GOP rep: Soldiers should be allowed to carry guns on a military base

posted at 11:21 am on April 3, 2014 by Allahpundit

Via Mediaite, not until Ivan Lopez was confronted by an armed MP did he stop shooting at others and turn his gun on himself. Quote: “He was approaching her at about 20 feet. He put his hands up, then reached under his jacket, pulled out the (.45) and she pulled out her weapon and then she engaged, and he then he put the weapon to his head.”

The no-guns policy, which is normally associated with Clinton, actually dates back to Bush 41′s Defense Department. It’s lasted more than 20 years and has now survived more than one mass shooting on a military base, despite sporadic Republican attempts to undo it. At this point, what possible reason is there to deny troops the right to carry where they’re stationed? Cops are allowed to carry their sidearms inside the precinct (and take them home), no? Obviously, there’s no worry about soldiers lacking the proper training on how to safely handle a weapon. The policy seems essentially gestural: The federal government discourages American citizens from carrying concealed, so, to demonstrate its disapproval, it’s going to force its own military to do without when they’re not in combat. How’s that working out?

Here’s one argument from a veteran, who sees a huge logistical problem looming if the policy changes:

Fair enough, although that just shifts the debate from “should troops be armed on base?” to “how many troops should be armed on base?” You could grant carry privileges to some fraction based on rank or even by lottery. Another rationale, which I bet plenty of pols harbor but are loath to articulate, is the fear that vets with PTSD can’t be trusted with easy access to firearms. Studies show, however, that the link between PTSD and violence is weak. By some estimates, roughly one in five cops suffers from PTSD yet they have access to guns routinely without incident. It’d be useful to know from vets themselves how easy it is to gain access to a weapon on base if you really wanted one, since that would give us some sense of how useful the the current policy is as a deterrent. Lopez, I believe, brought his gun into Fort Hood from outside. How hard is it to do that? Is there any way to request extra firearms training, or access to the armory, if your goal was to steal a gun? The easier it is, the less sense the policy makes.

Don’t expect any changes soon, though. A Defense Department that’s considering banning tobacco sales on base isn’t going to grant its troops more substantial freedoms. Exit quotation: “We don’t have a way to protect ourselves. … We are all hostages on post.”


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Comment pages: 1 2

…soldiers…being armed?…makes no sense!

KOOLAID2 on April 3, 2014 at 11:24 AM

Here’s one argument from a veteran, who sees a huge logistical problem looming if the policy changes:

That misses the entire point by several miles. Those who advocate lifting gun bans at places like Ft. Hood aren’t talking about arming the troops at Ft. Hood. We’re talking about allowing them to carry privately owned weapons if they wish to do so.

NotCoach on April 3, 2014 at 11:24 AM

We should just make sure the stickers are in better view.

rogerb on April 3, 2014 at 11:25 AM

Soldiers have guns on Afghan bases.

Last night, after the morning “stinkburger” comment, and the 2nd Ft. Hood travesty, the manlady-child CiC went fundraising.

p.s. apologies to the ladies.

Schadenfreude on April 3, 2014 at 11:26 AM

Perfect picture of the turd, who’s CiC.

h/t Fallon of HA.

Schadenfreude on April 3, 2014 at 11:27 AM

“Tommy’s” concerns are spurious. You should not have to check your weapon at the end of your shift. Just as in-theatre your weapon stays with you AT ALL TIMES.

Joe Mama on April 3, 2014 at 11:28 AM

Don’t know if it’s wise to arm every soldier, not only for logistical reasons on a post as humongous as Ft. Hood, but you have to take into account the amount of responsibility being issued with the weapon.

Not every slick sleeved recruit or private has demonstrated the appropriate level discipline. I’d start with NCOs and officers (commissioned and warrant)to do the proof of concept and further restrict from there based on observation and record keeping.

SteveInRTP on April 3, 2014 at 11:29 AM

Isn’t it odd that 1/3 of all the Soldiers now either have, or claim to have PTSD?

Have the leftists begun the carrion feeding, yet?

Classic of HA

but I thought mass shootings only occurred in gun-free zones?!

nonpartisan on April 2, 2014 at 10:12 PM

Schadenfreude on April 3, 2014 at 11:29 AM

The policy seems essentially gestural: The federal government discourages American citizens from carrying concealed, so, to demonstrate its disapproval, it’s going to force its own military to do without when they’re not in combat. How’s that working out?

Texans can defend themselves…Soldiers on their own base in Texas aren’t allowed the same.

workingclass artist on April 3, 2014 at 11:30 AM

People on those bases are sitting ducks.

crankyoldlady on April 3, 2014 at 11:30 AM

Classic of HA

but I thought mass shootings only occurred in gun-free zones?!

nonpartisan on April 2, 2014 at 10:12 PM

Schadenfreude on April 3, 2014 at 11:29 AM

That’s another keeper from the Harvard Law grad.

NotCoach on April 3, 2014 at 11:30 AM

Another rationale, which I bet plenty of pols harbor but are loath to articulate, is the fear that vets with PTSD can’t be trusted with easy access to firearms. Studies show, however, that the link between PTSD and violence is weak

Hmmm, how about the link between PTSD, taking anti-depressants leading to despair and potential lethal violence?

Otherwise,how about rotating armed security duty for those cleared of PTSD, on meds, and any other relevant factors and willing to volunteer?

hawkeye54 on April 3, 2014 at 11:30 AM

For one, just the daily issuing, turn in, and counts of weapons/ammo for 50,000 troops would be extremely time consuming.

I don’t really understand this. Why would the weapons and ammo have to be given out and returned each day? Why aren’t soldiers just allowed to keep one weapon, say a sidearm? Certainly officers should be allowed it. Cops don’t turn in their weapons each day. They take their handgun with them home. Aren’t a lot of retiring police allowed to keep their service weapon?

