President Trump’s nominee for Secretary of the Army, Sen. Mark Green (R), believes the citizens of America shouldn’t just be armed but able to possess the same weapons in use by the US military. The belief centers on an armed populace as the “ultimate check and balance” in relation to the federal government.
As reported by the Huffington Post, Green, a Tennessee state Senator, attended a pro-gun rally in 2013 where he said, “The Second Amendment, while it allows citizens to protect themselves from other citizens, goes well beyond just allowing us to defend ourselves from a criminal.”
He added, “The men who penned and ratified this document gave us the right to keep and bear arms as an ultimate checks and balances against the federal government,” continuing, “When considering a magazine size and weapon type, comments like, ‘You don’t need a 10-round magazine to hunt deer’ completely misses the point of the Second Amendment.”
While Green did not go as far as to say a citizen should take up arms against federal officials, he did state “the citizenry should be allowed to maintain whatever weapon the federal government has. If they can have an aircraft carrier, I ought to be able to have an aircraft carrier.”
Green, a graduate of West Point and former Army medic for the team that apprehended Saddam Hussein in 2003, has faced criticism regarding his recent nomination, especially from LGBTQ advocacy groups who cite his long history of opposing equal rights as their primary concern, including his recent sponsorship of legislation that would prevent local governments from using information regarding a business’s internal policies when awarding contracts, even if they indicate potential discriminatory practices.
Additionally, Green has referred to being transgender as a “disease” and openly opposes allowing transgender individuals to use restrooms that correspond to their gender identity.
As reported by CNN, he said, “If you poll the psychiatrists, they’re going to tell you that transgender is a disease.”
He has received further criticism for statements about not teaching “the pillars of Islam” in public schools.
Green has self-identified as a creationist, has also experienced some backlash for a lecture against the theory of evolution he delivered in 2015.
Last week, a group of Democrats in the House wrote a letter to the Senate Armed Services Committee leadership requesting they oppose Green’s confirmation.
Daniel Feehan, a former principal deputy assistant secretary of defense, also spoke out against Green, saying, “The statements [Green] has made on a number of fronts – in particular to the LBGT community, to different minority groups, different religious groups – are a great, great concern toward military readiness.”