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My apologies for using the recent tragedy at Fort Hood, Texas, but I feel it has come time to question the wisdom of post policies on privately owned weapons.

Assuming POW policies are nearly identical from post to post, I have read policy letters slamming concealed firearms as "contrary to public safety, discipline and good order." In theater, soldiers [carry concealed weapons], but we call it "force protection."

Now, with so many individuals whose livelihoods revolve around using firearms being slain [because they were] unable to defend themselves, it is time to ask: How have our firearms policies made us safer? How do they impede someone who has made a decision to perpetrate such villainy? What good has a policy on restricting access to firearms done us?

Do we acknowledge having trust issues with a group having firearms around one’s countrymen, yet have no trust issues arming them and unleashing them on a Third World country?

To me, this tragedy is a monument of how untrue we’ve been, not only to sacred charters we swore to defend, but to our very life’s calling. We are constantly pressed to apply the cliche "You’re a soldier 24/7" to the most benign aspects of our personal lives. Yet, when it comes to the very essence of being a warrior — being armed for the benefit of our society — policy draws the line.

Spc. Douglas NobleNassir Wa Salam, Iraq

Stripes in 7

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