The occasional serviceman goes nuts and murders his own. The occasional jihadi (often from an allied nation) gets into the inner circles close enough to mass murder American military personnel on base. In at least one case the terrorist did so at a recruitment office.
It’s nothing new. In the 1990s, I was invited to speak at a JSSAP (Joint Services Small Arms Project) meeting in Oak Ridge, TN, on small arms for US military personnel in the 21st Century. I pointed out that this sort of thing was already happening and was going to increase, and suggested the concept of issuing a subcompact 9mm pistol (I demonstrated with a pocket-size Kel-Tec P11 9mm) to every qualified serviceman or woman. A tertiary weapon (the issue 9mm service pistol being a secondary weapon) such as this could be carried discreetly when off duty in hostile places, or even during domestic administrative duties by every member of the service trained and qualified with it. Some in the audience were horrified at the thought, and perhaps not surprisingly, I was never invited back.
The predictable happened. And will happen again. Dan Gifford, one of the rare conservative commentators to survive in Hollywood, recently shared this heartfelt sentiment from a friend of his in the wake of the atrocity in Pensacola:
I want to vent…
Like my own son, Josh Watson was a graduate of the US Naval Academy. He
was a former captain of the US Navy Rifle Team. He was 23 years old … Josh Watson … was
one of the unarmed victims of Friday’s mass murder Naval Air Station Pensacola.
Three people dead. Eight others wounded. It is inconceivable to me that
the warriors of our military are forced to be soft targets of
terrorists, insane or unhinged and deranged individuals.
In a Facebook post, Watson’s brother Adam wrote: “Joshua Kaleb Watson
saved countless lives today with his own. After being shot multiple
times he made it outside and told the first response team where the
shooter was and those details were invaluable. He died a hero and we are
beyond proud but there is a hole in our hearts that can never be filled.”
If he had been allowed to be armed, Josh Watson had the skill to stop
the Saudi killer. Instead, he was just another helpless victim.
Dr. Mark Bronstein sent this to me with this excellent comment:
We can thank President George H.W. Bush for formalizing this rule. None
of the subsequent Presidents have reversed this decision even after the
previous deadly shootings that have taken place on our domestic bases.
Amen, brother. Amen…