Letters to SAR: V3N3

By Dan Shea

Dear SAR,

I just had to pass this information on to you. I am stationed with the U. S. Army in Germany, and have been for many years. I just got a letter from the Provost Marshal, indicating that the German government is withdrawing the permits that U.S. service men and women had for their firearms. This places U. S. military personnel in the position of breaking German law if they continue to own any of the firearms that have been rescinded. My firearms are kept on post, but they will still be illegal, and the units are requiring us to turn them in for safekeeping. I am disgusted by this. (This letter was sent with attached letter from the Provost Marshal requiring the turn in of the firearms, and some news reports on the issue.)

Name with held on request

I am flabbergasted as usual by the U. S. Military stance on personal firearms. The freedom of our military personnel on their posts should echo the freedom that they have within our borders here. I fear that political correctness is eroding away at our military’s backbone, and this is just one more case. Lest anyone think I don’t understand the freedom that is surrendered when you enter the military, I was Regular Army way back when, and I know that Uncle Sam owns you. HOWEVER, firearms ownership is as American as Apple Pie, and traditionally the military has encouraged marksmanship and firearms ownership in its regular forces. In the last ten years or so, firearms have been becoming a bugaboo, and disturbing situations like (Name withheld’s) are getting more common.

Why would a young man who has the warrior’s spirit go into today’s military? I am not getting caught up in the gender battle here- simply pointing out one of the major impediments to modern recruiting. If you want to be part of a fighting force, to enjoy the esprit de corps, be part of something bigger than yourself, then you by nature are involved in firearms use. Because some country that we have posts in has strict regulations regarding firearms ownership, does not mean that our military personnel on our base should be restricted.

This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V3N3 (December 1999)
and was posted online on October 9, 2015


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