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Your Views: Fort Hood shooting shows why officers should be armed

POSTED: April 7, 2014 1:00 a.m.

During the airing of an interview by Bill O’Reilly on Fox News on Thursday, Col. David Hunt mentioned arming the “leadership” when O’Reilly quickly blew off the suggestion. O’Reilly then continued on with leading questions about the tragedy and promoting his own agenda.

As long as the current thinking by our leadership at the national level remains unchanged, Col. Hunt’s “leadership” suggestion will never see the light of day. Even the commanding general at Fort Hood played down “arming the troops.” I feel that he was talking the talk that was provided him prior to the press conference.

This is not an all-or-nothing issue. Commanders and senior level non-commissioned officers, i.e., sergeant majors and first sergeants, should be allowed to carry weapons. Here’s why: Commanders and senior NCOs are the go-to people in units and where the rubber meets the road. They have been charged for centuries for the maintaining the health, welfare, morale and safety of their soldiers (collective term). They are responsible for everything their unit and soldiers do or fail to do.

It is time commanders, sergeant majors and first sergeants, company level and above, be permitted to carry a weapon, concealed or otherwise, in the performance of their duties. They are entrusted with the keys to their arms rooms, but can’t be trusted to be individually armed. I am having trouble with this way of thinking.

I am a retired soldier with more than 40 years of service both active duty and national guard. I served four overseas tours, including two years in Vietnam for a total of five years. The current rules of engagement for our troops both overseas and at home are in need of review and revision. Status quo on this issue is not a viable strategy for securing and maintaining a safe environment for our service personnel.

Mike Seely
Gainesville


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