Let’s not mince words: Guns can be dangerous, especially in the wrong hands.
That was abundantly clear on July 15 in Chattanooga, Tenn.
When the shooting was all over, four Marines lay dead and one sailor died a few days later.
It was a tragic situation that we’ve seen before, including here at Fort Hood.
Now, discussion is once again swelling over how to better protect our soldiers and other service members on the home front.
Service members in uniform can be easy-to-identify targets for terrorists who would wish to do them harm. And in the world today, there are plenty of nasty folks who would wish to do them harm.
Unfortunately, some of those nasty folks are right here in the United States for one reason or another.
The Army, as well as the other branches, is now in the process of reviewing homeland security protocol, especially at recruiting stations that are found commonly in shopping malls and other public places.
Meanwhile, many in Congress are pushing for more soldiers to carry guns in the workplace, and some proposed legislation would allow all soldiers to carry concealed handguns if they chose to do so.
It’s been a divisive issue in the country for years, and as more attacks happen on American soil, the case for better arming our troops at home stations is becoming a no-brainer.
That said, we should really be wise with the way we arm troops at home.
If we blindly arm all soldiers, there will likely be more accidental or other shootings.
Issuing a “self-defense” handgun to every new soldier fresh out of the basic training would likely have terrible consequences.
Anyone who has been in the Army knows that proper, professional training is the bedrock for being a soldier.
The infantry and military policemen train regularly with small-arms weapons, but Army cooks and accountants, not so much. And training to kill an active shooter, surrounded by friendlies, is another case all together.
The Army is taking the right approach by studying the matter and reporting back to the Defense Department with a plan of action.
Hopefully, military leaders can come up with something that adds security without compromising safety.
One thing is for sure: In today’s world, our soldiers need protection. On that, I think we all agree.
Jacob Brooks, a former Army tanker, is the Fort Hood Herald editor and military editor of the Killeen Daily Herald. He was stationed at Fort Hood and served with the 1st Cavalry Division from 1993 to 1996. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 254-501-7468.