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The Gun-Free Zone: The Second Amendment and the Chattanooga Shooting | U.S. PATRIOT NEWS & REVIEWS

The Gun-Free Zone: The Second Amendment and the Chattanooga Shooting

In the past I’ve written on more than one occasion about the issue of service members being unarmed on military bases. The very same men and women whose jobs revolve around the use of firearms, who have received extensive training and fired countless rounds down-range, those men and women aren’t allowed to arm themselves. This includes those service members who have spent time in combat, those who have faced down the enemy, those who have truly know what it is like to stare death in the face and come out the other side, teeth bared, but alive and kicking. It doesn’t matter who you are, the military says, you will not be granted the basic Second Amendment right enjoyed by Americans all across the country. You will not carry a gun on a military base, and if you do, and you’re caught, prepare to be punished – even if that gun ends up being used to ward off a terrorist.

On July 16, 2015, a Muslim terrorist by the name of Muhammed Youssef Abdulazeez carried out a drive-by shooting on a recruiting center in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and then drove to the U.S. Navy Reserve center located on the Amnicola Highway there in Chattanooga, where he opened fire on service members after smashing his car right through the security gate at the center’s entrance. Five service members were killed: four Marines, Sergeant Carson A. Holmquist, Gunnery Sergeant Thomas J. Sullivan, Lance Corporal Squire K. Wells, and Staff Sergeant David A. Wyatt, and a sailor of the U.S. Navy, Logistics Specialist Second Class Randall Smith. The four Marines were murdered on the spot while the sailor succumbed to his injuries at the hospital. During the course of events, a Marine recruiter was also shot in the leg and a police sergeant was shot in the ankle. Abdulazeez was killed by responding police officers minutes after the shooting at the center began.

There have been many incidents cropping up in relation to the Chattanooga shootings that have been either disturbing or infuriating – or both. One was the fact that it took our president five days to finally lower the flag to half-staff in honor of the five service members’ memory, despite the speed with which Obama lowered the flag for Mandela, among others. Another was the way the powers that be, including Obama, either hesitated or refused outright to call the attack an act of terrorism. Ample evidence of Abdulazeez’s dedication to radical Islam was immediately found, and yet they hesitate – for what reason? Because admitting the man was a terrorist will prove there are Muslims among us right this very moment, plotting our deaths? Heaven forbid we foster awareness or encourage people to pay attention to their surroundings. Or, worse, God forbid people train and are prepared to defend themselves in case of a violent attack. But wait, there’s more.

Mohammad Youssuf Abdulazeez
Mohammad Youssuf Abdulazeez

When Abdulazeez opened fire on a bunch of unarmed service members, he did not know that one – possibly two – were actually armed. Although carrying a firearm on a military installation is expressly forbidden, there are a few who carry anyway with the attitude it’s better to be alive and forced to explain yourself than dead. There have been numerous statements made that one of the Marines who was killed was concealed carrying, and while the statement hasn’t been backed up with 100% proof positive, it’s been supported in ways that make it seem likely to be true. However, there is also a living service member, a survivor, who was carrying on that fateful, horrific day. A man who dared to draw his weapon and fire back. A man willing to risk his life to save the lives of his fellow service members. A man whose bravery should be applauded, praised, and acknowledged with pride and appreciation. A man who may be brought up on charges.

In February of 1992 – yes, while President George H.W. Bush was in office, prior to President Bill Clinton’s time – the deputy secretary of defense, Donald J. Atwood, signed something that would have a ripple effect on our service members. Because, you see, although life was not perfect at that time, it was not as rife with danger on military bases as it is today, and Atwood signed Department of Defense (DoD) Directive 5210.56. He removed firearms from the hands of service members serving stateside, and he may as well have signed their death warrants.

DoD 5210.56 states it is their policy to “limit and control the carrying of firearms by DoD military and civilian personnel.” It goes on to say that personnel allowed to be armed are those actively engaged in law enforcement and security, nothing more, nothing less. Of course, that isn’t what made things so serious 23 years later. It was, yes, President Bill Clinton who went ahead and modified DoD 5210.56 in 1993, making changes so significant and lengthy there was no point in going back and highlighting the modified areas. It had pretty much all been modified, and the resulting Army Regulation 190-14 was signed into law in March of 1993. In 2011 it was reinforced by, yes, President Barack Obama, ensuring service members would remain unarmed stateside. So while it was born under the banner of the senior Bush’s time in office, it was brought to adulthood and turned into the monster it is now thanks to the efforts and machinations of Clinton and Obama.

