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Don't underestimate military

By Andrew McClory
Arizona Daily Wildcat
May 4, 1999
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To the editor,

I got a good chuckle out of William Hockings' historical conclusions that, "if only the six million-plus Jews murdered by the Nazis ... had been equipped with guns, some of the greatest tragedies in human history could have been avoided."

Does William somehow think that the great Nazi war machine, which defeated the French army in weeks and killed millions of Soviet soldiers, would have been brought to its knees by Jewish civilians waving handguns? I would like to make it clear that I am not protesting William's views on gun control. Instead, I am appalled by his low regard for the military profession. It takes more than guns to make civilians a match for well-trained soldiers, just as it takes more than a TI-85 calculator for a fine arts student to pass a calculus test. Besides the training and discipline required to become a successful soldier, national militaries provide an organization and leadership structure that make them more than just the sum of their parts. Although the civilian victims could have been defeated in a more honorable way if they had possessed more weaponry, they would have been defeated nonetheless.

I share William's need to believe that civilians have it in their power to successfully repel an evil military force. However, the simple truth is that the military profession has become specialized to such an extent that any resistance by unorganized civilians would be futile. As far as William's anti-gun control stand is concerned, I agree that there are many valid arguments defending the right to bear arms. However, William's ludicrous interpretations of history seriously undermine his credibility. They also insult the many men and women in the military profession.

Andrew McClory
Computer science senior