Battleland

A Glimmer of Good Gun News, for a Change

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Air Force / Staff Sgt Chrissy Best

U.S. troops practice shooting their M-9 Berretta handguns.

I was pleased to see the proposed legislation allowing commanders to ask service members about their personal firearms in the cases where commanders or physicians were worried about suicide risk. I have spoken and written about gun availability on this site and in other forums as the “third rail” in the Department of Defense.

Now this has been overshadowed by the horrific Connecticut shooting with 27 killed, including 20 children. Like all of you, my heart goes out to the families.

Approximately two-thirds of Army suicides die by gunshot. Usually these are legal weapons, either government-issued firearms in the theater of war or personally-owned guns back in the United States.

These issues are not unrelated. Firearm availability is a major issue. Most of the shooters had legal weapons.

Which leads me to another related issue, another tilt at the gargantuan windmill, the National Rifle Association.

The military’s big stores – the the PX, the BX, and the NEX) — are increasingly selling weapons and ammunition.

If you go into the PX (post exchange) at Fort Campbell, Fort Knox, Fort Bliss or many others, you will find an attractive gun counter selling a host of firearms, ranging from pink-handled revolvers to semi-automatic weapons.

Ammunition, of course, is also sold. Tax free.

In my past life, as an Army psychiatrist, I was often asked to consult after a cluster of suicides. At the end to my visits to military bases, I would out-brief my recommendations.

“But they can get the guns right outside of the gate,” they’d respond when I mentioned the possibility of tighter monitoring of troops’ arms.

No doubt this is true. But I wonder about why there are no anti-suicide posters at the gun shops, why you can buy both guns and ammunition on the same day, and why the gun shop employees are not trained in suicide prevention.

It is true that there have been relatively few suicides and murder-suicides resulting from sales at the PX, to the best of my knowledge. After all, they are not tracked that way.

But what kind of message does the military send when it lets our troops buy a gun on post, alongside the Class VI liquor store?

Nothing good, that’s for sure.

3 comments
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dontn123
dontn123

"In my past life, as an Army psychiatrist, I was often asked to consult after a cluster of suicides. At the end to my visits to military bases, I would out-brief my recommendations."

Read more: http://nation.time.com/2012/12/18/a-glimmer-of-good-gun-news-for-a-change/#ixzz2FqWC24Z4.

Who watches the watchers? Remember an Army Psychiatrist committed the murder spree at Fort Hood Tx. Got any pills?

Soldiers that live through combat have many demons to which they learn to live with. I know that as personal fact from serving and fighting in combat zones for this Country.

My suggestion is for the poor and under educated to start staying at home and let the rich die to fight the Wars that they profit from. Have no fear Israel is having problems with their soldiers committing suicide. Maybe it is time for the USA to force peace in the Middle East. If they do not quit fighting then we drop neutron bombs on everyone and that includes Israel. We can then remove the testicles of every male on the planet.

chris1
chris1

This is ridiculous, criminals will get guns if they are legal or not. The only thing taking guns away from law abiding citizens like myself will do, is keep us from being able to defend ourselves! These rights were put in place for a reason, lets remember that. 

NickBlank
NickBlank like.author.displayName 1 Like

All I hear is whining. Should we then sell liquor in a different store than tobacco products?

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