Recently there appeared an article on Fox News.com regarding Indiana’s Republican Governor Mike Pence using National Rifle Association trainers to train members of the Indiana National Guard on how to use concealed weapons. Pence directed the state's military bases and training centers to beef up security in response to recent terrorist attacks in Tennessee.
The Fox Report states:
“According to a survey by The Associated Press, Indiana is the only state to enlist the NRA's help in the training, which the gun-rights group says it will conduct free of charge for any guardsman who wants to carry a concealed handgun.
Although National Guard members traditionally have not been allowed to carry weapons while conducting most stateside duties, Pence is one of 14 governors who decided to arm them in the wake of a gunman's attacks last month on two U.S. military sites in Chattanooga that left four Marines dead.
Gun control advocates argue it's inappropriate for a state to involve a political lobbying organization in training members of the military, and even some National Guard officials from states that allow guardsmen to carry weapons question why a civilian organization is needed.
"This is a military problem to deal with, so we're going to deal with it with the military," said Lt. Col. Joel Lynch, a spokesman for the Arkansas National Guard, which is handling the training of its Guard members itself.”
The Article goes on to state:
“Guy Relford, an NRA instructor who recently trained about 65 Indiana guardsmen at an armory in Franklin, said his "basic pistol" course delves into safety scenarios on when and when not to shoot.
Without training, the National Guard has "dramatically increased the possibility that someone could hurt themselves or others with a gun," Relford said.
The AP survey of the 14 states that have armed their National Guards shows that most states had members of the military or law enforcement conduct the training. Only Indiana, Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky and Oklahoma said they allow guardsmen to carry concealed weapons. At least seven others — including the largest state of California — allow Guard members to carry weapons in plain sight. Officials in Alabama declined to release information about their firearms rules for guardsmen, while the Texas National Guard wouldn't say if concealed handguns were allowed.
"The fact is, our folks are very comfortable in using weapons and using discernment in when they use those weapons, so having an outside agency involved is a little bit of a surprise," Capt. Will Martin, a spokesman for the California National Guard, said of Indiana's policy.
Eric Dietz, a professor at Purdue University who studies homeland security issues, said his research suggests causalities in some active shooter situations could be reduced if someone, such as a guardsman, has a concealed handgun.
Although more known for its role as an advocacy group, the NRA also frequently conducts handgun training programs for civilians. Relford says most Guard members don't get pistol training from the military, and those who do are taught using the standard 9mm. Pence's policy applies to a vast array of firearms ranging from a .22-caliber up to a .357 Magnum.
There are also legal and philosophical considerations because the military's overarching focus is on threats abroad, not at home, which is the traditional role of law enforcement.
Allowing different states to adopt different training methods also goes against the grain of military orthodoxy.
"You don't want to have the Indiana National Guardsmen trained a certain way that may be different from Illinois or Kentucky. There does have to be a standard across the board," said David Harris, a former adjutant general of the Illinois National Guard and now a Republican legislator, who supports the idea of arming guardsmen.
The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence criticized Pence for recruiting the NRA, suggesting the organization is "first and foremost" a "lobbying organization."
I wanted to present as much of the article as I have to set the context for what I am going so say.
There may be some validity to Lt. Col. Joel Lynch’s statement stating that the military should train these Guard Men and women on a national basis. But this only applies to how to shoot and basic handgun safety. Concealed Carry Weapons (CCW) laws and procedures are Complicated and different in every state.
For a ranking of the 50 states on their laws, regulations, procedures on concealed carry and the purchase of firearms click here.
In most cases soldiers, sailor, and airmen do not receive adequate handgun training. Even Marines are not very well trained in the use of their 9mm Beretta M9. My nephew, a former Marine, received a mere 4 hours of training in the use of the M9. Most other members of the military receive far less or no training in the use of a handgun. The primary weapon of soldiers is the M-16 or MP-4 rifle not a handgun. The military does not waste time or ammunition on handgun training. This does not apply to military members of security forces (such as embassy and base guards), Special Forces, and criminal investigators such as Army CID.
The photo shown above is of the 9mm Beretta M9 the official side arm of the United States Military. With its 5 inch barrel, all metal construction, and weighing 34 ounces unloaded it is not a preferred concealed carry handgun
Civilians get more training in the use of handgun safety than the military. As an example my daughter and I recently participated in a handgun safety course. It was 8 hours long and covered basic firearm safety, shooting, and maintenance. In order to obtain a CCW permit in most states the applicant is required to complete not only a handgun safety class, but also a class on laws and regulations pertaining to the concealed carry and use of that firearm. These classes generally include the use of the firearm, types of handguns to carry, the proper holsters to use (inside the waistband or outside the waistband), proper concealment, when to shoot, and what to do after you shoot. The latter is most important as when the police arrive they do not know who the bad guy is and might shoot anyone holding a gun.
For years the NRA has been educating and training adults and children in the proper use and storage of firearms. They also have comprehensive classes to train the firearm trainers. The NRA does many things for its over 4 million members besides firearm training. Yes they have a lobbying are (the Institute for Legislative Action – NRA-ILA), but they also offer education, on-line training, publications, and insurance. They are not, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence states; “a lobbying group.” That’s what the Brady Campaign is along with numerous other left-wing gun-grabbing organizations.
