The Department of Defense has a policy, dating back to a 1992 order signed by George H. W. Bush (not Bill Clinton), that service members can’t be armed. Combined with the fact that many recruiting centers are found in shopping malls that are “gun free zones,” makes recruiters targets.
It turns out at at least one of the recruiters in Chattanooga disobeyed the order to be a target. One, and possibly two, of the good guys on the scene were armed and returned fire.
A Navy officer and a Marine fired their sidearms hoping to kill or subdue the gunman who murdered five service members last week in Chattanooga, Tennessee, according to multiple military officials familiar with internal reporting on the tragedy.
It remains unclear whether either hit Muhammad Abdulazeez, who was shot and killed on July 16 after he gunned down four Marines and a sailor at the Navy Operational Support Center in Chattanooga.
The officer and the Marine should receive an award. They likely won’t, this is, after all, the Obama Department of Defense. The report from the Navy Times summarizes the reason for outrage at the Pentagon.
It’s also unclear why they were armed, as it is against Defense Department policy for anyone other than military police or law enforcement to carry weapons on federal property.
I suspect the Navy officer is facing the end of his career.
If the officer and the Marine returned fire, whether they hit the Muslim terrorist who was trying to murder them or not, their “gun free zone” soft target immediately turned into a hard target. That could have been the reason the terrorist left the scene before he finished his job.
It could well have been a much different story had all of the military personnel been armed. We’ll never know thanks to the Department of Defense.