On April 7th, First Lieutenant Patrick Cook of the 49th Transportation Battalion, Fort Hood, posted an open letter to Congress explaining the helpless condition he found himself in when Army Spc. Ivan Lopez opened fire on April 2nd.
The helplessness was due to restrictions that prevented Cook and other soldiers from being armed.
When the first shots rang out, my hand reached to my belt for something that wasn’t there. Something that could have put a stop to the bloodshed, could have made it merely an “ugly incident” instead of the horrific massacre that I will surely remember as the darkest twenty minutes of my life.
Stripped of my God-given Right to arm myself, the only defensive posture I had left was to lie down prostrate on the ground, and wait to die.
Cook said he watched as Sergeant First Class Daniel Ferguson recieved a gunshot wound that would prove fatal, yet continued to press his body against a door to keep Lopez from entering the room. Cook said: “I can still taste [Ferguson’s] blood in my mouth from when I and my comrades breathed into his lungs for 20 minutes while we waited for a response from authorities.”
At the point blank range at which this shooting occurred, anyone with an M9 and some basic instruction could have ended the mayhem as quickly as it began. An MP by trade and a CHL holder, I am convinced that concealed weapons would have stopped it, but openly-carried sidearms, like the ones carried in a law enforcement capacity, could have prevented it entirely. Instead, many more died because of the fatally misguided restrictions on the carrying of arms, which obviously the madman did not respect.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.