The other thing is a soldier’s rifle. Aren’t they issued these and expected to keep and maintain them always at the ready? I can understand their not having to issue the ammo in a non combat zone but who keeps the weapons at the ready? Wouldn’t it be easy and cheaper to have each soldier do his own?

Rocks on April 3, 2014 at 11:30 AM

The Ft. Hood welcome sign, with “The Great Place”, on Drudge, is way ironic.

Schadenfreude on April 3, 2014 at 11:31 AM

But think about the children?

Walter L. Newton on April 3, 2014 at 11:32 AM

That smiling “stinkburger” on Drudge, lower right, is perfect. A Child is Chief.

The land is choomed and PTSD’d and obama goes fundraising.

Schadenfreude on April 3, 2014 at 11:34 AM

That’s another keeper from the Harvard Law grad.

NotCoach on April 3, 2014 at 11:30 AM

“let them carry skeeter guns cause nobody gets hurt that way”

*nonthinkertain.

VegasRick on April 3, 2014 at 11:34 AM

So the soldiers working the gate are unarmed?

rogerb on April 3, 2014 at 11:35 AM

If they aren’t allowed to have guns on the base how did this guy get on with one?

Why was he only in Iraq for 4 months?

How could he have PSTD if he hadn’t been in combat?

Why was he not monitored if he was mentally ill?

crankyoldlady on April 3, 2014 at 11:36 AM

So the soldiers working the gate are unarmed?

rogerb on April 3, 2014 at 11:35 AM

And likely some muzzie is in charge of the sticker program. PC will kill all, just a matter of time.

Schadenfreude on April 3, 2014 at 11:36 AM

crankyoldlady on April 3, 2014 at 11:36 AM

NO one checks anything other than car stickers. Period.

It un-PC to do more.

Schadenfreude on April 3, 2014 at 11:37 AM

It’s un-PC to do more.

Schadenfreude on April 3, 2014 at 11:38 AM

Nothing will be done because the Army and about every other military force is being run by plants of the WH.

crankyoldlady on April 3, 2014 at 11:38 AM

So the soldiers working the gate are unarmed?

rogerb on April 3, 2014 at 11:35 AM

You wouldn’t want them armed. They might shoot theirs or someone else’s eye out accidentally. Ya, know, some might even shoot first and ask questions later if they see anything even slightly suspicious.

Can’t have that.

/SNARK

hawkeye54 on April 3, 2014 at 11:41 AM

The other thing is a soldier’s rifle. Aren’t they issued these and expected to keep and maintain them always at the ready? I can understand their not having to issue the ammo in a non combat zone but who keeps the weapons at the ready? Wouldn’t it be easy and cheaper to have each soldier do his own?

Rocks on April 3, 2014 at 11:30 AM

not in garrison.
weapon and ammo checked in and out. these are heavily controlled items, we had to check out and in and serial numbers were verified at each juncture and signed for.
the commentator seems to think allowing off duty person to carry means checking in and out of armory which isn’t true.
bush41 made a recommendation, clinton made a directive. big difference.
Under bush there were many extremely active Rod and Gun Clubs on bases, they took a hit due to clinton also.

dmacleo on April 3, 2014 at 11:43 AM

Nothing will be done because the Army and about every other military force is being run by plants of the WH.

crankyoldlady on April 3, 2014 at 11:38 AM

The military is just a place for social experimentation, humanitarian missions, job training and to use wherever in the world for Bammy’s admin to flex a little muscle when he feels its needed. Completely expendable.

hawkeye54 on April 3, 2014 at 11:44 AM

At least allow those who want to carry their own personal arms can.

Sven on April 3, 2014 at 11:46 AM

dmacleo on April 3, 2014 at 11:43 AM

Perfectly stated.

hawkdriver on April 3, 2014 at 11:47 AM

We’re talking about allowing them to carry privately owned weapons if they wish to do so.

NotCoach on April 3, 2014 at 11:24 AM

Correct.

Kaffa on April 3, 2014 at 11:51 AM

NO one checks anything other than car stickers. Period.

It un-PC to do more.

Schadenfreude on April 3, 2014 at 11:37 AM

Actually, most bases don’t issue decals anymore. After a decade of 100% ID checks the DoD finally figured out that the decals are unnecessary. It would be fairly easy to get a weapon on base. The real question, like last week’s Norfolk shooting, is the motive.

Happy Nomad on April 3, 2014 at 11:55 AM

Allowed, it should be compulsory. The Soldier should be intimate with their weapons.

astonerii on April 3, 2014 at 11:55 AM

The absurd “Arm every soldier or disarm everybody” argument needs to stop! It is the same with teachers. “What? You want to force every teacher to carry a gun to school?”

No, and that is a stupid suggestion.

If a soldier wants to carry on base, concealed or otherwise, let him! Give him a permit to carry, It isn’t rocket science. The logistical problem of checking weapons and ammo out of the Armory would be solved if you let them use their personal firearm.

Personally, I would not have carried a gun on base even if allowed but that is just me. I don’t like having to clear every time I walk into a building and finding a secure storage space for the weapon while you cannot have it on you (say, while working on something) is a pain in the azz.

Mord on April 3, 2014 at 11:56 AM

The military is just a place for social experimentation, humanitarian missions, job training and to use wherever in the world for Bammy’s admin to flex a little muscle when he feels its needed. Completely expendable.

hawkeye54 on April 3, 2014 at 11:44 AM

Don’t forget the taxi service. Marines flying the choppers and the Air Force for the long-distance vacations for the filthy mooching grifters.

Happy Nomad on April 3, 2014 at 11:56 AM

The real question, like last week’s Norfolk shooting, is the motive.

Happy Nomad on April 3, 2014 at 11:55 AM

Terrorists:

1. We don’t check for weapons.

2. We don’t allow our Soldiers to be armed on domestic bases.

2. Come on in.

Schadenfreude on April 3, 2014 at 11:57 AM

Tommy is a statist – because Tommy assumes the weapons a soldier carried would have to be their service weapon, and that they would have to turn it in at the end of the day. Nice try, but no sale, Tommy.

