National Security Desk / April 7, 2016

Army Chief of Staff Doesn’t Want Troops Concealed Carrying

“I am not convinced.”

The recent terrorist attacks on our nation’s military installations prompted an important question: Why are many — not all, but many — of our soldiers banned from carrying handguns on government property? Sadly, that question still applies today, and the reason has to do with military officials whose disdain for firearms outweigh their concern over the kind of atrocities terrorists carry out. Some of the logic is downright surreal. In the opinion of Army chief of staff Gen. Mark Milley, who appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee today:

“In terms of carrying privately owned weapons on military bases, concealed, privately owned weapons, that is not authorized. That is a DOD policy. I do not recommend that it be changed. We have adequate law enforcement on those bases to respond. You take the Fort Hood incident number two, the one where I was the commander of Third Corps, those police responded within eight minutes and that guy was dead. So, that’s pretty quick and a lot of people died in the process of that, but that was a very fast, evolving event and I am not convinced, from what I know, that carrying privately owned weapons would’ve stopped that individual. I’ve been around guns all my life, I know how to use them, and arming our people on our military bases and allowing them to carry concealed, privately owned weapons, I do not recommend that as a course of action.”

With all due respect, Gen. Milley, we don’t know that. What we do know is that a good guy with a firearm could have stopped the assailant. There’s simply no logical reason for a blanket ban on carrying firearms on military bases. These men and women are uniform are tasked with defending this nation from enemies foreign and domestic. That’s hard to do when they can’t even defend themselves.

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