On America Live, Fox senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano blamed "an executive order from President Clinton in 1993 which prohibits carrying weapons when on duty on military posts" for the "magnitude" of the Navy Yard and Fort Hood massacres. Later in the program, Fox host Oliver North claimed that "in March of 1993, U.S. military bases were effectively made gun-free zones by executive order issued by Bill Clinton."The regulation in question stemmed from a George H.W. Bush-era directive. It has continued throughout the Clinton, George Dubbaya Bush and Obama administrations not because all of those folks are secretly in on the disarm-the-military conspiracy, but because the military continues to think that having all of their soldiers and contractors wave loaded weapons around during their general workday lives is Not Safe, and most of us are reasonably confident that, regardless of what other problems our military forces may be facing, they know which end of a gun should be pointed at what things.
What these media conservatives are pointing to is not an executive order but a regulation issued by the Department of the Army in March 1993 regarding firearms on military bases. While that rule said most soldiers are not allowed to carry weapons, the Army certainly did not ban all guns in those facilities.
In reality, the rules on military bases don't ban all guns, which is obvious since among the shooter's first victims were armed security personnel.YOU WOULD THINK THAT. Truly, the news tip that the shooter shot at armed security guards might tip one off that there were armed security guards present, unless you were—and I am looking at you here, Ted Nugent—very fucking stupid.
More stupid below the fold.
What we have here can best be described as Moving the Goalposts of Reality, aka the Glenn Beckenning, aka argument via loud grunting noises. The crackpot-therefore-mainstream conservative position has been that all of these shootings could be solved if we only had armed guards at places like schools and movie theaters, or at the very least if armed, possibly drunken yokels were allowed to pretend they were armed guards at those places. Now we have a case in which, lo and behold, trained and professional armed guards were not able to stop a determined gunman before he started murdering people. Since this simply cannot be the case—after all, the NRA and the like-minded compiled entire reports outlining how our elementary schools needed the same protection, or at least the drunken yokel version of it—the solution is to simply pretend that those armed guards did not exist, because the military is anti-guns, because Bill Clinton made them that way and the two George Bushes that bookended his anti-shooty-uppy-things reign of terror were brainwashed into supporting the precise same rules, in the earlier Bush's case via time travel.
So now we will go on to the next predictable bit of the argument. The next bit is always "well, there should have been more guns." The bit about demanding armed guards in front of schools will remain unchanged, the very presence of armed guards in this latest massacre will be written out of existence in favor of a perceived Clinton/Bush time-travel plot, and the "everyone should have guns everywhere" mantra will be embiggened in spite of the plain evidence that having more guns everywhere has unsurprisingly resulted in more people getting shot.
In order to have any rational conversation on gun violence—or on the deficit, or on unemployment, or on military power, or on medical care, or anything else—it is first necessary to take all of the people who invent their own alternate realities meant to absolve them of any further thought and put them over there, somewhere, off in a corner where they can play with their little fantasies about Bill Clinton and/or the United Nations and/or Obama's secret Muslim Brotherhoodism to their heart's content without burdening the rest of us with it. Personally, I blame video games. The old farts today have learned that there is no problem that cannot be solved by throwing angry wildlife at other angry wildlife, and in absorbing themselves in these fantasies they have entirely forgotten what the real world is like.