I’m a Gun Guy, But …

Conor Whetsel, a person currently involved with the occupy movement, thinks the Louisiana RKBA measure on the ballot is dangerous, and also unnecessary because there’s already a Second Amendment. He notes:

During my military service, I was highly trained in weapons and tactical shooting, but even I doubt my own abilities to neutralize a threat in a classroom of hundreds of students; therefore, I highly doubt the ability of novice shooters to do the same. No amount of hunting, and practice at the range will prepare a student to make the life or death decisions necessary in a tactical shooting scenario.

I decided to check this guy out, and he did indeed serve in the military. How much do US Navy Petty Officers who work in the mail room of a ship receive advanced firearms training? I do not mean to denigrate service in a mail room aboard a ship; it is a fine and noble service to this country. But if, in the realm of public policy, you pass yourself off as a highly sophisticated military tactical shooter with an expert opinion, you have some ‘splainin to do if your resume says you worked in the mail room. I’m willing to be educated here by those of you with naval experience, if the Navy spends time and money to make their mail clerks expert tactical shooters, but color me skeptical.

I generally tend to be skeptical of anti-gunners claiming gunny credentials. I advise everyone else to do the same. Don’t trust, verify.

17 thoughts on “I’m a Gun Guy, But …”

  1. 1.) It’s a problem here in California because we don’t have the 2A explicitly built into our state Constitution either, and thus our wacky and crazy and multitudinous gun-laws.
    2.) He’s “highly trained” but he “doubts his own abilities” – so he’s using that word but it doesn’t mean what he thinks it means… My guess is he’s just highly high. #Occupy is 99% just a place for stoners to meet chicks.

  2. He probably got boot camp week where they taught rifle and pistol. Then he shot both to qualify. For most in the Navy, that’s it. I only did boot camp qualification week in the Coast Guard until I made Boarding Officer, and even then the training was rushed and we shot plastic bullets at a movie screen in a shoot don’t shoot scenario. After passing that it was here is a 45 and holster, go board vessels. I know many, many more people that can say they are highly trained than this guy.

  3. But he has a 97% efficiency rating sorting the mail. No, seriously, THAT’s what his resume claims.

    This guy is a poser. He makes himself come across like he’s akin the a Navy Seal but in truth he is a clerk who, as Danny said, he probably sent a few rounds down range during basic training and that’s it. Now he thinks he’s Rambo, or is just knowingly lying about his qualifications, in order to peddle this anti-gun crap.

  4. I once worked in the Mail Room of the World Bank, and it made me thing *deep thoughts* about International Finance and Global Economics – but it didn’t turn me into Paul Krugman (thank god).

  5. The Navy’s level of training shifts over time, but during my 20 year career there, my only required firing of a firearm was 10 rounds through a .22 rifle in boot camp.

  6. Unless they’re SEALs, I highly doubt there are many sailors who are highly trained with rifles and pistols. This is not a dig at them; the point of the Navy is to be a weapons platform, and sailors operate those platforms with skill.

    Besides, isn’t this why the Navy has Marines? Especially with “Every Marine a Rifleman.”

    1. I would add the SWCC (special boats guys) and Masters at Arms. Otherwise, you are right, there are not too many ratings that involve the need to be “highly trained in weapons” or much in the way of tactical shooting.

      This guy is full of crap.

      1. I wouldn’t have thought of the Special Boats guys, since they seem to be more like crew-served heavy weapons types. But it makes sense they’d have rifle training in case the heavies malfed.

        I honestly thought all Masters at Arms were Marines.

        1. Master-at-Arms is what the Navy calls Military Police. My ship, which in 1996 went on a Med Cruise with this clown’s ship, had two MAAs. There was the Chief (Called CMA for Chief Master at Arms) and an MA1 or MA2 (First Class or Second Class, equivelent to an Army Staff Sergeant or an Army Sergeant)

          This is not the same as “Shore Patrol.” The SPs are just sailors on the ship tasked to wear their uniforms ashore and act as a sort of courtesy patrol to keep the other sailors in line. Sometimes they get batons to crack skulls, but my captain wouldn’t let them. He told them to use their words like big boys and handle problems politely.

          The “Base Police” were generally contract employees, a sort of private police force. They were real badged police officers, but they weren’t in the Navy.

          1. I should point out that WE called him CMA, for his position as Chief Master at Arms. To his face he was “Chief.” His official rank was MAC, or Master at Arms, Chief. This is in the approved backwards military acronym style.

  7. Not even the Gunner’s Mates in the Navy are all that well trained with a firearm. I was on the Ship’s Self Defense Force and I was trained more in wrassling (spelled that way on purpose)than in guns. They weren’t sure about the boiler operator being on the SSDF, but I was prior 82nd Airborne so they took me.

    Come to think of it, I was qualified to chock and chain helicopters on our flight deck. By his standards I could totally tell Air Traffic Controllers how to do their jobs.

  8. During my 6 yrs active, the only time I used a firearm was 50(?) rounds out of a 1911A1 converted to .22lr in boot camp. Never saw or touched another firearm after that until I went into the ANG.

  9. I retired from the Navy back in ’81. back then all petty officers were required to be familiar with the 1911. but may not hove fired one. As this guy was a PC I would suggest he was in the never fired group.

  10. I certainly have nothing to add or detract from what others have suggested about Mr. Whetsel’s level of training. I would like to point out that I think even if he were a SEAL, Rambo x10 or Superman I’d still cry foul on his statement here.

    First of all I think he mischaracterizes the difficulty of this particular tactical scenario. In a classroom of ‘hundreds of students’ if you find yourself near enough to the shooter, the hundreds of students who are behind you will be pretty irrelevant in the brief time it takes to engage and resolve the matter for better or worse.

    If there are hundreds of students between you and he and you don’t think you can take the shot, then don’t. You have no obligation to. It really is that friggin simple.

    In a room with multiple exits, like a theater, you might expect a mad scramble out the hatch. But if that thug came in the only door, and the only way out is through him, then I think recent history tells us we can expect this: everyone who doesn’t want to get shot will be hunkering down trying to hide and the guy who want’s to shoot people, and doesn’t expect anyone to shoot back by the way, will be all up and about drawing attention to himself. I expect this would be so in a classroom of 400 no less than one of just 40.

    If it works out like that, the only limiter is whether or not you have the skill to take the shot at whatever distance separates you from the goblin. Yeah, I think range time and hunting experience could potentially play a part in that, Mr. Whetsel.

    “No amount of hunting, and practice at the range will prepare a student to make the life or death decisions necessary in a tactical shooting scenario,” he says. Really? If some punk walks into a classroom and starts shooting innocent folk, and lo it happens I have the opportunity, means and skill to gun him down thereby forcing him to promptly ‘quitit’, this I-was-in-the-Navy-once guy really wants to tell us that is a decision to hard for ordinary folk to make?

    Nah. Doesn’t matter his level of training. This guy is full of bunk.

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