Articles gun-free-zone

Published on September 19th, 2013 | by Dr. Joel McDurmon


Disarmed Military Bases: It’s Bush’s fault! Really, it is.

The Blaze did the world a service by digging up the truth on why U.S. military bases are disarmed “gun free zones” except for certain authorized guards. While dozens of conservative commentators rushed forward to blame an Army regulation imposed under Clinton’s watch, few noticed what the Blaze caught: that regulation applied only to the Army (not the other branches), but more importantly was acting upon a previous directive of disarmament imposed under the former president, Papa Bush.

Read my lips: no new taxes, and no personal carry on military bases. If only he would have lied about both instead of only the first.

In short, disarmed military bases? It’s Bush’s fault.

But even the Blaze report did not note that the Bush directive itself references a previous “DoD Directive 5210.66, ‘Carrying of Firearms by DoD Personnel,’ March 17, 1986.” It is possible, therefore, that similar policy stems from the Reagan era. My suspicion is that it goes back much earlier, even.

Of course, the question is why. There are not too many people trying to explain the reasoning behind such directives, whoever’s fault they may be. Liberal writers point to different factors: one claims the military desires intimate knowledge of even soldier’s privately owned (even if off-base) firearms due to the dramatic increase in military suicides (ending the insane wars, apparently, has not occurred to them).

Another writer points to the language of the Bush directive:

[T]here’s a clue in the phrase: “[T]he necessity to carry a firearm shall be… weighed against the possible consequences of accidental or indiscriminate use of firearms.” Having a bunch of armed people walking around increases the chance of a gun-related accident or altercation. The military, especially, values discipline and doesn’t like accidents.

Perhaps. Perhaps. But these sound like post-hoc rationalizations to me. The common sense just seems so much the opposite. As Judge Napolitano told Fox, “It’s insane to keep weapons away from soldiers on bases.”

A large part of the problem, however, is what we have consistently criticized from the perspective of biblical law: that is the issue of a standing army to begin with (see my The Bible & War in America and Restoring America). The laws for kings (Deut. 17) and the laws for military and warfare (Deut. 20) both make clear that a militia system is the biblical way.

It’s interesting in this regard that the Second Amendment has reference specifically to have “A well regulated militia.” Now liberals love to point to this fact in their pitiful and sadistic attempt to deny the right to individuals. “It’s only for militias,” they say. But this is nonsense. Nevertheless, it should be of interest to us that militias were the stated means of preserving freedom for which individuals have that right, and which the Amendment expressly recognizes.

This means that in the original design, American would not be defended by a standing army, but by free individual citizens who would be already armed and called into a militia only when necessary.

All kinds of evils can come about when standing armies are made the norm. These stem from the fact that the military is an executive department ruled by executive, Department of Defense directives and regulations. Bases are DoD property, and the DoD makes its own rules. For whatever reason—suicide rates, accident prevention, too many video games, whatever—it can force soldiers to remain disarmed on base. Any attempt at lawsuit will run up against the property rights issue and the contract issue. Both of these, among others, will legitimize the entire bureaucracy and all of its regulations.

Unlike free citizens who are armed in case a militia is needed, these are servants of an executive bureaucracy who are bound by their own signature to work in gun free zones when told to do so. There is a world of difference. And that difference has proven costly.

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About the Author

Dr. Joel McDurmon

Joel McDurmon, Ph.D. in Theology from Pretoria University, is the Director of Research for American Vision. He has authored seven books and also serves as a lecturer and regular contributor to the American Vision website. He joined American Vision's staff in the June of 2008. Joel and his wife and four sons live in Dallas, Georgia.

22 Responses to Disarmed Military Bases: It’s Bush’s fault! Really, it is.

  1. VietNam Vet69 says:

    Dr. McD is absolutely correct in assuming that soldiers have been prevented from carrying loaded weapons on military bases for a long, L l o o n n g g time. From conversations with my Dad (a WW II and Korea Vet, the only legally armed personnel on a CONUS base were the MPs, SPs and the APs. Large U.S. bases in foreign lands also proscribe loaded weapons on a base, and some Base Commanders – even in a war zone, follow that same philosophy. In Vietnam, my 175/8″ battery adhered to my policy of ALWAYS carrying a loaded weapon, Big bases like Da Nang, Chu Lai, etc., allowed only guards and Quick Response Team Members to carry loaded weapons. If the Cong had ever infiltrated Saigon in force, we would have lost thousands of killed and wounded.
    If you wish to truly know what the writers of the Constitution meant by a “well regulated militia”, simply look to your history books. The writers of the Constitution addressed that simple questions and their answer was “the militia are the PEOPLE”, and that “the people are the militia”.
    According to the current administration, I am thrice damned. I am a combat veteran (100% disabled from a semi-planned vacation to a beautiful southeastern Asia paradise), a Conservative who believes if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it (unless we need to stay ahead of an American enemy in technology or boots), and a practicing Christian (“practicing” meaning that I do my best to keep to the path, but when I slip off into the mud and am regretful in my soul and ask for forgiveness, I can be put back on the path by Christ – who paid the toll for all of us).

