The passage of time doesn't make the Chattanooga terrorist attack any easier to stomach.
Thanks to a regulation enacted during the George HW Bush administration and finalized under Bill Clinton, it is against military regulations for the vast majority of servicemen and women to be armed on American military facilities. Only MPs and security guards are allowed to be armed.
Now, we're learning something else. At least one of the soldiers in Chattanooga was armed in defiance of the regulation. And when he saw Mohammad Abdulazeez, the soldier opened fire. The FBI has yet to conclude whether this marine was able to wound the terrorist.
But that's not the only thing we've learned. According to officials, some of the five soldiers who died ended up sacrificing themselves. Instead of allowing Abdulazeez to mow down a crowd of unarmed people, these soldiers distracted the gunman and tried to lead him away from the innocents.
Just think about that for a moment. Our policies are so backwards that the best method we have for soldiers to defend innocent lives is for them to run away and sacrifice themselves. Just so shameful.
In the coming days, both chambers of Congress will get together to resolve differences between the House and Senate versions of the Defense Department budget. One of the differences is over whether to arm soldiers on American bases and facilities. You must demand that Congress hold firm and ensure that this amendment survive!
When the amendment to arm American soldiers was brought before the Senate committee, Senator John McCain (R-AZ) refused to allow it to be added to the defense department's budget. He promised that the amendment would never be added as long as he has a say.
Well, that's best thing about going to conference is that if a deal is reached, it only needs 51 votes to pass in the Senate and it would bypass McCain's committee. The GOP is completely in the driver's seat on this. They have all the leverage and all the power on this.
And yet, there are still so-called 'Republicans' who refuse to allow our military men and women to defend themselves when armed islamic terrorists burst through the door.
As I said, at least one soldier in Chattanooga ignored the regulation and was able to open fire on the gunman. The others were forced to resort to running away. Imagine if they all were armed. Imagine if they all opened fire on Abdulazeez.
We know that the rampage came to an end when he was killed in a shootout with police. Why are we forcing trained soldiers to call 911 when they're under attack?
Let them carry weapons. For god's sake, let them defend themselves!
This is our best shot. If Congress emerges from conference with this amendment still in the legislation, then we win. But every legislator goes into these negotiations with their own priorities. It is up to you to DEMAND that they prioritize this common sense proposal.