Nidal Hasan’s murderous rampage at Fort Hood stopped only when two armed civilian police officers put four rounds into him. One of those officers was shot in the leg herself. But this begs the question: Why weren’t American soldiers able to defend themselves?
Because in 1993, upon taking office, President Bill Clinton imposed regulations that forbid military personnel from carrying personal firearms on base and make it nearly impossible for commanders to issue firearms to soldiers. Generally, only military police carry firearms on base.
In other words, as absurd as it may seem, Fort Hood, home of the heavily armed 1st Cavalry Division, is practically a “gun free” zone. The base now joins an infamous list of such “gun free” zones in which murderers were left alone with their guns, free to do their worst — including Columbine High School, Virginia Tech University and Westroads Mall in Omaha, Nebraska, among others. According to The Washington Times, “All the public shootings in the United States in which more than three people have been killed have occurred in places where concealed handguns have been banned.”
That fact didn’t stop Chicago Mayor Richard Daley from blaming guns. “Unfortunately, America loves guns,” he said. “We love guns to a point that we see the devastation on a daily basis.” Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, lectured, “This latest tragedy, at a heavily fortified Army base, ought to convince more Americans to reject the argument that the solution to gun violence is to arm more people with more guns in more places.” As we already noted, that’s just plain contrary to the facts, more commonly known as lying.
Even sportswriter Peter King couldn’t avoid the topic in a column about football: “America needs to do something about idiots with handguns. How many more Fort Hoods and Orlandos do there have to be before our political leaders have the guts to severely restrict access to murderous weapons?” King should be thankful there isn’t something being done about idiots with keyboards.
The wife of one of the wounded soldiers certainly understood the implications of disarming service personnel. When asked how she felt about her husband’s upcoming deployment to Afghanistan, she replied, “At least he’s safe there and he can fire back, right?”