We have talked about this before. Military leadership being given unfettered authority to limit the Constitutional rights of our Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and Airmen. Without anything remotely resembling due process.
“This is not about authoritarian regulation,” Dr. Jonathan Woodson, the assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, said in an interview. “It is about the spouse understanding warning signs and, if there are firearms in the home, responsibly separating the individual at risk from the firearm.”
Like hell it isn’t about authoritarian regulation. Under the guise of “responsibly separating”, we will see the draconian measures by base commanders and unit commanders which will greatly restrict firearms ownership among our military members. Which just happens to be a long-time stated goal of this Administration and its Attorney General. Funny how that works, innit?
Even if someone in OSD believes this is NOT the goal of such initiatives, the results will be the same. And the damage done. Precedent being a powerful thing, especially when dealing with the government and its powers. There have been alternatives proposed, of course.
The new amendment, part of the defense authorization bill for 2013 that has passed in the House of Representatives but not in the Senate, would allow mental health professionals and commanders to ask service members about their personal firearms if they have “reasonable grounds” to believe the person is at “high risk” of committing suicide or harming others.
“We’re O.K. with the commanding officer being able to inquire,” said Andrew Arulanandam, a spokesman for the N.R.A., “but they can’t confiscate.”
Yet, registration and confiscation are precisely what DoD is pushing for. Under the guise that the violation of Second Amendment rights to firearms ownership, as long as it is well-intentioned, is somehow prudent and permissible. Just as the stifling of protected free speech under the First Amendment, if done for the “right” reasons, is also okay. If OSD gets its way, just watch how quickly firearms confiscation becomes the solution to a whole raft of other “problems”.
One can imagine the rationale to be heard: “If it saves just ONE LIFE!”… then presumably that outweighs the usurping of the Constitutional rights of all those who have their weapons taken without any redress or due process. Just as it has been rationalized that the precedent Dempsey set in the suppression of the free speech of private citizens is a small price to pay to try and calm down crowds in Cairo and Benghazi. Which is, of course, absolute nonsense. Such appeal to the “reasonable” course of taking away individual freedoms is a rationalization in each case for the overreach of government, and unlawful infringement of rights. The DoD version of being “for the CHILDREN!”
Our senior civilian and uniformed military leadership, among them SECNAV Mabus and CJCS General Martin Dempsey, have proven themselves unworthy of our trust. Ray Mabus and his policies for treating each and every Sailor as a drunkard and every male Sailor as a would-be rapist are shameful and ill-advised. Dempsey’s willing violation of his oath and his special trust and confidence, with his unconscionable suppression of the free expression of private citizens, shows that his character and judgment are seriously wanting, and he is not the leader to hold the rank and position he does.
To expect either of these men (and others in similar positions in our Armed Forces) to give the slightest thought to the propriety of their actions or those of their commanders, or to the Constitutional rights of the service members, is a fool’s errand. Their concern will only be for the approval of their partisan civilian masters, and whichever socio-political agenda du jour will curry the most favor, irrespective of the damage. Gun control is what you want? Gun control it is! And I have a doctor’s note!
What they constantly disregard is the fact that trust is a two-way street. Confidence in the character and integrity of our senior Officers is already at a remarkably low ebb. Things like this will be seen by most juniors for what they are, which is another opportunity to exert draconian authority in an area that is none of their business, for the purposes of furthering a social cause at the behest of their political overlords.
There are those who will insist that the discussions of our General and Flag Officers’ willingness to trample the Constitution they are sworn to support and defend must only be couched in the most proper politeness and deference. They are willfully dismissive of how egregious the transgressions of those GOFOs are which make those discussions necessary in the first place. Which smacks of the same ilk of moral cowardice and intellectual dishonesty that has resulted in the decayed professionalism and increasingly partisan political involvement of our senior uniformed leadership.
I haven’t any faith whatever in the leadership at DoD, uniformed or civilian, to do anything except decree the very same “authoritarian regulations” resulting in gun control they claim NOT to be the objective of these initiatives. Little that they have done or said in the last three and a half years leads me to any other conclusion.
If General Dempsey doesn’t believe my Constitutionally protected free expression of my opinion on this matter to be “useful”, I am sure he will think nothing of giving me a call and tell me to modify my views or keep them to myself. Of course, I am sure it won’t be with the intent of stifling my First Amendment rights or anything…