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Underestimating Gun-Grabbing Marine Leads to Dangerous Assumptions

ScreenHunter_11 Jan. 22 17.38
A bigger gun-grabber than Marine veteran John Chaffee did not exist. It would be a huge mistake to dismiss such men as incapable warriors because of their political beliefs.

Enough comments were posted concerning the presumed prowess of a “gun control”-endorsing former Marine sergeant — both on this site, and on social media — to warrant cautioning against drawing conclusions about individual capabilities based on political sentiments. We simply don’t know if the guy was a “mere” desk jockey and thus somehow less of a Marine than others. For all we know, he achieved and has retained the training, skills, conditioning and mindset to hold his own against threats with the best of the Corps.

It’s tempting to dismiss all “progressive” males with contemptuous Pajama Boy stereotypes. That’s not only wrong-headed, but underestimating opponents can lead to sudden, astonishing and disastrous assumption corrections. Such misjudging of capabilities at the wrong time and place can remind us there’s a reason for the term “fatal mistake.”

A caution from Sun Tzu comes to mind.

Here’s a guy who wasn’t a wimp but a warrior: John Chaffee. He suspended undergraduate college studies to enlist in the Marines after Pearl Harbor. He fought on Guadalcanal. He fought in the Battle of Okinawa. He was recalled to be a rifle company commander in the Korean War. By all accounts, he served with bravery, distinction and honor.

After the war, the Rhode Island Republican rose in his political career to be governor, Secretary of the Navy, and United States Senator. And gun owners could not have had a worse enemy.

His “On the Issues” profile doesn’t tell the half of it. The record there makes it look like he only wanted background checks at gun shows and mandated trigger locks. Chaffee was much more ambitious than that. He also wanted to ban handguns:

Sen. Chafee’s bill would establish a grace period during which handguns could be turned in to any law enforcement agency for reimbursement. There would be exceptions for federal, state and local law enforcement and military agencies, for collectors of antique firearms, for federally licensed handgun sporting clubs operating under certain safety procedures, and for security guard services and licensed dealers, importers or manufacturers that are determined to be serving these needs.

There are plenty in the armed forces now who view following orders – any and all orders – as what they’re supposed to do.  Not only aren’t many schooled in the finer points of their oath to the Constitution, the top-down climate has been changing over the years, in no small part due to career-motivated generals understanding their positions depend on advancing “progressive” agendas.

Politically, conservative leanings of some current officers notwithstanding, a substantial number of officers and enlisted personnel support Democrats, meaning they will vote for politicians running on “gun control” agendas. And we can expect that to change as the society at large from which recruits are drawn changes, especially if cheap labor-motivated “amnesty” Republicans and “pathway to citizenship” Democrats succeed in “fundamentally transforming” the culture.

Bottom line: Just because current or former members of the armed forces support “gun control,” it would be naive and dangerous to conclude that has made them weak or otherwise impaired their capabilities. Especially if they ultimately treat disarmament edicts as orders they will obey.



David Codrea blogs at The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance (, and is a field editor/columnist for GUNS Magazine. Named “Journalist of the Year” in 2011 by the Second Amendment Foundation for his groundbreaking work on the “Fast and Furious” ATF “gunwalking” scandal, he is a frequent event speaker and guest on national radio and television programs.



  1. Dear Oath Keepers!

    As all the media are focused on the DC blizzard, it appears that another “Blitz” has been conducted by Mitch McConnell against our Constitution:

    “The Authorization for Use of Military Force put for­ward by Mc­Con­nell would not re­strict the pres­id­ent’s use of ground troops, nor have any lim­its re­lated to time or geo­graphy,”

    This is a red alert!

    Best Hopes

    Tom, Oath Keeper

      1. Tom, Stew,

        If people do not get it !!!!!!

        January 23, 2016 at 3:36 pm

        New York: full blow’n TYRANY rehearsal,

        Travel ban in New York City American will be arrested

    1. Very good summary and the basis for the infowars article on the same.
      At what point, does these treasonists get dealth with via arrest for overt violation of the oath of office. Blackmailed? I don´t buy that anymore. Will the real Americans in U.S. Congress please stand up — and many of those, as we all know, are dead, or HAVE BEEN blackmailed and sent home. Easier to arrest them on this side of the ordeal?

      Hail and thank you to all Veterans of this once Great Nation, a republic, soon to be made stronger than effort as a result of this overt Spiritual battle now brought down to Earth herself. Thank you for your service, and for those that have suffered the consequence of those gone on to be with Him in previous wars. The prayers of a righteous man availeth much.

