It is against policy at Fort Hood for troops to carry a weapon while on base, regardless of their training. Representative Mike McCaul, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, is pushing to allow soldiers to be allowed to carry concealed weapons on military bases. This is the second shooting that has taken place at Fort Hood in less than 5 years. Some have criticized the idea that the military had to wait for the FBI and local law enforcement to respond to the attack.
Rep. Mike McCaul said Wednesday’s tragedy at Fort Hood is another reminder that members of the military should be able to carry concealed weapons on base.
“I personally think, if you’re trained for combat, you ought to be able to carry a weapon,” the Texas Republican said on Fox News’s “The Kelly File” on Wednesday night in the wake of the shooting that left four dead and more than a dozen injure at the Texas military base.
A bill to that effect has been introduced in Congress but has not gone anywhere. The legislation was inspired in part by the previous tragic shooting at Fort Hood, by Army Maj. Nidal Hassan in 2009, as well as an attack at Washington’s Navy Yard last year.
McCaul, who is chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said there is “some logic” to allowing people trained in warfare on military bases to carry weapons.
“Al Qaeda and terrorists and jihadists are targeting our military bases,” McCaul said. “That is a fact. … The problem here, and with Fort Hood, the prior Nidal Hasan case, was that they couldn’t defend themselves because they were not allowed to carry weapons. So I think the policymakers, Congress, we need to revisit this procedure, this policy, to see if we should arm them so they can better protect themselves.”
McCaul’s position was not echoed, however, by his fellow Texas Republican, Rep. John Carter, whose district includes part of Fort Hood. Carter said on military bases, he defers to the military’s decision.
“I am a believer in the right to keep and bear arms. And I believe that licensed carriers should be able to carry,” Carter said on CNN’s “New Day” on Thursday. “However, I also believe that if you want to exclude them from your home and tell them they need to leave their pistol at home, you can do it. Quite honestly, Fort Hood is the Army’s home. I defer to the Army. They get to make that decision.”