The feds forbid military personnel from carrying firearms while on duty in the US (other than guards and MPs). But according to a Washington Post report, one of the murdered Chattanooga Marines may have defied that order. “The FBI has recovered a pistol that might have been privately owned and used by one of the Marines killed here during the shooting at the Navy Operational Support Center Thursday, according to law enforcement officials. Investigators are trying to determine based on forensics if the pistol, a 9mm Glock, was used in an exchange with the shooter, Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez, and possibly wounded him, officials said.” . . .
While politicians across the spectrum from Donald Trump to Ted Cruz to a few obscure Democrat back-benchers have called for a change in that policy, the brass isn’t so sure. But if the WaPo report is any indication, some soldiers may not be waiting for the official blessing to defend themselves through force of arms.
One tidbit that we hadn’t seen reported previously was this:
Prior to entering the reserve center, Abdulazeez had fired more than 50 rounds into a recruiting office 15 minutes away on the other side of town. No one was injured in that exchange — most likely because of the office’s recently installed bulletproof windows.
Maybe some polycarbonate is the fullest extent to which the generals and the civilian command structure are willing to go to protect servicemen and women.
While (Marine Maj. Mike) Abrams said he was unable to comment precisely on the events of the day due to the ongoing investigation, he was quick to point out that his Marines were anything but helpless as Abdulazeez advanced.
“They acted very quickly, they hunkered down and protected one another,” said Abrams, who took command of the artillery unit, Mike Battery of the 3 rdBattalion 14th Marines, in 2013. “The Marines acted with valor that day. There was some heroic actions that had an impact on the events.”
Sadly, we will never know how much less helpless the five dead Marines might have been if they’d all been carrying sidearms that day.