I’ll not be posting in any detail about the Navy Yard shooting of 09-16-13 for awhile. The usual anti-freedom suspects like Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) have already renewed their never-ending calls for gun control. We know next to nothing about the events there. No wonder she and others are already at it; it’s essential to shape the narrative in advance of the facts before they get in the way.
I write only to provide a quick bit of background on military facilities. Some have asked: “how can this possibly happen on a military base? Isn’t the military armed?” The answer is “yes,” but not in a way that can possibly stop this kind of attack until many innocents, civilian and military, have been wounded and killed.
In the military, in the CONUS (Continental United States), the only people allowed arms are, with few exceptions, the military police, and only the military police personnel actually on duty at any given moment. Unless a given installation is using civilian security contractors, the first line of defense, gate and perimeter guards, will generally be the newest, least experienced and lowest ranking personnel, usually privates and airmen just out of initial, basic MP training.
There are usually MPs patrolling, much as a civilian police force patrols its jurisdiction, and at certain secure facilities, there will be armed MPs on guard duty, checking IDs, etc. But generally, once someone is past the front gate–so to speak–they will not be searched or subjected to any scrutiny unless they try to enter a guarded, semi-secure facility on that installation.
Other military members, even high-ranking officers, are not allowed to carry firearms unless their specific duties call for them, such as pilots in certain circumstances. All firearms and ammunition are locked in secure, centralized armories and released only to designated personnel at the beginning of their shifts, and turned in at the end of their shifts.
Civilians working on an installation, or visiting, are surely not allowed to carry firearms or other kinds of weapons, though the occasional pocketknife might slip through. Generally, there is no active screening for firearms. Once someone with a trunk full of firearms is past the gate system, no one is actively looking for them and no one is any more prepared to stop them than civilian police officers patrolling any community in America.
In fact, at some facilities–even in war zones–our warriors are not allowed to seat magazines in their rifles, or if that is allowed, they’re not allowed to chamber a round. At best, in order to fire, they must first chamber a round, a process that could, compared to merely flicking off a safety, get them–and others–killed.
In many respects, military facilities are even more of a gun-free, victim-disarmament, terrorist free-fire zone than virtually anywhere else, with the probable exception of public schools. However, the residents of schools are even less generally capable of resisting an armed attack than unarmed soldiers, airmen, sailors and Marines.
Bizarre, isn’t it, that our warriors should find themselves in the same disarmed straits as innocent little children?
More to come, as something worth reporting and commenting upon becomes known.