Why is the Army giving a cold shoulder to civilian protectors? ‘Shame on you’

It has come to this: if you try to help protect U.S. service members at military recruiting stations, you may get arrested.

The Army has warned its personnel to treat armed civilians who show up in the wake of the Chattanooga, Tennessee, murders of five service members as security threats, and to report them to local authorities.

In an Army Recruiting Command policy letter, personnel are told to avoid anyone standing outside recruiting centers and even perform a “lock-down,” according to Stars and Stripes.

After the July 16 attack on a recruiting center and Navy facility in Chattanooga, many armed civilians throughout the nation voluntarily stood guard outside military facilities, saying they wanted to provide protection to service members who are prohibited from carrying firearms while on duty in the United States, other than military police.

Arguing that recruiters would be unable to tell the difference between a legitimate threat and a well-intentioned civilian, the policy letter states soldiers should depend on “first responders” for protection, not armed civilians.

The military may have legitimate concerns about untrained civilians mishandling weapons, but its decision to keep well-trained service members from carrying their own weapons leaves recruiting centers with virtually no defense against the type of attack seen in Chattanooga.

Discouraging military uniforms, locking doors, and calling police doesn’t seem likely to stop a “bad guy with a gun.”

The grassroots movement of patriotic civilians who have taken up arms to protect U.S. service members flocked to social media to vent their frustration with the official Army policy. If there’s another attack, one user wrote addressing the Army, “shame on you.”


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