* Hooahs. A term of varying degrees of endearment describing the average Private; usually used by senior NCOs when speaking collectively of his charges, usually preceeded by the adjective 'fucking'.
No need to recap the shooting yesterday on Ft Hood. But the event has spurred a renewed interest in allowing Soldiers on military installations to be armed. As a matter of course, service members on duty at stateside garrisons [and overseas, excluding combat theaters] are not armed, due primarily to Army Regulation 190–14, issued on March 12, 1993 and Department of Defense Directive Number 5210.56, issued on November 1, 2001. This is of course, excluding the carrying of issued military weapons in the course of training...though this is usually absent of ammunition, unless on an active range.
There are legal provisions for some military members to be armed, in accordance with 10 U.S. Code § 1585 - Carrying of firearms, which stipulates: Under regulations to be prescribed by the Secretary of Defense, civilian officers and employees of the Department of Defense may carry firearms or other appropriate weapons while assigned investigative duties or such other duties as the Secretary may prescribe.
After the first Fort Hood shooting in 2009, some members of Congress called for allowing service members to be armed, as stated in H.R. 3199: Safe Military Bases Act. This, or a similar bill, may be revived again, after going nowhere initially.
But the bill, and the general idea of arming military members while on peacetime duty, is fraught with logistical issues. I wholeheartedly support the premise of carrying, but the duties inherent in the peacetime drudgery of military service don't always lend themselves to carrying. This begs several questions that the aforementioned bill, and the good intentions of many, don't address:
- What firearms are we speaking of ? Privately owned weapons [POW] or military issue? If POW, what type/caliber and training requirement? Believe it or not, not every service member is required to train or qualify on the standard issue Beretta 9mm pistol.
- How would this comport with exiting firearms laws for the surrounding civilian community? Many military members live off post, in the civilian community.
- How would said weapons be stored during times when a service member can not or does not desire to carry?
I could go on, but the point stands, that good ideas aside...any allowance for service members to be armed, at will...must be accompanied by a thoughful discussion of the implementation and second order effects of such an allowance.
Sense of Events is asking much the same line of questions on this quasi-proposed policy.
Sense of Events: Should soldiers on base go armed?