How to Deal with “Workplace Violence”

 

Ed Driscoll, who is posting with some frequency these days on Glenn Reynolds’ website Instapundit, put up this item this morning:

AN OPEN LETTER FROM A MILITARY WIFE TO OBAMA ABOUT MILITARY PROPERTY SECURITY:

Dear Mr. Obama,

I have little hope that you’ll ever read this, but I have to get this off my chest. Since 1993, our military personnel, many of whom have had extensive weapons training including sidearms, have not been allowed to carry weapons openly or concealed on military properties. Yet on your watch the following incidents have occurred:

These incidents, which resulted in the deaths of 35 innocent people and serious injuries to 51 others, might all have been minimized or even prevented by trained, armed military members.

Why is it that these men and women, who carry firearms on our behalf, whom we entrust with the security and well-being of our nation, aren’t allowed to bear arms on military bases in order to defend themselves and others?

Read the whole thing.

I repost it here because the letter deserves widespread attention.

The mainstream Republican candidates should pick it up and hammer away on the theme. Otherwise, Donald Trump will do so and make them look like wimps.

There are 28 comments.

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  1. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.
    @Claire

    Yes. It is beyond all belief that the people in our country who are best-qualified and best-trained to defend themselves — as well as one of the most obvious terrorist targets — have been disarmed. This must end.

    • #1
  2. user_989419 Inactive
    user_989419
    @ProbableCause

    Officers, at least, should be packing at all times.

    • #2
  3. PHCheese Inactive
    PHCheese
    @PHCheese

    Train recruiters also as military police.Allow them to carry.

    • #3
  4. The King Prawn Inactive
    The King Prawn
    @TheKingPrawn

    I let my CPL lapse because I work on a military base. Most of the times I leave my house it is to transit to a gun free zone. Just last week some [expletive] almost ran over my car by cutting a corner while hauling a trailer with an excavator on it. He then proceeded to get out of his vehicle and confront my very obvious “wtf” shoulder shrug. He was belligerent and threatening. And I was unarmed because I was on my way to work. The DoD directive (and supporting Navy directive) essentially take away my right to bear arms in self defense almost every time I leave my home.

    • #4
  5. Mario the Gator Inactive
    Mario the Gator
    @Pelayo

    I am flabbergasted.  How in the world do we have military bases where soldiers are prohibited from carrying weapons?  Common sense is officially extinct.

    • #5
  6. Pseudodionysius Inactive
    Pseudodionysius
    @Pseudodionysius

    Otherwise, Donald Trump will do so and make them look like wimps.

    Trump is stomping through the media of New York unimpeded because of the silence of Republicans

    • #6
  7. user_697797 Member
    user_697797
    @

    This is an easy policy for a Republican to support. Not sure why they aren’t all vocally out there advocating for it already.  It makes sense to most Americans and will expose the fringe left as anti-military.

    I only read the portion of the letter in this post, so I hope that the tone of the letter continued all the way through.  This policy has been in place since long before Obama. Bush could’ve changed it but didn’t.  So the ultimate purpose should be to give our military the means to protect itself rather than to score points against Obama.

    • #7
  8. GLDIII Reagan
    GLDIII
    @GLDIII

    There seems to be this all pervasive air of unreality when progressives are confronting the world. It harkens me back to Anita Dunn fawning little speech  about how Chairman Mao’s modus operandi of recreating the world to his preferred vision.

    How do lefty’s latch on to that nugget, but discount the human carnage of pursuing desired visions over the reality of human behavior and real outcomes associate with that crooked timber?

    If I could have one wish it would be that they suffer the immediate consequences of their poor ideas and actions. It works for the Darwin award winners, and Darwin is certainly one of their icons to be cherished.

    • #8
  9. Tuck Inactive
    Tuck
    @Tuck

    I looked into this after seeing claims that this was a Clinton policy.  It was not.

    “It was during the presidency of George H.W. Bush, not Bill Clinton, that the U.S. Department of Defense issued a directive in February 1992 affecting the carrying of firearms on bases by military personnel.

    The policy was signed by Donald J. Atwood, who served under Bush and Dick Cheney as Sec. of Def.

