The official body count from Maj. Nidal Malik Hassan’s massacre in Fort Hood, Texas, on Nov. 5, 2009, is 13 deaths and 30 injuries.
But I include one more on the list of fallen. Pvt. Francheska Velez was three months pregnant at the time of the shooting. After Hassan noted her condition, he fired deliberately into her abdomen. Velez’s dying words were, “My baby, my baby.”
The official records list 30 personnel injured. One of the injured is Hassan. I don’t choose to include him in the count.
This story is told by many of Hassan’s victims for a single reason — to compel the government to reclassify the massacre from an act of workplace violence to an act of terrorism. I believe Hassan’s victims, both living and dead, deserve that and more.
Many believe the government’s insistence that the incident be declared an act of workplace violence is rooted in political correctness. I share that belief.
To deny justice to the victims in order to spare the feelings of the shooter is a notion so cockamamie that only the government could conceive it.