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The PJ Tatler

by
Bryan Preston

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September 16, 2013 - 12:40 pm

After Nidal Hasan killed 13 and wounded more than 30 in November 2009, John R. Lott wrote about one of the craziest policies to come out of the Clinton era: making military bases “gun free zones.”

Yes, that’s correct. In 1993, President Bill Clinton decreed that US military personnel were to surrender the Second Amendment rights that they swear an oath to support and defend. Lott, writing in 2009, called for that policy to be ended.

Shouldn’t an army base be the last place where a terrorist should be able to shoot at people uninterrupted for 10 minutes? After all, an army base is filled with soldiers who carry guns, right? Unfortunately, that is not the case. Beginning in March 1993, under the Clinton administration, the army forbids military personnel from carrying their own personal firearms and mandates that “a credible and specific threat against [Department of the Army] personnel [exist] in that region” before military personnel “may be authorized to carry firearms for personal protection.” Indeed, most military bases have relatively few military police as they are in heavy demand to serve in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The unarmed soldiers could do little more than cower as Major Nidal Malik Hasan stood on a desk and shot down into the cubicles in which his victims were trapped. Some behaved heroically, such as private first class Marquest Smith who repeatedly risked his life removing five soldiers and a civilian from the carnage. But, being unarmed, these soldiers were unable to stop Hasan’s attack.

The wife of one of the soldiers shot at Ft. Hood understood this all too well. Mandy Foster’s husband had been shot but was fortunate enough not to be seriously injured. In an interview on CNN on Monday night, Mrs. Foster was asked by anchor John Roberts how she felt about her husband “still scheduled for deployment in January” to Afghanistan. Ms. Foster responded: “At least he’s safe there and he can fire back, right?” — It is hard to believe that we don’t trust soldiers with guns on an army base when we trust these very same men in Iraq and Afghanistan. Unfortunately, most of CNN’s listeners probably didn’t understand the rules that Ms. Foster was referring to.

We still do not know the motive behind today’s killings. That hasn’t stopped the likes of Andrew Kaczinsky at BuzzFeed from attacking the National Rifle Association, which has no known connection to the Navy Yard shootings at all. Gun free zones do have a tangible connection to these mass shootings. Killers are surely aware that once they transport a firearm onto a stateside US military base, they’re facing unarmed patriots who have been deprived of the means to defend themselves.

Bryan Preston has been a leading conservative blogger and opinionator since founding his first blog in 2001. Bryan is a military veteran, worked for NASA, was a founding blogger and producer at Hot Air, was producer of the Laura Ingraham Show and, most recently before joining PJM, was Communications Director of the Republican Party of Texas.

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Top Rated Comments   
So, the Navy Yard is a gun free zone in a city that's a gun free zone. That's twice the protection, right?
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
I recommend that, in accordance with this excellent policy, policemen also be forbidden from carrying firearms of any description, except when actually on duty.

If soldiers don't need to defend themselves on base, then policemen at the station don't need to worry about it either. Right? I mean, who in their right mind would attack a POLICE STATION, particularly once it's known that the policemen inside are disarmed? That would just be unfair.

While we're at it, perhaps we should forbid the soldiers from being armed when they're ON duty as well. Think what tremendous strides gun control could achieve, if soldiers didn't have to carry guns!
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
This is simply outrageous, if ANYBODY has a right to carry a sidearm for self-defense, it is military personnel. Making military bases "gun-free" zones is the same as pinning targets to the backs of military personnel and putting them out on the shooting range.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (24)
All Comments   (24)
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A couple issues on the pre-Clinton days when we STILL could not carry on post. It was generally DOD policy that:
a). It was commander's discretion IF the state/nation where the base was located allowed carrying.
b.) If the state/nation where the base was located did not allow for carry, the commander had no discretion.

One of the advantages our units had in the border area of Germany was that we were governed by different agreements and could generally at least have a loaded magazine in the weapon when on patrol (though no round chambered). Chambering a round was at the discretion of the senior NCO or officer present, but he'd better be able to justify that all conditions for that were met before authorizing.

