Guarding the troops – this is why we can't have nice things

| July 24, 2015
Categories: Op-Eds

A lot of people seem to have ass pain over the civilians guarding military career centers. Sadly they seem to be more interested in ridiculing those people’s choice of weapon optic or holster than addressing the more important issues (or even being constructive). Quit looking so hard for something to ridicule. There’s important shit going on. Mad Duo

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Civilians are standing guard at recruiting stations and the like. This has evoked applause, ridicule, a couple of arrests and one understandable warning by the Army to treat armed civilians as a potential threat. There are a number of issues here, the first (1) being of course that military personnel are prevented by DoD Directive AD A272 176 from exercising their Second Amendment rights (which they could easily do in a measured, objectively reasonable fashion if the military allowed them). We’ll address that more later. For today I’ll address three related issues (and I will unabashedly echo sentiments already made by Brad, Brian and Chris to do so).

(2) Lots of people on the net are trash-talking the people posting themselves as sentries in front of “remote” DoD duty stations like recruiting centers. The obvious goal is to protect the men and women serving there (the ones who are denied the right to self-protection civilian citizens enjoy). It’s a patriotic, heartfelt gesture on some people’s part. It’s stupid, selfish grandstanding on others. We’ll know which is which when the cameras stop rolling and they quit showing up. What troubles some of us at Breach-Bang-Clear is the amount of mockery and ridicule thrown at those folks.

Maybe they’re not wearing the best gear. Perhaps they don’t have the appropriate tactical du jour rifle accessories, but at least they’re fucking doing something. The amount of ridicule levied at these people by allegedly pro-gun, Second Amendment supporters is just sad. It is this sort of attitude, this embrace of any opportunity to mock someone, that perpetuates the endless, internecine tomfuckery plaguing the Second Amendment demographic (note we don’t say community). It’s ridiculous. If you’re one of those with a predisposition to point fingers and haw haw, you’re not fucking helping.


As an aside, if you’re an open carry proponent doing this you’re even more of a prick, but either way if you’re not addressing it with civil discourse you’re part of the problem. Of course, it can be hard to be civil when you’re dealing with window-lickers. That brings us to:

(3) Some people “standing guard over the troops” make little effort to comport themselves well or look presentable. Even worse, they do monumentally stoopid shit — like have an ND or walk into the building with an empty gun wrapped in a deflated basketball. Yesterday some dude cracked a round into the pavement at an Armed Forces Recruiting Station at the River Valley Mall in Lancaster, Ohio. One truly dedicated individual showed up dressed as a Knight Templar, because, you know, they scare Muslims.


This is important on several levels, particularly the ND. It makes #1 so damn difficult to resist. Who doesn’t want to fuck with a guy dressed like a medieval knight outside the recruiting station? The ND and actions like it are more significant because they provide ammunition (pun intended) to anti-gun people looking to cast gun-owners in a negative light.

Today on the The View, why the troops are in more danger from their fellow citizens than terrorists! 

Here’s a message to those folks — your motives may be pure, but you’re not fucking helping.

(4) Weapon handling, training and common-sensical proficiency among the “carrying public” remains too often sub-par. There are three kinds of gun people: the ones who’ve done something stupid with their weapon but got away with it, the ones who did something stupid with an embarrassing or painful result, and the ones who’ve done neither yet. Some will say they always follow every rule of firearms safety and never do anything stupid. Those people are either part of an infinitesimally small part of the shooting population, or they’re full of shit. Very few of us have the amount of training needed. If you carry a gun every day and you’re not doing any more than the bare minimum to be legal, if you never go to the range but believe you can  stand a post where you might get in a gunfight, then guess what — you’re not fucking helping.

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Carry a gun. Carry two. But do it responsibly. I have the same issue with a civilian carrying a gun in public without proper training as I do with the cop who only goes to the range once a year and barely qualifies. Both are equally egregious.

The dude with the ND didn’t do anyone any favors. Can you imagine the outcry if he’d thrown and airball and hit old Aunt Pootie instead of putting one in the street?  Misguided as it might be though, at least he’s doing something. That’s contradictory I know, but we should all be able to say the same, and we should do it in such a way that we’re not eating our own.

