Many civilians in the U.S. are asking, "How can someone walk into a group of U.S. soldiers and murder 13 of them without facing any opposition?" Or they ask: "How can the Army defend us when it can’t even defend itself?"

These civilians don’t understand that Army leadership has been accommodating the American left’s irrational fear of honest citizens carrying firearms for years.

In Germany, unit police were guarding caserns with empty M-16s in the 1980s. The Marines had the same problem guarding the barracks in Beirut, Lebanon.

At the Fort Hood, Texas, site that was attacked, soldiers were not even allowed to carry the empty rifles they usually have to tend everywhere they go "for training." But, if they were carrying them, they would have been purely for decoration. They wouldn’t have had even blank ammunition.

Soldiers at Fort Hood and Fort McCoy, Wis. — the two training sites I have mobilized through — have carried empty M-4s, M-9s and M-16s throughout all pre-mobilization training. For two months, they practice going through the steps of clearing their weapons without the first step (removing the magazine) because they aren’t allowed to insert the magazine or use ammunition, even blanks, for training. Then, when they get in country, where they do have live ammunition, if they go through the same steps they did at the mobilization site, they risk an unintentional discharge into a clearing barrel. A serious faux pas in the Army.

Lt. Col. David J. AdamsonCamp Taji, Iraq

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