Immediately following the firearm ban, the shootings began. In 1994 a shooting took place at Fairchild Air Force Base in Spokane, Washington; in March of 1995 another took place at Naval Air Systems Command in Arlington, Virginia; in October of 1995 another occurred at Fort Brag in North Carolina. The shootings went on – and on – and the body count rose, and somehow it never struck the brass to get firearms in the hands of the very men and women being attacked. Our service members just might be safer in combat than serving stateside, because at least in the sandbox they can defend themselves. Here in the United States service members are left with nothing but throwing their boots, wielding ink pens, or breaking the rules by carrying a handgun.

When U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander Timothy White (allegedly) returned fire in self-defense against Abdulazeez using his personal 9mm Glock, he was thinking of his fellow service members. Thinking of his wife and children. Thinking of not only himself, but of each of the sailors and Marines around him whose loved ones might be facing the grim reality of a knock on the door reporting the death of their husband or son, facing the gripping pain of sitting in that chair and being presented with a folded American flag. He was acting as an American sailor should act; he was acting as any American should act. He was fighting back, and he was doing it with firepower.

U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander Timothy White
U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander Timothy White

Lt. Cmdr. White could very well be charged, not only with possession of a firearm on a military installation, in direct violation of DoD 5210.56, but with firing that firearm on federal property. As of August 2, 2015, a Navy official told media that White’s being punished couldn’t be “completely ruled out” and presidential candidate Jim Webb, along with a pair of high-profile former military officers, say the possibility of charges is being seriously considered by the Navy. A statement released by the Navy simply said that no charges have been filed at this time and explained that they’re in the process of collecting and interpreting evidence. In one report it was noted that the coroner has yet to release the official findings on Abdulazeez, adding that ballistics must be completed in order to find out if he was shot by one of the late Marines or by White.

Regardless of who shot White, the fact remains that Abdulazeez was – is – a Muslim terrorist, and we as a nation are significantly better off without him. Who among us mourns the loss of an angry man hell-bent for leather on carrying out his ultimate goal of the death and destruction of not only Americans, but American soldiers, sailors, and Marines.

White should not be punished, he should be rewarded. He should not be disciplined, he should be promoted. It is actions like those purportedly carried out by this sailor that should be not only encouraged but trained for, and firearms should be supplied.

If Lt. Cmdr. White is charged or punished, the Navy is setting a dangerous precedent. They would be sending the message throughout their ranks that you should not fight back, whether to save yourself or in defense of others. With this precedent they would not only make it devastatingly clear where they stand on the matter of our service members’ safety, they’d let the world know where they stand on the issue of refusing Second Amendment rights on military bases, and they’d reinforce the big, blood-red bullseye painted on every military installation in the country.

Thank you, Lt. Cmdr. White.  This nation needs more men like you.

To the families of the fallen: you are not forgotten, and the sacrifices made by your family members, by those five service members in Chattanooga, will not only never be forgotten but will be valued and honored for years to come.

That our Marines and sailors would have apparently been safer overseas than here because they’re not allowed to carry firearms is mind-boggling. It’s a travesty, and a violation of the rights our forefathers built this nation on. We are the land of the free because of the brave, and our brave should be armed. End of story, no discussion needed.

Arm our service members on military bases and in recruitment centers. Arm them, and do it now. No hesitation, no more delays, not another moment of time spent helpless and unable to fight back.

Oh, and another thing: our nation’s military does not cower in the face of terrorism by ceasing to wear uniforms in public or at recruiting centers. We fight back, and we fight back hard. We do not back down; we never have, and we never will.

Lock and load.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.

Katherine Ainsworth

Katherine is a military and political journalist with a reputation for hard-hitting, no-holds-barred articles. Her career as a writer has immersed her in the military lifestyle and given her unique insights into the various branches of service. She is a firearms aficionado and has years of experience as a K9 SAR handler, and has volunteered with multiple support-our-troops charities for more than a decade. Katherine is passionate about military issues and feels supporting service members should be the top priority for all Americans. Her areas of expertise include the military, politics, history, firearms and canine issues.
Katherine Ainsworth

1 thought on “The Gun-Free Zone: The Second Amendment and the Chattanooga Shooting

  1. No… He should be charged. Its wonderful that the writer has covered the military. If she was ever IN the military she might understand the concepts of following orders and the UCMJ. This partcular incident allowed him to use his sidearm.. But the fact that he ignored orders/ laws for long before that would make him questionable… Especially as an officer.
    The military is not the civilian world. Without order and discipline it will cease to function.

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