I'm not sure I follow this line of thinking.Exactly. The DD-214 exemption just shows they aren’t serious about training as a safety measure.
Consider you've got Joe Schmo who decides he wants to get a gun for self-protection, but he's never even held a real firearm before:
-- This man has never had any kind of training
-- This man has no clue what muzzle safety is
-- This man has no idea how to aim a gun
-- This man is not familiar with the sound or recoil of a firearm
-- This man is not familiar with even holding a real gun, much less controlling where it's pointed and when
Now consider your average Army soldier:
-- They spend a great deal of time learning how to safely handle and manage a weapon
-- They spend a large part of basic training carting a rifle around
-- If/when they point their weapon in the wrong direction, they get "corrected" for it
-- They spend time in classrooms learning about every aspect of the weapon - how it functions, how to clean it, how it comes apart, how it goes back together
-- They spend time in the classroom learning the basics of marksmanship - how to sight, trigger control, how to clear malfunctions, etc
-- They fire hundreds of rounds at the range to practice and hone marksmanship skills. This makes them very familiar with the sound, recoil, etc.
-- They have to qualify by shooting to a minimum standard or above - if they fail to meet this standard, they get recycled through BRM/Basic Rifle Marksmaship
-- They learn how to move while shooting/reloading
-- They partake in mock battles in order to know how to cover/conceal, and shoot accurately in the process
This is just basic training. Then, every year it's required by Army regulation to go to the range and re-qualify on your weapon. The average soldier gets a metric crap-ton more than 16 hours of training. How much more training should they have?
Someone with a DD214 has served a period of time honorably in the military. Even people with non-combat/REMF MOS's have much more experience safely handling a firearm that your average bear.
Regarding the training requirement of 16 hours for the MD W&C permit, that's a one-and-done proposition - you never have to re-take that training, so really, what's the difference?
Let's hypothesize that MD has always been a Shall-Issue state and Joe Bag-O-Donuts got his W&C permit 15 years ago and hasn't had a lick of training since then? How is it any different than the training a former soldier got back in the day?
I know that arguments will be made that a rifle isn't a handgun. Fine. Gun safety is gun safety - the same rules apply to handgun, rifles and shotguns. Once those things are drilled in - and they are drilled in during Basic Training - you never really forget the basics and fundamentals of gun safety.