To start with this is a thinking piece. I am trying to figure out a way we can arm our troops and still appease a very risk averse command structure. My statements are just suggestions on what I think MIGHT work. I’m open to suggestions so if you have any feel free.
Military Training is Insufficient
Speaking as someone who has received Military, Law Enforcement and Civilian use of force training I can assure you that what our troops learn about weapons handling won’t work outside of a war zone. They need to learn use of force techniques like those taught by Massad Ayoob and others. They may know how to shoot, but when is different stateside.
To fix this I propose either bringing in civilian instructors or have combat arms trainers get certified as CCW instructors. The NRA certification is good but I would personally like to see things go a step further and have the instructors certified by a major school such as I.C.E. Training. Our troops will be under a microscope should we arm them at home, and make no doubt about it that is exactly what I want to see happen. So having the training go to a level many concealed carriers seek out and pay for from their pockets will placate nervous commanders and give our protectors a better chance of survival.
Age/Maturity is an Issue
In most of the country you can’t go to Wal-Mart strapped with a handgun unless you’re 21. Having an 18 year-old walking around with a M9 is sure to give a few people the vapors. One solution would be to restrict handgun carry to Officers, NCOs, and Command Approved E4s. Lower ranks would require higher level authorization for a handgun, but I would borrow a page from the Israeli Defense Forces and have them carry an M16/M4 with a loaded magazine in an IDF Magazine holder. Yep it will be slower to bring the firearm online but you will be able to ascertain the state of the firearm at a glance. Naturally training would need to address bringing the gun online. I’m not sure I’d allow them to take them off-post but the IDF does so there is that.
Naturally before anyone could carry they would need to pass the enhanced training.
Dealing with Screwballs
It doesn’t matter what you profession is you will inevitably have to deal with a screwball who does something stupid. If we’re going to arm our troops at home the consequences for unsafe handling of a firearm need to be immediate, severe and constantly reinforced.
Practice and Extra Training Should be Encouraged
Qualification for Military and LE is conducted every six months to a year at best so far as I know. Our servicemen and women would be better served if they practiced more. To that end encouraging if not holding matches to enhance skills with their firearms should be considered.
Sooner or later you knew the cost of arming our troops would come into play. We just don’t have enough guns in our military armories to arm everyone. One way of fixing this would be to have an approved roster of firearms which the service members could purchase with their own funds from the base gun club or a store in town. When I was in the gun club was a great place as you paid wholesale +$40. This way if someone doesn’t want an M9 or an M11 or would rather have their own they could. Those carrying long guns or under 21 would be restricted to buying semi-automatic only AR-15s.
That’s it for now
Once again this is a thinking piece. Suggestions are welcome.