President Obama took another pass at commenting on the Fort Hood massacre in the Rose Garden this morning:
This morning I met with FBI Director Mueller and the relevant agencies to discuss their ongoing investigation into what caused one individual to turn his gun on fellow servicemen and women. We don’t know all of the answers yet, and I would caution against jumping to conclusions until we have all of the facts.
“Don’t jump to conclusions” is an all-purpose tautology, like “Don’t panic.” It’s hard to argue with. One wonders, though, exactly what conclusions he has in mind. I think it’s safe to predict that President Obama will never reach those conclusions, let alone jump to them.
The most informative and straightforward account of the massacre I’ve seen is in London’s Sun newspaper. It pays tribute to policewoman Kimberly Munley, who was on a routine traffic patrol and became the first officer on the site. (There were lots of soldiers there, of course, but they were all unarmed because it was a “gun-free zone”–sort of a microcosm of the adage that when guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.) It would have been easy for her to conclude that this incident was way beyond her pay grade and wait for reinforcements, but instead Sgt. Munley sought out the murderer, confronted him and shot him four times while being wounded herself. The Sun quotes Base Commander Lt. Gen. Bob Cone:
Often you circle the building and wait for back-up. But the thinking is if you act aggressively and take-out the shooter you have less fatalities.
Presumably that doesn’t constitute jumping to conclusions.
PAUL adds: Suddenly, President Obama doesn’t want to jump to conclusions. He had no such compunction about jumping to conclusions when his friend Professor Gates harangued a police officer.
I think we can jump to a few in this case. The shooter hated the United States and its armed forces. The shooter’s grievances were political and religious in nature. In addition, the shooter may have had grievances specific to things that were said and done to him. Any such grievances cannot remotely explain or justify his resort to violence, much less mass killing. The killings are best viewed as an act of terrorism grounded in radical Islam.
A FEW MORE CONCLUSIONS (jumped to by Paul): The shooter should be executed. If the shooter is not executed, this country is in more trouble than I thought. There should be an investigation into how the shooter remained in the Army, given his increasingly obvious anti-American radicalism.
The rule against soldiers carrying weapons on military bases should be revisited. The rule against soldiers having their weapons “locked and loaded” on bases in combat areas (yes, a friend who served in Iraq tells me there was such a rule on his base) should be revoked.