Time after time, public murder sprees occur in "gun-free zones" - public places where citizens are not legally able to carry guns. The list is long, including massacres at Virginia Tech and Columbine High School along with many less deadly attacks. Last week's slaughter at Fort Hood Army base in Texas was no different - except that one man bears responsibility for the ugly reality that the men and women charged with defending America were deliberately left defenseless when a terrorist opened fire.
Among President Clinton's first acts upon taking office in 1993 was to disarm U.S. soldiers on military bases. (Emphasis added.) In March 1993, the Army imposed regulations forbidding military personnel from carrying their personal firearms and making it almost impossible for commanders to issue firearms to soldiers in the U.S. for personal protection. For the most part, only military police regularly carry firearms on base, and their presence is stretched thin by high demand for MPs in war zones.
Because of Mr. Clinton, terrorists would face more return fire if they attacked a Texas Wal-Mart than the gunman faced at Fort Hood [where civilians may legally carry a concealed firearm with a permit].
It seems that the hoplophobes need to be reminded that the Army is indeed part of our armed forces. At a minimum, officers and NCOs should wear loaded sidearms while on duty. This would enable immediate response to attacks from terrorists or gard variety crazies.