John Lott’s op-ed on gun-free zones at military bases at the Chicago Tribune starts this way:
What stops a mass public shooting is a person with a gun. Frequently it isn’t even necessary to fire the gun. But the length of time between when an attack starts and when someone is able to arrive on the scene with a gun is crucial in determining how many people get killed or wounded.
At Fort Hood, Texas, this past week, the six minutes before military police arrived at the scene proved much too long for the three people killed and 16 wounded.
Military police are important. They guard base entrances and travel around the base like police do in any city, but also like police, they can’t be everywhere all the time.
Most people are surprised to learn that besides the military police, other soldiers on military bases are banned from carrying guns. The ban, first proposed during the George H.W. Bush administration and rewritten and implemented under President Bill Clinton in 1993, was supposed to make the military more of a “professional businesslike environment.”
But as a consequence of the ban, during the Navy Yard and two Fort Hood shootings, the unarmed JAG officers, Marines and soldiers could do nothing but cower as the shooter fired round after round. . . . .