Thanks to CalGunLaws.com, we have the letter from Secretary of Defense Robert Gates along with the DoD Implementation of Recommendations for the Independent Review related to Ft. Hood that was sent to the upper echelon of the Department of Defense.
In the wake of the Ft. Hood shootings by Major Nidal Hasan, a blue ribbon panel was assembled to study the shootings and ways to prevent them in the future. They came back with a report entitled Protecting the Force: Lessons from Fort Hood. It examined everything from emergency response to mental health issues.
One of the recommendations had to do with private firearms owned by servicemen and women. It found that the Department of Defense did not have a policy governing privately owned weapons and recommended that the Department study the need for one. This was Recommendation 3.8.
The implementation document states with regard to Recommendation 3.8:
The Independent Review found that the Department does not have a policy governing Privately Owned Weapons. In the absence of such policy, the individual Services have established Privately Owned Weapons policies, which set minimum standards and task installation commanders to establish installation-specific requirements. These policies do not apply to personnel who live off installation.
- TheUnder Secretary of Defense for Intelligence put into formal coordination a Secretary-issued Department-wide Interim Guidance Message. By early 2011, the interim guidance will be incorporated into a revision of DoD 5200.08-R (Physical Security Program).
In his transmittal letter, Secretary Gates said:
As the Department takes steps to strengthen its approach to force protection, I ask leaders and commanders across the force to remain mindful of the unique requirements of the profession of arms – that military service is grounded in an oath to support and protect our Constitution, but also may necessitate the sacrifice of some of the very rights we defend.
The two combined together leads me to ask which rights Secretary Gates thinks may be need to be sacrificed. Does he mean a right to privacy concerning medical and mental health records or does he mean the Second Amendment rights of those who serve our nation in its armed services? Whatever the case, it bears watching.