Pentagon Cuts 2012 Budget, Establishes Bring-Your-Own-Gun Policy for Troops
WASHINGTON — In the 2013 Defense Department $480 million budget unveiled by Secretary Leon Panetta, one of the most critical and potentially controversial changes to Pentagon operations will be the institution of a new program called B.Y.O.G, or “Bring Your Own Guns” to war.
Panetta’s budget paints a picture of a military centered around specialized forces, much like SEAL Team Six, and an arsenal slimmed down of wasteful projects.
The B.Y.O.G program will allow soldiers to purchase their own weapons before and during deployment and use them throughout their time in uniform. Those unable to purchase weapons or who wish to continue to use standard issue weapons will be provided with the M4, a shortened variant of the ubiquitous M16A2 rifle.
However, the budget also signals a military with a structure like that of the minutemen of the Revolutionary War.
By reducing the number of weapons the military purchases, Panetta explained that the country would still be able to “out-gun anyone we face on the battlefield, and successfully confront any enemy.”
At the press conference, members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff stood beside Panetta and added that the B.Y.O.G policy would not reduce the effectiveness of the firepower on the battlefield.
“We ran a test in the last days of Iraq where we allowed soldiers to use weapons they may have grown up on or could buy at a Cabela’s or WalMart or gun show back home,” said General Raymond T. Odierno, excitedly. “Those country boys who learned to hunt on daddy’s old rifle were more accurate than they were when they were randomly spraying the streets with semi-automatic fire. This policy may create problems for some, but for us, it maximizes our effectiveness to take down the guy at the other end of the barrel and reduce civilian casualties.”
As expected, gun control activists immediately blasted the B.Y.O.G policy. According to Harry Bauer of “Gun Free Streets of Love,” allowing soldiers to bring their own weapons will increase the market for and the profitability of the assault weapons industry. Such equipment was banned for a decade in the United States after President Bill Clinton signed the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act into law in 1994. The prohibition was designed to expire in 2004, and Congress did not renew it. Since that time, gun manufacturers have flooded the streets with new products.
“This policy is just a nod to the NRA and the military so President Obama can get reelected,” said Bauer. “It’s not about saving money. It’s about letting the military industrial complex flourish domestically.”
But those who will be impacted by the policy, such as Spc. Rudy Ramierez of Chicago, welcome the policy. “In the Humboldt Park neighborhood I grew up in, I saw gangbangers carrying stuff I wish I had while in Iraq; Uzis, Steyr AUGs, and even some old Russian RPGs. And here I was carrying around some weak-ass M4 that jammed all the time. I cannot tell you how many times I thought about calling up some of those guys I grew up with to ask them to lend me some of their hardware so I could light some dudes up.”