Four marines dead in Tennessee; time to end Clinton-era military base gun ban
Earlier today, a Kuwaiti born gunman who emigrated with his family to the US, attended high school and graduated college with an engineering degree, gunned down four marines and wounded a Chattanooga police officer, a female Navy sailor, another marine, and one other at two separate military facilities in Chattanooga, Tennessee, before the gunman was shot and killed by police officers.
Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez, the gunman, was flying beneath the FBI’s radar. While the shooting is still in the infancy of investigation, it is exactly this type of lone wolf episode that keeps the Justice Dept and FBI terrorism experts awake at night.
Already, as CNN is reporting, biographical sketches are coming in, from people who knew Abdulazeez,
Kevin Emily, his former high school wrestling coach, described him as “a great student” who sometimes missed practice to pray.
“He always contributed, always did what I asked him to do. I never had any problems out of Mohammod,” Emily told CNN’s “Erin Burnett: Outfront.” “He was very humble when he was in high school. He’d always listen to me, looked me in the eye. He was just — in high school he was a great kid.”
Scott Schraeder, Abdulazeez’s former mixed martial arts coach, described him as “all-American.”
“Never loud, never boisterous, never out of line, hard worker, seemed to enjoy the training, got along with everybody.”
And all of the above is what is so unnerving. At this point in time, we don’t know yet what prompted him to conduct this heinous crime. Was he radicalized here within the US? Was he an closet ISIS follower? At this point we don’t know.
What we do know is that our military installations, be they recruiting, reserve or actual training bases need to step up security. Back on May 8, the US Defense Dept. raised the security level for US military installations because of terrorism threats by ISIS and other Islamic terror groups. The raising of the security concerns came a week after the cartoon drawing contest in Texas.
Perhaps it’s time to rethink the ban on military personnel carrying weapon within military centers and installations. As The Washington Times reported:
Among President Clinton’s first acts upon taking office in 1993 was to disarm U.S. soldiers on military bases. 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. For the most part, only military police regularly carry firearms on base, and their presence is stretched thin by high demand for MPs in war zones.
Because of Mr. Clinton, terrorists would face more return fire if they attacked a Texas Wal-Mart than the gunman faced at Fort Hood, home of the heavily armed and feared 1st Cavalry Division. That’s why a civilian policewoman from off base was the one whose marksmanship ended Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan’s rampage.
With the Islamic State in Syria calling for attacks on US military installations, it would be continued sheer folly for us to not to rethink our gun-free zone policy. But then sheer folly appears to be the continuing political meme in our country these days, and our citizens are paying the price.