The Marines and the sailor who were murdered last week in Chattanooga were unarmed. Their recruiting center was in a strip mall area that was a “gun free zone,” there was a sign on the door indicating that no guns were allowed in the facility.
The Chattanooga shooter respected that sign. He stood right outside the door and raked the recruiters with gunfire. The Marines, all combat veterans, could do nothing but duck and try to hide.
There’s a debate just starting now about whether members of the military should be armed while on duty. Current regulations dating back to an order signed by George HW Bush (not Bill Clinton) require members of the military, with certain narrow exceptions, to be unarmed while on duty.
Calls for military recruitment centers and sites to be armed — or at least better secured — have grown stronger in a matter of days.
Proponents of arming facilities, arguably the louder voice after a tragedy like the one in Chattanooga, say American soldiers should not be left vulnerable to attack on domestic soil.
But the side for keeping the centers unarmed says they’re meant to be welcoming, accessible places. Visible firearms, or even the knowledge of a concealed one, could easily be interpreted as unwelcoming.
We would refer to the argument against keeping recruiters unarmed this way.
We’re talking about military recruiting offices. What is that military does? Oh yeah, they blow up things and kill people. Yes, they do other things like humanitarian missions, but their prime duty is blowing up things and killing people. Those targets, by the way, are things and people who are a threat the United States.
Specifically, the United States Marine Corps makes no bones about their mission.
Should Marines give up their advertising?
Armed Forces Recruitment Centers are, and have been for some time, targets for jihad for nice young boys like the Chattanooga shooter who just happened to be a Muslim.
We are long past the time when GHWB’s order should be rescinded. Members of the military who have passed qualification for weapons should be allowed to carry when on duty. Period.
Until that day, US civilians will have to fill the gap.
Right now, all over the nation, civilians like these men are standing guard over those who stand guard over us.
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