Bob Barr on Gun Control
Again, I repeat my distaste of using the deaths of U.S. soldiers to prove a political point, especially when the tragedy at Ft. Hood is still a fresh and open wound on our American psyche, but this needs to be said. And Bob Barr said it pretty good right here:
In the case of Ft. Hood, it is important to bear in mind that since 1993, thanks to a policy ordered by then-President Bill Clinton, it has been essentially unlawful for individuals on military bases to carry firearms unless they are military police, or are training in firearms at a firing range. Many of those who support this gun-free military base policy have reacted to calls to review it, by simply echoing the standard refrain of gun-control advocates that, “we don’t want everyone on a military base running around with a gun on their hip.” (Of course, had this been the case at Ft. Hood, it is doubtful Maj. Hasan could have squeezed off more than a couple of rounds before being himself felled by an armed soldier.) It is a false dichotomy that we either allow no one (except MPs) or everyone on military bases to possess firearms. Rather, the debate should center on why is it made virtually impossible for any soldier on a military base to carry arms, even if they have in fact been properly vetted and trained in their use?
The part that makes me really think is this one, about the military and individual rights:
Why, after all, should a citizen be forced to surrender his or her right to keep and bear arms, simply because they have entered military service; service expressly supposed to teach the proper and safe use of firearms?
It’s a well-known fact that when you sign up to serve you’re held to a very different set of rules. It’s a crime to disobey. A crime to backtalk a superior. Adultery is still a crime in the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ)! So the question is, how different do the rules that were designed to uphold military cohesion and discipline really need to be? How different should they be? What are the possible arguments for preventing the men from carrying firearms?
Yeah, I’m a young’un, I had no idea it was Clinton’s idea to ban guns on bases. This article has more to say about the Clinton-era policy:
The wife of one of the soldiers shot at Fort Hood understands all too well. In an interview on CNN Monday night, Anchor John Roberts asked Mandy Foster how she felt about her husband’s upcoming deployment to Afghanistan. Ms. Foster responded: “At least he’s safe there and he can fire back, right?”
Ouch, that’s got to hurt our American pride. Our Soldiers are safer over in the deadly wastes of terrorst-infested Afghanistan than they are on their own bases in the United States. This is an insult to our country and our military personnel that needs to stop right now. Are you listening, Mr. President? Since most of your administration consists of holdovers from the Clinton years, I’m sure a few of them remember this braindead policy.
I want to keep an eye on this debate, and I’d like to hear comments from anyone out there with an opinion on it.
Have it good,
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