On July 21, Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) blogger Jay Bookman put forth reasons he believes arming military recruiters in the wake of the Chattanooga attack might not be such a good idea. One of the reasons he offered is the possibility that a recruiter might accidentally hurt himself if armed.
Bookman begins by reminding everyone of how the push to arm recruiters intensified following the Chattanooga attack, then quotes the NRA’s Chris Cox saying, “It’s outrageous that members of our armed services have lost their lives because the government has forced them to be disarmed in the workplace.”
Next he offered a slight aside, criticizing the fact that alleged attacker Mohammod Abdulazeez was able to buy guns in the first place, then he dove into the various reasons why he believes arming military recruiters may not be the right thing to do.
Among these are his beliefs that “personal weapons” may not be effective “fending off the type of attack perpetrated in Chattanooga” and that arming military recruiters raises the “risks of workplace violence and accidental shootings.” He wrote that “military leaders… fear [that] tragedies such as the Fort Hood shooting” might occur if recruiters are armed.
In making this suggestion, Bookman overlooks the fact that the problem at Fort Hood was that no one but the attacker was armed.
Bookman also suggests military recruiters may harm themselves if armed. Here are his exact words:
The day after the Chattanooga attack, a Navy recruiter in Gainesville, Ga., brought his personal .45 pistol to his recruiting office — in apparent violation of military policy — and proceeded to shoot himself in the leg while showing off the weapon to a potential recruit. As that incident suggests, non-combat military personnel are simply not as well-trained and proficient in the use of weapons as mythology would suggest.
Bookman’s conclusion: “Congressmen and presidential candidates with no expertise” should quit pushing to arm recruiters and let the military handle its own business.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.