December 6, 2019 – In Breaking News – NBC News
Two mass shootings at U.S. military installations in one week, including one in which the perpetrator was a foreign national, have prompted questions over firearm use on American bases.
Friday’s shooting by a Saudi national who was in the United States for navy training left three people dead and eight injured at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida.
It came two days after a sailor shot two civilian Defense Department workers dead at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard in Hawaii before killing himself.
(FBI agents are scouring the scene of a shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola and digging evidence into the background of the alleged shooter. He was a Saudi pilot, and one of several hundred foreign pilots training at Pensacola. Courtesy of CBS Evening News and YouTube. Posted on Dec 6, 2019.)
To have two shootings clustered one after another on military bases is unusual.
In the past two decades, there have only been about seven other active shootings on bases; the deadliest was a November 2009 shooting spree in Fort Hood, Texas, which killed 13 and injured 32.
(Airman Apprentice Cameron Walters, Airman Mohammed Haitham and Ensign Joshua Watson have been identified as the victims killed during a shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola. Courtesy of TODAY and YouTube. Posted on Dec 8, 2019.)
Gunfire on bases is rare partly because access to weapons is highly restricted, with military facilities generally forbidding anyone from carrying a firearm — even if it is government-issued.
Government-issued firearms are locked in an arms room on base and only distributed when they are needed for training, MSNBC military analyst and retired Army Col. Jack Jacobs said.
(The shooter was an active-duty sailor who opened fire on three civilian employees before he fatally shot himself. Courtesy of ABC News and YouTube. Posted Dec 5, 2019.)
Personal weapons are prohibited on base, but they must be registered with the base even though they are not to be used there.
This regulation has been violated in the past: In September 2013, Aaron Alexis, a contractor who had authorized access at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C., took an unassembled shotgun onto the base in a bag.
Once inside, he reassembled the weapon and opened fire, killing 12 people.
(In a press conference FBI special agent Rachel Rojas identifies the Saudi gunman who killed three sailors at a naval air station in Pensacola, Fla. Under Saudi Arabia’s King Salman’s direction, the government has pledged to cooperate with the U.S. authorities while the investigation takes place. Courtesy of MSNBC and YouTube. Posted on Dec 8, 2019.)
Military personnel know they could face “significant” risks to their careers if they carry a firearm onto a base in their vehicles, said Rick “Ozzie” Nelson, a former Navy helicopter pilot and terrorism expert for the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a nonprofit policy research organization.
While each base has slightly different security procedures, most typically provide only a cursory check of vehicles of authorized people when they enter, not anticipating there will be any weapons, whereas delivery trucks or visitors are given a thorough examination, Nelson said.
“There is no way you could search all the vehicles coming into these bases every day,” Watts said.
“Often times, you’re talking about tens of thousands of people, depending on the size of the base, coming through. It just is completely infeasible.”
Continue reading… 2 active shooters in one week prompt questions about military bases’ ban on firearms
(Trump administration officials and members of Congress reacted to the shooting at a U.S. military base in Florida by a Saudi military student in Pensacola, Fla. Courtesy of The Washington Post and YouTube. Posted on Dec 8, 2019.)
Editor’s note: As the proud parent of a U.S. Marine who was stationed for training at Pensacola for an extended period of time, my heart goes out to the families of Airman Apprentice Cameron Walters, Airman Mohammed Haitham and Ensign Joshua Watson, all of those injured, and to all their fellow service members.
Thank you for your bravery in serving the citizens of our Nation, with pride and distinction.
All give some, some give all. You will not be forgotten.
AST strives to meet a 3 STAR trustworthiness rating, based on the following criteria:
- Provides named sources
- Reported by more than one notable outlet
- Includes supporting video, direct statements, or photos