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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.

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  1. “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.”

    I bet the number of service members who will un-offically concealed carry will skyrocket.

    • Understanding that carrying a firearm on a military installation could result in a federal prosecution and subsequent enrollment into the prohibited person category, I think I’ll leave my (sort of) EDC at home, thanks.

      • It is perfectly legal to bring your firearm on a federal military installation as long as the weapon is registered with that installations Provost Marshals Office. Personnel below E-7 must also have their unit commander sign off on the weapon but E-7 and above can sign themselves without their commanders permission at least for Army installations.v YOU Cannot carry it concealed and it has to be unloaded and you must have the registration card with PMs stamp on it. The marine in question probably had his firearm in his car and the installation doesn’t want to admit its OK to do so.

  2. Military should be armed at all times while on duty. Period. End of story. Anything less is unacceptable.

    • Everybody who wants to be armed should be armed whenever they feel doing so is prudent.

      In my personal opinion anything less than that shouldn’t be acceptable.

  3. It is never a good sign when you have to arm your own troops from foreign invaders on your own home sole. I love my country Just saying….

  4. Ooh Rah Marine, better to die on your feet than on your knees. God bless the Corps
    ~God Bless the man that will run toward the sound of guns

  5. I hope, hope, hope, that he was able to get a hit on this guy.

    If he didn’t, some groups will say, “The gun didn’t save him.”

    If he DID get a hit, some groups will still say, “The gun didn’t save him.”

    But the rest of us know, if he did get a hit on this guy, he probably slowed him down at least a little, probably saving others lives. A small prize in exchange for his life, but if true, one that I’m sure most Marines would gladly take.

  6. The hardest part is for those of us who care what happened and about our service men and women is to get the truth. The most of the press is ignorant and doesn’t even now what questions to ask and the “authorities” are not anxious to share the facts. V a. Tech, Sandy Hook, Aurora – i think they would rather we were left in the dark and unprepared than to deal with the facts.

  7. As I understood it, the famous picture of the entrance glass full of bullet holes was from the first scene. Am I now to understand that those aren’t bullet holes now? (Or is it that the polycarb just slowed down the bullets enough to make them less lethal/) If so, I’d like to see the view from the other side.

    I had heard the story of the armed Marine the same day as the autopsy result came out, which autopsy concluded that it was not a bullet from the Marine that killed the gunman, but instead a police bullet (which certainty I assume means the gunman was taken out by rifle rounds, with the caveat that the arms used by the police have not been revealed).

    • Sidearms for Chattanooga PD are HK .45ACP

      Each car also carries an AR-15 patrol rifle.

      Per news reports interviewing the Chief of Police.

  8. “The Marines acted with valor that day. There was some heroic actions that had an impact on the events.”

    When the songs are sung and the stories told, they will be remembered. Brave hearts all. Now maybe the arrogant politicians will rethink their brain-dead “gun-free zone” policies?

    Rest easy, friends. Molon Labe.

    • I’m surprised there hasn’t been a post on the NDAA just passed by the House “allowing” base commanders to let soldiers carry. Who wants to bet on that number being 0?

  9. Why would the big brass want the cannon fodder to be armed, when they can just die valiantly, huddled up together, wondering why they weren’t allowed to protect themselves.

  10. I hope that some bean counting beaurocrat doesn’t attempt to deny benefits to the armed marine’s family as he was in violation of standing orders by being armed.

    • No SGLI? There is probably a circle of hell reserved for people who deny SGLI to families of Marines

  11. The marines were able to hunker down and protect each other?

    How is that a better option than using firearms and tactics they’ve been trained in?

    Why does our military think the same way as school administrators, that people being gunned down with no defense is the only acceptable answer?

    • and they “protected each other”? huh? then why are they dead? that’s the worst spin i’ve ever heard from a military officer.

  12. “Hunkered down” is not an anti-ambush technique taught at Parris Island or San Diego.

  13. “No one was injured in that exchange”
    Unless the reporter is an idiot, exchange would indicate someone was shooting back.

  14. I hope that someday when I plop down in my reclner to watch the evening news, I hear, “Earlier today a gunman opened fire at a strip mall but was promptly gunned down by at least eighteen public minded citizens who paused in their shopping to end the threat. A police spokesman stated there were probably many more people who returned fire based on the hundreds of shell casings found on the sidewalks and the parking lot. The coroner stated identification of the perpetrator would be difficult as he was apparently shot to pieces. The coroner believes this confirms that many people have not only switched to double stack magazine fed semi-automatics but apparently many are also carrying a spare magazine.

    In other news, the Chicago Cubs clinched the National League pennant today after slaughtering the St. Louis Cardinals four games straight.”

