Today’s attacks in Chattanooga, TN represent the latest attack on our nation’s military members on US soil.
Currently, regulations prevent most military members (with the exception of some law enforcement and security personnel) from carrying sidearms on duty and on base in the US.
This policy combined with the fact that the Islamic State (aka ISIS/ISIL) has called for their supporters in the US to carry our attacks have made members of our military sitting ducks as they do their day to day jobs.
Traditional US military culture along with DoD regulations are to blame for the problem. Following the Civil War, it has rarely been standard practice for US troops to be armed while on US soil on a day to day basis. In many ways, this makes sense. We have never had to face a guerrilla warfare siege in the mainland United States. However, that is exactly what we are facing now. DoD and Army regulations also govern the possession of firearms on military bases.
Overseas terrorists seem to have abandoned the large scale, 9/11 style attacks of the past and are now favoring localized, so called “lone wolf” attacks carried out by an unconnected network of radicalized operatives.
Our military members now face threats they have never before faced. Military uniforms now make our nation’s brave men and women targets as they travel to/from their jobs and carry out their duties.
Of course, people have concerns about firearms being readily accessible on military bases. It’s usually the same arguments made against civilian firearm carry and states that have instituted concealed carry, open carry, constitutional carry, bar carry and campus carry have not had any additional upticks of violence.
We have already seen numerous attacks on US military personnel over the last few years. How long until we allow our fighting men and women to defend themselves?