Recently Detroit Police Chief James Craig called for responsible, law-abiding citizens of Detroit to carry weapons in the city’s high crime urban areas. In a city plagued by chronic unemployment and crime and guarded by a dwindling police force, residents of Detroit are increasingly taking protection of themselves, their families and property into their own hands. Those who do so responsibly have the blessing and backing of Detroit Police Chief James Craig.
“When you look at the city of Detroit, we’re kind of leading the way in terms of urban areas with law-abiding citizens carrying guns,” Craig said recently
In a recent interview on Fox News Sheriff David Clarke of Milwaukee County in neighboring Wisconsin called for more CCW permit holders in support of his deputies. He believes that these responsible, moral, and law-abiding citizens cannot only help reduce crime but they can have his deputies back in light of recent budget cuts. In January 2013, Sheriff Clarke was featured on a series of public radio ads that said citizens could no longer rely on the police for timely protection and should arm themselves. Later that month Clarke appeared on the CNN program Piers Morgan, with Milwaukee Mayor and gun-control advocate Tom Barrett, who attacked the notion that citizens could no longer rely on calling 9-1-1. The appearance sent David Clarke into the national spotlight. I have heard this sentiment from other law enforcement officers.
Since 2002 Sheriff Clarke (a Democrat) has received on average 76.25% of the votes for his office. He receives phenomenal support from his community. Other police chiefs and sheriffs across the nation have taken a stand on concealed carry weapons as Chief Craig and Sheriff Clarke. They realize that a responsibly armed citizenry helps reduce crime. As CCW permits go up crime goes down. Criminals are fearful and wary of an armed citizenry. They don’t know who carries a firearm and who does not. This is a proven fact that the left-wing mainstream media and gun-grabbers either ignore or refuse to acknowledge. All they care about is their personal agendas.
You can take each example of mass shootings in the United States and ask the question “what would be different had a responsible gun owner with a CCW permit had been there?” This applies to Columbine, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook, Aurora, Charleston, and Memphis. According to the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Units mass shootings have two things in common, 1 of course is a firearm, and 2 the profile of the shooter. The second being far more important and dangerous that the first. No matter what the anti-gun media like Mother Jones, USA Today, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and other left-wing publications say guns are not the reason for mass shootings. Yes, they may be a tool like a knife or a bomb, but it’s the profile of the person behind that gun that is the problem — just like the terrorist getting on the plane. The media ignores the illegal immigrants that have committed many crimes and are still walking the streets of cities like San Francisco and instead take up the clarion call for more gun control. Keep in mind that Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez did not possess a legally obtained firearm but one stolen from an irresponsible federal officer. According to Beitbart.com 30% of the homicides in the United States are committed by illegal aliens.
According to Breitbart:
“The US Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Programs publishes an annual report on the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program; a report that includes data on the number of criminal aliens incarcerated each state prison system and each county jail. It takes some prodigious digging to find the data, but it is there.
But our mainstream media, our self-described guardians of the First Amendment, consciously avoids the effort and declines to put a public spotlight on the problem or demand public scrutiny and public accountability. Why?
The answer is that public debate on the problem of illegal alien crime does not serve the progressive political agenda. The issue is swept under the rug and anyone who raises it is called a racist.
This is media malpractice of historic proportions, and publishers and editors are the unindicted coconspirators in those 7,085 murders.”
There’s no universal gun registry, and thus not a simple way to pin down the exact number of firearms in the U.S.
There are estimates, however. According to the Geneva-based Small Arms Survey – the leading source of international public information about firearms – the U.S. has the best-armed civilian population in the world, with an estimated 270 million total guns. That’s an average of 89 firearms for every 100 residents — far ahead of Yemen, which comes in second with about 55 firearms for every 100 people, or Switzerland, which is third with 46 guns for every 100 people.
There are certain types of firearms that do require registration in the United States: those subject to the National Firearms Act, including machine guns, shotguns and rifles with barrels shorter than 18 inches, and silencers.
According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which handles that registration, there were more than 3.1 million National Firearms Act-registered weapons in the U.S. as of March 2012. That includes more than 488,000 machine guns and more than 2 million “destructive devices” such as grenades, which are also classified under the law.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau 64.9% of the population own their homes, (the highest in the world) — that’s 208.3 million people. According to a report by the Pew Research Organization an average of 33.5% of households report having a firearm in the house. Using these numbers it would appear there are 70 million households with one or more firearms in the homes.
It is very difficult to obtain accurate figures when it comes to firearm ownership. People will answer many questions regarding politics and life style, but are very reluctant to talk about their gun ownership. They just want to keep that information private as they don’t know how it will be used. I know that I would not answer the questions whether I owned a firearm or not. It’s just not anyone’s business.
With that the number growing it’s a wonder there aren’t much more gun-related homicides. The answer is simple. The vast majority of legal gun owning people are responsible, law-abiding citizens.
This debate will go on forever as long as the gun control lobby refuses to see or use the facts pertaining to gun ownership and gun crimes. They will report on an emotional basis using the latest gun-related tragedy to support their agenda. Mike Pence has taken the correct track to train his National Guard in the use and carry of a concealed weapon. This training must be comprehensive and cover all aspects of concealed carry including the carrier’s responsibilities, the laws of that particular state, the possibility of civil liability (something there will always be), insurance, and accurate close-range shooting and the protection of innocent bystanders. This is not what the military does, they train to shoot a rifle accurately. Not even law enforcement does this much training.