A tough job Americans will do.


JP Mac’s Armed Forces Day Rant:

This we'll defend colorWe hear all the time in seems about tough jobs that supposedly, American’s won’t do.  I don’t believe it, mainly because I’ve worked in several of those jobs myself. Thank God there is one really tough job that for centuries, so far enough Americans have wanted to do.  One where the pay and living conditions aren’t always the best, one that calls for huge sacrifices on the part of those who volunteer to do it and their families:  Serve in the U.S. Armed Forces.

Americans are supposedly too soft to do some jobs.  No American would take a job filling sandbags in 110 degree heat, right?  Surely no one living in the greatest nation in world history would slog through a mosquito infested swamp, walk for half a day though the forest, or climb a mountain just to get to the job-site.  Who from this country would choose a job that makes you long for things things like warm food, hot water, a bed?  Of course no self -respecting, video game playing, social media obsessed American would ever want to stay out in sub-freezing weather for hours watching an empty field or patch of sea right?  Yet somehow for generations, by the tens of thousands, Americans have volunteered to for jobs that entail doing all of these things and more– and by the way, sometimes while people are trying hard to kill them.

Thank God for such men and women.  For some reason,  (rarely the great pay) they have decided to, at least temporarily, forgo many of comforts that come with so many other jobs.  For some, it’s the promise of adventure, or having that “hero” switch, or protector gene.  Other just want to be a part of something bigger than themselves. It may be that they realize that they live in a country– more that many others, that is worth fighting for. They, in put the ‘exceptionalism’ in American Exceptionalism.  Whatever the reason, these men and women have chosen a vocation that routinely requires sacrifice, sometime of the ultimate kind.  That is why today is their day, a day for them to be proud, and the rest of America to be proud of them.

Thank you!

-JP Mac




It’s time to arm our armed forces at home.

Armed ForcesThe warnings were out there, ISIS called for strikes and several attempts on the homeland were foiled.  The axiom that ‘we have to be right 100% of the time and they only have to be right once’ came to fruition during the brutal attacks in Chattanooga, TN that claimed the lives of four U.S. Marines and one sailor.  Both sites were soft targets, a Naval Reserves center and a recruiting center. The question we have to ask is, given the nature of the threat and the warnings given, why were they ‘soft’ targets at all?  One of the scenes even had a sign on the door proudly proclaiming it was a ‘gun-free zone’.  It is ridiculous that any military installation, no matter how small, should be a gun free zone.

Even though the gunman was killed, the attack was a success by the enemy’s standards.  They can add this attack to their propaganda reels.  They now have a workable operation template that they can use to plot further attacks.  It is all but guaranteed that more recruiting offices, Guard/Reserve centers, and small bases will be targets.

President Clinton signed an executive order stripping our service members of their Second Amendment rights when they set foot on any federal military reserve on U.S. soil.  There may have been a good reason at the time—prevention of workplace violence, suicides, accidents and the like.  Our country was not at war at the time, or at least that’s what we told ourselves.   Now we are, and the enemy seeks to attack us in our homeland.   Times have changed and we need to change with them.  We need to arm our armed service members at home.  We would not even think to send our troops into a war zone without their arms.  Like it or not, America is now a battlefield.  It’s a low intensity conflict to be sure, but it’s a war zone nonetheless.

Of course there are concerns, those stated above, plus just the appearance of weapon-carrying soldiers in public.  Chattanooga should have proved that it may now be costly not to arm our troops, or at least a portion of them while at home.  Even those concerns mentioned should be reexamined.  Some worry about soldiers having loaded weapons in public places such as malls and strip malls.  Police regularly patrol these places  armed with loaded side arms and no one seems to worry about them.  Some shopping malls even have police stations inside them.  The terrorists don’t attack police stations, and for a good reason, why not extend that to recruiting stations?

Our military members have been highly trained in the use of firearms.  What’s more they are hard wired to follow Rules of Engagement “ROE” in combat areas.  Strict, sensible ROE can be emplaced for our military serving in America. The service members and public can be protected much as non combatants on a foreign battlefield can be protected.  Basically, only fire your weapon when protecting yourself and others, and only when the chance of hitting innocent bystanders is at a minimum.

Allowing all our servicemen and women to carry weapons would admittedly be a logistical challenge, but no more so than keeping our police forces armed.  At a minimum, unit commanders should be given the discretion whether or not to allow those under their command to carry either legally owned personal or government issued weapons while on duty at U.S. Military installations. Another concern is that the sudden appearance of heavily armed troops in this country might give the impression of an occupying force.  This is not necessary in order to keep our troops safe at home.  A good starting point would be to arm the commanding officer and ranking NCO of each installation and recruiting station with sidearms.  It would be no more noticeable than a similarly equipped law enforcement officer.

Our military is allowed to protect themselves on foreign battlefields.  It would be absurd if they weren’t.  What America is only just figuring out in the wake of the Chattanooga tragedy is that our homeland is also a battlefield on the war on terror.  They need to be armed sufficiently to protect themselves and the non combatants around them.  It is ridiculous to think that any military installation, no matter how small should be looked upon by terrorists as a soft target.  Allowing at least a select portion of our armed service members to be armed can be done in a safe, low profile way is not only necessary, it recognizes the current reality that all military installations are high value targets for terrorists. If we don’t we risk more casualties in the ever more domestic war on terror.