In response to the murders of four unarmed Marines and one unarmed Navy chief in Chattanooga earlier this week, Governors Abbott (TX), Fallin (OK), Hutchinson (AR) , and Jindal (LA) have issued executive orders directing the heads of each state’s Guard units to arm their full-time personnel.
Each governor also directed that flags be flown at half-staff at state offices, as the nation mourns the latest victims of Islamic jihad.
Our hearts break at the news of another senseless act of violence and terror, this time out of Chattanooga,” Governor Hutchinson said. “Our prayers go out to all the families of the victims, especially the family of Staff Sgt. David Wyatt of Russellville, one of Arkansas’s own.
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.
From Governor Jindal’s executive order:
The very uniforms worn by these courageous Marines made them targets of terrorism…. The Adjutant General is authorized and directed to identify and arm certain Guard personnel currently on state active duty or USC Title 32 status as reasonably necessary to preserve the lives, property, and security of themselves and other persons subject to threat of an attack as occurred this week.
Four unarmed Marines were killed in what appears to be a domestic terrorist attack. It is painful enough when we lose members of our armed forces when they are sent in harm’s way, but it is unfathomable that they should be vulnerable for attack in our own communities. For that reason, I want to make sure that our National Guardsmen are authorized to arm themselves at our military facilities.
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 type 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.