On January 18, the Marine Corps Times criticized the “yield-no-ground attitude toward gun control” and urged veterans to support more gun laws.
The Marine Corps Times tweeted, “Veterans should lead the push for more secure gun laws.”
Veterans should lead push for more secure gun laws https://t.co/Q9LY3qB0b1
— Marine Corps Times (@Marinetimes) January 18, 2016
A link in the tweet takes readers to a January 18 article in the publication, written by former Sgt. Matthew Hess who served in the Marine Corps from 2009-2015.
In the article, Hess admits to reacting to attacks like San Bernardino with a desire to be armed and he “understands” the “skeptical” response to Obama’s decision to bypass Congress and tackle gun control unilaterally. However, these things are trumped by Hess’ bewilderment that Marine’s accept one level of gun control in the military and another level of gun control for civilians.
Weapons safety is drilled into all Marines repeatedly throughout their service, starting in boot camp. Drill instructors make recruits pay dearly for every mistake. They are constantly on the prowl for recruits who leave their gun’s safety mechanism off or has their finger lazily on the trigger. The training is rigorous and stressful, but rightfully so.
Marines emerge from this kind of training with weapons proficiency and a deep respect for their deadly tools. They become very comfortable handling guns, and after leaving active duty many veterans choose to legally purchase guns for hunting, recreation or out of a desire to protect those around them.
But I have found that some of the same people who accept nothing less than perfect weapons handling from their fellow Marines have much lower standards for weapons safety in the civilian world.
This is a strange argument, as one would naturally expect an active Marine to train to a higher level of firearm proficiency and understanding than a civilian. Chiefly because a Marine in combat literally depends on his gun every second of every day. To equate Marines and civilians–when it comes to guns–is a stretch to say the least, and it distracts from the outrage broadly shared over Obama’s decision to go around Congress to secure his ideological goals.
Hess’s article also overlooks another important point. Namely, that Marines–and all branches of the military–deploy in defense of our Constitution, as the good and continuance of our nation ultimately rests on that perseverance of that document. By calling Marines to support more gun laws in the wake of executive gun control Hess is actually calling them to ignore–whether directly or indirectly–their commitment to stand for the Constitution.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.