A Much-Needed Policy Change

Approximately seven years ago, Major Nidal Hasan killed thirteen people and wounded more than thirty others at Fort Hood, Texas. Because our military was banned from carrying their weapons at government facilities, none of the soldiers at the base were armed. That situation rule has now changed.

On Monday, The Military Times reported:

U.S. military personnel can now request to carry concealed handguns for protection at government facilities, according to new Defense Department directive issued last week in response to a series of deadly shootings over the last seven years.

While service members already were authorized to carry weapons as part of specific job responsibilities, the new policy allows them to apply to carry their privately owned firearms “for personal protection not associated with the performance of official duties,” the directive says.

It also clarifies when military recruiters can be armed, said Army Maj. Jamie Davis, a Defense Department spokesman.

“Commanders have always had that authority to arm recruiters,” Davis told Military Times on Monday. “Some of the wording wasn’t very clear, so they’ve gone through and cleaned it up so it is very clear now that the commanders have that authority to use at their discretion.”

Effective Nov. 18, the directive culminates years of work, Davis said.

There are some procedures that have to be followed in order to legally carry a handgun on Defense Department property:

Those wishing to carry a concealed personal firearm on Defense Department property must apply for permission. They have to be at least 21 years old and meet all federal, state and local laws and host-nation requirements the directive says.

The individual military services will determine requirements for those who will grant conceal-carry requests, the directive says. Those officials must have a minimum rank of lieutenant colonel, commander or the civilian equivalent.

“These authorizations will be for a maximum of 90-calendar-day increments and may be renewed for as long as the threat or circumstance necessitating arming exists,” according to the directive.

This policy change is overdue. Until this policy went into effect, military bases and recruiting stations were soft targets. Now the military personnel at those places will be able to defend themselves if necessary. Terrorists are less likely to attack a target if they know it will be defended.

The Cost Of Political Correctness

Fox News posted a story today about a report investigating the Fort Hood shooting in 2009. The report was conducted over the course of two years by former FBI Director William Webster.

The report deals with how information on Major Nidal Hasan was handled by the FBI.

The article reports:

Five months after the San Diego Field Office for the Joint Terrorism Task Force sent a lead to the Washington D.C. office with concerns about Hasan, the report said, headquarters conducted their review, only to determine Hasan was not “involved in terrorist activities.” 

After the San Diego office complained, neither office took any additional action. 

The article later reports:

The report also quoted a San Diego official who claimed he suggested to headquarters in June 2009 that it would be appropriate to interview Hasan. 

The Washington officer told him, according to a paraphrase in the report, that: “This is not (San Diego), it’s D.C. and (the Washington office) doesn’t go out and interview every Muslim guy who visits extremist websites.” 

The San Diego official also said he was told the subject was “politically sensitive.” 

Thirteen American soldiers who were on their own base in America are dead and thirty-two were wounded–all because a subject was politcally sensitive??!! This cannot be allowed to continue.

There are some people in Congress who understood instantly what led to the Fort Hood shootings:

Sens. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, the chairman and ranking Republican on the Senate homeland security committee, said the report “reinforces” conclusions they had already reached about the “inadequacy” of the FBI probe. 

But they added: “We are concerned that the report fails to address the specific cause for the Fort Hood attack, which is violent Islamist extremism. And we are skeptical that FBI analysts are now well-integrated into the FBI’s operations, as the report states.” 

On December 8, 2011, the Daily Caller posted the following:

Sen. Susan Collins on Wednesday blasted the Defense Department for classifying the Fort Hood massacre as workplace violence and suggested political correctness is being placed above the security of the nation’s Armed Forces at home.

Fort Hood was not workplace violence. People engaged in simple workplace violence do not stand up and yell, “Allahu Akbar” before they attack. We need to admit that there are people within our government preventing us from clearly seeing and dealing with the problem of Islamic extremism. Most Muslims in America are peace-loving, freedom-loving, non-violent people who are glad to be here. But we need to remember that there are some Muslims who have come to America to aid in the establishment of the world-wide caliphate. Until our government is willing to recognize the problem is Islamist extremism, they will not be able to successfully deal with it.