AR15 & AK47 Meltdown

Seattle: City Council Committee to Hear Multiple Proposed Anti-Gun Ordinances

Recently, Seattle City Council President Tim Burgess proposed two anti-gun ordinances and has scheduled them to be heard in the Education and Governance Committee on Wednesday, July 15. 

Massachusetts: Suppressor Legislation to Be Heard in Committee

Important NRA-backed suppressor legislation,House No. 1305, will be heard in the Joint Committee on the Judiciary tomorrow, July 14, at 1:00pm in Room A-2. 

Better background check wouldn’t have stopped Charleston

Mass shootings, especially random massacres in public places, typically serve as irresistible opportunities for finger-pointing. Last month's slaughter of nine African Americans at a historic house of worship in Charleston, S.C., has presented many possible targets for blame — besides, of course, the one who perpetrated the hateful act.

Plan to Require Background Checks for Ammunition Sales Is Suspended in New York

The administration of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo agreed on Friday to suspend a plan to require background checks on ammunition sales, putting in doubt part of the gun control law that he considers one of his proudest legacies.

Illinois: Rauner OKs changes to concealed carry law as state gun debate continues

It has been two years since Illinois passed a law allowing residents to carry concealed firearms in public. But the battle over who gets to carry a loaded gun and where they can take it is far from being settled.

Judge allows Brady lawyers to remain on 2nd gun store case

Attorneys for a national gun control group will remain on a case brought by current and former Milwaukee police officers against a local gun dealer, after a judge's ruling Friday.Attorneys for Badger Guns and Badger Outdoors, the West Milwaukee gun-selling operations sued by the officers, tried to get lawyers for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence thrown off the case, saying they had committed "unethical conduct" in a case brought by other wounded officers.

Australia: Get set for tougher gun laws

Gun owners will need a valid reason for owning a weapon, storage requirements will be significantly tightened and anyone convicted of drug or ­violence-related offences will be banned from owning them.

Chicago’s Top Cop Shows Gun Bias

Sadly, Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy seems to really believe that merely possessing guns will turn you into a violent killer… presumably through some sort of mind control:

“It’s real simple,” he said at the conference. “Gun possessors are potential murderers. If they don’t learn a lesson for carrying the gun, they keep carrying the gun. They get into an argument, now instead of fighting, they shoot.”

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The changing face of basic training

I have had the (mis)fortune of attending some form of basic military training twice now in my life. The first time was the Coast Guard Academy’s Swab Summer + 4/c year at the Academy in New London, and the second time was just recently, attending Air Force BMT at scenic Lackland Air Force base. Swab Summer was 15 years ago, and in the intervening decade and a half, kind of a lot has changed. Now, it’s not fair to compare the trainings on a 1:1 basis, because the Coast Guard and the Air Force have different missions and cultures, but there are some interesting differences that are worth talking about. 

The first, and most important difference is the level of physical intensity. Swab Summer was FAR more physical than AF BMT. At that time, our cadre could put us on our faces pretty much whenever they wanted, with very limited restrictions on when and how they could PT us. I remember two incidents with tremendous clarity: runnin library hill at the Academy until swabs were puking, and doing push-ups to absolute exhaustion on my 18th birthday. There was also mandatory PT 6 days a week. Air Force basic takes a more restrained approach, with mandatory PT six days a week as well, but with strict limits on when and how Military Training Instructors can use physical training as a “motivational tool” on flights. 

Another huge contrast is the way cadre/MTIs speak to swabs/trainees. At BMT, MTIs are expressly forbidden from cursing at or insulting trainees. At Swab Summer 15 years ago, cadre weren’t supposed to curse at us…but that certainly didn’t stop them. They also made us perform tasks that would currently be viewed as hazing. A great example is being forced to stand in your room turning the lights on and off over and over while repeating “I’m Tom Bodet from Motel 6 and I leave the lights on” as punishment for leaving the lights on. That wouldn’t fly today. 

Interestingly to likely only me is that Air Force training placed a much higher emphasis on the learning environment than Swab Summer. Obviously the actual Academy places a huge emphasis on class work, but in general I found that the Air Force seems guinely interesting in using BMT as a tool to enable airmen to think. 

It would be easier for me to look at the surface differences between the two experiences and say that the military has gone soft. But I also think that’s exactly the kind of lazy thinking that gets us into trouble and ignores both the incredible changing culture and the constantly evolving way we fight our wars. Yes, 18 year olds entering the military today are different than they were 15 years ago. But I don’t know if they’re any softer than they were when I was there. They’re just different. The Air Force has to create a training environment for a generation that has grown up with access to the world’s knowledge at their fingertips. Having access to that kind of info has created a generation that needs to know why they’re doing something, and for whole the simple answer of “because it’s your f***ing job” simply won’t suffice. While I can imagine that the aforementioned attitude is maddening to MTIs, it also means that the resulting AF is smarter and more capable of adapting to evolving threats at a small unit level. As these young airmen become senior enlisted and officers, they can hopefully bring that change and adaptability to the Air Force at higher levels. 

So sure, 15 years ago things were physically harder. But I honestly think the training is better today. You can’t take a 19 year old that’s had instant access to answers their entire life and simply expect them to shut up and color, and the military has had to adapt to that. That’s honestly not a bad thing. I think a lot of the criticism that people drop on the changing nature of BMT is simply “everything was better in the past” syndrome and not the result of honest examination. Because I can tell you in explicit detail how classroom work benefits new Airmen, but I have a hard time coming up with how suckfest PT smoke sessions at the Academy made me better at anything other than push-ups.