Opinion: Arm the heroes that protect us


When Voltaire said, “Common sense is not so common,” I wonder if he was talking about U.S legislators.

Between 1992 and 1993, a two-part mandate was enforced under Bill Clinton’s administration. Part of the bill, written and signed into law under the former President George H.W. Bush’s administration is the Department of Defense (DoD) Directive 5210.56, which works to “limit and control the carrying of firearms by DoD military and civilian personnel.” According to the directive, firearms on military bases were limited to “qualified personnel,” which included for those “engaged in law enforcement or security duties, protecting personnel, vital Government assets, or guarding prisoners;” basically making it so that only authorized officers and military police have access to loaded weaponry.

I just don’t understand this nonsense. I understand that Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelious isn’t held to the same requirements as the public on Obamacare because the legislation and coverage sucks. I understand former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stayed with her husband after his public infidelity, while still claiming to be an empowering feminist simply because she wanted to save her own political behind. But I will never understand the hypocrisy behind our legislators not allowing soldiers to carry weapons while on base.

These men and women are trained with their weapons from the very start. They are deployed with their weapons. They face combat with their weapons. They protect the innocent with their weapons. They kill enemies with their weapons. They save their lives with their weapons. They save their fellow soldiers’ lives with their weapons. They maintain our freedoms with their weapons. But after all of this, some legislator with a tie is entitled to tell our soldiers on base that they don’t know how to be responsible with their weapons? The president that was in term when this mandate was implemented wasn’t even responsible for his own marriage, for starters. But, I digress.

My first question is “Why the hell is this still law?” You would think after the 2009 Fort Hood shooting that resulted in the death of 13 American heroes, someone would say, “Maybe we should provide our soldiers some form of protection from enemies. After all, they did pledge their lives to protecting our country’s freedoms.” But I’m just a kid, what do I know?

My second question is “Why the hell was this made law?” I researched like a maniac for the motivation behind the dumb mandate, for this article’s sake, and couldn’t find reasoning anywhere. My lack of discovery was evidence to me that the “common sense” behind this nonsense law is not so common.

I understand that the traumatic events that our soldiers face can be life-altering. I understand and accept that post-traumatic stress disorder is a very real thing. I’m also not denying that that there is a potential for violence or outbursts within military bases. It is, for the fact that I accept this matter, that I support the importance of arming on-base soldiers. If a nearby soldier was armed, the deaths in both Fort Hood shootings could very well be decreased from 16 to a single-digit number, or possibly none.

So then, let’s do something about it. Let us allow the same people that defend us and our nation defend themselves.

A call to action is necessary. President Obama, if you and your administration are truly as “heartbroken” as you told the American people this week, then do something. You can reverse this bill that leaves our nation’s heroes defenseless with simply a stroke of your pen. We all know you’re really good at that, so make something besides your golf game a first priority.