Unsecured weapons are threat
Letters to the Editor, June 6, 2012
I’m a civilian contractor at Kandahar Air Field, Afghanistan, also a former U.S. Marine with three deployments and a few years of police experience in a major city (credibility established). I can’t help but notice the weapons (with magazines inserted) on the floor of every mess hall on this base, courtesy of the U.S. and British armed forces.
It only starts there. I see muzzles flagging bystanders and weapons left unattended while their owners walk back to the service area for seconds and dessert. It’s not just the lower enlisted who are doing this; it’s senior enlisted and officers as well. What is the retention rating on a plastic neon glow strap? I ask this because I see men and women in PT gear who see fit to use them to holster their pistols.
Actual pistol holsters are being slung over the backs of chairs. Are they that heavy? What is going on here, and why has this gone unchecked? If it’s a problem here, it’s bound to be a problem elsewhere in theater.
This is a tremendous safety issue. We work with local nationals. We work with the Afghan military. We share common areas (such as the mess hall) with them. The reason why magazine-inserted carry has been mandated is because of the “Green on Blue” violence that has taken place in recent months. It would take mere seconds for a disgruntled (or goal-oriented) person to pick up one of these unattended (or barely attended) rifles from the floor and do damage with it.
Let’s get the weapons off the floor. Let’s practice positive control and muzzle awareness. Let’s use approved gear to carry weapons. Let’s do all of this before one or more of us gets hurt, because there would be no honor in that.