Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas) said the Fort Hood shooting shows that the policy of not allowing personal handguns on the base “is a 20-year experiment that’s failed.”
“This has only been in place 20 years. We’re not talking 50 or 100 years. This has only been 20 years. And since it’s been in place you see a rapid increase in this kind of violence on bases,” Stockman, whose congressional district runs from east of Houston to the Louisiana border, told Fox today.
Stockman called the tightening of gun restrictions at Fort Hood after the 2009 massacre by Nidal Hasan “a bizarre response.”
“I know there are some generals that are saying hey, we shouldn’t still allow them to protect themselves, but these are young men and women we say we want them to protect us. And it only makes sense if we’re trusting them to protect us — we should trust them to protect themselves. And this is a notion that we need to give them the right to protect themselves. It’s a crazy notion that we train them and then we don’t allow them — to say you can’t have a gun. It doesn’t make sense.”
He added that “you look at all the gun violence, almost all in what is called gun-free zones.”
“People that are out there committing crimes are not stupid. And this is a soft target. And it will continue to be a soft target until we give our soldiers the right to carry the weapon that they’ve been trained to use.”
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, still on his trip to Asia, told Bloomberg News “it’s a terrible statement” that servicemen and women found themselves under fire at a base on home soil again.
“I recognize that. We all do. But like anything, we’ve got to figure out what happened and what went wrong. We have been adjusting to and implementing a number of recommendations that came out of the 2009 Fort Hood incident, the Navy Yard incident last year, to further bring more security and further security to our bases,” Hagel said. “And we’ll see what comes out of this as to how do we assure in every way possible the safety and security of those bases.”