GWB on April 3, 2014 at 11:57 AM

4. We are choomed and 1/3 claim PTSD.

Schadenfreude on April 3, 2014 at 11:58 AM

GWB on April 3, 2014 at 11:57 AM

Actually I “know” Tommy from twitter interactions. He’s a stand up guy and I have no doubt he would fit in around here just fine. He was probably just pointing out the absurdity of “arming every soldier”.

Mord on April 3, 2014 at 12:04 PM

Arming everyone is not a good idea, let certain NCO, SNCO and Officers carry a private weapon but it would have to be just a percentage. Issuing weapons is a no go aside from the logistics of checking them out of the armory and issuing ammo. The other issue is that MPs and the Government Police would be drawing their weapons when ever they pulled someone over on base or were called to the barracks. They would consider everyone a threat and to be sure an accidental shooting would result. Just the threat of someone being armed would be make a shooter think twice and probably discourage them, so just a few need to be armed.

major dad on April 3, 2014 at 12:05 PM

About a month ago our Base released their updated order on privately owned weapons. Neither open carry or concealed carry is authorized, regardless of whether you have a concealed carry permit or not. Anyone who resides on Base must register all their weapons with the military police. If you reside on Base your weapons must be stored in a gun safe. If you do not have a gun safe you must turn your weapons into the armory. No one living in the barracks can have a weapon there. They must be stored in the armory. If you are transporting a weapon it must be in a locked case, unloaded and stored in the trunk of your car. If your car does not have a trunk it must be it the furthest part of the car from you.

Bottom line is the Base is doing its utmost to make it difficult to possess firearms, much less carry them.

It would be easy to bring a gun on Base. The cars are not searched and, at least at our Base, you don’t need sticker to get in. All you have to do is present ID of some type and a reason for coming aboard.

I do know that in the early 60′s with the 25th Inf Div my father brought home is service automatic every day. It was no big deal. However, times have certainly changed.

SoonerMarine on April 3, 2014 at 12:09 PM

Terrorists:

1. We don’t check for weapons.

2. We don’t allow our Soldiers to be armed on domestic bases.

2. Come on in.

Schadenfreude on April 3, 2014 at 11:57 AM

Hmmm, thinking about those points, one might start to believe there is a plot and effort to undermine the morale of our military in order to make them ineffective at militarism, ya know, its actual and intended purpose.

hawkeye54 on April 3, 2014 at 12:10 PM

not in garrison.
weapon and ammo checked in and out. these are heavily controlled items, we had to check out and in and serial numbers were verified at each juncture and signed for.
the commentator seems to think allowing off duty person to carry means checking in and out of armory which isn’t true.
bush41 made a recommendation, clinton made a directive. big difference.
Under bush there were many extremely active Rod and Gun Clubs on bases, they took a hit due to clinton also.

dmacleo on April 3, 2014 at 11:43 AM

There was a late, deadly attack by the Japanese on Iwo Jima (IIRC). US commanders had declared the island secured and so the soldiers had turned in their ammunition. Apparently standard operating procedure for the day – during World War II.

rbj on April 3, 2014 at 12:14 PM

I would order officers to carry on post at all times.

No Chop Charlie on April 3, 2014 at 12:15 PM

United we stand.
With our heads in the sand.

Schadenfreude on April 3, 2014 at 12:18 PM

Let’s get this straight. Ivan Lopez shot and killed 3 defenseless men, and shot and wounded 9 other unarmed people, until he was confronted by an armed female MP, then he shot himself.

If everybody at Fort Hood was armed, how many people could Lopez shoot before somebody else shot Lopez? One or two, maybe? If everybody was armed at Fort Hood, at least 10 people would have been saved from death or injury.

Soldiers, like policemen, are well-trained in the use of firearms, and are not trigger-happy. When stationed in foreign countries, they are always armed, but often in contact with unarmed civilians, whom they are instructed not to shoot. If they can be trusted not to shoot unarmed Iraqis or Afghanis, why can’t they be trusted not to shoot their fellow soldiers or Americans?

Steve Z on April 3, 2014 at 12:25 PM

Not every slick sleeved recruit or private has demonstrated the appropriate level discipline. I’d start with NCOs and officers (commissioned and warrant)to do the proof of concept and further restrict from there based on observation and record keeping.

SteveInRTP on April 3, 2014 at 11:29 AM

Agree strongly. Some of the lower ranking personnel are immature and have issues. ( If you do not think 18 year olds can sulk I have news for you.)To sort out which ones are reliable and which ones not would be difficult. Just arming officers and senior NCOs who have no profile issues who wish to carry arms should mean someone in an emergency with a firearm is nearby. The hospital here has a no firearms policy that even extends to security. They would need to call the MP’s. That goes too far in the direction of everyone being a helpless sheep IMHO.

In Stonewall Jackson’s day, he did not allow the carry of arms on post to avoid accidental discharges and bad outcomes of disputes. He even had troops stack arms while on break from march. I do not know but would guess; however, that the officers kept their arms.

KW64 on April 3, 2014 at 12:26 PM

Arming everyone is not a good idea, let certain NCO, SNCO and Officers carry a private weapon but it would have to be just a percentage. Issuing weapons is a no go aside from the logistics of checking them out of the armory and issuing ammo. The other issue is that MPs and the Government Police would be drawing their weapons when ever they pulled someone over on base or were called to the barracks. They would consider everyone a threat and to be sure an accidental shooting would result. Just the threat of someone being armed would be make a shooter think twice and probably discourage them, so just a few need to be armed.

major dad on April 3, 2014 at 12:05 PM

Why should this be handled in a manner any different from off base with regular police, especially with people living on the base?

