To the Editor:

The purpose of this letter is to express my opinion and feelings about the most recent Fort Hood tragedy.

The media and several citizens have blamed lax security at the post as well as a need for stronger rules and regulations pertaining to the possession of weapons, background checks, etc.

Fort Hood is a relatively secure installation and has the personnel needed to maintain it.

I fully agree with the commanding general, that allowing thousands of Fort Hood soldiers and civilian employees to carry weapons is not a rational idea.

Combat soldiers are not in the business of resolving volatile situations in a peaceful, diplomatic way.

That’s when well-trained military police and other law enforcement agencies should take over.

In this instance, there’s a soldier with mental and emotional problems, being evaluated for PTSD, married with children, still grieving for his mother’s and grandfather’s deaths, angry because he apparently was given only a couple of days leave to attend his mother’s funeral.

Preventable? There was not any evidence of medical or psychiatric issues that could have alerted authorities.

Today’s KDH has a quote from President Abraham Lincoln: “I claim not to have controlled events, but confess plainly that events have controlled me.” Somehow those words ring true, especially in the case of someone trying to explain an act beyond his control.

Retired Master Sgt. P.C. Santiago


(4) comments


There are a lot of "shooters" in the news who are being treated with pharmaceutical drugs for depression/anxiety and usually the news media doesn't report that connection.

The very drugs given for depression, anxiety, etc have side effects that cause depression, anxiety, mood swings, thoughts of suicide and worse. We accept this as modern medical treatment but when things go very wrong, the media jumps to blame "the gun."

Four students are in critical condition and 21 injured after a school stabbing this morning in Pennsylvania. Anyone blaming the knife?

I understand not everyone is comfortable being around or handling guns but a "Gun Free Zone" will not make you safe. It only makes you a sitting duck.


If soldiers (and civilians) are allowed to carry concealed weapons onto the installation, it will only open the door to potentially MORE shootings. The fact is that the soldier illegally brought his weapon on the installation. When he got mad, he went to his car, retrieved the weapon, came back in and shot the person who made him angry. He snapped because he couldn't control his anger.

All you have to do is drive on Highway 190, especially during rush hours, to see the madness and crazy driving from impatient people with obvious anger issues. I can't even imagine the number of road-rage shootings that could occur if soldiers and civilians are allowed to leave the installation with a gun in the car.

Human behavior is unpredictable, and the fact that there is even a discussion about allowing weapons on base is absolutely frightening.


This reminds me of the struggle to get citizens of Washington D.C. the right to carry. They also lived in a gun free zone. Truth is, police are there for after the fact. They can't prevent anything. I think the real problem is the medication this soldier was on (anti depressants; the common link between all of the non religious mass shootings in the past few years), and apparently the chain of command was not giving this guy time to grieve for his mother. Restricting the rights of people who by all accounts live in a small city to protect themselves is not the answer. Ft. Hood is the home of more violent crime than Killeen itself.


This Soldier was in treatment for depression and anxiety, and was in evaluation for PTSD and potentially TBI. I think there were more than adequate warning signs for everyone to see that this individual was a potential threat to his own safety, or that of others.

The issue at hand is that this information was not placed in the NICS which would have prevented his lawful purchase of a firearm.

Allowing those holding a state CHL to carry concealed on the fort might also be a potential partial solution.

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