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Member since: Sat Jun 4, 2016, 06:00 AM
Number of posts: 688

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Bring Back the Military Draft?

(article from a year ago, but seems timely with news of the Senate voting to require women to register for the Draft)

In the wake of another Memorial Day, when most Americans recognized their fallen veterans by staying home from the office, it’s worth taking a moment to consider a perennial question: Should the military draft return? Yes, argued Joseph Epstein in The Atlantic earlier this year. Epstein, a short story writer and former draftee who served in the Army from 1958 to 1960, opposes an all-volunteer force for several reasons: It’s unfair for a tiny percentage of Americans—less than one percent—to shoulder the burden of fighting wars; the American public isn’t knowledgable enough on foreign policy; the draft could rehabilitate young criminal offenders; and, most of all, a draft would contribute to the “melting pot” that makes America great.

The following passage from Epstein echoes one of the core themes in James Fallows’s latest Atlantic cover story, “The Tragedy of the American Military” (which readers debated at length here): A truly American military, inclusive of all social classes, might cause politicians and voters to be more selective in choosing which battles are worth fighting and at what expense. It would also have the significant effect of getting the majority of the country behind those wars in which we do engage.

Epstein’s essay sparked a spirited debate in the comments section. Here’s George Hoffman: I served as a medical corpsman in Vietnam (31 May 1967 to 31 May 1968). So my years in the military were dramatically different from Mr. Epstein's service. Much of what I experienced was so horrific, having viewed the human face of war on the wounded grunts, wounded civilians and even a few wounded VC guerrillas. They were all victims of that tragic and unnecessary war.

Therefore I would never subject our young men and women to the draft, given that both the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq now rival the Vietnam War as foreign policy debacles. I think that if Mr. Epstein served in Vietnam he would be less willing to bring back the draft, especially if he saw and experienced what I did. That in no way denigrates his service to his country. But let’s to honest; he served as a clerk far from the killing fields. So he has a civilian mentality. The mentality of civilians on the draft, though, has been overwhelmingly negative the past few decades:

Posted by Just reading posts | Wed Jun 15, 2016, 07:21 PM (1 replies)

A Houston area gun range is offering free concealed handgun classes for the LGBT community

HOUSTON - One look at his hole-filled paper target and you can see Ryan Thomas is a great shot. He has had his concealed handgun license for two years. Thomas also happens to be gay. After Sunday’s shooting, he had an idea. He wanted to make sure his LGBT brothers and sisters were protected.

"We have a right to carry. We have a right to protect ourselves. And it's a different time. We should all know how to do this," Thomas said. Thomas talked to his friends at the Shiloh Gun Range in northwest Harris County. They are offering free CHL classes to the LGBT community.

Jeff Sanford, the owner of Shiloh Indoor Shooting Range said, "We want to make them aware they can come here, they can feel safe here, they can get their concealed handgun license or their license to carry and they can carry a gun and they can feel good about it." Sanford said the offer was not about marketing. He said it was about making an oftentimes vulnerable community feel protected. "We wanted to reach out to them and say hey, we might not totally understand what's going on, but we feel for you and this is what we can do to help you out," Thomas said.

Sanford pointed out that there are many places, including bars, where guns were not allowed. But Thomas said what he learned helped. "The last thing they want you to do is to pull a trigger. It's how to take care of yourself. Self-awareness," Thomas said.

Posted by Just reading posts | Wed Jun 15, 2016, 12:49 AM (17 replies)

What legislation (if any) do you anticipate being passed as a result of this attack?

Posted by Just reading posts | Sun Jun 12, 2016, 12:17 PM (48 replies)
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