earth. 

td1234
td1234

@consumedconsumer @Nick_Danger Facts are facts. You either address them or you do not. 


Under the set of facts presented then would it not be the most logical argument to disarm the black community if you are a progressive? 


As a Conservative I would say the good citizens of the black community should arm themselves because it is obvious that the police are not able to protect them.