April 7th, 2014
01:14 PM ET

Time to rethink gun access rules for 'at-risk' soldiers on U.S. bases?

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When I heard about the shooting at Fort Hood last week, one thing stood out to me: the alleged shooter – 34-year old Army Specialist Ivan Lopez – was being treated for mental health issues.

Mental health issues – many believed to be caused by duty in Afghanistan and Iraq – are a scourge upon our military. In 2012, a record 350 soldiers killed themselves. That’s more than died on the battlefield. And between 2008 and 2010, nearly two-thirds of all suicides in the United States military involved firearms.

One former military heavyweight whom I talked with last year, former Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Chiarelli, said “enough”:

You're a general. You're an army man. You've spent your life around guns. You're comfortable with them.  You know they can be used responsibly. But you also feel that when people are at risk in terms of mental issues, it’s very dangerous for them to have access to guns.

Chiarelli: It is very dangerous for them to have access to guns.  I believe that…I would be very, very careful in not underestimating the impact of 13 years of war on an all-volunteer force. I think we were seeing, in those suicide numbers, some of the effect of repeated deployments and high stress and trauma…”

…What do you say to those who say, well, there is the Second Amendment and that's why you can't go much further with your efforts?

Chiarelli: I don't buy that. I don't believe the Second Amendment was put in place to take a person who is at high risk for hurting themselves, and put in their hands a weapon that in an impulsive moment, at a time when they're not thinking straight, they can end their life.

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soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. Moar gunz

    wii ned moar gunz 2 pertek uz frum pepl wit moar gunz dan wii gaht. demokrates unly wunt 2 tayk wey r gunz n jezuz frum r skools. wii kin bii hom skool r lyk uz dun sowt. demokrates unly wunt 2 raz taxiz fer skools 2. iv mi taxiz iz razd den i wunt bii abal 2 bi mii er dubl wyd tralr. i unly hav 20 moar pamentz n itz myn. ger republikinz!!!!!!!!!!

    April 7, 2014 at 1:57 pm | Reply
  2. Moar gunz

    I lik dubl pepperoni pizza. N itz wings. I unly have tweety dolers

    April 7, 2014 at 3:15 pm | Reply
  3. rupert

    Guns are only good on the right hands.

    April 7, 2014 at 8:00 pm | Reply
    • ✠RZ✠

      Unless of course you happen to be a lefty.

      April 7, 2014 at 8:38 pm | Reply
      • lefty

        Eradicate yourself

        April 8, 2014 at 2:39 am |
      • Jeff Roem

        I need to eradicate myself. I serve no useful purpose except to be a dick.

        April 8, 2014 at 10:33 pm |
  4. krissy

    Good post rupert,thank you.

    April 7, 2014 at 8:01 pm | Reply
  5. chrissy

    Lmao good one @ RZ. And i see el trollio has been put on the relocation program! Yahoo! (sarcasm)

    April 7, 2014 at 9:55 pm | Reply
    • ✠RZ✠

      El trollio? Which one? Nano the self-irradiated? Kwack head of the sea? Or derpdish lover?

      April 8, 2014 at 12:31 am | Reply
  6. HJGGJGJGJHGKJJKHKHKHKHKHGEQWER

    WHAT IN THE WORLD OUT OF JUA.

    THE COLMM.

    HEAR A CASES IN LATIN AMERICA TO PROTULONIO.

    THE LAST LEVEL OF 51 ARE.

    HUMAN STUDIES.

    QQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQpgiorg.blog.comQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQ

    IS NOT A JOKE.

    April 8, 2014 at 1:54 am | Reply
  7. HJGGJGJGJHGKJJKHKHKHKHKHGEQWER

    WHAT IN THE WORLD OUT OF JUA.

    THE COLMM.

    HEAR A CASES IN LATIN AMERICA TO DIVISION PROTULONIO.

    THE LAST LEVEL OF 51 ARE.

    HUMAN STUDIES.

    QQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQpgiorg.blog.comQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQ

    IS NOT A JOKE.
    IS NOT A JOKE.

    April 8, 2014 at 2:01 am | Reply
  8. HJGGJGJGJHGKJJKHKHKHKHKHGEQWER

    IRRADIATE YOUR SELF A531

    April 8, 2014 at 2:02 am | Reply
    • HJGGJGJGJHGKJJKHKHKHKHKHGEQWER

      ., I like pepperoni pizza...

      April 8, 2014 at 8:09 am | Reply
  9. stuart

    There is no solution because we do not know who the nuts are.

    April 8, 2014 at 8:05 am | Reply
    • Profile Of The Typical Republican Voter

      I think we do Stuart.

      1. Thinks they themselves are rich.
      2. Makes less than $100,000/yr.
      3. Has a net worth less than $200,000.
      4. Primary residence is on wheels or blocks.
      5. Still has a mortgage on that residence.
      6. Thinks republicans are conservatives.
      7. Benefits directly from the ACA but really, really hates Obamacare.
      8. Thinks they are religious but they should read the book, "How NOT To Be A Republican" (a.k.a. The Bible).
      9. Probably retired and depending on SS and Medicare or will be the person most likely to need SS and Medicare.
      10. Racist.
      11. Likes to vote against their own interests.
      12. Actually thinks republicans represent THEM!!

      April 8, 2014 at 1:41 pm | Reply
    • stuart

      I just need to check my reflection to see who they are.

      April 8, 2014 at 10:30 pm | Reply
  10. chrissy

    Lol @ RZ, umm all except yours and mine posts. And i mean the imposter post with my name wrong also.

