To say the least, some of the characters who have appeared on the national scene in recent years have demonstrated some enormous egos and used some pretty ill-tempered language in their efforts to turn this nation into something we wouldn't recognize. But Army Lt. Col. Robert Bateman is challenging them for top dishonors in that regard, with an over-the-top rant in Esquire magazine this month.
You pretty much know what's coming when a guy begins by claiming, "My entire adult life has been dedicated to the deliberate management of violence. . . . My job . . . is about killing. I orchestrate violence. . . . I am really good at my job."
Real warriors don't brag, of course. They let their actions speak for themselves. And real warriors support the Second Amendment and oppose gun control, as indicated by a letter signed by over 1,100 current and former Army Special Forces soldiers in January.
Bateman's self-adulation was just the beginning, however.
He next attacked Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia for "his attempt to rewrite American history and the English language" in his majority opinion in District of Columbia v. Heller. Bateman also extended his attack to Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy and Clarence Thomas for concurring with Justice Scalia. "They flunked basic high school history," Bateman said. Bateman added that Esquire readers could read the Heller decision for themselves, but that it really isn't necessary, because "I can spell it out for you in ten seconds."
At this point, we found ourselves asking to be spared additional arrogance and ignorance, but Bateman wasn't inclined to oblige.
Bateman continued to explain his factually incorrect idea is that the Second Amendment's reference to the well regulated militia means that no one has the fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms. "As of 1903, the 'militia' has been known as the National Guard," Bateman insisted.
Wrong, of course. The "well-regulated militia" consists of the citizenry at large. The Dick Act of 1903 divided the Militia of the United States--the subset of the well-regulated militia that is obligated to serve if called upon--into its organized and unorganized components, the former being the National Guard and Naval Militia (when not in federal service), and the latter being all able-bodied males of age and some females who are not members of the National Guard or Naval Militia. We could "spell it out for you in 10 seconds," but you can see for yourself by reading Title 10, Section 311 of the United States Code.
Bateman should have done the same before sitting down at the computer to advertise his ignorance of history and law, and his disrespect for the Supreme Court and the Army, to the world over the internet. And while he was at it, he should have looked at Article 88 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which prohibits commissioned military officers from using "contemptuous words" against the President, who nominates Supreme Court Justices, and Congress, the upper chamber of which approves those nominations. Even if Bateman's bashing of Supreme Court justices doesn't actually violate this provision, it certainly shows a lack of respect for a coordinate branch of government unbecoming of an officer of the United States Army.
Alas, Bateman didn't have the time to read either the U.S. Code or the UCMJ, because--boundless egos knowing no bounds--he fancies himself to be running for president on a platform that goes well beyond even Obama's anti-gun agenda.
The ambitious lieutenant colonel must be running on the Banana Republic ticket, because the "Bateman-Pierce platform"--whoever "Pierce" is--will include a ban on the purchase of any firearm other than a musket, double-barreled shotgun, or five-shot, bolt-action rifle, he said. There will be a 400 percent tax on ammunition. And a government program will "buy back" all of your guns. Those that you do not sell will be forfeited to the local police for destruction upon your death. "We will pry your gun from your cold, dead fingers," Bateman added.
To which we have to ask, "you and what Army?"