"...do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic..."

"For the good of the Air Force, for the good of the armed services and for the good of our country, I urge you to reject convention and careerism..."
- Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Maxwell AFB, April 21, 2008

"You will need to challenge conventional wisdom and call things like you see them to subordinates and superiors alike."
- Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, United States Air Force Academy, March 4, 2011

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Military Installation Commanders Risk Lives of Service Members


American service members are being threatened here at home, and there is a report of radicals abroad releasing personal data on at least 100 service members online along with calls for radicals in the United States to target and kill them.  Service members and their families are being threatened here in the United States.

So what are military installation commanders doing to thwart this threat?  In many cases, they are making service members more vulnerable to attack during their commute to and from work.

Consider service members in States like Texas and Florida among others.  In these States, people are rightly allowed to keep and bear arms in their vehicles, since those State governments have not completely infringed their Second Amendment rights.  Yet federal government installation commanders there are disarming military members when they go to and from work.  While civilians in those States can rightly keep weapons in their vehicles to protect themselves and their families when they drive to Wal-Mart or wherever they work, military members must actually disarm themselves before they do the same.  Despite being military professionals who employ the tools of violence to defend their nation, service members are not allowed to bring weapons (tucked safely away in their glove compartments) onto military bases.  Yet there are no credible threats against Wal-Mart employees that I am aware of.

It's a Catch 22 level of absurdity.  It is absolutely insane.

The vast military of military installation commanders have outlawed weapons on military bases in every State.  While this helps murderers like Nidal Hassan and the Navy Ship Yard shooter rack up a body count of innocent Americans when they decide to ignore these silly installation policies, the disarming of service members most certainly does not help military members or their families.

It seems to me that installation commanders who are making their folks and families more vulnerable, even while service members are being threatened here at home, might want to re-think their insane base policies and do it quickly.  Otherwise, if one of these domestic terrorists are successful, then an installation commander may have blood on their hands.  In the meantime, they are risking the lives of service members and their families.

According to the news story linked above:

A defense official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said: 'I can't confirm the validity of the information, but we are looking into it.

'We always encourage our personnel to exercise appropriate OPSEC [operations security] and force protection procedures.'

That defense official may want to look a bit harder before wrongly suggesting that military members are encouraged to exercise appropriate force protection procedures.  It does appear that DoD instruction allows installation commanders to choose who are qualified to keep weapons on military bases, but somehow that has been translated into installation commanders across the board disarming military service members.  It makes no sense and the multiple attacks on military bases have given plenty of opportunity for installation commanders to pick this low hanging fruit that endangers the lives of service members and their families.  They have not taken that opportunity.

It is time for service members to contact their representatives in Congress.  This is absolutely unacceptable.  Congress or the DoD should make it law or policy that installation commanders will not infringe the rights of service members to keep weapons in their vehicles while at work.  Some in Congress agree and have pushed for such common sense legislation, even prior to service members being targeted for death in the United States.

There are multiple easy solutions to this problem that would better safeguard the security of military personnel and their families while they drive to and from work.

1.  Installation commanders could be required, by DoD policy or congressional mandate, to adopt the State laws within which they operate.  If it's legal for civilians to carry weapons in their vehicles, then it should be legal for military personnel to carry weapons in their vehicles, even on base.  Installation commanders could require that those weapons remain in locked vehicles.

2.  If committed to ensuring military personnel do not have access to weapons while in their vehicles on base, installation commanders could expand "Pass & ID" stations at military gates with an armory so that people driving onto base can quickly store their weapons at the gate.  Not all would choose to carry, and a line with a stop sign and instruction sign to unload, clear, and lock weapons before proceeding to a guard would make transfer to and from the armory quick, and a clearing barrel would not normally be required.  This would ensure that military folks are able to protect themselves during their daily commutes to and from work, which presents a target of opportunity for radicals intent on harming military personnel and their families.

There is no excuse for disarming service members and their families and making them vulnerable before our enemies.  None at all.  It shouldn't take a beheading video for installation commanders to start thinking about these ridiculous installation policies and changing them.

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