In the wake of the Quebec run-down of two CFB soldiers, and the Ottawa attack that left one dead, DND made an immediate decision to order soldiers not on active duty not to wear their uniform in public. Other than a admonishment on Twitter by John Williamson there hasn't been much controversy about it.
Contrast that with the infamous Slutwalk, with hundreds of loose (or hypocritical) women marching in the streets, upset that police officers pointed out that women who dress in revealing outfits (which are not, so far as we're aware, the military uniform of the nation) probably shouldn't be surprised when they get raped. Now when a group of mostly men [with the rest probably dykes. -ed] are the target of attacks, these same women are silent when the solution is "well, don't go out in public in your uniform".
Besides the obvious difference against the sluts that I note above, the other one is of course that soldiers are supposed to be protecting us. Unlike the United States, Canada's pledge of allegience doesn't vow to fight enemies foreign or domestic, though its certainly not entirely unreasonable to assume that the Canadian Military's mandate doesn't preclude using military force to combat attacks on Canadian soil perpetrated by foreign organizations -- even if they use Canadian citizens as happened in Ottawa and Quebec.
In his article on the subject, Rex Murphy provides a soldier's justification for the order:
I think I’m free to cite one very telling observation from a person who has served long in the military — and backs the order not to wear uniforms in public. In an email, he wrote "When [the] enemy is unknown, prudence dictates no uniform, especially so when enemy is mentally challenged, as is common these days. In these cases people in uniform become targets for individuals acting out from impulses of deranged minds."While I'm sure the soldier is meaning well, he's almost certainly in the minority. Soldiers are mostly willing to be out in public in their uniforms, perhaps slightly aware that the risk of being killed while wearing that uniform (no matter which country your feet are planted on at the time) was a risk they signed on for from the get-go. It wasn't intended to be "unless the risk started to become too great", or even "only if there isn't a tiny risk that civilians will be in the cross-fire". Pace M in the movie GoldenEye, the military shouldn't have any compunction about sending soldiers to their death, so long as they aren't doing it trivially or without due cause.
Aren't soldiers standing defiant and implicitly or explicitly telling terrorists "come and get me, you pussies" one of those things that are "worth it"? Instead of telling soldiers to hide, the Canadian Forces should be asking more of them to be seen in uniform off-base: a reminder to both the general public and the violent Muslims that there are a lot of them, and it's not going to be possible to pick them all off.
That is, of course, except that it really is.
One of the things that John Williamson suggested for the Honour Guard at the National War Memorial was that the ceremonial guards be armed -- that is to say, be actual guards. It's not all that far-fetched, you know: the ceremonial Sergeant-at-Arms in Parliament was the one who used his non-ceremonial handgun to shoot Michael Joseph Hall. Yet the ceremonial guard is presently unarmed. Putting them back into that post without weapons is almost making it possible to pick them off: though its not necessarily evident how arming them could work in their current "stand still like they are at Buckingham Palace and pose for tourists" role. Perhaps they'd have to be supplemented with actual guards? They wouldn't necessarily have to be that intrusive: I haven't been to Parliament Hill in years, but presumably there are actual armed guards that walk the premises. Then again, regular police officers seem to be able to both pack heat and pose with the citizenry, often the drunk scantily clad kind that think the "slutwalk" is how the sashay between Billiards Club and Hudsons.
But what about the regular soldiers out and about in public? Do we need to give them bodyguards as well? No, of course not...because as the entire planet seems to have forgotten, soldiers already are bodyguards. They are literally bodies who guard. Williamson's idea of arming the ceremonial guards was a good first idea. Here's the logical second idea: permit soliders who wear their uniform in public to carry their sidearm with them. This could even be modified to requiring soldiers who wish to wear their uniforms in public to carry a sidearm. If they want to de-uniform they certainly can (and have been able to do forever), and it can be a condition of leaving the base in the colours that the Browning be alongside for the ride. This would certainly solve the concerns about the soldier's safety, though the "soldiers in our cities with guns" crowd may get their feathers ruffled a bit. Of course, anybody who wants to claim that arming soldiers in public is a threat to public safety would have to answer the question the 2006 Liberal Party couldn't: then why are we arming them and training them to use tanks and machine guns and jet airplanes with missiles on them?
Allowing soldiers to carry their guns just makes sense: it's literally force projection. The anonymous solider in Rex Murphy's article gets his wish through the backdoor too, since now soldiers on the streets aren't targets anymore, and whether or not the enemy is easily identifiable or not, he's now the target, not the solider.
But what about the sluts walking around, targetted based on their fashion choices? Well, the same solution works for them (and for me, and for you): let us carry our goddamned guns out on the streets. The objections dissolve pretty much as fast as they do for the soldiers: if you can't trust us to have guns why trust us with anything at all? (Memo to Lefists: this is not a challenge)
Canadian soldiers and Dana Loesch are both yeomans of freedom. Both should be packing heat in public. That way, when they (or us!) are targetted by the next Michael Joseph Hall, they can be the next Kevin Vickers, and not the next Nathan Cirillo.