Former FBI agent and counterterrorism expert Chad Jenkins says it's difficult to pinpoint what went wrong to lead to Wednesday's shooting rampage at Fort Hood.
"We're talking about an issue that now we've seen repeated from 2009 in the Nidal Hasan issue, once again the tragedy taking place at Fort Hood yesterday, and unfortunately if it was a tangible one-time fix, we'd be OK. Not only from a military standpoint, but really from an American society, we continuously see these active shooter scenarios and it's just such a volatile issue and it just hurts so many individuals. It's very difficult to pin it on one thing," he told Newsmax TV's John Bachman and J.D. Hayworth on "America's Forum" Thursday.
Jenkins said it's time to revisit the issue of service members not being allowed to carry sidearms on military bases.
"Obviously, in 1993 Bill Clinton went ahead and put the executive order, so that took away that right for soldiers, sailors, airmen, to carry on post. In this society, in the uptick and active shooter scenario, I mean, let's take the military for instance and let's make it the American society. After active shooter scenarios happen in universities, we're not telling people that they can't carry firearms,, Why are we telling people that are trained in using firearms that they can't carry firearms on their own post to protect themselves?"
"Soldiers, we treat them as adults overseas and we ask them to do unbelievable things and they do that overseas. Let's give them the respect and the rights to protect themselves here on their own homeland," Jenkins added.
The shooter in Wednesday's tragedy was identified as 34-year-old Iraq War veteran Ivan Lopez, who was being treated for mental health conditions.
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Jenkins said there also has to be greater awareness of post-traumatic stress disorder and the stigma associated with it.
"Hey, there are a lot of veterans and active-duty service members who have gone through hell. Let's go ahead and not make it a stigma if they go ahead and reach out and try to better themselves, better their families, and reach out and seek counsel from a medical professional. Unfortunately, we're missing the ball on that and we're putting a stigma on it when that needs to be something that's encouraged for those young men and women who do get that help."
Asked whether enough is being done during the enlistment process to make sure enrollees are fit for duty, Jenkins replied, "I think it is. You can't predict the unpredictable. I mean, look at this individual that just conducted this attack. Grew up in a good family back in Puerto Rico. I mean, he still remains in close contact with his teachers there in Puerto Rico. I know his mother passed away and his grandfather passed away not too long ago, but I don't think that's a predictable indication that he would reach out and conduct a violent attack on anyone. It's very difficult to predict these active violent situations.
As for his own experience after serving in Fallujah in 2003 and 2004, Jenkins said, "I think the biggest thing is not taking things for granted. You get back home and there's a readjustment. I couldn't turn off as quickly. You know, when you get home… I remember my first Ranger deployment, it was my second deployment, and the next morning, the very first night I got back I was out gardening and pulling the weeds at like 5:30 a.m. I had to keep going and doing something."
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