    So it’s a Republican policy.  As I drill down on many of the policies that seem most harmful to our nation, one often finds that Republicans are to blame.

    I also don’t know what good changing this would have done these Marines, as the shots were fired through the window.

    The policy was reissued in 2011—I’ll confess I’m not well versed in DoD bureaucratic gobbledygook, so if anyone who is would like to clarify exactly what the current policy is, it would be appreciated.

    P.S. In attempting to find the older policies, I can across this site:

    Search Cancelled DoD Issuances and Memorandums

    According to that the some form of the directive 5210.66 goes back to 1979.  So maybe it’s Carter’s fault.  But the PDFs aren’t available to non-Military viewers.

    • #9
  10. The King Prawn Inactive
    The King Prawn
    @TheKingPrawn

    Some of it goes back to incidents like the Drizpaul shooting in 1990 on the base where I work. Of course, the solution is better reporting and address of odd behavior (especially of someone in this person’s position) rather than disarming people. This particular shooting had reached almost mythological proportions in its telling by the time I arrived here in 1993.

    • #10
  11. Tuck Inactive
    Tuck
    @Tuck

    The King Prawn: Some of it goes back to incidents like the Drizpaul shooting in 1990 on the base where I work.

    Doesn’t sound like the ban started then.  From your link:

    “A report issued yesterday by the Navy’s Office of the Judge Advocate General revealed that Drizpaul was known to drink to the point of unconsciousness, illegally carried an unregistered and concealed handgun and talked of being a trained assassin. … He also claimed he was given permission to carry a concealed weapon on base because his family had been threatened. It is against base policy to carry concealed weapons, and Drizpaul did not have permission….”

    • #11
  12. The King Prawn Inactive
    The King Prawn
    @TheKingPrawn

    Tuck:

    The King Prawn: Some of it goes back to incidents like the Drizpaul shooting in 1990 on the base where I work.

    Doesn’t sound like the ban started then. From your link:

    “A report issued yesterday by the Navy’s Office of the Judge Advocate General revealed that Drizpaul was known to drink to the point of unconsciousness, illegally carried an unregistered and concealed handgun and talked of being a trained assassin. … He also claimed he was given permission to carry a concealed weapon on base because his family had been threatened. It is against base policy to carry concealed weapons, and Drizpaul did not have permission….”

    Policies about personal firearms on this base started tightening up after the shooting. Single sailors and marines here must keep their personal weapons in the base armory now rather than locked up in their own quarters. Previously they only had to be registered and suitably stored. Carrying has been forbidden for a long time as far as I know. All personal weapons on base (like for those in married housing) must be registered with the base and stored appropriately, i.e. locked up, except for transport to and from base. Even before the outright ban the regulations were pretty draconian and not friendly to 2A.

    • #12
  13. Ross C Member
    Ross C
    @RossC

    If I were weighing options, I would try and understand the trade off either way.  Arming at least one of these folks (maybe more) at each station sounds reasonable to me.  I think I would also want to understand the consequences of these weapons in terms of how many lost/stolen  weapons I am likely to see, and increased violence committed by the authorized carriers (if any).

    • #13
  14. The King Prawn Inactive
    The King Prawn
    @TheKingPrawn

    Ross C:If I were weighing options, I would try and understand the trade off either way. Arming at least one of these folks (maybe more) at each station sounds reasonable to me. I think I would also want to understand the consequences of these weapons in terms of how many lost/stolen weapons I am likely to see, and increased violence committed by the authorized carriers (if any).

    The argument as far as I’m hearing is to simply not forbid service members (or civilian DoD workers from my view) from exercising their constitutional right to bear arms.

    • #14
  15. Tuck Inactive
    Tuck
    @Tuck

    The King Prawn:

    Policies about personal firearms on this base started tightening up after the shooting. Single sailors and marines here must keep their personal weapons in the base armory now rather than locked up in their own quarters. Previously they only had to be registered and suitably stored. Carrying has been forbidden for a long time as far as I know. All personal weapons on base (like for those in married housing) must be registered with the base and stored appropriately, i.e. locked up, except for transport to and from base. Even before the outright ban the regulations were pretty draconian and not friendly to 2A.

    That’s very helpful, thanks.

