Round in the chamber or not
Today’s question facing the United States Armed Forces is, “Should Military Police (MP) carry a weapon that has a round in the chamber, with a full magazine, while performing law enforcement duties on installations?” I will analyze this question by giving facts to support my legal and ethical arguments, then I will take a opposing opinion that is supported with legal and ethical arguments, and final I will close by reassessing my initial response and indicate whether I have changed my opinion or not.
I Support rounds in the chamber
I believe that MP should be authorized to carry a loaded weapon. We are authorized to carry a weapon with loaded magazines and the logic of a reasonable person should say that the rationale we are carrying the weapon is to be able to use it if all other means of nonlethal tactics fail (like verbal judo). But, without the round in the chamber, doesn’t my weapon (firearm) becomes synonymous to being nonlethal? And if a MP draws his weapon, isn’t it because he is trying to ward off deadly force to defend himself or the public against those rare situations, such as threats of death or serious bodily injury? So why are we as leaders, standing for MP to carry a lethal weapon that does not have a round in the chamber? The time it takes to load a round in the chamber of a empty weapon may cost that MP or innocent bystander their life. I feel that we train very hard to become certified to be able to use and carry a weapon without ball ammunition in the chamber, (MPFQC, 2010). And with this unloaded weapon, our MP risk their life to protect the life’s of those on the installation with an unloaded firearm. If it was not for the recent change in policy to authorize MP to use hollow points, one could say that with no round in the chamber and the use of ball ammo, the risk assessment for a MP is very great. I’m sure that DACP are performing their duties with a loaded weapon. And even Civilian police on US Army bases are now authorized to load their weapons with jacketed hollow-point bullets, (Mother Jones, 2010). It is amazing that before MP were authorized to have a round in the chamber, we were first authorized to carry hollow points! These rounds that are available for use by civilians in most US States, are banned in international conflicts, (Yale, 2008). So what is safer, a hollow point or a MP without a round in the chamber? I am willing to say, “No round in the chamber is not safe!” So the reader maybe asking, “what is a hollow point?” The hollow point features a small depression cut into the slug's nose, usually filled with notched steel and enables the rounds to "deform and fragment upon striking a hard-tissue target and mushroom into a larger diameter, thus creating a larger wound cavity, (Mother Jones, 2010). So now the reader maybe asking, “who authorized hollow points but didn’t authorize a mandate to have rounds in the chamber?” Brig. General Colleen McGuire authorized it and she stated that it needed to happen because after a gunman opened fire at the Pentagon in March of this year and after a deadly shooting spree at Fort Hood, the new policy, issued May 2010, gives installation police the required tools necessary to secure our posts, camps, and stations from both internal and external active shooter threats, (Mother Jones, 2010). Hollow-point munitions are already highly favored by civilian law enforcement agencies, such as the New York Police Department, which switched to the ammo in 1998, (Mother Jones, 2010). I would like point out that there was also a shooting at Fort Bliss, in September 2010, where a man opened fire at a convenience store on Fort Bliss, injuring two people before being killed by responding officers, (Fox News, 2010). Fort Hood the installation itself has had two active shooter incidents, one in 1991where a man shot and killed 23 people in a…