There is a part of me that is as alarmed as LTC (ret) West regarding the state of our military, especially when our show of force to North Korea is the 60 year old B-52 (I guess the Pentagon and White House are a little more worried about North Korea having a hydrogen bomb than they were willing to admit last week).
But there is another part of me that thinks having large standing militaries, including our own, causes us to look for fights more than simply being prepared to defend against an attack. I was in this frame of mind after listening to arguments both supporting and against gun ownership based on the Second Amendment.
One of the problems whenever you read or listen to Constitutional scholars argue about the Second Amendment is they always become extremely myopic towards their particular take. They rarely discuss the bigger issue which is the Second Amendment was designed, regardless of if you take it mean an individual's right own firearms or the right for states to form militias, to protect Americans from federal tyranny.
I heard one learned expert today on the radio more or less call the Second Amendment passé since the Pentagon is more powerful than the American public. Yet this academic dumb ass failed to make the next conclusion, why in the hell has the Pentagon been allowed to get that big in the first place?
Large standing militaries in Europe 18th Century and earlier were housed on people's land where they ate their food, hunted their game and raped the women. The Founding Fathers knew this and tried to insure the Constitution would prevent this hence the Second and Tenth Amendments.
The framers knew governments can't be trusted all of the time and the Second Amendment especially was designed to allow the states the ability to protect themselves from federal tyranny and oppression.
I can't remember if it was the same expert or a different one brought up another point that doesn't get mentioned much in the discussion about gun ownership and the Second Amendment.
Blacks were originally denied the right to own firearms, especially in the South. Eventually even 19th Century white minds began to understand blacks needed to protect themselves from marauders as much as anyone else. The mindset took a long time to change even amongst the black community. It really wasn't until the Black Panthers figured out that yes, you could carry weapons in the open during the 1960s.
None of the people today making the argument for or against gun ownership seem to realize minorities and the poor are the people who most need the right to be able to own a firearm. We here all of the time how black people are most often the victim of violent crime, then why in the hell does the same people making that argument want to see black people (or any American for that matter) unable to protect themselves?
Now looping back to my first paragraph, the US military is downsizing but at a cost of losing its warrior focus. The US military is trying to become more "gender-neutral" and opening all positions to everyone. Reading Allen West's blog, he quoted a CNS News interview with Marine General John Kelly, Commander of U.S. Southern Command; "---if we don’t change standards, it will be very, very difficult to have any numbers, any real numbers, come into the infantry, or the Rangers or the Seals, but that’s their business.”
General Kelly was speaking about the recent Pentagon decisions opening all combat positions to women. Based on my experience, the general is right. The bureaucrats will be "shocked" or "disappointed" by the low to non-existent numbers of female applicants to the elite combat units so some obsequious general or colonel looking to make general will have a re-look at entrance qualifications. You guarantee that promotion seeker will write a white-paper determine that lo and behold, the standards need to be changed (read, lowered).
The military has always been a social experiment, as much as my fellow vets hate to admit it. Where else can you get the fittest 18-25 year olds and subject to a variety of trials without fear of being sued? the US military of course! Unfortunately recently the trend has been to make the US military look more like the rest of American instead of like the warrior caste it was meant to be.
We have created specialized offices to investigate sexual assault and to teach people how to be more sensitive towards LGBT troops while seeming to forget the main job is to kill the enemy and blow shit up. Operators, trigger pullers, the elite troops…in order to function at that level you are basically functioning as a borderline sociopath. You can't be empathetic towards the enemy or you will get killed or get those around you killed. So after we've trained these young men and women to kill, now we want them to take time out and also be empathetic?
Ponder that next time you are considering your particular take on the Second Amendment and gun ownership or gun control. I'll close with the same quote Allen West used from George Orwell, "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.”