  2. First – thank you Captain for your service to our Nation.
    Second – I find it inexplicable that a man who risked his life in battle numerous times to defend our way of life now turns his back on such a fundamental constitutional precept as the Second Amendment. Very disturbing…

  3. I often read comments that assume that our police forces and most of the military would refuse to cooperate in firearms confiscation. As I’ve pointed out before the majority have families to support and will do whatever their bosses tell them to do in order to keep their jobs. They might not agree with it. They might not like it. But they’ll do it just the same. To rely on them not doing their jobs would likely be another one of those fatal errors.

  4. looks like i will be having target practice..i served 8 years an refuse to go down without a fight against these [One word deleted by Elias Alias, editor] traitors

  5. Remember Hitler Stallin and Musolinni Gun confiscation did not work well for the jews and blacks and others. We will not be mis led or Disarmed by this apparently bought and sold for New World Order Whore. The entire NWO Agenda is pure Treason and everyone who supports it needs to be arrested for Treason. You know what they say,….
    You can have a Million ATTA BOYS but all you need is one good Screw Up to wipe them all out! Well this guy may have been a here at one time Like John McCain but being sold out to the NWO has now made you all Traitors who deserve to be hung!

  6. I don’t care what credentials a gun-grabber has, it’s impossible to underestimate him. This one has fought for what he now condemns and should not be taken seriously because there is something very wrong with him – period. Battle weary? Battle fatigue? PTSD? He served his purpose and we need to ignore his search for another one that involves the violation of our sovereign Constitution.

  7. What has been said is very true ,today. ALL, will have to pay for their convictions. Some will follow the orders of men. I will follow the orders from my God and the Constitution. As this ‘progressive agenda’ continues , compromise will always be suggested. And we can see where that has gotten us too, Today. One can not compromise with the ‘ devil’ as to do so will only further your enslavement , as history has shown. I for one, will never comply with the ‘laws of the devil’…..imho….Semper Fi

    1. Dan–you have all bases covered,no compromise with the “devil”, thanks for your input–JM 70 yr old not brainwashed—Semper Fi

  8. Any self-declared enemy is an enemy, period. They are not to be underestimated – the weak may act as spies and rat you out to the stronger ones. They must ALL be held to account when the fighting ends. I trust NONE of them – every gun always loaded, always armed.

  9. Your comment “a ‘mere’ desk jockey and thus somehow less of a marine” is disgusting filth which only serves to divide us more than any [One word deleted by Elias Alias, editor] like the marine we are talking about could do to us. There is not a single “here” among all of us veterans who could have become a “here” without us “desk jockies” doing our jobs to support, feed, transport, and otherwise support your a$$es. If you remove us desk jockies as being “less of a marine/soldier/sailor/airman” from the picture, you “heroes” would be a bunch of dead veterans. I was a desk jockey, and I took the same training as all others. By the way, when it comes to “shooting and scooting”, I will match my skills, developed over a lifetime of hunting/fishing/camping as well as my USAF military training, with anyone.

    1. I had the opportunity of discussing the mission of a Marine with a retired Major General from that organization during the Dedication of the Korean War Memorial in DC. He reminded me that the primary mission of a Marine, no matter rank or duty assignment is Infantry!!
      Never underestimate the opposition under any circumstances!

    2. Whoa Francis, take it easy! I think your being a little sensitive. The writer could easily had used another type MOS such as a Navy turd chaser (Hull Technician) such as myself. Trust me, I wouldn’t be offended and know I can hold my own.

    3. Quotation marks around “mere” should give you a clue: My dad was a Marine at Chosin Mesa. When whole encampments were overrun, professional cooks and clerks – “mere” desk jockeys, became Marines first – picking up rifles and fighting the enemy off in the brutal cold of North Korea. Quotation marks around a word can mean more than that the author is simply quoting a statement. Check out the use of quotation marks. I’m certain no slight was meant, or taken. You may be mistaking the term with REMF’s.

  10. It would be interesting if someone would do a valid survey/poll to determine if those or how many in our military understand and genuinely internalize the first part of the Oath they routinely are required to take. The first part essentially requires supporting and defending a piece of paper, the contents of which seems to be increasingly absent from our educational system. However, the second part is not abstract, is clearly worded, and needs no prior or base knowledge to understand and to comply with. Also attached to it is an implied threat: obey orders or else. In the past we have relied on an officer procurement system that was skewed to acquiring “educated” leaders. But we see instances, such as the one highlighting Senator Chaffee, where — for some reason — the “education” apparently did not take (i.e. was not genuinely internalized). Something else, some other belief took its place. One can only wonder what, with the seeming and deliberate eradication of civics curriculum as a requirement in both secondary and post-secondary education, do we really have occupying every uniform and behind every badge. Perhaps only having knowledge and skills to do their jobs, but not understanding and having wisdom about what should be the unique American context of doing the job they are entrusted with. Entrusted, not merely hired. When merely hired, they cannot be trusted.

