Four Marines and a sailor were murdered in attacks on Chattanooga, Tennessee, military facilities last Thursday. Since 2009, 34 servicemen have been murdered on military bases, and 54 have been injured.
So far the Obama Administration has treated the latest mass killing on U.S. military property—all five of which have occurred during Obama’s Presidency—with near indifference.
Governors in a least six states have responded to Obama’s fecklessness by ordering their National Guard troops to be armed.
Governors of at least six states have signed orders allowing National Guard troops to carry firearms at their installations, as debate grows about whether to allow military recruiters to be armed after the fatal shooting of five servicemen at a reserve training center in Tennessee.
Among the latest to take action was Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, a Republican who on Saturday directed his adjutant general to authorize the arming of all military personnel at National Guard facilities in the state and storefront recruiting centers.
Many military personnel aren’t allowed to carry loaded firearms at recruiting centers or other Defense Department facilities in the U.S., because of a Pentagon directive issued in 1992.
“Hoosiers may be assured that those who have stepped forward to defend our state and nation will have the ability to defend themselves,” Mr. Pence said in a statement Saturday.
North Carolina’s Pat McCrory stopped short of allowing National Guardsmen to carry firearms, but promised increased security… whatever that means.
Governor Pat McCrory has ordered the Department of Public Safety and the North Carolina National Guard to step up security measures at recruiting centers, armories and readiness centers statewide.
“We will be vigilant in protecting those who protect us,” Governor McCrory said. “These men and women are putting their lives on the line to serve our country and it’s our responsibility to ensure everything that is within our power to do for their safety is done.”
Elsewhere across the nation, civilians and off-duty law enforcement officers have stepped forward to guard recruiting centers with what are mostly symbolic shows of support.
It is a disgusting state of affairs that we require our soldiers and Marines to carry their firearms with them everywhere when deployed (including dining halls on base), but the same politicians in the Pentagon feel that the same exact same soldiers are too much of a risk of having an accidental discharge to allow them to be armed while on base.
I offered up what I feel to be a very reasonable compromise in my latest L.A. Times op-ed:
The Department of Defense could, with relative ease, enact a policy that states that the ranking commissioned officers and ranking noncommissioned officers must carry issued handguns while on duty at all department facilities employing uniformed personnel, from the largest base to the smallest recruiting facility.
Such a policy would ensure that there would be an armed deterrent to acts of terrorism on military targets, even at those facilities too small to warrant dedicated military or civilian security personnel.
On larger bases — many encompassing hundreds of thousands of acres — these armed ranking officers could provide immediate defense until existing base security arrives.
As a matter of practical safety, the issued pistols could be carried on an empty chamber with a loaded magazine in the gun. The risk of an accidental or negligent discharge in that case would be zero, but 15 rounds could be chambered in a matter of seconds to respond to attacks. This would give our military people a fighting chance against home-grown extremists.
Unfortunately, President Obama seems to care more about pretending that Muslim terrorism isn’t a threat than he is saving American lives… military, or otherwise.