After three mass shootings at military bases in the U.S. over the last five years, security experts say the sad truth is that there is probably no practical way of preventing members of the armed forces or civilian employees from carrying guns onto big installations like Fort Hood.
The kind of searches that would have prevented Army Spc. Ivan A. Lopez from driving onto Fort Hood with a pistol in his car and killing three fellow soldiers would paralyze access to a major post and create huge traffic jams among the tens of thousands of workers commuting to and from their jobs, officials and experts said.
“Trying to secure a base from guns is a very, very difficult proposition at best – probably impossible,” said Robert Taylor, who is head of the University of Texas-Dallas public affairs program and has been a security consultant for the Justice Department and police forces.
“You could do spot checks. You could have people walk through metal detectors,” Taylor said. But searching so many people would create big practical difficulties, he said.