Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Gun Control and Political Correctness

The pundits, the talking heads, the gun control advocates, have been out, claiming that gun control could have prevented Nidal Malik Hasan from shooting so many soldiers at Fort Hood. They seem to believe that more restrictions on guns is the answer, never realizing that most Army installations have very strict weapons policies. Soldiers are well aware of the danger of weapons in the hands of those who care nothing for the law.

It would seem to me that political correctness has a larger role in this than the gun laws in Texas. Hasan had come to the attention of many, but his heritage, his personal identification and his religious beliefs, though well known were ignored in a world where such things are more important than common sense.

How many of the soldiers interviewed later said they had been concerned about some of the things that Hasan said but were afraid to push the issue because they didn’t want to be labeled racists? How many said nothing for the same reasons?

The Army, and the other services have spent millions on classes about racial diversity, attempting to create a climate in which all soldiers are treated equally. This is an admirable goal. A soldier shouldn’t be singled out because he or she happens to have an identity outside the military. To my mind all soldiers should be seen as OD Green, Army issue, meaning all are the same.

But when one of them goes out of his way to attract attention with his personal beliefs, when he has a philosophy that seems to put his personal beliefs above the oath of office he took upon entering the service, then he should be noticed. The tough questions should be asked. There should not be a fear on the part of others that such questions will get them into trouble, will prevent them from receiving promotions and will find them having to answer questions.

How could this tragedy been avoided? Pay attention to the warning signs. Don’t let political correctness color the decision. And don’t blame guns when the problem isn’t the weapon, but the man with his finger on the trigger.