Did you hear about the two handguns that inexplicably shot and killed 14 people (one unborn) and wounded 30 at Fort Hood on Nov. 4? To hear some people tell it, radical Muslim and Army psychiatrist Nidal Malik Hasan did not kill people – his guns alone did.
According to Chicago Mayor Richard Daley – who is now arguing to the U.S. Supreme Court for the power to disarm law-abiding Chicagoans – it was not Maj. Hasan’s radical Muslim beliefs that drove him to murder innocent colleagues; it was the fact that “America loves guns.” Daley explained, “We love guns to a point that we see the devastation on a daily basis.”
The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence also jumped at the chance to blame guns first, stating two days after the shootings, “This latest tragedy, at a heavily fortified Army base, ought to convince more Americans to reject the argument that the solution to gun violence is to arm more people with more guns in more places. Enough is enough.” (Hasan’s handguns have issued no statement in response.)
By this twist of logic, America’s love of airplanes led to the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The solution to stopping the 9/11 Islamic terrorists, you see, was fewer people in fewer airplanes in fewer places.
As for Fort Hood, the Brady Campaign got it exactly backwards. Generally, thanks to a 1993 Clinton-imposed order, Army posts are an anti-gun advocate’s dream, a microcosm of a “gun-free” society: only the police are allowed to carry weapons, service weapons are signed out only for training or maintenance, and any personal weapons must be kept locked and registered with the base provost marshal. Strangely, the same soldiers whom we trust with automatic weapons in Afghanistan and Iraq are not allowed to carry weapons on an American post or base. And yet all such “gun-control,” which the Brady-Campaign-types support, did nothing to stop Hasan from sneaking in two personal handguns. Killers with no regard for others’ lives are hardly going to blink at anti-gun rules. Gun control only controls the law-abiding.
Thus, despite being “heavily fortified,” Fort Hood had an unarmed population living under a deadly combination of a false sense of security and no means of self-defense. While soldiers should never have to worry about attacks from one of their own, forcing them to be unarmed makes them more vulnerable to traitors and saboteurs than the embattled enemy. Maj. Hasan knew this, and to maximize his evil plot he did not attack the armed MPs – he attacked dozens of soldiers and officers at the Soldier Readiness Center who he knew would be unarmed. And they were unarmed precisely because of the “gun-control” measures at Fort Hood.
Our college campuses suffer from the same deadly “gun-control” policies. On April 16, 2007, Virginia Tech student Seung-Hui Cho, armed with a pair of handguns, massacred 32 fellow students and faculty and injured 25. Even then, the anti-gun fanatics rose up and condemned the guns. But Virginia Tech’s campus, like most colleges, was a so-called “gun-free zone” where students and faculty were not permitted to carry weapons. This made people on Virginia Tech’s campus, like those on Fort Hood, an easy target for a lone, suicidal, gun-wielding murderer.
What the Brady Campaign failed to mention is that it took “gun violence” to stop the gun violence at Fort Hood and Virginia Tech. Armed police officers brought down Hasan last week; and it took armed police breaking into the building where Cho had barricaded himself before he took his own life. But that means that until the armed police arrived, Hasan shot 42 people and Cho shot 57.
How much sooner would either spree have ended had any one of the hundreds of other soldiers or students (or even faculty) been armed? How many more unarmed victims in “gun-free” zones or cities have to die? How many of these shooting sprees would be deterred in the first place if the shooter knew his intended targets might also be armed?
The fantasy of a “gun-free” zone continues to be thwarted by practical truth, and it always will be. In 1775, Revolutionary pamphleteer Thomas Paine explained that the fallacy of the pacifist Quakers was their failure to account for the fallen nature of man:
Could the peaceable principle of the Quakers be universally established, arms and the art of war would be wholly extirpated: But we live not in a world of angels. … I am thus far a Quaker, that I would gladly agree with all the world to lay aside the use of arms, and settle matters by negotiation: but unless the whole will, the matter ends, and I take up my musket and thank heaven he has put it in my power.
The problem is not weapons, be they firearms, knives, fists or airplanes; the problem is that man has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.
With each news report about Maj. Hasan, it becomes more evident that political correctness handicapped the will of the Army and federal agencies to adequately investigate him and respond to the many indicators of his increasingly radical Muslim beliefs. Radical Islamic terrorists belong in front of our troops, not among them. Hopefully, America and her armed forces have finally learned that radical Muslims deserve purging, not promoting.
Nor should we be led to believe the politically correct lie that taking guns out of law-abiding hands is the solution to stopping the use of guns by the wrong hands. A “gun-control” law stops bullets as effectively as the paper it’s printed upon. Until the homicidal sociopaths and the radical jihadists of the world “lay aside the use of arms” (or airplanes, or IEDs, etc.), the right of the people, students and soldiers to keep and bear arms should not be infringed.
John Eidsmoe and Ben DuPré serve as legal counsel for the Foundation for Moral Law, a religious-liberties organization founded by Judge Roy Moore in Montgomery, Ala.