2015-08-06 / Opinions

Terrorist attacks on Chattanooga facilities may have only ‘awakened a sleeping giant’

By KIP BURKE
news editor

It’s been three weeks now since an Islamic terrorist attacked two military facilities in Chattanooga, killing four Marines and a sailor, and the reaction of American people to those attacks has been as heart-warming to many of us as it should be chilling to those who hate America.

Thousands of Americans stopped what they were doing to render honors to the passing funeral procession of Navy Petty Officer Randall Smith, who was laid to rest in Chattanooga National Cemetery two weeks ago. His funeral brought to a close an emotional, flag-waving series of similar funeral processions, including those of U.S. Marine Gunnery Sergeant Thomas Sullivan, Marine Lance Cpl. Squire “Skip” Wells of Woodstock, Georgia, Marine Sergeant Carson Holmquist, and Marine Staff Sergeant David Wyatt.

As those thousands stood in the hot July sun to honor those fallen young men, men who were serving unarmed, disarmed, a cry has arisen that was even heard in Washington, D.C. Americans, properly horrified that the U.S. government has disarmed our armed forces and left them nearly defenseless in the face of a declaration of war by radical Islamic terrorists, have kicked up such a storm of protest that the civilian political appointees who run the Defense Department and the Department of the Navy have been forced to act. Last Thursday, Defense Secretary Ash Carter signed a memo declaring that commanders can arm qualified troops at recruiting sites and other locations off-base. He also directed each military service to develop plans to improve security at those sites, a Pentagon spokesman said.

“Existing DOD policy authorizes commanders to arm qualified personnel based on the threat,” said Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, including “recruiting stations, ROTC units, and reserve centers, and there are about 7,000 of these throughout the United States.” But here’s where it gets complicated. They’re saying that this is an existing rule, not a change, but there are press reports that the reserve center’s commanding officer, Lieutenant Commander Timothy White could be disciplined for “illegally discharging a firearm on federal property” after an investigation is complete. The investigation into the attack is ongoing, the Navy says, and authorities will not know if White or the Marine hit the shooter until autopsies and ballistics reports have been completed.

Lt. Cmdr. White admits he used his personal firearm to protect his people by engaging the shooter during the attack. On top of that, a report from The Washington Post said that one of the Marines killed in the shooting might have been carryinga9mmGlockandpossibly returned fire on the shooter.

That’s “might have” and “possibly,” inferring that reports are still not clear. I hope that both men, both warriors, stood tall to defend their brothers in arms, no matter what the current interpretation of the regulations might have been. It’s entirely possible that, while the regulations have allowed base commanders to “arm qualified personnel” all along, the current anti-gun hysteria would have repercussions on the career of any commander who did so.

On Sunday, a spokesman for the U.S. Navy denied reports that disciplinary charges would be filed against Lt. Cmdr. White for discharging an unauthorized weapon on federal property. I pray that’s true, but I don’t trust today’s politically correct Navy. What should happen, once the facts are known, is that he be awarded with the appropriate Navy medal for bravery under fire and publically honored by the president. I won’t hold my breath on that one, though.

However that works out, the good news is that people are waking up to the war that has been declared on us – not just on the military, not just on the police, but on all Americans. Our enemies do not fear our leadership, nor should they, but they should fear the anger and determination of the American people.

Just after the despicable sneak attack on Pearl Harbor by Imperial Japanese forces in 1941, Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto said prophetically, “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.”

Are you awake yet?

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