Fort Hood

Defeat

If nine people can be shot dead while praying in their church…

If 12 soldiers can be gunned down on their own base by fellow soldier…

If a congresswoman can be shot in the head six other people can be gunned down…

If a gunman can walk into a movie theater and kill 12 people…

If 26 people - 20 children - can be gunned down in their elementary school…

If 12 people can be shot dead at a Navy yard…

If six Sikhs can be shot dead at their temple…

If two police officers can be shot dead while leaving their police station in the middle of the night…

If black men, women, and children can be gunned down for simply being black…

And if no one wants to do anything to change this…

It is not safe to live in the United States of America.

One unfortunate thing that happens every time there’s a mass shooting (on top of the tragedy of the actual shooting, of course) is that everyone on the news makes really misguided and harmful comments about mental illness and automatically jumps to how “crazy” or “psycho” the shooter was without thinking that there’s thousands, if not millions, of people out there living with the same mental health issues who would never do anything like that or even anything violent at all.

Don’t fall…

Chinook helicopter pilots from Company B, 2nd General Support Aviation Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, perform a pinnacle maneuver on a 300-foot vertical cliff during a training exercise. The pinnacle allows the pilots to drop off ground forces in areas too dangerous or too difficult to fully land in.

(Photo by Staff Sergeant Nathan Hoskins, 26 August 2010 via DVIDS.)

Read the Powerful Letter a Fort Hood Solider Penned Asking for His ‘God-Given Right’ to Arm Himself on Base

My name is First Lieutenant Patrick Cook of the 49th Transportation Battalion, Fort Hood, Texas, and this past Wednesday I found myself trapped in an enclosed room with fourteen of my fellow Soldiers, one of whom was barricading the door against a madman with a .45 pistol when he was fatally shot.

Through what I can only describe as a miracle, he somehow found enough strength to continue pushing against that door until the shooter gave up and went elsewhere, at which time he collapsed, Nearly a week later, I can still taste his blood in my mouth from when I and my comrades breathed into his lungs for 20 long minutes while we waited for a response from the authorities. This Soldier’s name was Sergeant First Class Daniel Ferguson, and his sacrifice loaned me the rest of my life to tell this story.

But I write to you today not to memorialize this brave Soldier, nor to tell a war story about how we made the best of a losing situation, but to express the part of that story that some in high positions of power clearly do not want told: I knew this was going to happen, I had been saying for five years that Fort Hood was a tinderbox of another massacre waiting to happen. It had to happen, because our betters failed to learn the obvious lesson of five years ago. Worse yet, I know it will happen again. More will die, more will be wounded, more families will be torn apart, needlessly. It happened again, and will happen again, because Fort Hood is a gun free zone.

When the first shots rang out, my hand reached to my belt for something that wasn’t there. Something that could have put a stop to the bloodshed, could have made it merely an ‘ugly incident’ instead of the horrific massacre that I will surely remember as the darkest twenty minutes of my life, stripped of my God-given Right to arm myself, the only defensive posture I had left was to lie prostrate on the ground, and wait to die. As the shooter kicked at the door, I remember telling myself, ‘oh well, this is it.’ It is beneath human dignity to experience the utter helplessness I felt that day. I cannot abide the thought that anyone should ever feel that again.

At the point blank range at which this shooting occurred, anyone with an M9 and some basic instruction could have ended the mayhem as quickly as it began, an MP by trade and a CHL holder, I am convinced that concealed weapons would have stopped it, but openly carried side-arms, like the ones carried in a law enforcement capacity, could have prevented it entirely. Instead, many more died because of the fatally misguided restrictions on the carrying of arms, which obviously the madman did not respect.

I shall conclude by restating my warning. This will happen again, and again until we learn the lesson that suppressing the bearing of arms doesn’t prevent horrific crimes, it invites them. To those of you who hold elected office, if you hear nothing else I have told you, hear this: you have the power to stop the next massacre from happening, you have an opportunity to restore the sacred Right to bear arms, which has been either stripped entirely or unjustly relegated to the poor substitute of a probationary, government-issued privilege. For God’s sake, do the right thing.

A Soldier from the 1st Battalion, 143rd Infantry Regiment (Airborne) takes his last steps out the door during a training jump on Nov. 14, 2014. The battalion departed Austin’s Bergstrom International Airport on two Altus Air Force-based C-17 Globemasters, flew to Fort Hood, and then jumped into the Rapido Drop Zone wearing full combat gear. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Maj. Randall Stillinger

A shooting Wednesday night left at least one person dead and at least 14 others wounded at Fort Hood, the sprawling Army facility that in 2009 was the site of the deadliest mass shootings ever at an American military base, law enforcement officials said.

There were conflicting reports of whether the gunman was dead. One senior federal law enforcement official said the gunman was a member of the military and had been killed. Another official said the gunman “has been neutralized,” although he would not say whether that meant he had been killed or was under arrest. Military officials would not confirm the status of the gunman.

The Fort Hood Press Center said that the injured were being treated at the Carl R. Darnall Medical Center on the post and at other local hospitals.

The shooting that sent Fort Hood in Killeen, Tex., into a lockdown sparked a massive police response and brought back memories of the deadly rampage there in November 2009. On Nov. 5, 2009, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan opened fire inside the Soldier Readiness Processing Center, shooting unarmed soldiers and commissioned officers as they tried to hide under desks and tables. Major Hasan, a Muslim military psychiatrist, shot and killed 12 unarmed soldiers and one civilian while wounding or shooting at 30 other soldiers and two police officers.

— 

The New York Times, “Fort Hood Shooting Leaves One Dead, 14 Injured.”

Jesus Christ.