It may be time to carry weapons on military installations
The threat to military personnel being a soft target to an active shooter or terrorist is real since events during the past six years have indicated similar scenarios.
Here’s but a sampling of the mass shootings:
Sgt. William J. Kreutzer Jr. went on a shooting spree at Fort Bragg, N.C., in October 1995, killing one officer and wounding 18 soldiers.
U.S. Army Maj. Nideal Malik Hasan fatally shot 13 people and injured more than 30 others at Fort Hood, Texas, in November 2009.
A gunman, Aaron Alexis, killed 12 people and injured four at the Washington Navy Yard in November 2013 before police fatally shot him.
Army Specialist Ivan Lopez killed four people, also at Fort Hood, in November 2014 before dying of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Closer to home, a 32-year-old man opened fire in the International House of Pancakes restaurant in Carson City almost four years ago, killing four people, including three members of the Nevada Army National Guard, and wounding seven.
And most recently, Mohammad Youssuf Abdulazeez shot four marines and a sailor to death in Chattanooga, Tenn., on July 16, after ramming his vehicle through the gate at a Navy-Marine Reserve Center.
Since the incident in Tennessee, at least six governors have ordered guard personnel to carry weapons while on duty at military installations.
Arming military personnel who are on active duty may be more difficult. Even after reviewing the policy after several recent shootings, the Department of Defense (DOD) has mostly restricted personnel from carrying personal weapons at U.S. military sites.
Now Congress is beginning to move forward on the idea of military personnel being armed. Republican Nevada Sen. Dean Heller has filed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would require the DOD to establish a process for military installation commanders to authorize servicemen and women to carry a concealed firearm, dependent if the commander deems it necessary for weapons to be carried as personal protection or force-protection measure.
The House of Representatives approved an amendment to their version of the NDAA.
“Never should the men and women serving at home have to be afraid that the base they work, and often live, on is not safe,” Heller wrote to his colleagues.
Yes, the threat is real. Every year military installations conduct active-shooter drills such as Naval Air Station Fallon.
Heller’s concerns must be addressed and then vetted in both the Senate and House. As the home of the Navy’s training facility, our men and women must remain safe while on duty, and if that means carrying a weapon, then do it.
Times are changing.
Editorials are written by the LVN Editorial Board.