This article appeared online at on Monday, July 20, 2015:  

Official photo of Florida Governor Rick Scott

Florida Governor Rick Scott

Since the shooting of military personnel at a recruiting center in Chattanooga last week, governors in half-a-dozen states have ordered members of their National Guard to arm themselves. Florida Governor Rick Scott went a step further, ordering the closing of six storefront locations and moving them into armories.

In addition to Florida, governors in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Indiana ordered their National Guardsmen to arm themselves so they can protect themselves and others in the event of another attack. Texas Governor Greg Abbott made this announcement on Saturday:

It is with a heavy heart that I issue this order. After the recent shooting in Chattanooga, it has become clear that our military personnel must have the ability to defend themselves against these types of attacks on our own soil.


Arming the National Guard at these bases will not only serve as a deterrent to anyone wishing to do harm to our service men and women, but will enable them to protect those living and working on the base.

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, in his order, said:

I want to join in those who are calling for greater security at our recruiting stations and military installations. We’ve had numerous instances of attacks.


Clearly they are a target, and for us to have unarmed military personnel makes no sense, which is why I am directing Major General Mark Berry to arm full-time personnel as he deems necessary at military installations.

Lest anyone think these measures will serve as a deterrent at federal military recruiting stations like the ones attacked in Chattanooga, he should remember that they remain “gun-free” zones even to National Guardsman. And they will remain “gun-free” unless and until those rules change. Right now, changes are only being “considered” in light of the Chattanooga massacre. Said U.S. Army General Ray Odierno:

I think we have to be careful about over-arming ourselves … [it’s more about] accidental discharges and everything else that goes along with having that are loaded that causes injuries….


We’re always going to be somewhat vulnerable to a lone wolf, or whatever you want to call it, a surprise shooter, because we are out there with the population and that’s where we have to be. We can’t separate ourselves as we continue to recruit and interact with the population.

In other words, national recruiting centers located in storefront locations across the country for the military services will remain targets of the disaffected. In this remarkable display of hypocrisy, Odierno reflects the anti-gun mindset that has even infiltrated the highest levels of the U.S. military service. As former Arkansas Governor pointed asked,

Why do we trust American soldiers with tanks, trucks, bullets, and bombs on the battlefield, but when these same soldiers are home on a military base, sidearms are just “too dangerous”?  Why have we allowed liberals to transform American military bases into “gun-free zones,” or as I call them, “sitting-duck zones”?


American soldiers are the most highly-trained people in our country to handle firearms, and it’s ridiculous to make them “check their at the door”. If we trust them to kill our enemies and keep us safe, it’s completely incomprehensible, insulting, and insane to forcibly disarm our heroes on American military bases and related installations.

Nothing has changed either at the College of Charleston where the Chattanooga first considered targeting innocents. Instead of allowing innocents to carry firearms, the college considers police officers as the only armed first-responders allowed on campus:

Police officers responding to an active are … to proceed immediately to the area in which shots were last heard in order to stop the shooting as quickly as possible…. The first responding officers will be focused on stopping the active shooter and creating a safe environment for medical assistance to be brought in to aid the injured.

This is patently ridiculous according to John Lott, author, gun rights activist, and founder of the Crime Prevention Research Center, who observed:

It’s not surprising that yet another mass public shooting has taken place where guns were banned. Yet, again, the ban only insured that the victims were vulnerable….


Time after time we see that these killers tell us they pick soft targets. With just two exceptions, from at least 1950, all the mass public shootings have occurred in these gun-free zones. From last summer’s mass public killers in Santa Barbara and Canada, to the Aurora movie theater shooter, these killers made it abundantly clear in their diaries or on Facebook how they avoided targets where people with guns could stop them.

But the mindset expressed by General Odierno infests the national as well. Any incident which proves the point is spiked. Just two weeks ago a public shooting at a liquor store in Conyers, Georgia was stopped by a concealed handgun permit holder. A couple of people had already been shot when the permit holder arrived, but, as Rockdale County Sheriff Eric Levett explained:

I believe that if Mr. Scott [the permit holder] did not return fire at the suspect, then more of those customers would have been hit. It didn’t appear that [the shooter] cared who he shot or where he was shooting until someone was shooting back at him. So, in my opinion, [Mr. Scott] saved other lives in that store.

This never made the national news because it didn’t fit their narrative. Instead, all national attention is focused on where the got his gun and what his possible motivations might have been. Who cares? The point missing from all the discussion is that the Chattanooga shooter would have, and easily could have, been neutralized if one or more of his targets with skill at arms were allowed to carry.

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