I am a retired Air Force officer and go to Fort Bragg on a regular basis. Its gates are manned by armed guards, primarily MPs, and access is only to those with proper credentials.

The killings at Pensacola should never have happened. First of all, the Saudi should never have been able to purchase a firearm, especially not a sidearm. The Second Amendment cites only “citizens.”

Second, the ensign, as a guard, should have been armed. Third, why was the ensign acting as a guard? Does not the Navy have Marines on their gates? They certainly did when I was on active duty.

Peyton Cook, Southern Pines

Publisher’s Note: This is a letter to the editor, submitted by a reader, and reflects the opinion of the author. The Pilot welcomes letters from readers on its Opinion page, which serves as a public forum. The Pilot is not in the business of suppressing public opinion. We are a forum for community debate, and publish almost every letter we receive. For information on how to make a submission, visit this page: https://www.thepilot.com/site/forms/online_services/letter/

(6) comments

Keith Miller

Mr Roman...lets forget your political stand about the NRA for the moment...How do you know...that the Watch Officer / Ensign ( if armed ) at the entrance of the building or at the gate...would have made no difference and could not have stopped the killings and injuries, if not all, but lessened the assault ??

Dan Roman

Once again 2 minutes of online research:

1) the Saudi secured a hunting license which allows non-immigrants in the US on non-immigrant visas to purchase a firearm, which he did, legally, at a local gun shop

(another victory for the NRA "somebody, anybody, everybody" firearm purchase and ownership policy?).

2) the event took place in an on base classroom thus all the other questions are irrelevant because the Saudi didn't try to storm the base thru one of the gates, which is to say that armed Marines at any of the gates would not have changed things one iota.

Took longer to type this than it did to do the research.

Richard Wright

Actually if you researched this answer, you would have found that the NRA had nothing to do with the law permitting foreign nationals to buy firearms. In fact the statute originates from legislation proposed by Senator Dick Durbin in 1997, supported by Ted Kennedy and President Bill Clinton. And the Ensign was performing as Watch Officer at the Quarter Deck as you entered the building. So much for research.

Conrad Meyer

Thanks Richard for the "correct" answer.

Hey Dan, how does that crow taste?

Dan Roman

Watch officer at the entrance of the building or at the gate...no difference because neither would have stopped the event from occurring as it did. Sorry you don't like the comment about the NRAs "somebody, anybody, everybody" attitude towards firearm ownership but that doesn't change it's reality and the resultant ease of firearm purchase. The "truth" as you imagine it to be doesn't change the facts as they are.

Richard Wright

Dan, hate to bust your bubble, but a Watch Officer does not pull duty at a gate. Those are SP's (Security Police). I find it most interesting that you see the NRA as the root of all evil. You must explain how exactly the NRA allowed this individual to buy a firearm . Why does the left always find someone to blame other than the perpetrator, in this case an Islamic terrorist.

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