    I’d love to find out when these policies started in their current form.  I.e. if it’s a Progressive thing or no.  That information is not on the ‘net that I have access to, though.

    Even though the point’s largely academic.

    • #15
  16. The King Prawn Inactive
    The King Prawn
    @TheKingPrawn

    I joined the Navy in ’92, and the changes were well underway even then. There’s some bit of painful irony in that a service member can go to Joint Base Lewis-McChord and purchase a weapon (or many weapons — no sales tax) at the base exchange, but cannot then drive back onto base with them.

    • #16
  17. Tuck Inactive
    Tuck
    @Tuck

    The King Prawn:I joined the Navy in ’92, and the changes were well underway even then. There’s some bit of painful irony in that a service member can go to Joint Base Lewis-McChord and purchase a weapon (or many weapons — no sales tax) at the base exchange, but cannot then drive back onto base with them.

    You mean beyond the painful irony that we rely on these people to defend our country using weapons forbidden to civilians—2nd Amendment be damned, and then forbid them from walking around with pistols most civilians are free to carry?

    “You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.” — Rahm Emanuel

    • #17
  18. DocJay Inactive
    DocJay
    @DocJay

    The field,”I’ll check with my overpaid campaign team to see if making a statement about this will work in terms of advancing my career.  Maybe we should do a study.”

    The blowhard Trump,” Hey that’s a good idea.  My .1 second filter didn’t reject it so I’m saying it now.”

    • #18
  19. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    DocJay, the Donald has a filter?

    • #19
  20. Pseudodionysius Inactive
    Pseudodionysius
    @Pseudodionysius

    Percival:DocJay, the Donald has a filter

    Goalie mask.

    • #20
  21. DocJay Inactive
    DocJay
    @DocJay

    Scott Walker just took our advice and said it on the radio.

    • #21
  22. Ricochet Member
    Ricochet
    @JamieWilson

    So it’s a Republican policy. As I drill down on many of the policies that seem most harmful to our nation, one often finds that Republicans are to blame.

    I also don’t know what good changing this would have done these Marines, as the shots were fired through the window.

    The shots were fired thru the window at the recruiting station, where no one died. The Marines died when the terrorist drove through a checkpoint at a naval depot, took down a steel gate with his car, and then started shooting.

    Since the terrorist was in a convertible and arrived at the naval base a good ten minutes after the first shooting, the Marines could have taken him out with no losses had they a) had warning from the police and b) been armed at the damned gate. Both these solutions are easy to implement, literally with a stroke or two of the presidential pen.

    • #22
  23. Ricochet Member
    Ricochet
    @JamieWilson

    This is my article. Thank you, Mr. Rahe, for your kind words.

    • #23
  24. Ricochet Member
    Ricochet
    @JamieWilson

    Ross C:If I were weighing options, I would try and understand the trade off either way. Arming at least one of these folks (maybe more) at each station sounds reasonable to me. I think I would also want to understand the consequences of these weapons in terms of how many lost/stolen weapons I am likely to see, and increased violence committed by the authorized carriers (if any).

    I’d settle for a happy medium: make it a qual that military members can apply for, give them MP-level weapons training, and then let those members conceal carry. Most military units have to maintain robust first-aid qualifications within a certain percentage of their non-medical personnel – this could be treated exactly the same way.

    • #24
  25. Paul A. Rahe Contributor
    Paul A. Rahe
    @PaulARahe

    Jamie Wilson:This is my article. Thank you, Mr. Rahe, for your kind words.

    Bless you for writing it. Someone with a bit of authority needed to dig up and list the details. The facts, when stated, are devastating

    • #25
  26. Paul A. Rahe Contributor
    Paul A. Rahe
    @PaulARahe

    Let me add that the fact that the letter to Obama was written by a Ricochet member makes me proud.

    • #26
  27. DocJay Inactive
    DocJay
    @DocJay

    Nice job Jamie. This one is a no brainier for our next president.

    • #27
  28. Pseudodionysius Inactive
    Pseudodionysius
    @Pseudodionysius

    Jamie Wilson:This is my article. Thank you, Mr. Rahe, for your kind words.

    That was very well done and your praise is well deserved. Thank you for writing what needs to be said.

    • #28

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