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Machine Gun Fire startles Veterans at VA Medical Center

by Terry Richards

LOS ANGELES, CA  Veterans at the California Veterans Home West Los Angeles and West Los Angeles VA Medical Center Campus where the Veterans Home is located were startled and went into panic mode last Wednesday, April 06, 2016 (April 07, 2016 according to VA Public Affairs) when they heard bursts of Machine Gun Fire, thinking they were under a Terrorist Attack.

According to several Veterans living on the Campus, a Veteran who deals in Military Antiques told VA Police who responded to the scene after hearing “shots fired” that he was shooting blanks from one of his Machine Guns and that he was given permission by the State of California Veterans Home and/or California Department of Veterans Affairs to display the Machine Guns and other Military Equipment at the front entrance of the Veterans Home. 

Also according to reports, VA Police Headquarters which is in close proximity to the Veterans Home, after hearing “shots fired” partially lock-down the VA Medical Center before they knew where and from whom it was coming from and that it was blank ammunition being fired rather than live ammunition. 

This Writer would like to know what California Veteran Home Officials were thinking when they authorized any kind of Weaponry on Calvet/VA property where real ammunition could be used in place of blanks, and where weapons are Forbidden, except by Law Enforcement??? And someone needs to be held accountable for this Wrongful Authorization…

Moreover, many Veterans who are Outpatients and Veterans who are residing on this VA Campus in Transitional Housing suffer from Combat-related PTSD, and an incident like this could be detrimental to their recovery.

This Writer sent emails to Vito Imbasciani, M.D., Secretary of the California Department of Veterans Affairs, and his Undersecretary Russell Atterberry, and Deputy Secretary of Veterans Homes Coby Petersen, and Julian Manalo, Director of the Veterans Home of California West Los Angeles, and by voicemail message to the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center Public Affairs Office asking them to respond to the incident and this story. When this story went to Press at about 3:00 p.m. PDT, none of the above Officials responded. Copies of  the above email and this story were also sent to VA Secretary and Undersecretary Robert A. McDonald and Sloan Gibson respectively.

The above spectator who attended the event along with other spectators, checks-out the display of the Military Weaponry. The name of the Veteran who owns and fired blanks from the Machine Gun and own the other Military Equipment displayed is not available at this time, but he is believed to be the White Male dressed in Combat Fatigues and Boots with White Hair standing next to a display table in the background of this photo.

The above spectator who attended the event along with other spectators, checks-out the display of the Military Weaponry. The name of the Veteran who owns and fired blanks from the Machine Gun and own the other Military Equipment displayed is not available at this time, but he is believed to be the White Male dressed in Combat Fatigues and Boots with White Hair standing next to a display table in the background of this photo.

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 Post Publication Response from VA Public Affairs:

Mr. Richards,

We received your media inquiry and have provided a statement below:

On Thursday, April 7, 2016 there was a demonstration of a replica automatic weapon at the Veterans Home of California that produced loud noises. VA Police has investigated the situation and confirmed that there is no need for concern. If you have any additional questions/concerns, please direct them to The Office of Communications at (310) 268-3790. Thank you.

Thank you,

Office of Public Affairs

VHAGLAPublicAffairs@va.gov  (310) 268-3340
VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System  www.losangeles.va.gov

Writer’s Note:

First, a “Replica” Weapon is a “non-firing” Weapon. This Weapon fired so it was NOT a “Replica”…              http://www.replicaweaponry.com/non-firing-replica-guns

Second, of all, you don’t fire guns or machine guns at a VA Hospital where Veterans are being treated for Medical and Psychiatric Conditions under any circumstances unless VA Police or other Law Enforcement need to fire their weapons in self-defense or to stop the perpetration of a felony or terrorist attack.

Third, Weapons of any kind are not permitted on Federal/VA Property.

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