Minutes are an eternity during a mass shooting

April 3, 2014

Despite admitting that it took police up to 15 minutes to respond to yesterday’s mass shooting at Ft. Hood, Texas, a U.S. Army spokesperson stood behind the Army’s longstanding policy that prevents soldiers from carrying concealed handguns for self-defense on base.

At a press conference on the shooting, which left four dead and 16 injured, Lt. Gen Mark A. Milley was asked if the gun ban should be overturned.

Scroll to 1:25 for discussion on concealed carry.

“No, I don’t think soldiers should have concealed weapons on base,” he stated. “We have law enforcement agents and trained professionals and I don’t endorse carrying concealed.”

But he added that it took police “10 to 15 minutes” to arrive on the scene of the shooting, long after over a dozen people were shot.

“I think law enforcement acted very rapidly and swiftly given the nature of the circumstances,” he said.

But not as swiftly as an individual shooting back at an attacker. During a shooting, when mere seconds can mean life or death, minutes are an eternity.

The concealed carry prohibition, enacted in Feb. 1992 during the H.W. Bush administration, authorized only “qualified personnel” to carry firearms on base, such as law enforcement and others on “security duties.”

In short, this DoD policy turned America’s military bases into victim disarmament zones and gun bans in general exacerbate mass shootings by preventing law-abiding citizens from carrying weapons for their protection.

“Only the most out-of-touch radical would try to disarm soldiers,” Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Tx.) stated today, who introduced the Safe Military Bases Act which would overturn the policy. “It’s time to repeal this deadly anti-gun law before it creates another mass killing.”

And the 18th century Italian philosopher and jurist Cesare Beccaria compared banning guns to banning water due to drownings.

“The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature,” he wrote. “They disarm those only who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes.”

“Can it be supposed that those who have the courage to violate the most sacred laws of humanity, the most important of the code, will respect the less important and arbitrary ones, which can be violated with ease and impunity…?”

“Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants,” he added. “They serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.”

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