  2. Michael Paul Tuuri says:

    Excellent article, Joel. Man, there are some people out there with some real hate on for you, which I just don’t get. By the by, the Dick Act recognizes the “unorganized militia”, which means that the militia system is still in place, although it has been gutted by “people-control” acts, masquerading as gun-control. And as to tats, those laws in the OT had to do with tattoos as marks of allegiance and obeisance to foreign gods, and were not intended as statutes forever. Same as the food laws, which had little to do with health, and more to do with separation from the unclean. Keep up the good work, my friend.

  3. Joyful Song says:

    So, maybe we should be organizing into local militias?

    • Ross Blankert says:

      There are already organized militias in many parts of the country. The US military is being slowly weakened to a point of disaster. An organized National police consisting of DHS , FBI, CIA, DEA, IRS, and agencies like the Library of Congress etc all have heavily armed officers who are all getting the same equipment and the only difference is the tag on the back of the uniform. They will be used to fight the American people. They only answer to the president.

    • David Paulson says:

      You must remember that, to the best of my understanding, militias have always been volunteer institutions. No one was ever compelled to serve in the militia. But most free citizens felt a patriotic duty to serve if they could.

  4. Dan W Rykard says:

    I am not sure where you got your information, but Clinton disarm and dismantled the military they had to rob parts off other vehicles to get one to run, the pilots did not have enough jet fuel to fly the hours each month that they are suppose too. When 9-11 Bush had to spend so much money to get our military back to the point where they are able to protect their own selves. I for one do not believe any thing in this article.

    • WesTexan says:

      You got it exactly right. You beat me to the punch. Good job!

    • Arrow says:

      Sure, how could a Republican do anything wrong?

      Trouble is, when you look at facts, the picture changes. F’rinstnace, the federal budget. It has ballooned under GOP administrations MORE THAN under Democrats. And, the trend was that GOP administrations tended to have more GOP leaning congresses, so nobody can shift the blame there.

      Planned parenthood funding also saw massive increases during the administration of Little Bush. How could that be? Simple..he budgeted it, and the GOP congress approved it.

      Across the board, the Republicans are as liberal as the Democrats, in fact on fiscal matters they are more liberal.

      By the way, I’m a lifelong Republican.

    • Arrow says:

      Also…can someone help me out…I’m trying to remember who was president in 1983 when we lost 241 servicemen at one time in Beiruit because their guards were under orders from Washington to carry UNLOADED rifles. It must have been a Democrat, but I can’t remember…

  5. Mark says:

    Tattoos are not unbiblical…. Dr. McDurmon should not be criticized over his tattoos…….. but his failure to recognized covenantal eschatology should be criticized.

    • winki says:

      Actually tatoos are NOT Biblical. THE BIBLE CLEARLY STATES WE ARE NOT TO MARK UPON OUR BODY! Leviticus 19:28 “Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD.”

      What do tatoos have to do with the military not being allowed guns on base? Did I miss something in the article?

      • Mark says:

        Winki, Sorry for the confusion. I meant my posting to be under Midwest’s response and his mention about tattoos……

  6. From the Midwest says:

    Hey there WW. Thanks for the update, and f y too.

    • Chad Trotter says:

      And that’s game over for you sir/madam. You’ve been blocked. Thanks for playing.

  7. From the Midwest says:

    I bet you never served one second in the military. Basically, you are an 18th Century man living in the 21st Century. Wake up!!!!

    • Joel McDurmon says:

      My critique is based on biblical law, so what you really mean is that I’m a 13th Century BC (!) man living in the 21st Century. Get your facts straight.

      • From the Midwest says:

        That’s right. I stand corrected. This of course means that you are circumcised and follow all the diet laws. Basically it means that you are Mr. Kosher. I just knew it. Congratulations!!

        Honestly Joel, you people (Calvinist fanatics) at AV believe you are so holy that everyone who is not like you must be sub human. How is it to have endless enemies?

        Except for that tattoo (which is against Biblical Law), that beard makes you look like a real 13th Century Patriarch, with the brains of a 13th Century Goat herder.

        Have a nice day.

        • Wayne Walters says:

          Hey Middie, Joel herds sheep.He gave up on you goats a long time ago.

        • ThirstyJon says:

          Wow. Hostile are we?

          Thanks for the article Dr. McDurmon. I, for one, appreciated it.


        • Arrow says:

          Mr. Midwest says some nutty things but underneath it all you can see that at least he’s a thinker.

    • PreacherCruz says:

      I sir, HAVE served four years in the Army and am a partially disabled Persian Gulf vet of Desert Shield/Storm. I’m here to tell you that Dr. McDurmon NOT having this experience doesn’t automatically make him unqualified or any less correct when opining on issues affecting the military. I also don’t consider myself a Calvinist nor do I always agree with American Vision.

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