Fort Hood Shooting Survivor: More Guns Needed

A Fort Hood shooting survivor believes that soldiers should be allowed to carry weapons on military bases to prevent mass shooting incidents.

Military bases are gun-free zones.

Sgt. Alonzo Lunsford (ret.), who was shot seven times by Major Nidal Hasan in 2009 at Fort Hood, suggested on MSNBC today that more guns is the answer. In August 2013, Major Nidal Hasan was found guilty on 13 counts of premeditated murder in the 2009 Fort Hood shooting, and he is currently on death row at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

The suspect in yesterday’s shooting is Spc. Ivan Lopez, who died by a self-inflicted wound after MPs confronted him. Lopez reportedly suffered from depression and was taking medication.

Said Lunsford about whether the military should change its current policy and allow more guns on a base:

I think more guns… There’s not a need to have fear of guns. Because if you have to remember that our tax dollars are used to train every military personnel. Be it if you’re a medic or if you are a computer guy, you’re a soldier first. And when that time comes, you have to use that weapon to defend what we hold dear: our standard of living, our way of life. And had it been where other service members would have had a gun or weapons on them at the time, I don’t think that specialist would have reacted the way he was reacting. He was calling for help, and he was using that weapon as a tool to capture someone’s attention and let them know that ‘hey I need some help, I’m in trouble’… and when the MPs showed up, it’s like a man backed in a corner, and he chose to take his own life because he knew that the act that he had performed was wrong.”

Rep. Michael McCaul, the chair of the House Homeland Security Committee, has indicated that combat-trained soldiers should be allowed to carry a weapon on base. His colleague, Rep. John Carter, in whose Texas district Fort Hood is located, indicated that he prefers to leave it up to the military officials to decide.

The Safe Military Bases Act, legislation introduced last year in response to the first Fort Hood shooting as well as the Washington Navy Yard shooting, “would allow trained soldiers on bases to carry weapons in case of a terrorist attack, to prevent further tragedies like Fort Hood and Navy Yard from happening again,” according to its prime sponsor, Rep. Steve Stockman. So far the bill hasn’t gotten any traction in Congress, however.

In the aftermath of the Fort Hood shooting, should soldiers be allowed to carry guns on military installations?