TIME Military

Lawmakers, Officials Debate Letting Soldiers Carry Guns on Base

In the aftermath of the deadly shooting at Fort Hood, Representative Michael McCaul of Texas suggested arming soldiers would be a good way to prevent shoot-outs, but retired admiral Michael Mullen, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said it would be a bad idea

Lawmakers and military officials weighed in on Sunday morning on the wisdom of allowing soldiers to carry private weapons on bases, after the deadly shooting at Fort Hood last week prompted a debate about base security.

Representative Michael McCaul, the Republican from Texas, suggested arming soldiers would be a good way to prevent shoot-outs. “We need to talk to the commanders about whether it would make sense to have not all but maybe some of our senior leadership officers, enlisted men on the base, carrying weapons for protection,” he said on CBS’s Face the Nation.

But Pentagon officials and military commanders have said it would likely be a poor idea, said Dan Pfeiffer, a senior adviser to President Obama, on Face the Nation. And Michael Mullen, a former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, also said he was not in favor of the idea. “I’m not one, as someone who’s been on many, many bases and posts, that would argue for arming anybody that’s on base,” Mullen said on NBC’s Meet the Press.

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