New Fort Hood Shooting Renews Calls to End Gun Bans on Bases

New Fort Hood Shooting Renews Calls to End Gun Bans on Bases

The newest shooting on a U.S. military base by a mentally unstable person has renewed calls for ending current restrictions against soldiers being armed on our bases.

In a horrible reminder of the terrorist attack on Fort Hood in 2009, on April 2 a single man with a mental problem took a handgun that was not registered by authorities at the base and killed three people before he ended his own life. He also wounded 16 others.

Advocates of ending the ban on soldiers carrying their own arms say that this disturbed man would have been stopped much sooner if soldiers were allowed to carry their sidearms.

Sgt. Howard Ray, a survivor of the 2009 terrorist shooting that killed thirteen, told Fox News, “When our soldiers are unarmed, they will find themselves in a situation like yesterday and in 2009.”

The ban on soldiers carrying sidearms is a rule instituted as Bill Clinton was coming to office in 1992. Not only are soldiers prevented from carrying their own, personal sidearms, the rules make it almost impossible for base commanders to open a base armory and issue firearms even in a time of emergency.

As a result of this shooting, which joins last year’s attack on the Washington Navy Yard as well as the 2009 shooting at Fort Hood, renewed urgency has been brought to bear to repeal the 1992 ban.

Rep. Michael McCaul, (R-TX), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, is calling for an end to the ban and allowing both our soldiers and civilian contractors to wear sidearms on our military bases.

“We need to harden our military bases so this can’t happen, and one possible way to do that is to allow our veterans and active-duty military… to carry weapons,” McCaul told Fox News. “I guarantee if they had… they could have stopped this guy almost immediately.”

“Al Qaeda and terrorists and jihadists are targeting our military bases,” McCaul said. “That is a fact… The problem here, and with Fort Hood, the prior Nidal Hasan case, was that they couldn’t defend themselves because they were not allowed to carry weapons. So I think the policymakers, Congress, we need to revisit this procedure, this policy, to see if we should arm them so they can better protect themselves.”

Representative Steve Stockman (R-TX) has introduced a bill to end the ban several times and is renewing his call to change the rules.

Naturally, Democrats disagree and claim that a wider firearm ban out in the public will make arming soldiers unnecessary. Democrats have never wavered in their desire to ban more guns as seen, for instance, in Colorado, California, and New York, states that recently enacted strict anti-Second Amendment laws.

In the case of Colorado, several lawmakers were turned out of office by recall votes due to their association with their anti-Constitution votes. A large number of Colorado sheriffs are also refusing to enforce the laws. Similarly, in New York, some law enforcement authorities are also refusing to enforce Governor Cuomo’s gun bans.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at


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