The terror attack in Chattanooga, Tennessee, left five marines dead and many Americans shocked. These lone attacks seem to be occurring more and more often. The rise of ISIS in the Middle East brings a fear that there will be more domestic terror attacks in the United States. This is a legitimate concern that deserves our attention.
One of the most important questions demanding an answer right now is how can we protect our military men and women? There are many ways to protect our military at home, but the most basic means of protection is that each member of the armed forces be armed. This is simple and a no-brainer, yet the policy now is that all military facilities are gun-free zones.
What this means is law-abiding citizens cannot carry concealed weapons to defend themselves on this property. My question would be, does the Second Amendment not apply to our service men and women? Does the right to keep and bear arms on American soil not apply to the men and women who use those very arms when overseas to fight American enemies and protect fellow soldiers?
The founders of the Constitution knew the necessity for citizens to have the ability to arm themselves. It was so important to the founders that it came second in the Bill of Rights, just behind the free exercise of religion. These men drew this principle of self-defense from the Bible. Luke 11:21 says, “When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are safe.” In 1 Samuel 25:13, David ordered his men to strap on their swords because he knew there might be a time when they would need it.
The Department of Defense Directive was changed in 1992 by George H.W. Bush to keep guns off bases. It says:
“It is DoD Policy:
“To limit and control the carrying of firearms by DoD military and civilian personnel. The authorization to carry firearms shall be issued only to qualified personnel when there is a reasonable expectation that life or DoD assets will be jeopardized if firearms are not carried.”
The looming threat of Islamic terrorism in America today is enough “reasonable expectation” to authorize each member of the Department of Defense to carry a concealed weapon while on duty and on a military base. There have been at least 20 deadly shootings on military installations in the U.S. since 1995. Is this not enough “reasonable expectation” to allow our military men and women to carry a concealed weapon?
A common argument against the idea is, “Do we want this many people with guns at one place?” The answer is yes. After all, these men and women are trained military members. They went through months of basic training and hours upon hours of firearm training in order to be a member of the armed services. Not to mention they have to qualify with firearms every time they go to training. If we can’t allow our military men and women to defend themselves while in uniform and on military bases, who can we allow?
It is time that all of our men and women in uniform be permitted to carry concealed weapons while on military bases. The threat of terrorist attacks like the one in Chattanooga should be enough evidence.