That will be a lot easier to do if we ease up on the ridicule and use direct, positive means to influence those who are making questionable (if well intentioned) choices. It will build a better sense of community, mitigate the damning stories and photo ops gun control activists might use against us, and who knows…maybe even evolve into a Good Thing, reminiscent of the Patriot Guard. Could be it saves a few people from Windex poisoning (or heat stroke in a suit of armor) along the way. We’ll see.

That’s it for today. Go forth and conquer.

Mad Duo David

Mad Duo, Breach-Bang& CLEAR!

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Reeder Profile Picture 5About the Author: Someone has to corral the writing team, handle business expenses and bail the Mad Duo (and their minions) out of jail. For years the Pentagon, JSOC and the International Association of Chiefs of Police sought an impeccable man to lead the pedagogic and frequently obstreperous team of Breach Bang Clear writers. They needed someone charismatic, a warrior, able to maintain mental acuity under the worst stressors. Unfortunately the program suffered severe budget cuts so they ended up with David Reeder. Reeder is the Mad Duo’s Chief Wretched Flunky and Breach-Bang-Clear’s HMFIC. A LEO for many years and former AF Security Forces SNCO, he was an O/C at the National Homeland Security Training Center for many years a MOUT instructor at the Bold Lighting UWS. Reeder has appeared on Fox News Business and written for a number of publications, from US News & World Report and to OFFGRID Magazine. You can read more about him here.




  1. JESullivan

    YEAH WELL…I’m sorry ( NO I”M NOT) but standing in the open in front of potential targets pretending to be defending them is just counter-intuitive to this retired grunt and X-LEO. How ’bout some blast deflectors, a belt-fed emplacement, fields of fire… oh, we’re not under siege YET, so the gesture leaves me befuddled. Sincerely, my take is that this is grandstanding by wannabees and open carry activists looking for some press time.. it’ll be over soon…or it’s gonna get much worse.Either way, the thrill will soon be gone as will the homeguard. Then, real shooters may indeed need to step up and be counted AGAIN.

  2. Old 1811

    These people’s hearts are in the right place, but standing openly in front of the building just means that an assailant just has to use up a few extra rounds (and good luck to their families trying to collect any insurance). Any outside protectors, whether standing openly on the sidewalk or more clandestinely, say, in a parked car nearby, will get made by the most rudimentary surveillance. The best solution would be to have someone secreted inside the building, whose only job is to shoot bad guys, a la the old NYPD Stakeout Squad or LAPD Surveillance Detail. Of course, that will never happen (besides political considerations, it’s too expensive), and so we’re stuck with what we’ve got.

  3. Chris

    Thank you for this measured article. The level of criticism and outright shaming of those brave patriots who have taken time out of their lives, to stand guard has been shocking. I’ve been called an attention whore, an asshat, a rifle-carrying nitwit, by folks who know nothing about me or my history wearing two uniforms for this country. These folks traditionally support the 2ndA very vehemently. But this turnout by ordinary citizens (mostly former mil & LE) has many of these arm-chair patriots foaming at the mouth. Why are they so quick to turn on their own?? Good article, fair and balanced. 🙂

  4. Bill

    In regards to the ND, it shouldn’t have happened, but his weapon was pointed in a safe direction. Is that a pass? No, but too often people get wrapped up in the ONE gun safety rule totally forgetting there are several for this very reason. If Cooper were around today he would probably say the same thing, shit happens thats why I don’t teach one safety rule.

    Good article. I would totally fight that dude at Medieval Times.

  5. Scotty

    Well said.

    In the mid or late ’70s some guy(s?) hijacked a busload of kids and stashed them in a buried moving truck. Until the matter was resolved (the bus driver was a bona fide hero) and for a while after armed citizens rode the school buses and no one batted an eye or turned a hair. In California. Yes, it made the news – I remember watching film of the goings-on – but it was simply that it was happening and what was being done about it. You didn’t hear shit like “Despite all the guns around no one has been killed by an armed civilian.”

    It was definitely a simpler time. The people who volunteered to guard the kids brought the family shotgun or a favored deer rifle or granddad’s .38 pistol.



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