How Marines stay safe
surrounded by weapons
Dear Editor, Times-Dispatch:
It was my privilege to serve 23 years in the United States Marine Corps, on active duty and in the reserves, in peace and war. If an AR-15 is inherently dangerous, likewise its typical 30-round magazine, then I should be dead by now, given the accumulation of years I have spent around these inanimate objects.
Of course, no weapon by itself is dangerous, it is the user who makes the difference. So how does the Marine Corps stay safe when there are assault weapons everywhere? There are three main ways, and these are the steps government organizations can take a step toward a safe and still free society: (1) Keep weapons away from unfit persons; whether drunk, depressed or otherwise unfit, they should not have a weapon while unfit. (2) Have a respect for the lives of your fellow Marine and the allies around you. (3) Be trained on how to use, clean and maintain your weapon.
The various laws being proposed about what a gun looks like (If I painted an AR-15 a teal green, would it still be as "assaulting"?) or how much ammunition it can carry are well-intentioned but will do nothing to make us safer. Let's focus our attention on the mental fitness of gun owners, a respect for life and training instead.