  11. I see people all the time on sites claiming that if the orders come down the military will not follow them. BULL CRAP! The vast majority WILL follow orders, especially ones that have not been in long. If you don’t think they will might I remind you of places like Trablinka and Auschwitz. In 1935 if you said the neat orderly sofisticated Germans would execute women and children enmass people would have said the exact same thing we say today about our military. No way would they follow orders like that.

  12. … we get older, men tend to get wiser, especially when they have seen the horrors of war…that being said,,,, war is fought on many planes, political, cultural, religiously etc. i.e. total war….when all the facets come together victory ensues and the battle for normalcy starts over again. …ever vigilant, ever prepared, forever American…..Amen

  13. Mr. Codrea is dead-nuts on, again.

    I spent over 30 years between the military and a career of Peace Officer (from line to command) service. There was much networking, training and access to personnel, agencies and plans and policies from local, county, state and federal all around the nation during those years.

    The inescabable assessment I was left with is that a large majority of staff at all levels will follow orders and that they have no more understanding of, or care and concern about the proper role of government and the Constitution than they do about the Oath they were required to take to support and defend it.

    Fact is, many actually revel in the ‘power’, the ‘authority’ and in the control that they have over others, under color of law many violations of ‘law’ and of Constitutional liberties are knowing and routine committed by a large swath….illegal searches, illegal arrests, illegal detentions, illegal stops, manufactured probable cause, excessive force, manufactured evidence, false reporting, lies, perjury and on and on and on.

    After all, ‘they’ are empowered to suppress, control, order around and demand all manner of mandatory compliance of mere citizens, in a completely predatory manner. It is a culture and a power and entitlement ‘brotherhood’ that breeds corruption, condoning and silence against the wrongdoing.

    This is in large part why I joined and promote Oath Keepers.

    The longer things drag out, the less likely it is that increasing numbers of constitutionally and Liberty aware and awake people will fill the ranks of police and military, exactly for some of the reasons clearly stated by Mr. Codrea.

    Training and operational deployment has significantly morphed into aggression, near mindless predation for ‘malum prohibitum’ ‘law’, a mindset of ‘law enforcement’ rather than peace keeping and respect for individual liberty and a deliberate perverson of the proper role of police and military in a free society.

    Deadly serious stuff and some bottom-line sobering realizations and decisions are required.

    1. Cpt’1–I do not think I have read a better analysis than yours in all the postings at many sites. A home run because IMO you put it in words I can describe in one—LOGIC—-Like you , almost, 4 years USMC and 20 Police Officer NCPD–Nassau County NY………….the training received for recruits being done today is a big part of the reason I believe your analysis is right on the money, no if’s , and’s or but’s….a brilliant piece and no AMBIGUITY- with your words, direct and to the point.2 words you use are vital to understanding–( significantly morphed )–

  14. Yes many of the trigger pullers and badge holders will fallow the illegal orders that their leaders will give to them.

    The major difference is they will not be doing their jobs in a foreign land to a foreign population.

    These oath breakers will not have the luxury of knowing that everyone back home is safe and secure like they would if they were deployed to another land. Their policy makers and order givers will suffer from the same Damocles sword that they suffer under too.

    None of these people will be underestimated for their job designations or their past exploits during war time. They will all be treated as domestic enemies, enemies to be conquered and swept from this continent or eliminated from the American gene pool with extreme prejudice.

    No one living in America today has experienced civil strife like it occurred in this country during the 1860’s in several of the border states except perhaps immigrants, (or soldiers who served in these countries’ civil conflicts) that have come here from Bosnia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, El Salvidor, Panama, Columbia, Etc. They do not know the blurred lines of the battlefield in such a conflict and the fact that all people are considered combatants wherever they reside.

    Bob was correct, normalcy ceases to exist in a Civil War, men will destroy their neighbors homes and take their lives and their family members lives, they will fight against their own family who do not hold their own ideals. Horrible events will ensue, events that nobody ever thought could happen in their country. All because of powerful people in authority, underestimating the people that they wish to rule over and dictate to because they know better and they have other people that will do their bidding, follow their orders.

    I agree with David too, we should never underestimate someone for their political beliefs or their job designation. Remember that Himmler was a pig farmer and Julius Cesar came from a lowly family that could barely keep themselves fed and had little education. Remember this too, the occupier in chief’s favorite president was Abraham Lincoln. Some scholars have stated that he was Americas first dictator and he plunged our still young country into one of history’s bloodiest Civil Wars where over 600,000 soldiers died and countless civilians were killed and left homeless.

