Whether to allow guns on military posts

It seems almost like a cruel irony.

A place that employs military personnel who are armed with weapons of war — pistols, semi-automatic and automatic rifles and the like — doesn’t allow civilians to carry weapons.

The discussion over concealed weapons on military installations has emerged again in the wake of a shooting at Fort Hood, according to the Texas Tribune.

Tribune staff writer Terri Langford has written a piece that details the debate that is flaring yet again after a gunman killed three soldiers before killing himself earlier this month.

http://www.panhandlepbs.org/news/texas-tribune/fort-hood-shooting-sparks-debate-concealed-guns/

What’s more, it’s the second such incident at the massive Army post near Killeen in five years. In November 2009, Major Nidal Hasan killed 13 people and injured 30 others; he stood trial, was convicted and has been sentenced to death for his crime.

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas is seeking a hearing on federal legislation to lift the federal ban on firearms inside these installations. As Langford reports, “’He thinks this is an important issue that needs to be discussed and explored, and has called for a hearing in the Senate Armed Services Committee to discuss what actions could possibly be taken to expand concealed carry at military bases,’ said Catherine Frazier, a Cruz spokeswoman. ‘He wants a hearing so that we can fully understand all aspects of the issue.’”

According to Langford, “Only soldiers who have to carry firearms as part of their military duty can do so on base. Private firearms can be used at base target ranges, but they must be registered and secured and taken directly to the range. They are not allowed to be carried openly.”

The debate has been joined by those who believe gunmen such as the one who killed the three soldiers could be stopped if others are allowed to carry weapons. The flip side of that argument is that too many weapons can result in unnecessary casualties in the event of a fire fight.

Let the debate go forward, which it no doubt will.

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