Way back in 1992, Donald J. Atwood, deputy secretary of defense under President George H.W. Bush, signed Department of Defense (DoD) Directive 5210.56 - effectively creating a "gun free zone" on military bases. The policy came under fire after Army Maj. Nidal Hasan killed 13 people in a 2009 attack at Ft. Hood, and it received renewed attention today in the wake of another attack on the same base. Retired Staff Sgt. Alonzo Lunsford and Retired Lt. Gen. William "Jerry" Boykin joined Glenn to discuss the issue on Thursday's nights show on TheBlaze.
Back in September, TheBlaze analyzed this little known DoD Directive:
The controversial directive states that “it is DoD Policy” to “limit and control the carrying of firearms by DoD military and civilian personnel.”
“The authorization to carry firearms shall be issued only to qualified personnel when there is a reasonable expectation that life or DoD assets will be jeopardized if firearms are not carried,” it says.
The policy, however, adds, “DoD personnel regularly engaged in law enforcement or security duties shall be armed.”
Glenn told viewers, "The Second Amendment is about your universal God-given right to defend yourself. And the left always says it’s for an organized militia. Well, there isn’t a more organized militia than the U.S. Army, the members of the military, and their right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."
Lunsford echoed those statements, expressing his own feeling of helplessness during the 2009 attack. "When I first heard the news yesterday, I was angry. I was hurt, and I felt defenseless because I felt that I was in a position again were I could not protect those that needed to be protected," he said.
"How many times are we going to exercise the fact that we are expendable and just let these things happen and in the aftermath say well, I’m sorry for your loss? That doesn’t cut it because people die. Give us a right to defend ourselves because that’s what we’re trained to do," he said.
Lunsford told Glenn that if he had been allowed to carry a firearm he would have been able to stop Nisan. "I know had I had a gun that day, Major Hasan would not be in Fort Leavenworth right now."
Boykin agreed, stressing that the government should trust soldiers to be responsible with weapons at a base just as they are in combat situations. Instead of focusing on guns, Boykin encouraged citizens and politicians to address veterans issues that are being ignored.
"There is no excuse for us not being able to protect our troops in America and recognize that they are responsible people who have been allowed a lot of authority as well as responsibility in combat, yet they don’t have the authority to protect themselves but more importantly to protect their families right here in America," Boykin told Glenn.
"I think that it’s very important for Americans to wake up and stop blaming guns and start understanding that we have a real threat, and not only that, we have veterans issues that are not being addressed. At the time that we’re cutting budgets, we should be looking at ways to improve the situation for our veterans as well as our active-duty military," he said.
Watch the segment below:
Following his interview with Glenn Beck, Staff Sgt. Lunsford spoke with TheBlaze's Senior Washington Correspondent Sara Carter about the horror of being under attack without the ability to defend yourself. You can watch a highlight of that interview here.
Staff Sgt. Lunsford has been an outspoken critic of the Obama administrations treatment of Ft. Hood survivors, speaking to 'For The Record' and TheBlaze about the lack of care and attention back in February in 'For The Record: Broken Heart'.