My last post was about the recent Fort Hood shooting. One of the things I mentioned was allowing military members to carry weapons on base or having a reactionary force on each military base for rapid response to emergencies of this nature. This is a follow-up.
I was listening to Mark Levin yesterday afternoon on the radio and he was speaking by phone to an active duty Army officer on Fort Hood. This officer, and I don't know his name or rank, said something that struck me as important.
The man said “We began hearing notices on the PA system that we needed to seek shelter, secure all doors and windows, and remain inside. We had no idea what the emergency was but I looked outside and knew that it wasn't a weather emergency. So I assumed it was a terrorist alert.”
“As I and my soldiers began securing the building all I could think of was 'What if we're securing the bad guy in here with us? We are unarmed and can do nothing.”
“As soldiers we are trained to engage any threat and neutralize it. But here on our home base we are not allowed to have weapons with which to do so. It's not only frustrating but demeaning. If we had weapons we would be able to actively seek the perpetrator – or, at least, defend ourselves if he happened to be in our building.”
I guess I never really thought about it that far in depth but the man is correct. We have trained killers on every military base in the United States. (Even the Air Force and Navy has Security personnel and Law Enforcement Officers who receive extensive firearms training. Marines and Army soldiers all get that training.) So if more people were allowed to carry weapons on base there would be more rapid and more available response. It's very similar to why I believe some teachers should be armed in every school.
People who oppose military members being armed on base apparently don't understand that with the exception of a few, such as the shooter the other day, military members are disciplined, trained marksmen who are very responsible with their firearms. They are trusted completely in a war zone but cannot be trusted here at home? That really makes no sense.
I think it's time this idea is considered. Our military personnel are sitting ducks on their own bases right now and attacks on bases are increasing. The gate guards don't have time to search every vehicle every day so getting a weapon on base is not that difficult. And once it is on the base there are limited people prepared to stop an active shooter. That needs to change.
Our military members don't need to survive a war just to come home and get killed on their home base because they can't engage the enemy. And that's just wrong. It's time the President, Congress and the Department of Defense take a long, honest and open minded look at this issue – before another tragedy takes place.