Friday morning, three people were killed and 12 injured at U.S. Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida when a Naval aviation student opened fire during a class. The shooter, who was killed by sheriff’s deputies during a stand-off, has been identified as Saudi Arabian national Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani. Six other Saudi nationals were detained for questioning. The A.P. said authorities are investigating to see if it might be “terror-related.” (The news of a deadly assault by Saudi nationals who came to America to take flight training is a little too much déjà vu to ignore.)
Some people are speaking up to prevent another Fort Hood shooting-like branding of terrorism as “workplace violence.” Rep. Matt Gaetz, who represents that area, has already called it an act of terrorism, pointing out that if it were murder, NCIS would not have quickly handed the investigation over to the FBI. He’s calling on the Department of Defense and the Department of State to institute “extreme vetting” of people who are allowed into the US to train on our bases and in our communities.
But let’s not move on so quickly that we lose sight of another outrage that needs to be addressed, one that is largely responsible for the high victim count. Incredibly, our military bases are still “gun-free zones,” or as I call them, “sitting duck zones.” Despite the fact that virtually all mass shootings take place in so-called “gun-free zones,” we still have an unbelievably idiotic policy of banning everyone on our military bases from carrying guns. That means the people who are the best-trained in the world to handle weapons, and whom we entrust with using those weapons to protect all Americans, are not allowed to have weapons to protect themselves. When this shooter pulled out a gun and started firing – on a UNITED STATES MILITARY BASE! – all his unarmed victims had to wait until sheriff’s deputies showed up to engage the shooter.
With President Trump doing so much to reverse the destructive and idiotic policies of his predecessors, let’s hope he makes reversing this a top priority. Here’s more on that subject, including the restrictions we put on our military members and how many times they’ve been attacked after being rendered defenseless, but I warn you: it will make you very angry.