CNN is reporting that the murderer who attacked a pair of military facilities in Chattanooga, Tennessee, was armed with two long guns and a handgun during his attack.
A________* had a handgun and two long guns in his possession when police in the Tennessee city killed him Thursday, and another rifle was seized when police searched his home, the official said.
The 24-year-old engineering graduate wore a “load-bearing vest” that allowed him to carry extra ammunition, said Ed Reinhold, special agent in charge of the regional FBI office.
It does not appear that the weapons were purchased recently, the law enforcement official said. Reinhold said earlier Friday that “some of the weapons were purchased legally and some of them may not have been.”
It seems probable that the background check system so vaunted by gun control supporters failed once again, and once again, servicemen trained to use weapons in combat were unable to return fire thanks to a Cold War-era policy that only allows military police and civilian security personnel to be armed.
The attack is the third act of domestic terrorism carried out on U.S. military facilities since 2009. A fourth attack not considered an act of terrorism, in which 12 people were killed and three wounded at the Washington Navy Yard, occurred just two years ago.
In June 2009, Muslim convert Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad killed one soldier and wounded another at a recruiting center in Little Rock, Ark. In November of that year, Army Major N____ M____ H____* carried out an attack at Ft. Hood, Texas, that left 13 dead and 32 wounded.
Last year, another shooter at Ft. Hood killed three people and wounded 16.
These combined attacks at military facilities bring the casualty count to 33 dead and 55 wounded by gunfire since 2009.
Sadly, this count is no longer current.
We’re sad to report this morning that a fifth serviceman, Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Randall Smith, 24, has died from his wounds.
We’ve now lost 34 people serving in uniform on Barack Obama’s watch, and there are 54 other servicemen and women carrying wounds from attacks on domestic military facilities.
Several of the top Republican Presidential candidates are calling to rescind that policy. While some are incorrectly blaming Bill Clinton for the policy, the current version of the regulation most accurately dates to George H.W. Bush, and variations of it date back to Nixon.
All of that is irrelevant, however.
What matters is that we’ve now had five mass shootings on military facilities during Barack Obama’s presidency. The policies, originally designed to mitigate the risk of negligent discharges, may have worked from the time of Nixon up until the time we started seeing credible threats of attacks on domestic military facilities.
Now that we have almost 90 casualties (not including a dozen more injured attempting to flee these attacks), it is long past time for President Obama to direct the Department of Defense to adopt a new policy that strikes a balance between force protection and mitigating accidents.
The Los Angeles Times asked me to propose a solution and so I have.
We need to protect those who protect us.
* Bearing Arms does not publish the names of mass killers.