Friday, November 6, 2009

A Little Soul Searching

With all the hoopla over what happened yesterday at Ft Hood, I've held off commenting on the incident out of respect for the families of those who were casualties of the shooting.

But the more I read about it, the more I can't help but wonder why this doesn't happen more often. I mean every US military installation in the world is a "gun free zone". The only people who are allowed to 'carry' weapons on base (besides the base cops [civilian and contractor] and resident OSI/CID/NCIS special agents) are those who live in base housing, and only then they are allowed to 'carry' it from their house on base to the range or wherever they're taking the weapon and back. There is no concealed carry on base. Did I mention that everyone who lives on base must resgister their weapons with the base?

I found this out the hard way as one time I was going on base and had forgotten to remove my regular concealed carry piece from under the drivers seat of my truck. As luck would have it, I got stopped at the gate for a random vehicle search, and they found it for me. When I handed them my CCP, I was politely, but tersely told that my permit was not valid on base.

Now, I can bring a firearm on base, but it must be unloaded, cased, and the ammunition cannot be stored close to the weapon in question. Which kind of negates the whole defensive firearm aspect of concealed carry, don't you think?.

My initial reaction to what I was told was not for my defense while on base, but for the time I spend commuting to and from the base. I make a couple of stops coming and going from base and it's at these locations that I get nervous about not having my carry piece on me. I never dreamed (although I should have) that I may need it on base. This whole mess has me rethinking my threat-based decision-making paradigm.

That's not to say I haven't done it in the past. I teach foreign weapons familiarization and when transporting $25k worth of firearms, I'm not going to do it unarmed. It's the same mindset that goes with transporting military arms. When you have so many, the courier must be armed. I'm the same way. There's no way I'm going to give up $25k worth of firearms without a fight, I don't care who you are.

So this has me thinking, just how far do I want to push the issue?

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