ROTC puts fake rifles out of sight
"Ohio State University's ROTC cadets have ended the decades-long practice of combat training with mock rifles on the main campus because of public edginess in the wake of the Virginia Tech shootings, officials said.
Since the decision was made a couple of weeks ago, tactical training with rubber replicas of an M-16 rifle has been moved indoors, or cadets have trained without rifles, said Navy Capt. Steven Noce, who heads the university's ROTC program.
The tactical training, typically conducted around the ROTC building near Ohio Stadium, has generated a few calls to police from concerned people in the past year, Noce said. A year ago this week, a gunman at Virginia Tech killed 32 people.
"We just don't want any more public concern, and we're just trying to figure out a better way to do business," Noce said, noting that OSU had not asked for the change.
Officials initially responded to concerns by changing the mock rifles -- which the ROTC calls "rubber ducks" -- from black to blue, and they might eventually be made orange, Noce said. The blue ones were still too realistic in certain light, he said.
"It scared people because they didn't quite understand what (the cadets) were doing," Noce said. "They look like a real rifle. When you see these rifles, you think they're the real deal."
Although the mock guns have been eliminated from outdoor tactical training, which simulates combat situations, the ROTC will drill with the guns on campus, officials said.
"Those kids have been drilling with those things for decades," said Charles Smith, a political-science academic adviser who heard about the decision from an ROTC student he knows. "They were making them point their fingers, and apparently one picked up a stick."
Because the ROTC students train in battle-dress uniforms, "it's real obvious who these people are," Smith said.
ROTC cadet Andrew Roush, 22, said he has seen double takes when he's carrying the rubber duck, but he doesn't think the mock guns have ever caused a panic.
"They'll give that look over their shoulder that they noticed you," said Roush, a criminology major from Urbana. "I've never seen anybody alarmed.
"They're an important tool. I think they enhance the training, but without them, the training can still go on."What bullshit. A few calls to police and they cave?
One thing about modern LE, they'll whine and bitch and moan about just doing their jobs until John Frickin Wayne himself would give in.
Instead of educating the soccer moms who are making these breathless calls, dollars to doughnuts the local yokels went batshit over trying to calm some two-ton-Tessie once every 3 or 4 months and begged the ROTC to take nasty rubber rifles indoors.
Thats if they're anything like the Gainesville PD as evidence by Sunday morning's Police Beat. When the host isn't caterwauling about guns, guns, and more guns, he or a guest will be weeping about how the dumb-ass public makes them get off their asses.