Over the weekend reports began circulating that Lt. Cmdr. Timothy White was going to be charged with discharging a personal weapon at the US Navy Operations Center in Chattanooga. He fired the weapon at Muhammad Abdulazeez who was attacking the base and had already killed some military personnel. These reports began with Allen West, who received the information and began to sound a loud call to action to defend the Lt. Cmdr.
Since then there have been comments by the navy on social media stating that no charges have been filed, and that the investigation as to what happened is still ongoing. If they have formulated any official reply I could not find it in an internet search this morning.
While their assertion that no charges have been filed provides some degree of assurance, I believe that it also leaves some room that as the investigation progresses this action could still be taken. It’s hard to digest, that this is even a possibility. Think about it, the action of defending your fellow soldiers, running toward the gunfire instead of away from it, actions which would have resulted in commendations or at the very least the satisfaction of having done your duty – these same actions could result in charges because you are on US soil and are deemed illegal here.
It comes down to a decision years ago, which greatly restricts when military personnel would carry weapons. I believe soldiers can be trained, and in fact, are trained to handle their weapons responsibly. Undoubtedly some individuals would go against their training, but I do not believe that would be as big of a problem as that created by disarming our defenders.
Disarming our military men on US bases sends two unacceptable messages. First that our military is untrustworthy and second that they are now defenseless and easy targets.