Bob Barr

Instead of focusing on making such institutions actually safer in the aftermath of the Ft. Hood shooting, the Obama Administration published an 80-page report signed by then-Secretary of Defense Robert Gates that contained little more than politically correct pap.

Unfortunately, our military leadership has fallen in lock-step with the Administration’s view that firearms in the hands of our military personnel is just too much of a “public safety” issue to risk changing -- even though a single shot from an armed officer or enlisted person could have stopped both the Ft. Hood and Navy Yard shooters cold. Nary a single page in the Ft. Hood post-mortem contained any truly relevant or substantive steps that could be taken to “protect the force” against future attacks. The conversation about reevaluating Clinton’s pacifistic policy of populating our military installations with unarmed personnel never occurred.

As I wrote in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, if we want to prevent future attempted mass shootings, we must stop rushing to the easy scapegoat – guns -- which at best only addresses the “what” of mass shootings. Instead, we should focus on addressing the “why,” which is far more likely to lead to answers on how to prevent future attacks. But, we can only have this conversation if we tune-out the ideologues who hijack such tragedies for political gain.

In the coming weeks and months, it is my fervent hope that, at long last, a “meaningful response” to a mass shooting such as occurred at the Navy Yard, will be based on wisdom gleaned from a measured and logical analysis of the realities of how and why mass shooters act as they do; rather than on the tired, dead-end Shibboleth of gun control.


Bob Barr

Bob Barr represented Georgia’s 7th district in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 -2003 and as U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia from 1986-1990.