What role has feminism played in the shooting at Fort Hood and its aftermath?

Now that I got your attention, I will state that feminism did not have a direct effect on the tragic events that occurred on Wednesday at Fort Hood Texas.  I will not go to the extremist extent of blaming every tragic event on feminism, however there are some things that you should consider.

First of all, everyone within the MHRM & Community is deeply saddened by the tragic events and the senseless loss of life.  My comments here are based on the various news reports, interpretation of the information available up to this point, comments from some military members including some assigned to Fort Hood, and my own experiences.

When scenarios such as this occur, many form opinions based on less than the facts.  There are the usual calls for gun control, and comments about mental health issues and PTSD.  The readers should be aware that not everyone who seeks out counseling services in the military does so because they suffer from PTSD. In fact, the Army and the other branches make psychological counseling available for all of their members, especially those who have served in combat areas. Simply seeking out counseling in the military does not automatically mean that someone is suffering from PTSD.

Let’s start with what we know.  On Wednesday, Army Specialist Ivan Lopez opened fire killing three and wounding 16 before he took his own life.  News media reports indicate that one of his grievances was the fact that the Army had only allowed him two days leave to bury his mother.  Whether or not we will ever learn his true motives is unknown.

Staying with that thought, let’s consider this.  Numerous directives from the Pentagon and the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services (DACOWITS), of which some in the military refer to the group as the “Super-Feminists” or jokingly, the “Lesbo Circle of Doom,” allow for and promote an immediate leave period of five days for same sex military couples to marry.  There are numerous articles that anyone can find on the Internet on that subject.

Keeping that thought in mind. How is it that a large contingent of feminist dominated military and Pentagon leadership enacts policies that favor, prioritize, and give expanded benefits for same sex couples; yet Specialist Lopez apparently was only allowed two days to bury his mother?

If that was you, and you could only get two days to attend to your mother’s death, and you see same sex military couples being allowed five days immediate leave to marry; wouldn’t that bother you a little, regardless of what your opinions are of gay and same sex couples?  Where is the equality?

There is so much information that is out there on the same sex couple, gay, lesbian, and transgender issue in the military, that the articles cannot be counted.  If anyone is interested, all you have to do is to Google the names of the DACOWITS and Pentagon members and include the word “gay” in the search terms and there are literally thousands of articles on that subject matter.

The issue of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is problematic in the military and many in Congress have advocated for more resources to address this problem, but the reality is that the issue of same sex couples, gays, and women in combat are at the top of the list of priorities of many in military leadership and advisory positions.

There is another interesting fact that has come about as a result of this shooting.

As the news reports and press conferences have indicated; Specialist Lopez was confronted by a female military police officer.  The news reports have not yet stated whether this female military police officer is part of the Military Police Corps or if she was part of the civilian Fort Hood Police.

I can only speculate as to what occurred in those few moments before Lopez took his own life.  The Fort Hood Commanding General’s news conference and various news reports indicate that this female police officer suddenly encountered Lopez and that they were approximately 20 feet away from each other.  The news reports reveal that the female police officer, “engaged” Lopez, but initially did not define what they meant by “engaged.”

It had been reported that the female officer ordered Lopez to raise his hands and he initially complied, raising his hands above his head.  Lopez then lowered his hands, removed his firearm from his waistband area, put the gun to his head and shot himself, ending his life.  It had also been reported that the officer fired one round and apparently that round missed.  When or at what point this occurred is unknown.

I conducted an initial Google search on this incident and found over 320,000 articles describing the actions of this female police officer as “heroic” and “hero” and “heroic cop” and various other similar descriptions. Some of the questions from some of the reporters at the various news conferences revolved around the “female officer” and the “heroic female cop.”

Contrary to the ogling by the news media of the actions of the “heroic” female cop, before the facts are known, there were only 68,000 Google hits and less than two dozen articles that mentioned the actions of 19 year veteran Sergeant First Class Danny Ferguson who died in the shooting.  SFC Ferguson had multiple combat deployments since 2001.

SFC Ferguson attempted to block an unlocked door to prevent Lopez from entering a room where a number of soldiers had taken refuge, and whose lives were sparred.  SFC Ferguson was shot four times through the door and died of his wounds.  Many have called his actions heroic and they are, as a number of lives were saved.  Sadly, the number of articles and press attention given to SFC Ferguson  pales in comparison to the attention and articles on the actions of the so called “heroic” female officer.  That is just one example of heroism in this tragic event, as many others displayed heroic actions, but I wonder if we will hear of them.

Getting back to the female officer that the press has gone gaga over, and taking into consideration my own experiences of being in similar situations, I have a number of questions.

If, as the reports claim that the female officer was within a distance of 20 feet of Lopez and at some time she fired at least one round at him and missed, I would question any male or female’s firearms proficiency.  I can’t completely vilify this officer as I was not there and am not privy to the facts.  I can say however that being 20 feet from an armed suspect is actually very close and someone with basic law enforcement training should have hit their target.

Secondly, the reports claim that Lopez had raised his hands above his head when ordered to do so, then lowered his hands and was able to remove his weapon from his waist area, put the gun to his head and pulled the trigger.  All of those actions take a significant period of time.

Would a male officer immediately close that gap with Lopez and engage him in a physical confrontation, or fire his weapon enough times and accurately to neutralize the threat?  I don’t know.

In my extensive training and experience in dealing with knife wielding suspects, a person wielding a knife can close a gap of 27-30 feet and stab an officer before that officer can react quickly enough to pull his weapon from his holster and engage the suspect, and that is with having your hands at waist level.

The point being is that officer, or any officer would know that distance and physics would dictate that in a distance of 20 feet, it is possible to physically knock down an assailant.  Again I can only speculate, but one thing that is fact is the vast number of articles of the so called “heroic” female officer and the mainstream press’ infatuation with her actions, even before the facts are known.

So the questions I pose are; is there a priority in the Pentagon and military leadership of gay, lesbian, same sex couple, and anti-rape training issues, over issues of psychological treatment of military members and veterans?  Is there a mainstream news media rush to judgment and glorification of the actions of a female police officer, even before the facts are learned?

I think we can safely say that the answer to both of those questions would be yes.

The mainstream media has been quick to call upon the PTSD mantra, the gun mantra, and the “heroic” actions of a female law enforcement officer, before all of the facts are known.  I think it reveals the cultural mind-set of many in the media that just based on the fact that a military member seeks out psychological services, who has been in a deployment area is some type of crazed maniac.

In this case that might be true, but it may also be true that Specialist Lopez’ actions may involve many components including the trauma of losing his mother and the apparent indifference, and inability of being allowed to properly address that issue in his life.

When these tragic events happen, we have to look at all of the facts, including those facts that some would rather not be revealed.  There is usually a cumulative effect of stress, a number of factors and events that led up to an individual going overboard.  Let’s consider those events as well.

One thing is certain however, and that is the absolute love affair with the reporting the so called heroic actions of a female law enforcement officer.  Her actions may be heroic and we may know that in time, but would the press have reported this event in the same light if it was a male officer who confronted Specialist Lopez?

Are the military’s priorities of same sex couple, gay, and women in combat issues harmful to males in general?

I think those are good questions.

We’ll see if we get some answers.

Feature image from Wikipedia Commons

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