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GOP Falsely Claims President Clinton Banned Guns on U.S. Military Bases
One of the often-repeated talking points used by Republicans and conservatives after the tragic Navy Yard shooting, which left twelve dead, is that President Clinton "banned" guns on U.S. military bases.
So rather than blame the alleged shooter Aaron Alexis and easy access to guns in neighboring Virginia, Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, BreitBart.com and others on the right have grasped onto an editorial written by the conservative Washington Times in 2009, which blamed President Clinton after the tragic Fort Hood shooting.
The Washington Times editorial board wrote in 2009:
Among President Clinton's first acts upon taking office in 1993 was to disarm U.S. soldiers on military bases.
Ironically, the Washington Times debunked itself in the very next sentence by blaming the U.S. Army:
In March 1993, the Army imposed regulations forbidding military personnel from carrying their personal firearms and making it almost impossible for commanders to issue firearms to soldiers in the U.S. for personal protection.
But later, the Washington Times went back to blaming Clinton:
Because of Mr. Clinton, terrorists would face more return fire if they attacked a Texas Wal-Mart than the gunman faced at Fort Hood, home of the heavily armed and feared 1st Cavalry Division.
However, according to the New Republic, it was not an executive order signed by President Clinton, but rather an Army regulation, which the Washington Times admitted in their own editorial.
The New Republic reports:
If the Times editorial board had taken the care to actually read that 14-page document, it would have realized that the impetus for the Army regulation was, in turn, Department of Defense directive 5210.56, which was issued on February 25, 1992, and was considered "effective immediately" for the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines. Clinton, of course, did not take office until January 20, 1993.
What the Washington Times and many conservatives fail to mention is that President H.W. Bush was in office on February 25, 1992, not President Clinton.