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Debate on Arming Domestic Service Members Returns After Tennessee Shooting

“Former senior military officers who are sharpshooters and have served in high government posts are urging caution in the wake of calls in Congress and beyond to arm domestic service members following last week’s deadly rampage in Tennessee,” McClatchy DC reports.  

“In the days since a Kuwaiti-born gunman, Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez, shot up a Chattanooga military recruiting center and then killed four Marines and a sailor at a Navy Reserve center in the city, lawmakers have pushed legislation to allow all personnel on bases inside the United States to carry weapons… Some governors are not waiting for Congress. From Florida to Texas and North Carolina, chief executives in at least six states have authorized their National Guard units to be armed, moved them to fortified armories or taken other steps to increase security.”  

“Retired Navy Cmdr. Rick Nelson, now a defense analyst with the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington…qualified as a Navy rifle sharpshooter, the service’s second-highest weapons rating. To him, arming all domestic service members would be an exaggerated response to the shootings in Chattanooga… ‘Would you want all of the employees there getting ready to shoot?’ Nelson asked. ‘Now the onus is on each one of them to identify who the actual shooter is. How do you know who is the bad guy and who is one of my co-workers trying to stop the bad guy? It takes an already complicated and dangerous situation and makes it more complicated and dangerous.'”

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