Should Troops be Armed on Homeland Bases?
We are talking about our fighting men and women. People who are taught to use firearms as part of their daily lives. And yet, whenever a member of the military is on a base in America, he or she is not armed. They are prohibited from carrying a weapon. Considering what happened — AGAIN — at Ft. Hood, is it time for a change in thinking?
Consider what happened back in January at a Dollar General store in Alabama. A local resident, Kevin Mclaughlin entered the store and began shouting and waving a gun. According to the Selma Times-Journal, Mclaughlin “then ushered a group of people inside the store into a break room.” I don’t know about you, but I’d be very, very nervous at this point. Luckily for everyone involved one of the store customers was carrying a weapon through a concealed-carry permit.
“It appears that once the cashier got inside the break room, a customer that was walking into the break room shot the individual, the white male, with the pistol,” Dallas County Sheriff Harris Huffman said. “There was only one shot fired and that shot struck the individual with the pistol causing the disturbance.”
District Attorney Michael Jackson confirmed the customer who reportedly shot Mclaughlin was Orrville resident Marlo Ellis.
Huffman said Ellis used his own weapon in the incident.
Now, contrast that story with what happened yesterday at Ft. Hood in Kileen, Texas. Ivan Lopez opened fire in the medical building of the base. He killed three people and wounded sixteen others. He then turned the gun on himself and pulled the trigger. According to the Daily Mail, Lopez reportedly “suffered from anxiety, depression and post traumatic stress disorder but had not been formally diagnosed at the time of the shooting.” He was also upset “about his mother and grandmother’s deaths and had disagreements with base authorities about getting leave for their funerals.”
Clearly, he was not in a stable frame of mind, and he went to the base with a weapon. The question is… how many lives could have been saved if ANY of the people surrounding him would have been armed. And I’m not just talking about someone shooting this guy before he wounded person #10 or killed person #2. How about just the idea that the place you are going to will be have scores of armed people surrounding you. Perhaps he might not even acted at all.
As Fox News reports, lawmakers are saying it’s time for a change.
The shooting Wednesday follows not only the 2009 massacre but also the Washington Navy Yard mass shooting last year. In the wake of that, Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, introduced a bill to allow servicemembers and civilians to carry personal firearms on these installations. He renewed the push for that bill on Thursday.
Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said it’s time to change the rules.
“We need to harden our military bases so this can’t happen, and one possible way to do that is to allow our veterans and active-duty military … to carry weapons,” he told Fox News. “I guarantee if they had … they could have stopped this guy almost immediately.”
Whether we are talking about a military base or a convenience store, if we are talking about keeping people safe, then citizens should be able to arm themselves. If we maintain the thinking of the liberals, then any place where people gather — a school, a movie theater, a base — is a prime target for a crazed gunman. The shooter knows that everyone else will be unarmed. It’s time to stop being a victim!