13 murdered, 30 wounded at "no-guns" Ft. Hood Army base
For the first 24 hours, this story was updated as additional details became available.
By Chad D. Baus
A murderous rampage killing was carried out today at Texas' Ft. Hood Army base by American Army Major Malik Nadal Hasan.
According to news reports, ten soldiers and two civilians were killed and thirty-one wounded in the attack. Initial reports said Hasan was also killed in an exchange of gunfire with a female police officer, but it now appears he is in custody, and in stable condition, having been shot four times. Reports also said two other suspects, who are also soldiers, were also apprehended, then later released.
From the ABC News:
[Lt. Gen. Robert W. Cone] said there were "eyewitness accounts of more than one shooter," and the others were tracked to an adjacent facility.
Cone called the attack "a terrible tragedy, stunning." He said the community was "absolutely devastated."
President Obama called the Fort Hood shootings a "horrific outburst of violence."
...Cone said the motive for the attack, which took place just after 1:30 p.m. CT, is unclear.
When news first breaks about yet another tragic mass shooting in this country, the minds of many gun owners go immediately to wondering whether it occured (like the vast majority do) in a "no-guns" zone, where the victims are rendered defenseless either by law or policy.
One would like to think that, of all the government-controlled properties in America that have been turned into "no-guns" victim zones, our Army bases would not be among them.
If you thought that, however, you thought wrong.
According to a source quoted by ABC News, "it is rare for firearms to be on the base because they are locked up." And according to a source of my own, who was once stationed on this base, concealed carry is prohibited.
Indeed, Lt. Gen. Cone is quoted as saying "as a matter of practice, we don't carry weapons here, this is our home."
What are we coming to in America when even a United States Army base is rendered a "no-guns" zone?
Again, from the story:
Cone said that a gunman entered a facility known as the Soldier Readiness Facility, where soldiers who are preparing to deploy go for last minute medical check ups and dental treatment. Sources told ABC News that the soldiers gathered there were getting ready to deploy to Iraq.
The gunman used two handguns, Cone said. He wasn't sure if the shooter reloaded the weapons during the attack.
America's military servicemen and women deserve better than to be rendered defenseless except in times of training, or when they are deployed overseas and anticipating hostile contact. And they deserve better than to be rendered defenseless here at home, by "no-guns" policies on base, or by laws such as those in Ohio that prevent the sale of a handgun to anyone under 21, even to someone who is active duty or a veteran (O.R.C. § 2923.21).
We trust our young soldiers with the full might of the U.S. military. Surely we can trust them with a handgun carried for their own protection here at home.
Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Vice Chairman.
UPDATE: More on American Army Major Malik Nadal Hasan: