HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — The search for answers continues at Fort Hood, Texas, the scene of Wednesday’s shooting rampage. The shooter, Specialist Ivan Lopez, took his life after killing three and injuring at least 16 other people.
The shooting has reawakened a debate over gun control on Capitol Hill. WHNT News 19 spoke with one woman in the Tennessee Valley whose son was just 100 feet from the shooter that day. She is urging lawmakers to push for the right to carry concealed weapons on base. She said her son could have acted, if he had been armed.
“They started describing the buildings where these things were going on,” said Lynda Voyles-Konecny. “I knew exactly where my son was and where the shooter was because I’ve been at Fort Hood.”
Voyles-Konecny’s son, Jason, has been stationed there for the past 7 years. “He didn’t have a weapon to defend himself with,” she said. “It’s hard to talk about, had he had that weapon, I’m confident he would have taken out that shooter.”
They defend us overseas, but they’re defenseless at bases. She said she doesn’t understand the reasoning behind the law. “Well for one thing, they’re trained. They know rules of engagement, we send them off to war, they have their guns, they come home, and then they’re taken away from them on their homes bases,” she said. “They can’t defend their family, their coworkers, they can’t defend themselves.”
Voyles-Konecny said these men and women have been rendered helpless by policy she feels needs to be changed. She fears the issue will get swept under the rug and after 6 months, no one will remember to push for reform.
“I think we should have a dialogue to find out why and where we can improve,” she said. “I think we need to have a defense where you have at least two officers that can be armed in all buildings on all military installations.”
She said her entire family carries concealed weapons, but her own son who fights for our country, can’t defend himself.
“I’m in a better position to defend my family than he is, and that’s a shame.”
Leaders in the military have said that after this week’s shooting, it still stands by the policy of not allowing people to carry personal weapons on bases. Private weapons have been banned at military posts since 1993.
Added April 8, 2014: Link to view report on WHNT News 19’s YouTube channel