Rocks on April 3, 2014 at 12:26 PM

The Soldier should be intimate with their weapons.

astonerii on April 3, 2014 at 11:55 AM

First the removal of DADT, now this…….. *smh*

GWB on April 3, 2014 at 12:28 PM

This seems pretty simple.
I think it is pretty obvious that generally the mindset of civilian self-defense carry is necessarily different than the mindset of military combat.
Millions of people conceal carry daily nationwide without incident.
Daily self-defense carry typically is with a personally owned handgun.
Many jurisdictions restrict concealed carry to 21 and older.

So, require that to carry on base:
1) 21 years or older and, at least for starters, as SteveInRTP suggested “I’d start with NCOs and officers (commissioned and warrant)to do the proof of concept” or maybe even use security clearance level too as some sort of screening, although Snowden has called into question how much meaning that would have.
2) Provide your own sidearm and holster.
3) Take a concealed carry type class discussing the difference between self-defense and combat carry, local off-base laws, etc.
4) Anyone who already has a concealed carry permit from a state that required classroom time and meets 1 & 2 is good to go.
5) Open carry only.

Seems it would be pretty easy to screen and set it up. Pretty much the same thing as civilian carry. I do wonder if the military’s restriction on hollow-points would be of any matter. I would guess not for self owned self-defense sidearms but if carried while in uniform, on duty?

I am a pro-2A guy and like open carry so my above suggestions are in no way intended anti, but rather thinking about a workable, functional framework to move military bases back in the pro-2A direction civilian carry has been moving.

deepdiver on April 3, 2014 at 12:29 PM

…use security clearance level too as some sort of screening…
deepdiver on April 3, 2014 at 12:29 PM

The problem with using a clearance is that it’s tied to your position, not how “reliable” you are.

Granted, a nutcase ain’t usually going to get a TS/SCI (Bradley Chelsea Manning a notable exception), but the vast majority of the folks on any given base probably have either a NAC or a Secret at most.

bigmacdaddy on April 3, 2014 at 12:36 PM

Soldiers, like policemen, are well-trained in the use of firearms, and are not trigger-happy. When stationed in foreign countries, they are always armed, but often in contact with unarmed civilians, whom they are instructed not to shoot. If they can be trusted not to shoot unarmed Iraqis or Afghanis, why can’t they be trusted not to shoot their fellow soldiers or Americans?

Steve Z on April 3, 2014 at 12:25 PM

Sorry Steve but I have to ask? Do you regularly work with privates on an army post? Have you seen a sulking private who got chewed out for something go have an emotional breakdown and then go AWOL? Suicide out of exaggerated dispair or assault out of anger are really possible. We do not need every private carrying a firearm to provide a degree of security. Maturity, experience and proven temper control as well as no history of emotional issues is not too much to ask before arming people. Officers and NCOs who have no history of issues being armed I can live with but everyone in a workplace being armed every day is asking for trouble not to mention intimidation.

KW64 on April 3, 2014 at 12:37 PM

He was probably just pointing out the absurdity of “arming every soldier”.

Mord on April 3, 2014 at 12:04 PM

No absurdity involved, unless you view it as having to derive from the current mentality of heavily controlling each soldier’s use of their firearm. Heck, you might actually reduce the number of people shooting clearing barrels if they carried more regularly.

Arming everyone is not a good idea, let certain NCO, SNCO and Officers carry a private weapon but it would have to be just a percentage.

major dad on April 3, 2014 at 12:05 PM

Why? We don’t only allow a “certain percentage” to carry in civilian life. (Or, we – as conservatives – would scream bloody murder if it were restricted in that fashion.) Why not let all who desire to do so, do so?

The other issue is that MPs and the Government Police would be drawing their weapons when ever they pulled someone over on base or were called to the barracks.

Then they need to learn not to fear a law-abiding citizen having a weapon. Sorry, but the fact they have been trained to think that everyone who might have a gun is a threat should not be my problem.

GWB on April 3, 2014 at 12:38 PM

Don’t know if it’s wise to arm every soldier, not only for logistical reasons on a post as humongous as Ft. Hood, but you have to take into account the amount of responsibility being issued with the weapon.

Not every slick sleeved recruit or private has demonstrated the appropriate level discipline. I’d start with NCOs and officers (commissioned and warrant)to do the proof of concept and further restrict from there based on observation and record keeping.

SteveInRTP on April 3, 2014 at 11:29 AM

Since the military has issues with gangs and their gun related activities have been held off base (so far), imagine what the military would have to deal with allowing everyone to carry arms on the base.

http://groundreport.com/military-needs-to-screen-new-recruits-for-gang-tattoos/
http://www.newson6.com/story/16949671/gangs-in-our-military

I agree with:
I’d start with NCOs and officers (commissioned and warrant)to do the proof of concept and further restrict from there based on observation and record keeping.

31giddyup on April 3, 2014 at 12:39 PM

I disagree. Soldiers should not be allowed to carry arms on base.

Soldiers should be REQUIRED to carry arms on base!

MJBrutus on April 3, 2014 at 12:39 PM

major dad on April 3, 2014 at 12:05 PM

Why should this be handled in a manner any different from off base with regular police, especially with people living on the base?

Rocks on April 3, 2014 at 12:26 PM

Exactly.
Why would it be any different on base from civilian police on the outside with everyone being a potential CCW holder?
Just remove the restriction from privately owned weapons on base.

As it is now, anyone who works on a military base – military, civil service, and contractors, are not allowed to have a weapon in their car or on their person if they are on base – which means they can’t have anything for self-defense on the way to or from the base either.
I’d be ok with leaving my CCW in my car while I go into work – I just really don’t like being defenseless for my 25 mile (each way) commute every day.

dentarthurdent on April 3, 2014 at 12:41 PM

why can’t they be trusted not to shoot their fellow soldiers or Americans?

Steve Z on April 3, 2014 at 12:25 PM

Because they’re not allowed to profile…….

