This is depressing—from the website of Defense Training expert John Farnam, evidence that the Bush Administration, and the National Guard leadership are much more interested in avoiding an "incident" than they are in protecting their own.
John Farnam's Quips—Unarmed and "Ready?"
26 Sept 07
Confirmation of pernicious gun-phobia, with requiem fear and distrust, that still paralyzes the Army, even today. From a friend in the NG:
"I have been activated several times since 9/11. On one domestic guard detail near the border, we were initially issued our M-16A2s and fully-charged magazines, but sternly instructed never to actually load our rifles, under any circumstances. Rifles were to remain 'unloaded at all times!' However, some atta-boy up the food-chain soon realized the career-ending insanity of issuing us peons potentially-functional weapons. Suddenly, ammunition was whisked away. Magazines suffered the same fate a day later.We were told that rifles and magazines (even empty ones) actually inserted into magazines wells looked 'too militaristic.'
I'm sure the same atta-boy then realized the ridiculousness of obviously unloaded rifles being carried about by uniformed Guardsmen. The conspicuous solution: take away our rifles too! Sure enough, that happened two days later.
All this time, our guard posts were being actively surveilled by suspicious people with video cameras, on foot and in vehicles. None were ever confronted.
When word got back to Santa Fe that we had all advised our families on whom to sue when we, now completely defenseless, were attacked and murdered by invading Mexican drug dealers, rifles were mysteriously "returned". That, at least, was the cover-story for public consumption.
The truth is that rifles were placed in a locked room, inside a locked building, nearly a quarter mile away from our guard post. Magazines were locked in a different room. Keys to the various locks were given to our sergeant who was told that weapons and ammunition were to be unlocked and issued (a process that would take at least an hour) only upon direct attack of the post. Even then, soldiers would have to sign out weapons and ammunition, individually. After all that, we were then told point-blank that if any of us ever actually fired a shot, we would all spend the rest of our lives in Federal prison!
It being obvious that our safety, indeed our very lives, meant nothing to the atta-boy in question, nor anyone else up the food chain, I began carrying my personal pistol, concealed in a shoulder holster. Blades too! With my encouragement, others did the same. We put together an (unauthorized) plan whereby those of us who were thus armed would hold off the bad guys until rifles could be accessed.
When we finally stood down, a CWO, asked me directly if I had been carrying personal weapons during mobilization. 'Of course not! Where did you get such a crazy idea?' His unkind reply was, Well, if you had, and I had known it, I would have had you court-martialed.' I countered, 'Why would you ever think those of us down here actually doing the job would ever place any value on our own lives? Why, we know we're just highly expendable, cannon-fodder, and when we're all massacred, because we're unable to defend ourselves, you'll just recruit more. Right?' I could hear him grind his teeth as he walked away in a huff. I'm sure my comments made him late for coffee!"
Comment: What makes me most angry is that no one seems to care a whit for the lives and safety of these brave lads who courageously volunteered to serve their Country. For one, I will serve no one who doesn't trust me with my weapons! These guys, correctly and audaciously, took matters into their own hands. In the end, we're all going to have to!
Thomas Jefferson reminded us, "Who bend their swords into plow-shears will plow for those who don't!"</