The shock of the Fort Hood Massacre is still sharp in the memory of most Americans but few have absorbed the lesson that this atrocity can teach us.
Gun rights proponents like to call places where law-abiding citizens are not allowed to carry weapons "unarmed victim zones." And some of the nation's largest unarmed victim zones can be found on military bases.
Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas, is the largest installation of the world's most powerful military. It has tanks, artillery, and thousands of rifles, pistols, and machine guns. It's even home to a brigade of military police. But on Nov. 5, it was as much an unarmed victim zone as a nursery school.
No one inside the Soldier Readiness Center was armed and able to fight back when an Islamist terrorist opened fire with two handguns. Like civilians trapped in a store, bank, bar, or restaurant when a gunman barges in and starts shooting, these combat soldiers were left with their bare hands as their only weapons. To their credit, some of them tried to fight back, throwing chairs, charging the shooter, etc. But they didn't have a chance. If it hadn't been for the quick and courageous response of the base's civilian police, many more would have been killed because they didn't have the tools to defend themselves.
The military currently doesn't permit its personnel to carry sidearms on base, not issued weapons, nor personal weapons. "As a matter of practice, we do not carry weapons on Fort Hood," Lt. Gen. Robert Cone told the press. With all due respect Gen. Cone, considering that 13 unarmed soldiers were killed and 30 more wounded on your base by a single bad guy, maybe somebody should start.
Of course, the gun control folks came out of the woodwork after Fort Hood. "This latest tragedy, at a heavily fortified army base, ought to convince more Americans to reject the argument that the solution to gun violence is to arm more people with more guns in more places," the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence said in a press release. Sorry, swing and a miss. Wrong again. Thanks for playing.
Fort Hood is actually a perfect example of what happens in a room when nobody has a gun but the bad guy. If just one good soldier-say a veteran officer or a senior noncom-in that Readiness Center had had a loaded M4 or even a personal sidearm, there would have been a lot fewer casualties.
Of course, this argument is not even discussed in the mainstream press. At the same time that they are bending over backward to find reasons other than Islamist fanaticism and jihad against the infidel to explain the shooting, the media is totally ignoring the real message of Fort Hood: Maybe somebody should have guns other than the people who are willing to break the law.
The press isn't going to discuss this because it's a tenet of their ideology that people aren't the problem, guns are. Just like it's a tenet of liberal ideology that large groups of Muslim radicals aren't at war with America, just a few misguided criminals.
Which leads me to my final point. Last month, just a week or so after the massacre at Fort Hood, the Obama administration decided to move the trials of the five 9/11 conspirators from a military court to a federal courthouse in New York City. This needlessly endangers everyone in the Big Apple and especially anyone involved with the case.
And what will be the result? Will Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the other four pieces of excrement who planned and facilitated the 9/11 atrocity really be on trial? No, America (specifically, the Bush administration) will be on trial. Their defense attorneys have already told us that that's the plan.
This is just plain stupid. Even if al-Qaeda doesn't try to launch some organized attack during the trial, what's to prevent the lone jihadist from doing so? Obviously, New York's finest and the feds will do their best, but they can't guard everything in the city 24/7. So I guess the men and women with concealed carry permits will have to protect the unarmed citizenry, while they wait for professional armed response.
Oh, wait a minute, I forgot, no one in New York City has a carry permit. So the entire city is one big unarmed victim zone. But don't worry. Nothing will happen. After all, carrying a gun in New York City is a criminal offense, and the terrorists wouldn't want to get in trouble with the law, would they?