GWB on April 3, 2014 at 12:42 PM

SteveInRTP on April 3, 2014 at 11:29 AM
KW64 on April 3, 2014 at 12:26 PM

So how do you justify 21 year old civilians with even less weapons training than your average E-1 being allowed to get concealed carry permits?

dentarthurdent on April 3, 2014 at 12:44 PM

Acting on psychological warning signs andnot ignoring them for PC reasons is the real answer.

How about an Army analogy test to measure intuitiveness?

Fill in the blanks.

Nidal Hasan is to skilled Army Major as _______ ______ is to competent C in C of US Armed Forces.

MaiDee on April 3, 2014 at 12:45 PM

dentarthurdent on April 3, 2014 at 12:41 PM

*waves* I wondered when your sanity would show up on this thread.

GWB on April 3, 2014 at 12:45 PM

Soldiers should be REQUIRED to carry arms on base!

MJBrutus on April 3, 2014 at 12:39 PM

Not sure I’d go that far, but all military personnel should be allowed the same freedom to legally carry a weapon if and when they so choose – just as civilians are.

I don’t understand why some people in here more scared of military personnel carrying weapons than they are about civilians with less training carrying weapons.

dentarthurdent on April 3, 2014 at 12:48 PM

*waves* I wondered when your sanity would show up on this thread.

GWB on April 3, 2014 at 12:45 PM

Good to see you here too.

2 hour delay for snow today at the base I work on.

dentarthurdent on April 3, 2014 at 12:51 PM

That the highly weapon-trained soldiers on base were not allowed to carry weapons after the Hassan jihad slaughter was just criminal negligence on the part of Obama and the incompetent commanding officer there. I hope the families sue.

The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

Liberal morons just can’t seem to see this, and unfortunately they are in control.

Chessplayer on April 3, 2014 at 12:51 PM

dentarthurdent on April 3, 2014 at 12:48 PM

I would say that regularly weapons safety and proficiency training and testing should be mandatory for all active duty personnel. As for the requirement for carrying, I would not say it is appropriate for all but certainly for most. There is no excuse, none, for having our WARRIORs made in to sitting ducks in gun free zones on our bases.

MJBrutus on April 3, 2014 at 12:52 PM

I would say that regularly weapons safety and proficiency training and testing should be mandatory for all active duty personnel. As for the requirement for carrying, I would not say it is appropriate for all but certainly for most. There is no excuse, none, for having our WARRIORs made in to sitting ducks in gun free zones on our bases.

MJBrutus on April 3, 2014 at 12:52 PM

I’m not trying to be contentious here. I agree with you but I have to ask. Isn’t this being done now? Aren’t all soldiers on active duty having at the very least monthly proficiency training? These people are supposed to be ready to defend us, and themselves, on short notice. If it is not being done why the heck not?

Rocks on April 3, 2014 at 12:56 PM

So how do you justify 21 year old civilians with even less weapons training than your average E-1 being allowed to get concealed carry permits?

dentarthurdent on April 3, 2014 at 12:44 PM

States are free to set their laws based on their perceived needs versus risks within the framework of the constitution. Army posts should set their rules based on their preceived needs versus risks as well. On a small army post with 13,000 people during the workday, we do not need 13,000 firearms to intimidate would be shooters or deal with them if they are not intimidated. More firearms mean more incidents. Too few firearms means incidents do not get deterred or stopped in a timely manner. In seeking balance, I want those people who wish to carry and have proven maturity and responsibility to be the ones carrying the firearms.

KW64 on April 3, 2014 at 12:56 PM

Arming everyone is not a good idea, let certain NCO, SNCO and Officers carry a private weapon but it would have to be just a percentage.

major dad on April 3, 2014 at 12:05 PM

Why? We don’t only allow a “certain percentage” to carry in civilian life. (Or, we – as conservatives – would scream bloody murder if it were restricted in that fashion.) Why not let all who desire to do so, do so?
GWB on April 3, 2014 at 12:38 PM

Yup. What kind of 2nd amendment arguments would we hear if the police were allowed to come into your neighborhood and say – only 5% of the people in your neighborhood, or only your neighborhood HOA rep and/or neighborhood watch captain are allowed to own guns or get a concealed carry permit?
Would that be a “good idea” for a civilian population that has less overall weapons training than the average military unit?

dentarthurdent on April 3, 2014 at 12:57 PM

Rocks on April 3, 2014 at 12:56 PM

I separated from the USAF in 1984. There was no requirement when I served.

MJBrutus on April 3, 2014 at 1:01 PM

MJBrutus on April 3, 2014 at 1:01 PM

*1988 I mean.

MJBrutus on April 3, 2014 at 1:01 PM

Hey, with friends like this, we don’t need enemies:

Boehner: ‘No question’ mentally ill shouldn’t have guns

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Thursday said there’s “no question” that mentally ill people should be prevented from buying guns, a day after a soldier with a history of mental illness killed three people at Fort Hood in Texas.

“There’s no question that those with mental health issues should be prevented from owning weapons or being able to purchase weapons,” Boehner said at a Capitol event.
http://thehill.com/homenews/house/202573-boehner-no-question-mentally-ill-shouldnt-have-guns

DinaRehn on April 3, 2014 at 1:02 PM

States are free to set their laws based on their perceived needs versus risks within the framework of the constitution. Army posts should set their rules based on their preceived needs versus risks as well. On a small army post with 13,000 people during the workday, we do not need 13,000 firearms to intimidate would be shooters or deal with them if they are not intimidated. More firearms mean more incidents. Too few firearms means incidents do not get deterred or stopped in a timely manner. In seeking balance, I want those people who wish to carry and have proven maturity and responsibility to be the ones carrying the firearms.
KW64 on April 3, 2014 at 12:56 PM

Then just leave it at what you said in the last line that I bolded.
Allowing everyone to carry does not mean everyone will carry – just like in the civilian world.
And if we’ve trusted a 19 or 20 year old soldier to carry a weapon in combat in Iraq or Afghanistan, I’d say he’s proven his maturity and responsibility well enough.
Why should we treat our military bases any different than we do the civilian population around them – many of which also work on base.
If my state allows me to have a concealed carry permit, and carry a weapon or have one in my car anywhere I go in my community, I should still have that same right if I have to go on base to go to work.

dentarthurdent on April 3, 2014 at 1:05 PM

Allowed to carry? How about “required to carry”, on-base and off-base?

