Lt. Col. Bateman speaks only for himself, and not for the U.S. Army, in a December 3rd, 2013 Esquire post entitled "It's Time We Talk About Guns And The Supreme Court". Fully indulging his personal butthurt over the story of a woman charged with killing a fellow Alabama fan after the end of last weekend's Iron Bowl football game between the Crimson Tide and Auburn, Bateman criticized a Supreme Court ruling which held that the militia clause in the Second Amendment did not require a gun owner to be a member of the National Guard. He believes the Militia Act of 1903 conferred "militia exclusivity" upon the National Guard.
Fair enough. But then he proposes a series of gun control measures which would seriously curtail legal gun and ammo ownership, virtually denying ownership to lower-income people, leaving Americans almost as defenseless as Brits in the United Kingdom. Since Bateman is currently in the United Kingdom, he's probably been contaminated with British thought and practices on firearms. Here are the only firearms Bateman would permit ordinary Americans:
-- Smoothbore or Rifled muzzle-loading blackpowder muskets (he notes that no 7-11 in history has ever been held up with one of these).
-- Double-barrel breech-loading shotguns (he claims these are sufficient for hunting; good luck bringing down a charging grizzly or polar bear with one of these).
-- Bolt-action rifles with a magazine capacity no greater than five rounds (he says if you cannot bring down a defenseless deer in under five rounds, then you have no reason to be holding a killing tool in the first place).
Other suggested changes include a national buy-back program, ban police departments from selling or auctioning weapons used in crimes after the cases have been closed, a windfall tax on ammunition beginning at 400 percent of the prevailing retail cost in the first two years, and...wait for it...empower the federal government to buy out ALL weapons manufacturers in the United States......except for those who make guns and ammo for the feds and the armed forces.
There is no sign that this is written for parody or out of facetiousness. Lt. Col Bateman appears perfectly serious. And while he says he speaks only for himself, would he have been permitted to publish an article taking the opposite point of view. Not bloody likely. According to Small Wars Journal, Lt. Col Bateman is an infantryman, historian and prolific writer, and was a Military Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and has taught Military History at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He is currently stationed in Washington, D.C. Bateman has authored two books: "Digital War, A View from the Front Lines" (Presidio: 1999) and "No Gun Ri, A Military History of the Korean War Incident" (Stackpole, 2002). He's also contributed to or co-authored seven more. On BearingArms.com, where Bobo Owens offers a literate rebuttal of Bateman's constitutional arguments, someone claims that Bateman has been passed over for full colonel already.
Reaction: Strong outrage is being expressed by Second Amendment supporters on Calguns.net, with one person writing "The Obama purge is starting to show some effect, unfortunately, or an asshat like this wouldn't be speaking up...", on GeorgiaPacking.org, where one person wrote "Sir, your resignation is hereby accepted", and on the F2 Anonboard, where one person wrote "Colonel Bateman raised his right hand and swore to uphold the US Constitution. Like his Commander-in-Chief, he's just a filthy liar".
Most comments posted to the Esquire story are also unfavorable. A sampling:
Robert Reichardt · Top Commenter · The University of Hard Knocks
Bateman is a disgrace to the oath he swore, to the uniform he wore, and the man he served with as well as the country he took and honored oath to protect. His words and disgusting analogies are right out of the liberal communist manifesto. Shame on him and the so called violence he pretends to have committed.
Ken Chimp · Black Blood
No, Glenn. The reason why we can't have nice things is because of oath breakers like Bateman who have systematically allowed the wealth and governance of this nation to be OWNED AND OPERATED by the most narcissistic, corrupt and murderous cartel of cabalistic oligarchs the world has ever known.
When the illusion hiding the gutted carcass of Western Civilization is finally and fully revealed for what it is, it will be those of us who simply do not understand what freedom is, and who do not understand what it costs to manifest and maintain, who will first lose their minds and then their lives to these criminals.
You've been living in a dream world, Neo. Wake up.
Mark Halferty · Otsego
So you were in the Army. That's impressive to people who know about guns-n-things from TV and movies. But not for those of us who were part of that institution for decades.
