Dear Mr. Obama,
I have little hope that you’ll ever read this, but I have to get this off my chest. Since 1993, our military personnel, many of whom have had extensive weapons training including sidearms, have not been allowed to carry weapons openly or concealed on military properties. Yet on your watch the following incidents have occurred:
- 2009 – Fort Hood, 13 killed, 29 wounded–many permanently disabled
- 2009 – Arkansas recruiting station, one killed, a second wounded
- 2010 – Pentagon shooting by a 9/11 truther, two wounded
- 2013 – Washington Navy Yard shooting, 13 killed, three injured
- 2014 – Norfolk Naval Base, one killed
- 2014 – Fort Hood AGAIN–three killed, 14 injured
- 2015 – Chattanooga, 4 Marines at the Navy Operational Support Center and Marine Corps Reserve Center killed, two others wounded at a local recruiting station
These incidents, which resulted in the deaths of 35 innocent people and serious injuries to 51 others, might all have been minimized or even prevented by trained, armed military members.
Why is it that these men and women, who carry firearms on our behalf, whom we entrust with the security and well-being of our nation, aren’t allowed to bear arms on military bases in order to defend themselves and others?
And, of course, these are only the incidents that result in deaths or injuries and thus cannot be hidden from the public. As a military wife, I recall more than one incident in which miscreants on base were stopped by MPs or other law enforcement personnel. In one case at Fort Gordon, a person who was later captured blew through the checkpoint without stopping. Similarly unaware gate security allowed the 2014 shooter at Norfolk Naval Base to get through. Why? Anyone who has sat in line to get through a military base checkpoint can figure this one out easily.
I don’t blame gate security for these incidents. I do blame misguided leadership that seems to believe that this one layer of security is adequate.
When these bad guys are on base, there is little or nothing our disarmed military members–people like my husband–can do save hide, call 9-1-1, and hope like hell the MPs hurry up. Isolated recruiting stations are in a worse position, open to the public and completely vulnerable.
With the recent threats by ISIS to target military personnel and their families, why are we pretending our military bases and stations are not military targets, ripe for exploitation by hidden terrorist assets or lone-wolf nut cases? For the love of God and country, allow our military members who pass standard background checks and have weapons training to carry personal sidearms in or out of uniform. The lives of military members and families alike–families just like mine–could depend on the courage of these armed and honorable individuals.
The lives of four military members could have been saved today in Chattanooga by such a change in policy. May God comfort their families. I doubt, Mr. Obama, that you will.
A Military Wife