On Wednesday evening a soldier opened fire at Fort Hood, a military base in Texas, killing four and wounding 13. This is the second shooting in five years at the Army base; in 2009, Major Nidal Hasan killed 13 and injured 30 when he shot his colleagues at random in a soldier readiness center. After Wednesday's shooting, with details still developing, Truth Revolt reached out to numerous members of the military and their families to see how they felt about Department of Defense rules that essentially prohibit the use of personal firearms on military bases.
As The Blaze noted after the Navy Yard shooting in 2013 the DoD directive occurred under Republican President George H.W. Bush in 1992 and has continued throughout Republican and Democratic presidencies.
On all military bases there are military police and often gate guards and patrols that are armed. The residents of the bases are unable to carry. The DoD rules specifically state access to concealing and carrying a weapon is to "limit and control the carrying of firearms by DoD, military and civilian personnel." As this is the second incident at Fort Hood there are murmurs and fears of these acts continuing while Army personnel and civilians are unable to defend themselves.
President Obama noted in his comments regarding the shooting,
Many of the people there have been on multiple tours of Iraq and Afghanistan, they served with valor, they served with distinction. At their home base they need to feel safe.
Conservatives immediately took to Twitter with similar statements but adding that military men and women should be able to defend themselves on American soil:
One woman raised on military bases her entire life said she always used to feel safe and secure as a child, but there were always horror stories and concerns of someone being able to come on the base and break into homes or harm those unable to protect themselves. She lamented the soldier-on-soldier violence and noted that if it had occurred in an area such as the exchange or commissary, military children, civilians and spouses could have been harmed and unable to defend themselves and their neighbors.
An anonymous active duty officer told TruthRevolt,
Bases are like schools now, gun-free zones where it is so easy for scum bags to come in and kill people. They're essentially sitting ducks.
Gold Star widow and veteran activist Jane Horton said,
Our military members should be able to carry a personal weapon on base at all times.
Many gun aficionado blog sites have comment sections filled with remarks by current and past military members who obtained conceal and carry licenses in their home state, or a state where they were based but guns were widely restricted in their use. Military members are often unable to carry a concealed personal gun if they are in uniform, even if they are off a base and off-duty. Allegedly, special permission can be obtained to carry while in uniform "off-duty" but none of the military we interviewed had ever heard of someone getting that very rare exception.
It is common that off-duty police officers and federal agents are able to carry their work-issued weapon.