Something after the Fort Hood shooting is different. The problem of gun-free zones is getting a serious discussion. Previously many in the media had even denied that there were even gun-free zones on military bases. I can't recall news stories so openly discussing problems with gun-free zones. From Fox News:
MARTHA MACCALLUM, GUEST HOST: One of the first questions to come up after this shooting is why were none of these victims armed? John Lott is a FoxNews.com columnist. His son was at Fort Hood yesterday. Lott asks why his son can carry a concealed handgun whenever he is off the base from Fort Hood and can protect himself and others. But on the base he and his fellow soldiers he says are defenseless. Why would that be?
From National Public Radio has this from Alan Greenblatt:
Texas Republican Congressman Steve Stockman is behind a bill that he hopes will change that. Congressman, good evening. Good to have you here.
REP. STEVE STOCKMAN, R-TEXAS: Good evening.
MACCALLUM: You go so far as to say you believe that the extent of these shootings happens because these soldiers on this base are not allowed to be armed.
STOCKMAN: That's absolutely right. In fact, this is a 20-year experiment that's failed. This has only been in place 20 years. We're not talking 50 or 100 years. This has only been 20 years. And since it's been in place you see a rapid increase in this kind of violence on bases. And John Lott's absolutely right. As he walks off the base, he can carry a gun.
MACCALLUM: Yes. I mean, it is extraordinary in many ways when you think about it. And in fact, after the original Fort Hood massacre the restrictions were tightened on this base, correct?
STOCKMAN: Yes, this is a bizarre response. I know there are some generals that are saying hey, we shouldn't still allow them to protect themselves, but these are young men and women we say we want them to protect us. And it only makes sense if we're trusting them to protect us -- we should trust them to protect themselves. And this is a notion that we need to give them the right to protect themselves. It's a crazy notion that we train them and then we don't allow them to -- to say you can't have a gun. It doesn't make sense.
MACCALLUM: Yes. I mean, the fact of the matter is, when you look at all of these mass shootings there's one thing that ultimately ends the violence, and it is when that person generally is confronted with a gun. And that's what happened here. A brave military police officer on that base, a woman, stepped in and stopped it, right? . . .
For John Lott, Wednesday's mass shooting at Fort Hood was a test of personal beliefs that struck uncomfortably close to home.
From USA Today:
His son is serving at Fort Hood and was close enough to the activity hear shots and screaming.
But he wasn't in a position to respond. Department of Defense policy forbids soldiers and sailors, in most circumstances, from carrying weapons at installations.
That frustrates Lott. For years, he has been promoting the idea — including in his book "More Guns, Less Crime" — that relaxing gun restrictions would make for a safer society.
"Even though my son just got back from a tour of duty in Afghanistan, where he had his gun with him all the time, he isn't able to have his gun with him on the base," Lott says. "We somehow don't trust people to carry a gun on base here."
Lott is not alone in this debate. With the third mass shooting at a military facility in five years, some members of Congress want to reexamine the policies that leave soldiers unarmed on base. . . . .
At a hearing Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., asked about revisiting policy about prohibiting soldiers from carrying personal arms on U.S. bases, suggesting it might be helpful for self defense.
Gen. Raymond Odierno, the Army chief of staff, disagreed, saying military police carry weapons for law enforcement purposes and that was "appropriate." . . .
Labels: GunFreeZone, military