    April 8, 2014 at 11:02 am | Reply
    • ✠RZ✠

      Almost looks that way sometimes. Best bet is to just let them wallow in themselves ad nausea.

      April 8, 2014 at 9:48 pm | Reply
      • ✠Jeff Roem✠

        It is that way. I'm everyone and I don't care at all. I'll run you guys off here too.

        April 8, 2014 at 10:38 pm |
  11. TexTopCat

    There is no way to know who is dangerous with out due process, so just this article is just silly. Second, there is no way to remove access to all weapons from any person without putting them in a facility and many times that does not work. We need to find better ways to keep the potential victims from becoming real victims. Namely, we need more training and more responsible people able to return fire.

    April 8, 2014 at 11:21 am | Reply
    • teebonicus

      Absolutely. I posted up, TWICE, about this, but neither have appeared.

      April 8, 2014 at 11:25 am | Reply
      • teebonicus

        Hi.
        I like pepperoni pizza.

        April 8, 2014 at 1:40 pm |
  12. palintwit

    Whenever I think of trailer parks, I think of Sarah Palin. Whenever I think of Sarah Palin, I think of trailer trash. Whenever I think of trailer trash, I think of tea party patriots. Whenever I think of tea party patriots, I think of nascar. Whenever I think of nascar, I think of assault weapons. Whenever I think of assault weapons, I think of trailer parks. Whenever I think of trailer parks, I think of Sarah Palin. Whenever I think of Sarah Palin, I think of trailer trash. Whenever I think of trailer trash, I think of ....

    April 8, 2014 at 11:51 am | Reply
    • Profile Of The Typical Republican Voter

      1. Thinks they themselves are rich.
      2. Makes less than $100,000/yr.
      3. Has a net worth less than $200,000.
      4. Primary residence is on wheels or blocks.
      5. Still has a mortgage on that residence.
      6. Thinks republicans are conservatives.
      7. Benefits directly from the ACA but really, really hates Obamacare.
      8. Thinks they are religious but they should read the book, "How NOT To Be A Republican" (a.k.a. The Bible).
      9. Probably retired and depending on SS and Medicare or will be the person most likely to need SS and Medicare.
      10. Racist.
      11. Likes to vote against their own interests.
      12. Actually thinks republicans represent THEM!!

      April 8, 2014 at 1:40 pm | Reply
      • BOOFBABY

        I think chrissy and banasy fit the profile. They have all 12 characteristics.

        April 8, 2014 at 4:14 pm |
  13. palintwit

    Whenever I see a round dish, I think of pepperoni pizza.

    April 8, 2014 at 1:42 pm | Reply
    • Jeff Roem

      Mmmmmmmmmmm... pepperoni

      April 8, 2014 at 1:58 pm | Reply
  14. chrissy

    Lmao @ BOOFBABY, apparantly you dont think at all! And as we've NEVER talked its pretty presumptuos of you to even attempt to think you know anything about either one of us!

    April 8, 2014 at 4:52 pm | Reply
  15. ✠ RZ ✠

    Like Clint says, "it's a helluva thing to kill a man..." Who would wish the same upon someone for having to kill women and children too? We're made into monsters and asked to be human again? Good luck trying to make peace with yourself down the road.

    April 9, 2014 at 12:56 pm | Reply
  16. chrissy

    Not to make light of this story but....must we now put a ban on kitchen cutlery as well, after yesterdays event? Because neither one of those things really addresses the issue! The issue being mental health!

    April 10, 2014 at 5:53 pm | Reply
  17. GOP Prayer - GOPers, Read Together and Out Loud With Me

    The GOP Prayer/Mantra/Solution: Dear God...Help us to turn all the Old, Sick, Poor, Non-white, Non-christian, Female, and Gay people into slaves. Then, with your guidance, we will whip them until they are Young, Healthy, Rich, White, Christian, Male, and Straight. Or until they are dead. God...Grant us the knowlege to then turn them into Soylent Green to feed the military during the next "unfunded/off-the-books" war. God...Give us the strength during our speeches to repeatedly yell........TAX CUTS FOR THE RICH!!!..........and........GET RID OF SS AND MEDICARE!!!

    In your name we pray..........Amen.

    April 11, 2014 at 11:09 am | Reply
  18. Eddie Fonseca

    Our brave men and women who serve with the U. S AirForce and U.S Marines when they defend our freedom's from a new terrorist threat either overseas, or in our great nation they have the most dangerous jobs in the history of the world. No one ever sends a young brave solider to his or her death, but the stress of the job plays an important factor on their mental health which should be addressed in my mind. If you ask any solider they will give you a big hell yeah I am like being around guns man it's my job, but on the other hand if you have an at risk solider who feels one day like taking an assault riffle and killing lot's of innocent people then we should address those cases right away. Being an American who has many friends who serve in the Airforce and Army, they tell me that mental health is not really talked about in the armed forces because it makes them look weak to the public. Making us look weak to the public this notation of being tough and keeping mental health a secret in the armed forces is a load of crap, no solider should ever be put in the position when holding a loaded gun, and does not have a full deck of cards when guarding innocent civilians in some Middle East city and defending our freedoms in our great nation as well. As Americans we trust in our great army to rise and protect our freedoms from another ISIS attack in the Middle East, also a terrorism threat just like the one New York experienced on that dark day of September 11. Without our military personal receiving better access towards mental health programs could the next terrorist attack happen on army bases across America, not from some crazy ISIS suicide bomber but from a solider who's lone cry for help about his mental issues was never heard or taken seriously by his friends or army personal for years to come.

    March 27, 2016 at 11:08 pm | Reply

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