How does the IDF do it? We often see photos of Israeli reservists carrying Uzis in the town and at sporting events.

J Baustian on April 3, 2014 at 1:05 PM

Rocks on April 3, 2014 at 12:56 PM

You know, if this had happened before we would have learned our lesson and done something about it

DinaRehn on April 3, 2014 at 1:05 PM

To assert that the members of our military can’t responsibly carry a weapon like their civilian counterparts is an assertion that our military is comprised of murders and psychopaths.

Former and current Generals and other upper level military management have made that very assertion on Fox News and other outlets.

Our country grew up with weapons. While our Continental Army had weapons supplied to them, generally, most of the supplememting state guards had their own that they hunted with.

The latest shooting at Fort Hood, though, isn’t about guns, per se, but about how drugs used to treat mental ailments like PTSD can be worse that the actual problem!

TexasDude on April 3, 2014 at 1:07 PM

I separated from the USAF in 1984. There was no requirement when I served.

MJBrutus on April 3, 2014 at 1:01 PM

Well that is just ludicrous. Even if others are tasked with defense of a base you can never be sure you might end up having to do it. At that very least every soldier, from special forces to therapists, should be proficient in the use of the standard issue rifle and sidearm. If the last time you handled either of those 2 things was basic training I don’t really get how you can live with being called a soldier.

Rocks on April 3, 2014 at 1:09 PM

You guys are mixing apples and oranges, a military base is not the same as a civilian urban area. If you have never lived on a base you wouldn’t know that. MPs routinely get called to the barracks because a myriad of reasons, if they thought or knew everyone was carrying a weapon what do you think the tension level might be? Police now usually pull their weapons on people for no reason other than they are afraid that person might be armed CC or no. Don’t forget the barracks are usually populated with all 17-20 year olds, all packed in a relatively small area.

major dad on April 3, 2014 at 1:09 PM

I’m not trying to be contentious here. I agree with you but I have to ask. Isn’t this being done now? Aren’t all soldiers on active duty having at the very least monthly proficiency training? These people are supposed to be ready to defend us, and themselves, on short notice. If it is not being done why the heck not?

Rocks on April 3, 2014 at 12:56 PM

Not necessarily. How much weapons training they get depends on which service and what kind of unit they’re in and what their job/MOS/specialty code is.
SF troops get far more weapons proficiency training and practice than your average infantry troop, who gets more than someone in the Navy or Air Force. An Air Force satellite operator likely doesn’t get any weapons training or practice at all beyond basic training.
And weapons training gets ramped up for just about everyone just before they get deployed to a combat zone.

dentarthurdent on April 3, 2014 at 1:10 PM

Allowed, it should be compulsory. The Soldier should be intimate with their weapons.

astonerii on April 3, 2014 at 11:55 AM

This is my rifle. There are many others like it, but this one is mine. My rifle is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life. Without me, my rifle is useless. Without my rifle, I am useless. I must fire my rifle true. I must shoot straighter than my enemy, who is trying to kill me. I must shoot him before he shoots me. I will. Before God I swear this creed: my rifle and myself are defenders of my country, we are the masters of our enemy, we are the saviors of my life. So be it, until there is no enemy, but peace. Amen.

RandallinHerndon on April 3, 2014 at 1:13 PM

I separated from the USAF in 1984. There was no requirement when I served.

MJBrutus on April 3, 2014 at 1:01 PM

The soldiers do get firearms training but that does not mean it is wise for all of them to be required to carry firearms all the time. I have been trained to use a chain saw safely; but I bet my fellow workers would find my carrying one all the time a little unnerving.

I think we have too few armed personnel on post but that can be remedied far short of requiring all the uniformed personnel to be armed. Who would you rather have armed, a 55 year old GS 12 to 15 who is a manager of an operation or an 18 year old private who has not had time to demonstrate responsibility? Would your management style change if your employees were all armed? Would that be a good thing? How would you feel about all the employees where you work openly carrying a firearm?

We have chatted before about balance in firearm rules before. I just see the balance somewhere between the extremes of noone armed versus everyone armed.

KW64 on April 3, 2014 at 1:14 PM

2 hour delay for snow today at the base I work on.

dentarthurdent on April 3, 2014 at 12:51 PM

Ooh! Spring on the Front Range! :D

More firearms mean more incidents.

KW64 on April 3, 2014 at 12:56 PM

Do you have some evidence to back up that claim? Because everyone who has tried to make it so far has failed to produce any.

Aren’t all soldiers on active duty having at the very least monthly proficiency training?

Rocks on April 3, 2014 at 12:56 PM

Not generally monthly, no.

Why should we treat our military bases any different than we do the civilian population around them – many of which also work on base.

dentarthurdent on April 3, 2014 at 1:05 PM

One important reason: it’s federal property. As Ed pointed out, the federal government fears guns except when it is in direct command of them. It discourages anyone from “packing” anywhere at any time. So, where its control reaches, that fear overcomes common sense, and “gun-free zone” becomes the law.

