Chattanooga tragedy: Should our Armed Forces be unarmed?

Chattanooga firearms prohibited sign

by NW Spotlight

Photos from the tragedy in Chattanooga, Tennessee, this week show a troubling paradox: unarmed Armed Forces.

On Thursday, Mohammad Youssuf Abdulazeez attacked two military facilities in Chattanooga and murdered four Marines and one sailor. He also wounded another Marine and a police officer.

The first facility was an Armed Forces Career Center, where the service members were not allowed to be armed. A sign on the door reads “Federal Installation – Firearms Are Prohibited In This Facility.” Photos now show that door riddled with bullet holes.

The second facility was a Navy and Marine reserve center. The U.S. Naval Institute reports “Many reserve training centers are protected only by unmanned gates at the entrance.”

Islamic terrorists, including those incited by ISIS, are specifically targeting members of the U.S. Armed Forces. A few months ago, CBS reported “[ISIS] has released a ‘hit list’ that threatens the lives of 100 specific military personnel. ISIS listed their personal information and is encouraging its followers in the U.S. to go after those named.”

The Wall Street Journal is reporting “Last month, Islamic State urged its supporters to carry out attacks during Ramadan, the Islamic month of daily fasting that comes to an end this weekend.” Ramadan began June 17 and ended in the evening of Friday, July 17 – the day after the Chattanooga shooting.

Given the changed nature of the threat, it’s now time to allow our Armed Forces to be armed.

The House and Senate armed services committees released a joint statement Friday that said “Long before the Chattanooga attack, we had been working to clarify a post commander’s authority to allow carrying of personal firearms. This year’s National Defense Authorization Act will reflect that work. Together, we will direct the Pentagon to end the disconnect between the threats our warfighters and their families face and the tools they have to defend themselves.”

Unarmed Armed Forces in Chattanooga, Tennessee

Unarmed Armed Forces in Chattanooga, Tennessee (click to enlarge)