Tuesday marked the one-year anniversary of the tragic Washington Navy Yard shooting that took 12 lives. President Barack Obama used the occasion to call for “common-sense reforms” in a statement the White House released.
His statement reads:
One year ago, our dedicated military and civilian personnel at the Washington Navy Yard were targeted in an unspeakable act of violence that took the lives of 12 American patriots. As we remember men and women taken from us so senselessly, we keep close their family and friends, stand with the survivors who continue to heal and pay tribute to the first responders who acted with skill and bravery.
At the same time, we continue to improve security at our country’s bases and installations to protect our military and civilian personnel who help keep us safe.
One year ago, 12 Americans went to work to protect and strengthen the country they loved. Today, we must do the same – rejecting atrocities like these as the new normal and renewing our call for common-sense reforms that respect our traditions while reducing the gun violence that shatters too many American families every day.
The only real “common-sense reforms that respect our traditions” that would reduce the possibility of events like this and the Fort Hood massacre from recurring would be to grant military personnel the same Second Amendment rights that civilians have.
Since the issuance of Department of Defense (DoD) Directive 5210.56 signed by then-Deputy Secretary of Defense Donald Atwood on Feb.25, 1992, military installations have been turned into “gun-free zones.”
The directive indicates “it is DoD Policy” to “limit and control the carrying of firearms by DoD military and civilian personnel.”
It goes on to state when firearms may be carried.
“The authorization to carry firearms shall be issued only to qualified personnel when there is a reasonable expectation that life or DoD assets will be jeopardized if firearms are not carried.”
In both the Navy Yard and the Fort Hood shootings, the moment that “a reasonable expectation that life or DoD assets will be jeopardized” was too late. Each incident began swiftly and unexpectedly. Both ended tragically.
U.S. Military installations should be the safest places on earth. Instead we’ve turned them into shooting galleries, with military personnel acting as the sitting ducks, all lined up in a row.