Disarmed military personnel are sitting ducks for terror attacks

In the wake of the Chattanooga shootings, in which five unnamed U.S. servicemen were murdered by a self-radicalized jihadist, U.S. Army Chief of Staff Ray Odierno suggested that allowing soldiers on base or at recruiting centers “could cause more problems than it solves.”  With all due respect to his service and status, this is nonsense.

As the Associated Press reported:

"I think we have to be careful about over-arming ourselves, and I'm not talking about where you end up attacking each other," Odierno said during a morning breakfast. Instead, he said, it's more about "accidental discharges and everything else that goes along with having weapons that are loaded that causes injuries."

These are soldiers trained in the use of firearms.  Many of those have seen combat, have been shot at, and have shot back.  In Chattanooga, the four Marines killed in the shooting rampage served a total of five tours in Iraq and Afghnistan, including Gunnery Sergeant Thomas J. Sullivan, a recipient of the Purple Heart.  In Chattanooga, unlike Iraq and Afghanistan, they could not shoot back.

The battlefront in this long twilight struggle against jihadist terrorism is everywhere in the age of an Islamic State that uses social media to recruit and radicalize lone wolf jihadists to attack service members and their families just as happened in Chattanooga.  And Odierno is worrying about a trained Marine dropping his sidearm on the floor?  Odierno went farther, according to a report by NBC News:

Gen. Ray Odierno told reporters that the military will review security at those facilities. But he said that recruiters are not armed because of the Posse Comitatus Act, which prevents the military from engaging in domestic law enforcement.

But the Marines in Chattanooga would have been defending themselves.  They would not be armed to enforce federal, state, or local law.  There was little danger they would ever run down the street to stop an armed robbery at the local convenience store.

There has been some controversy over whether the ban on uniformed military personnel carrying firearms while on duty at military facilities originated under President George H.W. Bush or under President Bill Clinton.  After the Washington Navy Yard shooting, Investor’s Business Daily editorialized:

Aaron Alexis, a gunman whose prior behavioral warning signs were ignored opens fire in an installation belonging to the most powerful military on earth and those who protect our nation and design our weapons are not allowed to have a weapon to defend themselves.

He was more equipped than the 12 people he killed on the base who were not permitted to carry weapons on the base thanks to former President Bill Clinton. In 1993 the president issued orders that barred members of the military and their civilian contractors from carrying personal firearms on base. Even officers were disarmed under the law.

Almost as soon as he assumed office, in March 1993, the Army imposed regulations forbidding military personnel from carrying their personal firearms and making it almost impossible for commanders to issue firearms to soldiers in the U.S. for personal protection. That ban extends to virtually all U.S, military bases and related installations.

Army Regulation 190-14 was issued under Clinton in March 1993.  It was Clinton's regulation that implemented “applicable portions” of DoD directive 5210.16, which was issued under Bush in February 1992.  Regardless, DoD Directive 5210.56 was reissued in April 2011 by Deputy Secretary of Defense William J. Lynn III on President Obama’s watch.

President Obama had a chance to end this ridiculous policy but prefers that military personnel on the target list of the Islamic State remain unarmed targets, so great is his distaste for the Second Amendment.  President Obama’s Veterans Administration, the same one that let vets die on waiting lists, once moved to disarm veterans unless they could prove they were not unstable:

The lawless contempt by the Obama administration for our Constitution and our rights has reached a new low with the news that the Veterans Administration has begun sending out letters to veterans telling them saying they will be declared mentally incompetent and stripped of the Second Amendment Rights unless

they can prove to unnamed bureaucrats to the contrary.

 On Thursday, Michael Connelly, J.D., executive director of the United States Justice Foundation​, said that veterans have begun receiving letters from the Veterans Administration (VA) informing them that the government is about to declare them incompetent to handle  their own affairs. The letters inform the recipients that he or she must provide evidence to the contrary within 60 days. If the veteran desires a hearing, they must inform the VA within 30 days.

Marines at recruiting stations have Second Amendment rights as we all do, rights they put their lives on the line to protect.  They were trained to protect us.  They can protect themselves.  They are not dangerous.  They are not unstable.  It is almost laughable that U.S. Marines need to be protected by civilians with guns from terrorists with guns.  Odierno and President Obama are both wrong.

