20 Aug 12
An official “policy shift,” unfortunately coming too late for a host of murdered Americans, now allows our troops in Afghanistan to be “armed” all the time, even within the wire.
Well sort of!
Sadly, despite the fact that charged magazines are now allowed to be inserted into magazine wells of pistols (mostly for the visual effect), chambered rounds are still not permitted, despite the fact that no one is quite sure how that could ever be enforced.
In the words of a bromidic CNN reporter:
“Now, anyone who goes to base headquarters will see that all troops, regardless of their tasks, carry weapons with a magazine of ammunition (charged magazine) attached (inserted in the magazine well)… troops now can fire within seconds by sliding a lever (retracting and subsequently releasing the slide) on their weapons to make a round drop (feed) into the firing chamber.”
The foregoing, of course, from the lips of an airheaded media person who has never fired, much less carried, a gun in his sheltered life, and who obviously couldn’t distinguish an M9 Pistol from a waffle-iron!
It is still apparently assumed that any trooper who is immediately threatened will always have his support-side hand available to run the slide, and will always have sufficient time to do so.
This shift, of course, took way too long, as noted above, and even so, will probably be only temporary. And, our troops still don’t officially carry “loaded” weapons. We refer to this empty-chamber condition as “transport mode.” True Operators, of course, routinely carry pistols with chambered rounds, here and there!
While minimal, this “policy change” represents at least marginal progress. Who approved this change did so at great personal risk, and deserves credit. Many courageous officers and NCOs, who have been heretofore passionately pushing for this, have already been relieved of command and/or forced to retire.
Do you suppose they’ll now admit we were right all along?