US Army Charges Ft. Hood Shooter

Thirteen counts of premeditated murder.
Under the UCMJ, if he’s convicted, he can face a firing squad. He will, more likely, face lethal injection if convicted. If this goes to courts-martial, chances are he will be convicted. It’s a safe bet, at this point, there’s more to the story than came out on the day of the shootings, though.

Here’s a thought: instead of more troops in Afghanistan, what about paying more attention to the needs of the troops and veterans here at home?

I support *all* the troops. I think they all need to come home safe — and stay safe after they get here.

In a perfect world the incredibly jacked-up rewards offered for Osama bin Laden would’ve produced him, by now. Since that didn’t happen, maybe what ought to is that foreign aid money for Pakistan, India, and neighboring countries be withheld until he, or his identifiable remains, is produced at some neutral site, like possibly The Hague.

Meanwhile, here’s another insight into the troubled life Major Hasan led:

Major Hasan also seemed to believe that his mosques could help him find a wife, preferably one of Arab descent, he told imams. Faizul Khan, the former imam at the Muslim Community Center in Silver Spring, Md., said he knew women who had been interested in Major Hasan because he had a good job. But he did not find any of them pious enough, the imam said.
Though Major Hasan told his cousins that he planned to marry sometime this year, he was not known to have ever had a girlfriend, relatives said.

It took seven minutes to kill a baker’s dozen and wound almost three times as many more. The weapon used appears to have been an FN Herstal 5.7 mm pistol — a caliber bigger than the Army’s M-16, but not so big that either the firearm or the spare magazines, of which the major apparently had more than one, would’ve been difficult to conceal in the current BDU uniform.

What was at the heart of his discontent? Religion? Loneliness? Some odd combination of the two?

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10 responses to “US Army Charges Ft. Hood Shooter

  1. grahamfirchlis

    Hard to make any sense out of this, the guy was/is clearly a loony. You would think that since he was constantly in contact with dozens of supposedly professional psychologists that somebody would have raised a serious alarm, but no.

    Also interesting that he was able to legally buy a weapon like that, with spare clips and plenty of ammunition, and the purchase didn’t raise any flags even though the FBI supposedly had him on a watch list. Apparently the Gun Lobby has more clout than Homeland Security, in spite of all that reorganization and additional funding and violations of multiple Constitutional rights.

    I blame the NRA. Why do they love the terrorists and hate America?

  2. blacksheepone

    I don’t know how the Army handles stuff like this, but in the Air Force in the 1970s, if you were not on a specifically “barred from base” list, local gunshops could/would sell you anything in their inventory you could pay for; and the NRA has, sans LaPierre, a point.
    Without that pesky 2nd amendment the rest of ’em are a lot like a court order to keep a stalker at bay. I think the word I’m looking for here is … toothless, maybe.

  3. grahamfirchlis

    Things have supposedly tightened up some since the 70s, when even a long-haired hippie could walk into a small-town hardware store in Utah, Idaho, Arizona or Wyoming and with cash-in-hand buy a box of dynamite and a carton of blasting caps no questions asked. Puting an end to that sort of freedom was definitely a good idea, although it did seriously put a crimp in my personal fun. Seems like we could use a bit more tightening.

    I’m all for private gun ownership, no reason to let the uniforms have all the fun, but there also needs to be a rigorous, functional system of registration and background checks for all gun purchases or we’ll just keep having these kinds of slaughters unabated. A waiting period for clearance won’t catch all the loonies, but it will stop some and the inconvenience for people of good intent is next to nil.

    Don’t care who you are or what you have planned in the way of defending your Constitutional rights, nobody truly needs to be able to just flash some money and walk right out the door with a weapon like that.

  4. blacksheepone

    Nobody?

    I dunno, didn’t some LA cops benefit from being able to pick up augmented weapons a few years back when the bad guys robbing a bank had ’em outgunned by something on the order of a 50-cal to a peashooter?

    No, it wasn’t quite that bad, but I remember it made the news for days and IIRC a couple or three of the cops were shot ’cause the bad guys had the equivalent of squad weapons and the cops didn’t bring their tank to the scene.

  5. grahamfirchlis

    Did qualify that statement about easy access of mass-kill weapons by specifying the use of cash, as in Joe Blow walks into WalMart with a wad of dough and 15 minutes later walks out with a high-powered weapon and boxes of cop-killer ammo. I just can’t see any real need for hurry-up in that scenario.

