SHOULD TROOPS BE ARMED ON DOMESTIC MILITARY BASES?

There have been a number of people writing or discussing that “solution” as if they actually knew what they were talking about.  Consider Fort Hood, in Texas, which is a major staging base for Military Units deploying overseas.  All tolled, there are roughly 100,000 people who are part of the Fort Hood Community.  Think about it: active duty military; National Guard or Reserve Forces; visiting Foreign Military; Civilian employees; dependents; delivery, utility and maintenance workers; etc.  It’s a small city.

Such a huge base is a microcosm of the World around us.  Every strong or weak point in America will be present.  There is somewhat of a Gun Culture around some in the Military, especially highly-trained Infantry Units, such as Special Ops.  When they are deployed in War Zones, some literally sleep with their “weapons”.  Don’t we want to wean them from that mentality?  Mental health issues (such as PTSD) may abound, workplace issues; racial hatred and bigotry, sexism, spouse abuse, etc. It’s all there–just like in civilian society.

Similar to the issue surrounding arming teachers and administrators in schools, this “solution” just wouldn’t work, nor would it act as a deterrent in any way.  In a War Zone, the enemy is wearing a different colored uniform; but, at Fort Hood, I can guarantee you that most of the active military wear the same fatigues.

Remember that on a Domestic Military Base, the setting of the lifestyle should be mostly a civilian one.  Shouldn’t a Domestic base be somewhat of a half-way house for the transient Troops–combining civilian life and combat training for those deploying overseas, and de-emphasizing the always on-alert Military mentality as homecoming Troops are transitioning back, either to peacetime–or civilian life?

Lastly, just think about the shooting incident last year that occurred at the foot of the Empire State Building, in Manhattan.  Many New York City Police Officers responded.  Now, generally Police Officers receive training in making split-second decisions–sort of a Friend-or-Foe thought process–in order to know when to fire and when not to in a crowded situation.  Not many GIs receive such training.  In that incident, one innocent bystander was killed and eight were wounded–mostly by the NYPD.

Just because someone is familiar with weapons doesn’t mean that they will know how to react on a crowded base–in what should be a peacetime setting.   For years and years, the Military has seen fit to keep personal weapons off bases.  Why not let the people who better understand the situation deal with it today?

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