Now, today, I’m not going to discuss the backgrounds or motivations of the shooters, neither of whom I will deign to mention by name. I’m not going to mention the actions of first responders. I’m not going to talk about the weapons used. All that has already been hashed over.
What I am going to talk about is this: Why are our military bases soft targets for gunmen?
At Pensacola, the shooter walked into classrooms and opened fire, assured that there would be no meaningful response for some time until local law enforcement arrived to save military servicemen. In this instance the local law enforcement would seem to have done a good job, but my question remains: Why was their response necessary at all?
At Pearl Harbor, the gunman attacked workers near the dry dock of the U.S.S. Columbia, an attack submarine to which the shooter was evidently assigned; he did so knowing that there would be no meaningful response until local law enforcement arrived, and even though in this case the victims were civilian workers, there were still service members in the immediate area. Again, my question remains: Why was their response necessary at all?
I’m particularly concerned about the Pearl Harbor incident, as a Los-Angeles-class attack submarine in dry dock sure seems to me like something you’d guard with armed Marines. If there are any former Navy types among all of you True Believers out there, please confirm.
Service members are in the profession of arms. They serve knowing this. So why are our military bases rendered soft targets by the refusal of the DoD to acknowledge this fundamental fact?
All officers and all enlisted personnel above the rank of E-5 (I’d be willing to consider raising that to E-7 if necessary to get this done) should be each issued a personal sidearm, should be required to train with that sidearm, to qualify with it at least annually, and to carry it loaded at all times while in uniform and on duty on base. The sidearm should literally be part of the uniform.
When off-duty and in civilian attire, I’m not sure if I’d require carry of the sidearm, although I’d certainly allow it, and further, I’d consider serving active military to be by default concealed-carry permit holders just as serving law enforcement officers are, and therefore able to legally carry a personal sidearm concealed anywhere they go.
Anywhere they go.
Further, gate guards at closed installations shall be armed. Back in the late Nineties when I was reactivated for the Balkans fracas, I worked in a Top Secret facility in Heidelberg, Germany; that facility was guarded by three layers of MPs, the first with a holstered sidearm, the second with a loaded M-16, the third at the end of a long approach hallway with a loaded riot shotgun. Gate guards at secure installations should be no less well armed, and roving patrols of MPs likewise.
Our service members are, as I’ve said, in the profession of arms. It’s staggeringly stupid that we can’t acknowledge that by ensuring they be armed, and it’s even more staggeringly stupid that on our domestic bases we deprive them of the very thing that would make our bases secure, and not the soft targets for gunmen that they are today.
President Trump, as Commander in Chief, could fix this with the stroke of a pen. Where is he on this issue?