Probably one of the dumbest and most ironic laws on the books is the ban on concealed carry at military bases and installations. The reason it’s so stupid is quite obvious. Firearms are the essential tools soldier use to protect us from terrorists, despots, and foreign armies. And the U.S. Military goes to great lengths to ensure that every solider is proficient with a firearm. Yet, for whatever reason, the government doesn’t trust soldiers with guns when they’re not training, at a military gun range or in a combat zone.
It’s not only illogical to make military facilities gun-free zones, it’s just downright bizarre. Thankfully, someone is attempting to do something about it — at least ostensibly (I say “ostensibly” because the man is running for president and it’s hard not to see this as a way to pander to 2A supporters. Then again, Cruz is been pretty consistent with his support of gun ownership).
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) sent a letter to Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) on Tuesday requesting that McCain, who is the chairman of the Senate Committee on Armed Services, consider bringing up the matter for review and discussion.
“The men and women in our military have been at war for over a decade; they understand the responsibilities that go along with carrying a firearm,” Mr. Cruz wrote in the letter. “Yet their Second Amendment rights are removed at the front gate.”
McCain responded by kicking the can down the road to the personnel subcommittee, saying he’d “let them take action if they want to.”
“I think we ought to have the hearing, but we need the input of the military. They’re the ones who are directly affected by this, and I’m not making up my mind until I hear from the United States military,” Mr. McCain told reporters Tuesday.
The notion that we should “hear what leaders in the military think” is a common cop out among federal lawmakers, both Republican and Democrat.
Sen. Thorn Tillis (R-NC) also said he would defer to military leaders on whether soldiers should be permitted to carry on bases.
“I’m always open to good ideas on being able to expand concealed carry privileges,” Mr. Tillis told CNN. “The key though is to make sure the folks on the ground who are responsible ultimately for the safety of soldiers and their families, that they’re comfortable with it.”
I’m sure I don’t have to tell you but Sen. Tillis has it ass-backwards as the soldiers are ultimately responsible for not only their safety and the safety of their families but also the top brass that orders them around. Think about it. If the base is attacked or there is a shooting, who is going to pick up a gun and go confront the threat? It ain’t the head shed, that’s for sure. As it stands right now, military police would respond to the threat as they are the only ones who are armed. But the problem with this is approach is when seconds count MPs are minutes away.
The shootings at Fort Hood prove that point. As does the shooting at the Navy Yard in 2013. Yet in response to these tragedies, military leaders do not reconsider their stance on banning concealed carry.
“There are a lot of barriers to this idea, and the department’s position — and we’ve spelled this out before — is that we do not support it,” Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren told CNN following the second shooting at Fort Hood which left three people dead, adding that the cost of training and certification for concealed carry would be prohibitive.
Yeah, that’s a bunch of B.S. Creating a safer environment by allowing trained soldiers to carry concealed is “cost prohibitive.” Give me a break. The truth is, as I mentioned, there is no logical reason to oppose concealed carry on military bases. And the fact that lawmakers are deferring to military officials who embrace the gun-free zone philosophy is infuriating. I just want to remind them: As a lawmaker, you make the laws! You decide what makes sense and what doesn’t. And if you get confused on an issue or if you need guidance, there is a document that you can consult called the Constitution that pretty much spells out what you need to know on all relevant and enduring matters. As it relates to this specific issue, please look at the Second Amendment.
Really though, this charade of deferring to military leaders makes me think that deep down lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are uncomfortable with the idea of soldiers freely exercising their right to keep and bear arms. The question I have is why? If they can use firearms to defend our country why can’t they use them to defend themselves? Beyond that, what are these politicians and military officials afraid of?