It was also generally NOT permitted to use personal weapons if and when one carried. Clinton simply codified what had generally been the practice for decades. Keep in mind that many of these policies originated back in the days of a draft military that had a serious morale, drug and violence problems. As recently as the mid-70's I recall officers being afraid to go into the barracks at night. It was a vastly different military back then and you definitely did NOT want the troops running around armed. We had enough problems already.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
I felt much safer on Herzl St in Tel Aviv at 3 in the morning in 1973 than the loop in Chicago, 8 mile in Detroit or the embarcadaro in SF in broad daylight anytime in the last 20 years. Even Saigon in 1970 was safer than any city that is run by Democrats.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
It is now being reported that the Marine sentries and guards at the Navy Yard were armed, but had no ammo for their weapons! Now we know why the response was entirely from civilian police from outside the base.

http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Hey Bryan - on a different but connected topic: NY's silly gun laws went into effect April 15. I had read prior to that, that there were about 1.7 million New Yorkers who would have to register their ARs by that date. Is there any statistics on how many actually *did* register?
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
This nut would not have lasted 2 minutes in a shopping mall in Texas. The CHL is expanding by the day.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Before the Clinton anti-gun order there were few guns carried by average soldiers, sailors, and airmen except those on drill or in exercises. Weapons are kept at the armory. They definitely weren't in non-mission office buildings except for when there was some kind of ceremony or exercise; and then probably not loaded or loaded with blanks. This shooting was in an aquisition building where there are few active duty personnel, most are civilians, Mitre PHD's, and contracting officers; generally not the type you want carrying sidearms (untrained) and usually not the firearm type of personality (scared or just not interested in guns). So, my point here is that even with personal carry few would actually carry, and a handful of sailors with pistols against a shooter with a rifle; the shooter still would have killed a good number of people.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
The fact of the matter is Marine Corps bases were gun-free DECADES before Bill Clinton, from the early 70's on, that we've personally experienced. ALL weapons were in the armoris, up to and including (per regulation) those personal weapons of folks RESIDING IN BASE HOUSING. NOT the barracks. BASE HOUSING.

If you wanted to hunt, etc., you had to hit the armory up when it was open, since your whatever out, go kill something and then hot foot it back there ~ often with an explanation to the MP at the gate, if he snagged you coming in ~ before they shut up again.

One reason why a lot of married folks chose to live in town of they possible could. Besides HAVING to mow your yard at given intervals.

Clinton makes an snappy retort, but it was that way long before he grabbed a pen for effect.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yep.

I served in the Army from '74 to '78, and personally owned guns were NOT allowed on post except with your CO's written permission, and had to be stored in the company arms room, except when being taken to or from the range, or off post. No way was anybody EVER allowed to carry a loaded weapon.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
I was in the Army for two years well before you were, Mark. We 2nd Lieutenants had a joke among ourselves concerning our "extra duties." such as Mess Officer, in addition to our regular duties. The joke was about a man visiting a military cemetery. He is passing among the grave stones and comes upon this epitaph: "Here lies Second Lieutenant John A. Smith, who died in addition to his other duties."

I had the additional duty of Payroll Officer for several months. In those days troops were paid once a month in cash. While performing this duty I and the NCO who accompanied me were both armed with loaded 45s in order to protect ourselves and the government's money from would-be robbers. This was post policy and probably Army policy. I always carried my 1911 with one in the chamber.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Don’t you hate it when the house moves the good stuff far down the list hoping that it will go away!
I suppose mentioning political parties doesn’t help - but it’s those same Democrat sorts who are always pushing for the draft as a place for the stupid people to go. Thank God for the all volunteer services!
I mean the same joker who passed the gun ban at the stateside military bases - is the same President who bombed the daylights out of an aspirin factory proving his prowess as a war fighting leader.
Democrats lie a lot and know nothing about explosives and weaponry - to avoid these cretins it is simple - just don’t suffer fools!
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Because? Simple 80% of Dem party are lawyers or went to Law School like Gore who could not pass the Bar but did pass the BS on Global Warming
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Why would this be different than a law enforcement facility?
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Liberal Wonderland is Prison, only guards carry guns, Free Food, Free home & bed, free medical & all the sex one can handle
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Very few prison guards carry guns and in most facilities no guns are carried inside the secured area.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Then it resembles the Liberal Wonderland even more closely.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Cheryl and Perry - That tracks my re-collection from Army enlisted time in the mid the mid 80s (the Reagan era). I served on Army and Air Force posts in the US and Germany and we were only allowed to carry issue weapons and only during training or appropriate duties such as honor guard at a military funeral.

I can't imagine that there was ever a time when soldiers walked around bases in uniform with personal weapons.

31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
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