    As for the LAPD, dunno how things work in Texas but out here if the cops show up at your gun counter en mass wearing full battle-rattle and demanding everything you’ve got, the only sane response is “OK, and here’s all my ammo too.” The paperwork gets sorted later.

    See, the cops have already undergone a background check and gotten lots of training, and are actually authorized (however imperfectly) by the collective will of society to carry and use these sorts of weapons off the battlefield. Joe and Jill Blow, not so much, and they too should have to undergo some sort of rigorous screening and training before we allow them gun ownership.

    As for the specific incident you mention, the problem for early-responder LAPD patrol wasn’t inadequate weaponry but the fact that the bad guys were wearing heavy-grade body armor while the cops had only standard issue vests and few of those. LAPD grabbing high-powered guns from a local store made headlines, but didn’t have any effect on the outcome as the shooters were taken down by SWAT with high-powered rifles before LAPD street officers could deploy their commandered weapons.

    Of further note, both of the shooters had prior felony arrests but were allowed to recover their seized assault rifles after serving less than 100 days and completing probation. They used those recovered weapons, illegally modified to full auto, in the shootout. Stronger limitations on right-to-own would have kept those weapons in police custody.

    Following after-action analysis a certain percentage of patrol officers in LA and elsewhere now carry M-16 or other assault rifles after getting augmented training. Since the bullets from these weapons can penetrate concrete walls and carry immense distances, the protocols for safe use are very strict and still the risk of bystander casualties is high. Given the poor shooting accuracy of most cops (in that Hollywood firefight the cops triggered an estimated 650 rounds but only hit the suspects a total of 40 times) it may be that civilians would be as much endangered by widespread street officer use of assault weapons as they are likely to be protected.

  6. blacksheepone

    That’s what I get for depending on my memory instead of researching the incident.

    What I can speak to where the M-16 and its kin are concerned is a tendency to shoot a lot more rounds than you realize.

  7. grahamfirchlis

    Oh Yeah, lots of rounds in a hurry, that’ll be a big part of the fun! Expensive, but I’m a leach and was shooting other people’s weapons so it doesn’t count or something.

    I’m a staunch proponent of gun ownership, I’ve owned one or more weapons all my adult life although I did cut back to one shotgun when I found myself all of a sudden with a house full of kids and their very odd friends coming and going all hours. Kids are nosy creatures and get into everything, so trigger guard on the gun and lockbox for the shells, sold the rest of the armory – to responsible people only, of course.

    That said, somehow we need to at least try to get guns away from criminals and the crazed. License with formal training requirement, registration and a waiting period for screening out the felons and loonies seems to me a reasonable way to start, with hefty penalties for evading the system.

    Regards memory, your recall of the headlines and early reportage is accurate. It is just that journalism then was already in serious decline, and initial reports were hysterical and largely wrong. It wasn’t until days later that accurate stories were written but then only published on Page 26, and where you are probably not reported at all. Wolf Blitzer is not the first source of utter bullshit.

    • g2-37190d24041196ff0ae862db799fb502

      I have, since I was about 18, advocated treating firearms the same as automobiles. In other words, anybody who can pass the training course and periodic exams re: safe use, safe cleaning, safe handling, and safe storage of the weapons and the ammo, should be able to own and operate firearms.

      Of course, having one’s very own B-58 Hustler parked in the backyard means having to keep it safely maintained, too 🙂

      • grahamfirchlis

        My, what a big handle you have!

        Remind me sometime to tell you about the Canadian MD friend who collected tanks, and the former Top Gun friend who smuggled a decommissioned Czech-built MIG-19 into Montana in bits and pieces and restored it. And then flew it.

        The tanks were OK, owner had a big holding way out in the prairie, but busting Mach 1 in a MIG tight to the ground above Montana went about as well as you’d expect. Nobody seriously hurt, but a whole lot of ruffled feathers.

  8. blacksheepone

    Actually, something went a little caca with logging in from elsewhere, there.

    Didn’t say I had a Hustler myself. (Yet.)

    Mig-19, eh? Yeah, I can see that making some noise.

    Trouble with loving the planes I do, most of ’em were converted into target
    drones a generation or so back. : – (

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