GWB on April 3, 2014 at 1:15 PM

You guys are mixing apples and oranges, a military base is not the same as a civilian urban area. If you have never lived on a base you wouldn’t know that. MPs routinely get called to the barracks because a myriad of reasons, if they thought or knew everyone was carrying a weapon what do you think the tension level might be? Police now usually pull their weapons on people for no reason other than they are afraid that person might be armed CC or no. Don’t forget the barracks are usually populated with all 17-20 year olds, all packed in a relatively small area.

major dad on April 3, 2014 at 1:09 PM

How is that different, or worse than civilian police going into an apartment complex they know is populated with gang-bangers and drug dealers?
If you don’t trust those 17-20 year olds on base here in the states, how are we supposed to trust them being armed all the time in Afghanistan?
Are you actually saying you think our military personnel are as bad or worse than our civilian population?

dentarthurdent on April 3, 2014 at 1:18 PM

KW64 on April 3, 2014 at 1:14 PM

Nonsense on a stick. How many accidental or malicious shootings occur while our servicemen are on armed patrol? Friendly fire happens from time to time, but that is because of misidentification from afar.

NotCoach on April 3, 2014 at 1:19 PM

At Air Force bases the gate guards are armed and they check ID’s.

Sven on April 3, 2014 at 1:19 PM

One important reason: it’s federal property. As Ed pointed out, the federal government fears guns except when it is in direct command of them. It discourages anyone from “packing” anywhere at any time. So, where its control reaches, that fear overcomes common sense, and “gun-free zone” becomes the law.

GWB on April 3, 2014 at 1:15 PM

Exactly. It’s only different because the federal government is afraid of people with guns, and (mainly the current regime) fundamentally wants to make the entire US a gun free zone.

dentarthurdent on April 3, 2014 at 1:21 PM

Rocks on April 3, 2014 at 1:09 PM

Air Force personnel aren’t called soldiers. And, the AF didn’t start taking combat self-defense seriously until pretty recently (the last dozen years), because there was an agreement with the Army that they would handle anything beyond basic airbase defense.

If you have never lived on a base you wouldn’t know that.

major dad on April 3, 2014 at 1:09 PM

Actually, most of the people you’re probably directing this at are 1) veterans and 2) currently work on military bases. You might want to re-work your arguments in light of that.

if they thought or knew everyone was carrying a weapon what do you think the tension level might be?

No different than in a civilian domestic call.

dentarthurdent on April 3, 2014 at 1:10 PM

Air Liaison Officers had lots more weapons proficiency than other AF bubbas, but even we didn’t get a lot of range time.

KW64 on April 3, 2014 at 1:14 PM

You keep disparaging these 18yo soldiers. What do you think they’re doing when they’re in a combat zone? Do you not worry about not trusting them then because they’re “over there”?

GWB on April 3, 2014 at 1:23 PM

At Air Force bases the gate guards are armed and they check ID’s.

Sven on April 3, 2014 at 1:19 PM

Yes they do.
And where I work, we have armed security guards inside the building as well – which is inside a “restricted area” with armed guards, big fences with motion detectors, entry control, and lots of other stuff.

dentarthurdent on April 3, 2014 at 1:24 PM

Aren’t all soldiers on active duty having at the very least monthly proficiency training?

Rocks on April 3, 2014 at 12:56 PM

Not generally monthly, no.

GWB on April 3, 2014 at 1:15 PM

Again, not being snarky, but I don’t get how you become proficient in something you do less than once a month and a soldier is supposed to be someone proficient in the use of weapons, regardless of what their standard job is.

Rocks on April 3, 2014 at 1:25 PM

Well, whatever the culture was back when DoD Directive 5210.56 or AR 190-14 was issued, it’s certainly not the same now. For example, this gif shows a sea change in societal attitude on self-defense. Back in 1987, there was only one state unrestricted state, with 9 states having shall issue. The remainder — 30 states — had either May Issue (24) or No Issue (16). By 1992 when the directive was issued that had only changed slightly with 2 states changing from No issue and the Shall/May breakdown went from 9/24 to 16/19.

Now we have a U/M/S/N breakdown of 5/37/8/0 and a SCOTUS decisions strongly siding on the right to carry. I don’t know what the policy should change to, but it has to change from what it is now.

As I said with respect to Sandy Hook, if you take away a person’s right to bear arms in self-defense by enforcing gun free zones, then you take full responsibility for providing an effective defense for those individuals you deprived of their right and those in charge who are negligent in doing so should be held criminally liable for their negligence. And being in charge of big place with lots of people in it is no excuse or defense; if you don’t like it, then don’t deprive people of their right to self-defense.

Dusty on April 3, 2014 at 1:26 PM

KW64 on April 3, 2014 at 1:14 PM

Sure, I did not mean at all times. And yes, reason and judgment should not be outlawed. However, as duties permit I think it would be a good idea to have most personnel carry a sidearm. OK, no need to be packing at the gym, O club or golf course :-)

But I see no reason for it not being a part of the uniform for the majority.

MJBrutus on April 3, 2014 at 1:27 PM

Rocks on April 3, 2014 at 1:25 PM

Not all personnel are warriors. I served as a systems acquisition officer. There are lawyers, doctors and host of other non combat specialties. That said, I think it would have been appropriate for me to be required to pack a sidearm while in uniform both on and off base at most times.

MJBrutus on April 3, 2014 at 1:29 PM

Air Liaison Officers had lots more weapons proficiency than other AF bubbas, but even we didn’t get a lot of range time.
GWB on April 3, 2014 at 1:23 PM

Yes – and a few other types.
My father-in-law retired from the AF as a MSgt – spent at least one tour in Vietnam as a ground based forward air controller type – expert marksman qualified, and won LOTS of trophies in shooting competitions (a big part of why I treat his daughter so well… ;) ).
On the other hand, although I went to the Academy, I went into space ops – so I never handled a gun at all in my entire time on active duty, beyond what we did in basic training.

dentarthurdent on April 3, 2014 at 1:30 PM

Rocks on April 3, 2014 at 1:25 PM

Lots of people think the military should spend more money on ammunition so the soldiers can practice. There are logistical arguments against it. (One logistical argument beside the cost is scheduling range time – some places are routinely full with just qualification efforts. Or, so they claimed when I was still active.) There are certain military factors (weapon choice, maneuver, etc.) that mitigate the need for more frequent practice for a soldier. Mind you, I’m not arguing they shouldn’t have more practice, just pointing out there are valid arguments about the issue.

