Special Forces Soldier: Don’t Make America an Armed Warzone

The Daily Beast has a great article written by retired Special Forces officer Tony Schwalm. In it, he argues that a heavily armed, dog eat dog society is no place he wants to live. He has served in Afghanistan, and doesn’t want to live in a similar warzone.

I just came back from Afghanistan, where I didn’t carry a pistol, but a rifle. Pistols are worthless when facing a rifle, and all the Taliban carry AK-47s. Also, by carrying an M-4 carbine, everybody knew I was carrying something that could stitch even U.S. body armor. My rifle was inconvenient to carry, but pistols were common to almost every dead U.S. service member who died in a green-on-blue attack. I have no idea if my rifle deterred an Afghan from shooting me in the back. But everyone knew I was armed and presumably dangerous.

I’m going to live in such a manner in my own country, the land of the free, the home of the brave? We’re all going to carry so we can be the armed sheep dogs waiting for the next attack? We’re going to turn the malls into OK Corrals waiting to happen? Maybe we should all carry and use what we have learned from weaponized robots, like drones with Hellfires.

We have the technology to arm surveillance cameras. We could put an aim dot on the lens, just like the .50-caliber-machine-gun mounts on the armored trucks driven around Afghanistan, and mount rifles on the side of the cameras. Somebody could monitor from a secure room and pan over the crowd looking for the wolf. Are we really going to turn our public spaces into shooting galleries?

As an individual, I say no.

This really is the broader question wrapped up in the gun control and mental health debates: “What kind of society do we want to live in?”

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