Daniel John Sobieski is a freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine, and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.               

In the wake of the Chattanooga shootings, in which five unnamed U.S. servicemen were murdered by a self-radicalized jihadist, U.S. Army Chief of Staff Ray Odierno suggested that allowing soldiers on base or at recruiting centers “could cause more problems than it solves.”  With all due respect to his service and status, this is nonsense.

As the Associated Press reported:

"I think we have to be careful about over-arming ourselves, and I'm not talking about where you end up attacking each other," Odierno said during a morning breakfast. Instead, he said, it's more about "accidental discharges and everything else that goes along with having weapons that are loaded that causes injuries."

These are soldiers trained in the use of firearms.  Many of those have seen combat, have been shot at, and have shot back.  In Chattanooga, the four Marines killed in the shooting rampage served a total of five tours in Iraq and Afghnistan, including Gunnery Sergeant Thomas J. Sullivan, a recipient of the Purple Heart.  In Chattanooga, unlike Iraq and Afghanistan, they could not shoot back.

The battlefront in this long twilight struggle against jihadist terrorism is everywhere in the age of an Islamic State that uses social media to recruit and radicalize lone wolf jihadists to attack service members and their families just as happened in Chattanooga.  And Odierno is worrying about a trained Marine dropping his sidearm on the floor?  Odierno went farther, according to a report by NBC News:

Gen. Ray Odierno told reporters that the military will review security at those facilities. But he said that recruiters are not armed because of the Posse Comitatus Act, which prevents the military from engaging in domestic law enforcement.

But the Marines in Chattanooga would have been defending themselves.  They would not be armed to enforce federal, state, or local law.  There was little danger they would ever run down the street to stop an armed robbery at the local convenience store.

There has been some controversy over whether the ban on uniformed military personnel carrying firearms while on duty at military facilities originated under President George H.W. Bush or under President Bill Clinton.  After the Washington Navy Yard shooting, Investor’s Business Daily editorialized:

Aaron Alexis, a gunman whose prior behavioral warning signs were ignored opens fire in an installation belonging to the most powerful military on earth and those who protect our nation and design our weapons are not allowed to have a weapon to defend themselves.

He was more equipped than the 12 people he killed on the base who were not permitted to carry weapons on the base thanks to former President Bill Clinton. In 1993 the president issued orders that barred members of the military and their civilian contractors from carrying personal firearms on base. Even officers were disarmed under the law.

Almost as soon as he assumed office, in March 1993, the Army imposed regulations forbidding military personnel from carrying their personal firearms and making it almost impossible for commanders to issue firearms to soldiers in the U.S. for personal protection. That ban extends to virtually all U.S, military bases and related installations.

Army Regulation 190-14 was issued under Clinton in March 1993.  It was Clinton's regulation that implemented “applicable portions” of DoD directive 5210.16, which was issued under Bush in February 1992.  Regardless, DoD Directive 5210.56 was reissued in April 2011 by Deputy Secretary of Defense William J. Lynn III on President Obama’s watch.

President Obama had a chance to end this ridiculous policy but prefers that military personnel on the target list of the Islamic State remain unarmed targets, so great is his distaste for the Second Amendment.  President Obama’s Veterans Administration, the same one that let vets die on waiting lists, once moved to disarm veterans unless they could prove they were not unstable:

The lawless contempt by the Obama administration for our Constitution and our rights has reached a new low with the news that the Veterans Administration has begun sending out letters to veterans telling them saying they will be declared mentally incompetent and stripped of the Second Amendment Rights unless

they can prove to unnamed bureaucrats to the contrary.

 On Thursday, Michael Connelly, J.D., executive director of the United States Justice Foundation​, said that veterans have begun receiving letters from the Veterans Administration (VA) informing them that the government is about to declare them incompetent to handle  their own affairs. The letters inform the recipients that he or she must provide evidence to the contrary within 60 days. If the veteran desires a hearing, they must inform the VA within 30 days.

Marines at recruiting stations have Second Amendment rights as we all do, rights they put their lives on the line to protect.  They were trained to protect us.  They can protect themselves.  They are not dangerous.  They are not unstable.  It is almost laughable that U.S. Marines need to be protected by civilians with guns from terrorists with guns.  Odierno and President Obama are both wrong.

Daniel John Sobieski is a freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine, and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.