Fort Hood victims are going to be awarded Purple Hearts; meanwhile, Fort Hood continues to be a gun free zone.
“The laws that forbid the carrying of arms…disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes…such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an unarmed man.” – Thomas Jefferson, quoting Cesare Beccaria
According to Edwin Mora of Breitbart:
“The secretary of the Army has announced his approval for awarding the Purple Heart and its civilian equivalent, the Secretary of Defense Medal for the Defense of Freedom, to victims of the 2009 terrorist attack at Fort Hood, Texas.”
On November 5th, 2009, Major Nidal Hassan opened fire at Fort Hood military base. As he mercilessly shot his victims, he reportedly shouted “Allahu Akbar!” He killed thirteen, and injured more than two dozen.
The base is a gun free zone. Following the attack by Hassan, it remained a gun free zone.
On April 2nd, 2014, Army Specialist Ivan Lopez—who was reportedly suffering from mental instability–opened fire at Fort Hood. He killed three, injured sixteen, and then ended his own life with a bullet to the head.
The base remains a gun free zone today.
“The [Gun Free Zone] policy was reportedly first issued in 1992 by former President George H.W. Bush and then reissued in 2011, according to The Blaze.”
The Department of Defense directive, issued April 1st, 2011, which renewed the directive imposed in 1992, partially reads as follows:
“Arming DoD personnel with firearms shall be limited and controlled. Qualified personnel shall be armed when required for assigned duties and there is reasonable expectation that DoD installations, property, or personnel lives or DoD assets will be jeopardized if personnel are not armed.”
Giving Purple Hearts to the victims of the first Fort Hood shooting is a nice gesture, but ultimately a meaningless one. There were certainly heroes who did their best to stop Hassan. 64 year-old physician assistant Michael Cahill came at Hassan with a chair, but was shot, and killed. Captain John Gaffaney also attempted to stop Hassan using physical force alone, but he was also fatally shot. Base civilian police Sergeant Kimberly Munley exchanged fire with Hassan, but he returned fire, incapacitating her. Finally, civilian police Sergeant Mark Todd arrived, ably taking Hassan to the ground using his firearm.
These men, and women—as well as all those who were wounded, and killed–are not undeserving of the award, but what is the point of the Purple Heart if nothing is done to change the idiotic “gun free zone” policy on military bases? Surely, of all people, those in the military, and those who work on military bases would be most able to handle firearms. Why aren’t they being allowed to carry them? Especially after two incidents occurred in the span of five years, in which sixteen people were killed, and more than forty injured?
How about in addition to awarding the Purple Heart, the federal government amend the law to allow those on military bases to carry firearms? How about the Feds do something useful for a change, and finally eliminate the asinine “gun free zone” policy?—the lack of which could very well have prevented numerous deaths, and injuries during the two shootings at Fort Hood.
I guess the 2009, and 2014 shootings weren’t enough to convince the government to take action, and lift the gun ban that puts lives at risk. Perhaps they’re just waiting on that lucky number three. They say the third time’s the charm, right? If not, I’m sure they have plenty of Purple Hearts they can give as condolence gifts to the dead, and injured.