Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Military vs. The NRA

Top military officials are speaking out against a new law backed by the NRA because they fear that it will increase the danger of suicide to US troops. The measure prohibits commanders from being able to "collect or record any information" about private firearms owned by US troops living off base.

While commanders are permitted to ask troops who appear to be a danger to themselves or others about private firearms – or to suggest perhaps locking them temporarily in a base depot – if the soldier denies that he or she is thinking about harming anyone, then the commander cannot pursue the discussion further.

Nearly half of all suicides by soldiers are committed by firearm, and the military concedes they have issues separating at risk soldiers from firearms. I think we need to do more in terms of providing better mental health services and counseling to deal with the problems in addition to doing a better job getting guns out of the hands of at risk soldiers.

 But I also think the NRA is overreaching by making commanders largely into naggers of gun possession in the interest of gun control freedom. I ultimatly don’t know where to come down on this issue.

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