In-Depth: This legislation has attracted support in both chambers
of Congress, with Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) authoring the House version
and Sen. Steve Daines (D-MT) introducing the Senate’s companion. Rep.
Hunter lamented the “reality of the post 9-11 world that terrorists and
radicals will look to strike soft targets” such as military recruiting
centers, while Sen. Daines added that “the fastest way to stop a bad guy
with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” Rep. Hunter believes that arming
officers and NCOs at recruiting offices would ensure that there are:
“Marines, soldiers or other service members on the other side of that
door who’ve heard the sound of gunfire, who’ve had all the right
firearms experience and training, and who aren’t defenseless.”
Of Note: In recent years, members of the military — some of whom were unarmed — have been killed in shootings at Fort Bragg, the Washington Navy Yard, and two attacks at Fort Hood among others. The most recent attack occurred at a recruiting center in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
at the Chattanooga recruiting center resulted in the death of five members
of the Armed Forces — four Marines and one Navy — and occurred after
the gunman rammed the facility’s gate and forced his way into the
building. He killed one servicemen after entering the building, and four
more who had exited the building. One servicemen returned fire at the
attacker, but was unable to stop the rampage, until a Chattanooga police
officer eventually killed the assailant. All of this occurred within the span of five minutes.
Despite the history of shootings carried out by those who wish to harm members of the military, the DOD has expressed its continued opposition
to arming all personnel due to concerns about accidental discharges. It
is unclear whether the DOD would support arming officers and NCOs,
which would strike middle ground between the status quo and arming all
personnel. Due to the DOD’s inaction, seven governors have taken action
to arm members of the National Guard in their states who work at recruiting centers.
Media:Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons user Official U.S. Army Imagery)