The Administrative State has done it again.
According to a Military.com article from 2016, The Pentagon directed the service branches at that time to formulate a policy allowing soldiers to conceal-carry on military bases for self-protection. The article says:
“Arming and the Use of Force,” a Nov. 18 Defense Department directive approved by Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work, lays out the policy and standards that allow DoD personnel to carry firearms and employ deadly force while performing official duties … the lengthy document also provides detailed guidance to the services for permitting soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guard personnel to carry privately owned firearms on DoD property…
Get that? The SECDEF directed the branches to figure out how to get soldiers strapped while on base THREE YEARS AGO. As you might have guessed from the two separate shootings in Hawaii and Florida in the last week, the military bureaucracy pretty much ignored the directive.
I spoke with a soldier who has attempted to bring his chain of command’s attention to the directive in order to conceal-carry himself (he does not speak for the DoD and asked to remain anonymous):
Most of the commanders I have spoken to about the directive had no idea the change existed when I showed them. After that, they mostly all thought I was crazy for suggesting such a thing as a soldier carrying a gun. The ones who are for it won’t say so publicly and back me up because of political backlash, since they are confirmed by Congress. They have also stated they are afraid that if they give one of us permission to carry a gun, we might lose our minds and start shooting colleagues. Or if one of us gets approved then EVERYONE will want to get one. In their minds, they think it’s better a dozen of our Marines get shot by someone who sneaks a gun on base than that one bad guy gets shot by someone with a permit.
Maybe the brass didn’t know about the directive because they were too busy gossiping about the Commander in Chief in congressional impeachment hearings or terrorizing Navy SEALs and their families. Or maybe they didn’t want to do it just because the Bad Orange Man has supported the idea for a long time.
Some desk pilots apparently found the time to ensure soldiers couldn’t fight back against an active shooter. From the article:
Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley has argued against reversing the DoD policy that prohibits service members from carrying concealed weapons on post. Testifying at an April 14  congressional hearing, Milley cited the Nov. 5, 2009, mass shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, in which 13 people were killed and 42 others were injured.
Sound like good bureau-logic to me. Make sure only sneaky, crazy people come armed to military installations. Tell all the responsible (and highly trained) gun owners they have to leave their heat at home.
I have to imagine there’s massive ass covering going on up the chain right now. Service people on bases are sitting ducks, and the brass KNEW it. Soldiers have been begging for the right to protect their own lives for years. The soldier I spoke to, who submitted a request to conceal-carry four months ago, said:
As far as I have been able to find out, only around three people have been authorized to conceal-carry on bases under the directive so far. Three people in three years. We’re trained most of our adult lives in this job to kill and not get killed. Mad Dog Mattis said it best–we should be prepared to kill everyone we meet. The training we have on an active shooter-type scenario is: “Hide under your desk or try and barricade yourself in a room, and hope the shooter doesn’t find you.” If you think that sounds like a sh*t plan, I’d agree with you.
Installations with tens of thousands of personnel have to rely on a handful of armed guards to protect them, and it’s not working. Base security cannot possibly check all the vehicles going on to bases, particularly the personnel who are authorized to be there every day. Sneaking in a gun is child’s play for anyone familiar with security procedures.
There are going to be more of these base massacres once the copy-catting ramps up. I wonder how many it will take before the defense higher-ups shift out of neutral? Maybe a lot. After all, none of them are getting whacked at work.