New Fox News piece: Time to Put An End to Army Bases as Gun-Free Zones

My new piece at Fox News starts this way:

Shouldn't an army base be the last place where a terrorist should be able to shoot at people uninterrupted for 10 minutes? After all, an army base is filled with soldiers who carry guns, right? Unfortunately, that is not the case. Beginning in March 1993, under the Clinton administration, the army forbids military personnel from carrying their own personal firearms and mandates that "a credible and specific threat against [Department of the Army] personnel [exist] in that region" before military personnel "may be authorized to carry firearms for personal protection." Indeed, most military bases have relatively few military police as they are in heavy demand to serve in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The unarmed soldiers could do little more than cower as Major Nidal Malik Hasan stood on a desk and shot down into the cubicles in which his victims were trapped. Some behaved heroically, such as private first class Marquest Smith who repeatedly risked his life removing five soldiers and a civilian from the carnage. But, being unarmed, these soldiers were unable to stop Hasan's attack.

The wife of one of the soldiers shot at Ft. Hood understood this all too well. . . .

A somewhat related discussion that I had with Thom Hartmann on his radio show on Air America.

President Obama claims that the rampage was just something that happens.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: "Well, look, we -- we have seen, in the past, rampages of this sort. And in a country of 300 million people, there are going to be acts of violence that are inexplicable. Even within the extraordinary military that we have -- and I think everybody understands how outstanding the young men and women in uniform are under the most severe stress -- there are going to be instances in which an individual cracks. I think the questions that we're asking now and we don't have yet complete answers to is, is this an individual who's acting in this way or is it some larger set of actors? You know, what are the motivations? Those are all questions that I think we have to ask ourselves. Until we have these answers buttoned down, I'd rather not comment on it."

This had about 190,000 page hits at Fox News during the first few days that it was up.

Penn and Teller on gun free zones

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Blogger Chas said...

1. The soldiers were disarmed.
2. They were not protected.
3. An individual who was a potential threat to them was ignored.

The government did everything it needed to do to get those soldiers killed. An arrogant policy of disarmament. A refusal to provide adequate security. A deliberate ignorance of a known threat.

11/10/2009 11:03 PM  
Blogger Raven Lunatic said...

I love how Mr. Hartman mentions how it's against regulations for soldiers to carry firearms, then uses the actions of a mentally unstable person who specifically and knowingly violated those regulations as reasoning to pass Stronger rules (which would again, be ignored).

And then the "serious mental illness that can be determined by a background check" part is also priceless. Wouldn't the mental problems that are untreated (and thus would not show up in a background check) those that are in some ways worse? Was Maj. Hasan ever in psychiatric care? As an Army Psychiatrist, he was involved in the care of others, but did he ever receive it himself? Would any background check have found the hints that this was going to happen? Would a psych screening have found such if Maj. Hasan had chosen to hide it?

11/11/2009 3:09 AM  

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