Most of the guns you were around were locked up and counted from time to time, and your training was at best, the mass produced, McDonald's version which barely qualifies as training. I would count a very small percentage of those in uniform as people who know anything about either firearms application or basic individual rights. Not that these are necessarily bad people; those two issues just aren't their focus. But the institutionalized ignorance and amateurism is potentially dangerous.
I survived my first encounter with a goblin because I was armed. The bad guy took off. I went back to sleep.
By all means, don't wait until I am dead to come and take mine. Why not give it a try today?
Lance Owens · Palestine, Texas (broken into three paragraphs for readability)
The LTC has obviously lost his way, like so many of the officer who have drank the leftist Kool Aid and are now standing in line to take the Obama Litmus test of "Will you fire on American Citizens". I love how he airbrushes the facts about Gun Violence in England but neglects to discuss the violent crimes in England and also neglects the facts about how many times guns are used in self defense and save lives in this country and how there has been a resurgence in the England, albeit small, to regain their gun rights. I love how he falsely discusses the Dick Act (The Militia Act of 1903) but fails to full discuss the facts about it divided the MILITIA into two distinct groups, the Reserve Militia, which included all able-bodied men between 18 and 45, and the Organized Militia, which included state militia (National Guard) units receiving federal support. Nothing like planting further misinformation out there, but then again what do you expect from Army LTC's who for a large part are welfare children, living off the good graces and support of Senior NCO's and Warrant Officers who are the professional soldiers, not the professional politicians that the Army breeds in the O-Grade ranks.
Bateman you disgust me, hiding your liberal agenda within the ranks of what used to be a good and honorable institution. Sure we have our problems, but people like you and your ilk have continued to move us down a road of political correct liberalism that is ruining the Army and our Country. You are the one who lacks education and whom the education system in America has failed. It is you who chose to believe in revisionist history rather than read original texts. It is you, who have failed to read history and therefore are helping move us down a path of failure and unfortunately because of your blatant ignorance you will undoubtedly cause more innocent blood to be shed on some battlefield someplace all in the name of political correctness.
The problem isn't the guns, the problem is the culture and I'm not talking about the 2nd Amendment Supporting Gun Culture. I'm talking about the morons that the liberal leftist like yourself are producing in our society. The everyone gets a trophy, everything has to be a positive experience, if it feels good do it, express yourself culture. The people who let the Xbox/Playstation baby sit their kids, while mom and maybe dad, if they haven't divorced because they had the morality of a dog in heat, sit on the back porch and get drunk or smoke crack, rather than buy groceries because they sold their food stamp EBT card. But you don't see it that way, you can't see it that way, because then you would have to admit that your liberal Utopia was a failure and the root cause of it all. Do us all a favor, retire IN ENGLAND
Yet Bateman has a few supporters:
Frank Adams · Top Commenter · University of Maryland University College
I'm very happy to see this by a US Army officer. Back in the early '70s I was in an Air Force Combat Communications outfit in Kaiserslautern Germany. Every officer and enlisted man had to be fully M16 qualified and the 70 or so of us directly involved with the Crypto equipment had to sidearm qualified. We had our own arms storage center and our own Air Police man to man and issue and retrieve said weapons. No one was allowed personal weapons in their quarters whether enlisted barrack, bachelor officers' quarters or married on-base quarters. No one in our outfit ever "accidently" shot himself or others when "demonstrating" their quick-draw skills or otherwise dicking around.
K-Town was also headquarters to the BIG Armored Division that owned all those US tanks that would prevent the wily Soviets and their DDR clients from storming through the Fulda Gap. As a result there were a shit load of Army enlisted and officers scattered around the neighborhood in barracks and off post facilities. The Army had no restrictions on where or how you stored your personal weapons, and it was a rare Monday morning that Armed Forces Radio Network didn't carry several stories about the maimed and killed among Army personnel.
Guns may not kill, but ready availability of guns, along with cheap liquor, plentiful testosterone and unlimited human stupidity and hubris does.
John Corriveau · Top Commenter · Michigan State University
Thank Lt. Col. Bateman. This is one of the more eloquent, insightful articles I have read on the issue of guns in our country. Killing each other has become part of our national character and I believe therapy is long overdue. I vote to enact all your recommendations as law of the land.