    (long drawn out sigh) ‘Pipe dreams’, I know.

    • You lost me at “evening news” … they will never say such things.

      But, good read!


    • “Earlier today a gunman opened fire at a strip mall but was promptly gunned down by at least eighteen public minded citizens who paused in their shopping to end the threat.
      I like dreaming, but will never happen.
      More like the gunmen killed 18 people in a gun free safe passage zone where guns are illegal for serfs. Politicians called for even more gun control and subjects even thinking about guns will be guilty of a thought crime. It was determined that the gunmen could not find the Aloha Snackbar and was agitated. A motive for the killings was unknown, but a Confederate Flag is suspect for causing the gun violence.

  15. “Daddy, why is that man a hero?”
    “Because, son, he was… attacked.”

    Sorry, but all my heroes killed bad guys or directly contributed to their downfall. These guys were not heroes, but victims (or casualties, rather), unless they were shooting back and made a difference in so doing. If one of these folks violated policy and successfully wounded the gunman while defending himself and other soldiers, we need some new statues. Otherwise, we just need revenge on the bastards he worked with overseas.

  16. “They acted very quickly, they hunkered down and protected one another,” “The Marines acted with valor that day.
    So all of those people who hunkered down and sheltered in place in the Boston area during the Boston Bombing Incident should be awarded the Medal Of Honor? Why not?

  17. I re-read it like 5 times and got more furious each time.

    The author wrote: “he was quick to point out that the Marines were anything but helpless…”

    WTF? How do you even say something like that about a situation where all they were was helpless to “hunker down” and hide for their lives.

    • 2 possibilities: He was either ordered to say that and to say otherwise would result in his career ending, in which case he is an a$$hole of an officer more concerned with his career than the lives of his Marines. The other possibility is that he actually believes that bull$hit line he gave the media, in which case, he is an a$$hole of an officer more concerned with his career than the lives of his Marines.

  18. The only way the low ranking military personnel are going to get a CCW for legal carry will be when the generals and admirals are forced to explain why they get personal guards and guns and the unarmed low level military do not.

    Will the press do its job?

  19. lots of holes in that bullet proof glass. moron reporter. I do like how civilians are standing guard with their legally carried weapons. But it’s supposed to be the other way around.

  20. I was an MP in the Army for 7 years. I carried a Glock 21 when I was off duty (on post and off post) and a Beretta M9 when I was on duty at all times. I could’ve gotten in a lot of trouble had I ever been caught carrying the Glock on post but MP’s tended to look out for each other in those situations, and I would rather have the ability to defend myself. I know for a fact that I wasn’t the only soldier who did this. I’d be willing to wager the practice is even more common now.

  21. MAJ Abrams comments really pissed me off (“they were nothing but helpless..they hunkered down).

    That’s some mighty cynical spin Abrams put on the situation, because the truth was they were helpless and hunkering down when they got shot to death.

    If two or more troops had been armed, things probably would have turned out quite differently.

    My view in the topic is simple: if you don’t trust a Soldier (or sailor or Marine) to be armed, then your accessions standards and training are deficient. at the very least, arm NCOs.

  22. Hello? Yes Sir. Ok bye sir. Well He thinks they were armed with rubberband guns and had a office supply amount more than ammo in a arms room. 🙂
    Hes a pecker head! An I hope the marine that carried gets a posthumous award for poppin off a wounding shot. If the soliders same as civilian wishes to carry an they have a weapon for off duty. An did a simple short instruction course then the solider should have every right to carry. Similar to most Federal off duty law enforcement agencies. The 2nd amendment should not be infringed upon (and it IS). Im in favor of open carry as well if they so choose. An for open Carry in every 50 states too with simple proper Background checks, the old west days everyone who could had a firearm.

    • “The 2nd amendment should not be infringed upon (and it IS). […] An for open Carry in every 50 states too with simple proper Background checks,”

      You do understand that those “proper background checks” are an infringement, don’t you? It’s not a right if you have to ask for permission to exercise it.

  23. Based on my own experience, I can guess how this went down if one of the Marines was in fact armed. Regulations do not allow carry, so you have to be very careful not to be caught and the standard uniform of the day for recruiters, Dress Blue Charlies or Deltas, are not well suited to concealed carry. This is because they’re fitted dress pants and a fitted short-sleeve or long-sleeve shirt, because of how they fit there’s just nowhere to conceal other than maybe a subcompact in an ankle holster and even that would be difficult.

    What all that means is, if you’re carrying in uniform it has to be a pistol hidden in a bag, and since you’re not usually carrying it around so it isn’t even off body carry, just a gun in a bag at your desk or in your car. Not much help in a case like this, if this Marine managed to get to it and return fire that alone is impressive.

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