GWB on April 3, 2014 at 1:32 PM

Again, not being snarky, but I don’t get how you become proficient in something you do less than once a month and a soldier is supposed to be someone proficient in the use of weapons, regardless of what their standard job is.

Rocks on April 3, 2014 at 1:25 PM

You really can’t – but that’s life in our current budget restricted politically correct military.
According to a retired Army SF co-worker – the average infantry troop these days may only get a couple hundred rounds of live ammo practice per year – until they get tagged for deployment. Then they get a ramp-up in weapons training/proficiency just before going overseas.
Many Air Force and Navy personnel may never handle a gun at all (on duty, or for training/proficiency) the entire time they’re in the military.

dentarthurdent on April 3, 2014 at 1:35 PM

GWB on April 3, 2014 at 1:32 PM

It isn’t as though target ranges are expensive to build or maintain. Just find an empty hillside :-)

MJBrutus on April 3, 2014 at 1:36 PM

I’m not trying to be contentious here. I agree with you but I have to ask. Isn’t this being done now? Aren’t all soldiers on active duty having at the very least monthly proficiency training? These people are supposed to be ready to defend us, and themselves, on short notice. If it is not being done why the heck not?

Rocks on April 3, 2014 at 12:56 PM

for proficiency on weapons if the MOS doesn’t require a sidearm then no, only training would be on the rifle.
not sure how it is now but when I was in we got 10 rounds to qualify with once a year (this was in germany) and we were never allowed to practice.
and if you failed you were not allowed to work.
pretty sure american bases were a lot better but, with exception of SF, average soldier probably doesn’t get a lot of practice time.

dmacleo on April 3, 2014 at 1:36 PM

Not all personnel are warriors. I served as a systems acquisition officer. There are lawyers, doctors and host of other non combat specialties. That said, I think it would have been appropriate for me to be required to pack a sidearm while in uniform both on and off base at most times.

MJBrutus on April 3, 2014 at 1:29 PM

I get that. I can see where there is all kind of combat training that many people in the military do not need to be proficient in. Not everyone is a warrior but you are all targets AT OUR SPECIFIC REQUEST and hopefully in our stead. All should be at proficient at some basic level militarily.

Rocks on April 3, 2014 at 1:36 PM

Nonsense on a stick. How many accidental or malicious shootings occur while our servicemen are on armed patrol? Friendly fire happens from time to time, but that is because of misidentification from afar.

NotCoach on April 3, 2014 at 1:19 PM

I like concealed carry where it is limited to 21 years or older, for people with no history of felonies or mental illness. If you agree with the common requirement that a firearm permit is not issued to those under 21, do you think that magically putting on a uniform makes you mature even at 17-19? In the field mature NCO’s and officers police their lower ranking personnel closely. If Army commanders see a risk in arming all personnel all the time, why should we disagree. As I said before, while Stonewall Jackson was an agressive military commander, he did not have troops carrying weapons on post and stacked them during breaks in a march.

Army posts are more like a civilian workplace than a war zone. It may be good for a company to have armed security; but should they have all employees openly armed? That is what some are advocating for army posts here and I disagree based not on conjecture but personal observation.

KW64 on April 3, 2014 at 1:37 PM

dentarthurdent on April 3, 2014 at 1:35 PM

Outside of ROTC camp, that was me.

MJBrutus on April 3, 2014 at 1:37 PM

if you take away a person’s right to bear arms in self-defense by enforcing gun free zones, then you take full responsibility for providing an effective defense for those individuals you deprived of their right

Dusty on April 3, 2014 at 1:26 PM

Very true.

One thing to point out, as folks have mentioned gate guards: the gate guards are not there to stop these sorts of folks; they are there to stop terrorist attacks (with truck bombs and the like) and to keep out those not authorized on base (to prevent more mundane criminality issues). The gate guards are looking for people with expired inspection stickers, no ID, or explosives in their semis. Unless you go all Edgar* on them, they aren’t going to stop a “deranged lone gunman” at the gate.

* Edgar was the cockroach in the human suit in Men In Black. He gave himself away once or twice by acting very weird.

GWB on April 3, 2014 at 1:39 PM

There are ways some service members could be armed on post, but having everyone carrying isn’t realistic & would be a logistical nightmare.

— Tommy (@FirstTeamTommy) April 3, 2014

@esqcapades For one, just the daily issuing, turn in, and counts of weapons/ammo for 50,000 troops would be extremely time consuming.

— Tommy (@FirstTeamTommy) April 3, 2014

I respect Tommy’s experience and service, but what to do? Leave things as they are? Add the ‘logistical nightmare’ of metal detectors at every location people are entering the base?

The current base security does not prevent a mentally deranged or radical jihadist soldier from bringing a weapon on the base and killing unarmed comrades. This is clear, and is unacceptable in my opinion. So in my opinion the current policy needs to be changed.

Either increase security protocols to a level that gives reasonable confidence that the past shootings at Ft. Hood will not be repeated there or at any other base, or change policies to allow soldiers (and civilians) working at the base to carry their personal weapons (for civilians or military), or weapons issued to military personnel by their commanders.

Make them register the weapons to be carried on base, and require some proof of training and/or certification that the carrying person is fit to carry and use a weapon responsibly, but leaving these people without the ability to defend themselves against an armed assailant that did not respect a ‘weapon free zone’ is indefensible, and perhaps should be found to be criminally negligent.

s1im on April 3, 2014 at 1:39 PM

major dad on April 3, 2014 at 1:09 PM

I was one of those MPs.
most likely the difference in treatment would not be as much as you think. anyone of those people can, and as we see, and will have a weapon if desired.
any mp that goes into a situation trusting a no weapons sign to protect them is a dead mp.

dmacleo on April 3, 2014 at 1:40 PM

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