Monday’s assault on the Washington Navy Yard once again confirmed that the decision to make U.S. military bases “gun-free zones” is lousy, and its reversal is long overdue.
The decision was the result of the Clinton administration’s feel-good, politically correct executive order reminiscent of the Vietnam era, when cute little hippy chicks used to place flowers in the barrels of soldiers’ rifles.
But making military bases “gun free” disregards two basic truths: The U.S. military is often the subject of hate, and U.S. military personnel are among the world’s most proficient, highly trained users of today’s small-arms weaponry.
Exacerbating the situation is that those working and living on military bases do so with a false sense of security, thinking, “Hey, I’m on a military base. What can happen?” They figure there’s an armed guard at the gate and every person entering needs a pass to get in.
That didn’t help in Fort Hood, and it didn’t help in Monday’s tragedy.
Oliver North reported the response times by armed guards to both of those tragedies in an interview with Martha MacCallum on Tuesday’s “America Live.”
Officers responded in 10 minutes after Nidal Hasan opened fire on his comrades at Fort Hood, North said, and help came seven minutes Aaron Alexis after began shooting up the Washington Navy Yard.
Most of the deaths and injuries occurred before help arrived, when the shooter was the only person armed and his victims were sacrificed in a rite only the shooter understood.
We should have learned our lesson after Fort Hood. An editorial in The Washington Times, written days after Hasan’s assault, said:
Thirteen dead bodies in a Texas morgue are the ultimate fruit of gun-control illogic — in which guns are so feared that government regulation even tries to keep them out of the hands of trained soldiers. With the stroke of a pen, President Obama can end Mr. Clinton’s folly and allow U.S. soldiers to protect themselves. Because we clearly cannot protect our soldiers from harm, the least we owe them is the right to protect themselves.
A Fox News editorial reached much the same conclusion:
For the safety of our soldiers and citizens, we hope that this simple fact about the Ft. Hood attack and the role that gun-free zones played in allowing yet another multiple victim public shooting becomes part of the news coverage itself. The political debate about guns would be quite different if even once in a while a news story clearly explained that there has been another multiple victim public shooting in a gun-free zone.
Members of the military already forfeit many of the constitutional rights they serve to protect. The Second Amendment shouldn’t be one of them.