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Are Military Installations Soft Targets?

The National Review Online reports: “On the face of it, the idea of an individual’s attacking a military base seems almost comical — the plot of a low-budget satire or an over-zealous story in a Victorian book for boys. Schoolchildren have a phrase for people who contrive to do what seems impossible: “Yeah, you and whose army?” A school — well, that’s an obvious choice for a deranged killer. A shopping mall or beauty salon likewise. But one of the homes of the strongest military the world has ever seen? Not a great plan. There be soldiers.”  

“But what if the army isn’t armed and the security is thin on the ground? Three times in the past four years, military bases have been the scenes of horrific rampages — once at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C; twice at Fort Hood in Texas, which is home to the much-decorated First Cavalry, among others. On each occasion, gunmen have managed to run riot while servicemen were ordered to “shelter in place” — camouflaged commandos being asked to defend themselves with tables while they waited for the police to arrive. Walk into a church in Texas and open fire, and there’s a good chance you’ll find lead flying back your way within a minute or so; start blasting away in the barracks, and you’ll apparently enjoy carte blanche for a while. Are our installations soft targets?”

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