    Pray that better men prevail and keep the peace, preventing this usurper from realizing his ultimate dream of following in his favorite presidents footsteps. Pray that our great nation and its people do not divide any farther to the point of Civil War because if they should be farther driven by despots in high places for their own designs. The next Civil War will make all of the others throughout history seem like walks in the park and America will most likely never recover from such a conflict.

    That is why we must triple down on our RTI and CPT missions to shape the possible future battle space and like bob said, ever vigilant, ever prepared, forever American upholding and defending our constitution.

    1. The comments posted by Capt1 and GoldenBB are excellent and state the issues at hand as well as the consequences, be they positive or negative. I personally believe that the current White house resident (frankly, I can not say his name because it makes me puke) is planning to implement Martial law. I knew from the beginning that Jade Helm 15 was to do the RECON, place equipment and materials to prepare for the upcoming event. I’m actually not shocked that Mitch McConnell is willing to give that white house guy the military powers domestically he wants. I have to believe that there are others that will put the stop on McConnell and shut this Constitution destroying operation down. Time will tell. I am, however, locked and loaded and stand ready to answer the call and will do so until my last breath. As an old Korean War veteran, I have some notable “mileage”but am still quite able to execute and honor my Oath. God Bless America and all of us that stand to defend her !!

  15. For many, many years Chaffee was also the one pushing motorcycle helmet laws using blackmail with state highway funds. Pass the law I demand or I’ll block your transportation funds. He backed down some after suffering a head injury skiing without a helmet. He is a true military hero, but a constitutional zero

  16. McConnell is a communist scum, Obama’s lap dog, why they keep electing this liar and fake conservative supposed Republican is beyond me. There isn’t anything this trash McConnell won’t do to Americans. They keep voting for free, and all they get is their rights taken away by this dirty old scum, must love free more than their own children’s freedom.

  17. McConnell is Obama’s lap dog, he is a liar who pretends to be a conservative and Republican, all McConnell does is Obama’s dirty bidding. He stays in office using free, and the fools votes for this liar and fascist moron for a few dollars worth of junk, not caring about their own children’s freedom. disgusting and disturbing that this half wit stays in office screwing the very people who vote for this monster.

  18. David
    We should consider the impact of our consistent use of the nomenclature “progressives” to describe the left. This is the second email I have sent to illustrate the negative light in which that casts us. If they are progressive then those of us who oppose them must be regressive. I reject that label since I am a progressive supporter of the Oathkeepers and others who support individual liberty. As a philosopher, I can assure any thinking human that the liberal agenda is historically predominate in all societies (meaning it’s regressive) and will enslave those who embrace it.

    1. I do, which is why I always place it in quotation marks.

      “With ‘progressives,’ every day is Opposite Day,” is a saying I use practically every day in my blogging to illustrate that concept.

  19. The article referred to is an opinion editorial (OP-ED) written by a former Sgt. who does not work for the Marine Corps Times and is clearly marked as such. – The opinions in it are his own. – The times handles OP-EDs (also known as Letters To The Editor) in the same manner as any other newspaper. Publishing an op-ed does not mean endorsement of its contents by merely respect for the freedom of speech of opposing opinions.

  20. The fact that many of us feel compelled to make disparaging remarks about this person likewise should not be taken to mean that we underestimate him. I believe that the vast majority of us take very seriously anyone who abandons, to any degree, the constitutional safeguards of our God-given rights. He is dangerous and formidable on that basis alone, combat prowess not withstanding. That being said, is it not the motives of ones service that makes it honorable? Is it not the preservation of liberty and freedom that legitimizes the military and the wars we fight? Is our oath not our documentation of our motives? I believe so. Therefore, when a person takes the oath and does not mean it, he is not honorable. When he takes the oath and means it, and later violates it voluntarily, he is not honorable, and furthermore, he himself, by denouncing any single aspect of our constitutionally protected freedoms, proclaims the illegitimacy of prior service in protecting those freedoms, and therefore the honorability of the same in his case. You see, with the possible exception of duress, there is no honorable violation of our oaths of military service. I don’t feel compelled honor this person when he dishonors himself and those who served, and is willing and ready to subject all of us to greater vulnerability.

  21. Any self proclaimed former Marine is in my opinion questionable at best. The natural right of self defense is not negotiable in any way shape or form period. Natural rights are unquestionably in my opinion a matter of life and death to where it is simply a matter of fight or live to fight another day which by the way will fill more body bags than just your one however it does qualify as a choice. All is fair in love and war and there will be deceit. George Washington understood that.

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