Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Saturday that he will authorize the Texas National Guard to arm National Guard soldiers at military facilities across Texas. His order comes in wake of the recent shooting on two military facilities in Chattanooga, Tennessee, that claimed the lives of four US Marines and one Navy sailor. Governor Abbott said in a statement,
“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.”
Abbott is not the first governor to take action in response to the Chattanooga shooting, in Texas’ neighboring state of Oklahoma, Gov. Mary Fallin (R) took action to arm military personnel at a number of military facilities, after Thursday’s tragic attacks in Chattanooga.
“Four unarmed Marines were killed in what appears to be a domestic terrorist attack,” Fallin said in a statement. “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,” the Republican governor added.Governor Fallin issued executive order 2015-35, in which she called the Chattanooga shooter a “cowardly killer” and a terrorist.”
Her message was a far-cry from President Barack Obama’s almost-apologetic message in response to the attack, during which he asked for “respect” for Islam even before he addressed the attack. The order authorized Oklahoma adjutant general Maj. Gen. Robbie L. Asher to “arm certain full-time military personnel on military installations throughout Oklahoma with weaponry as deems necessary to adequately provide for the security of the facilities and their occupants.”
“Such installations shall include, but not be limited to, military recruiting offices” it said.
The Chattanooga attacks have re-started the debate as to whether military personnel should be allowed to carry firearms on military bases. A number of Republican presidential candidates have offered their opinions, saying that they would immediately get rid of the current policy and allow servicemen to carry firearms.