Jordan Candler / Sep. 10, 2015

Marines Think Armed Recruiters Might Scare Recruits

Instead, the branch advocates a strategy of retreat.

Nearly two months after the July 16 terrorist attack in Chattanooga, Tennessee, the Marine Corps announced that it will not heed calls to arm military personnel at recruitment centers. Sadly, those centers will remain gun-free, target-rich zones for jihadists. On Tuesday, Lt. Gen. Mark Brilakis, commanding general of the Marine Corps Recruiting Command, explained, “The arming piece is one of those things on the recruiting side that myself and [Commandant Gen. Joseph Dunford] still have great concerns over. All the services … said they don’t want to arm their folks.” The decision mostly has to do with public perception. The Marine Corps Times noted, “The Marine Corps has worked hard to build strong relationships with members of the communities in which they recruit, Brilakis said. That isn’t something leaders want to jeopardize.” Added Brilakis, “Whichever way you stand on the Second Amendment, recruiters showing up armed is not going to make either educators or parents comfortable.” This isn’t about making people comfortable; it’s about giving our warriors the chance to defend themselves against bloodthirsty jihadists. Moreover, police officers also do a lot of work with the community. Should they be prohibited from carrying firearms too?

Rather than arming military personnel, “Changes being considered include more security cameras, remote-locking doors, and better ballistic protection, such as movable shields or desk partitions that could protect troops from bullets,” the Times continues. And the most ridiculous part of all? Marines will also continue conducting security training, which, according to Brilakis, proved vital to those involved in the attack on the Chattanooga facility. As Brilakis put it, “Marines in Chattanooga got out of that recruiting station in less than a minute. And they did so because, one, they were trained, and two, they sat down and talked about it before.” In other words, they’re being trained to retreat. They can take on the world’s most brutal terrorists, but taking on a domestic jihadi is somehow different? Our bravest souls shouldn’t be forced to flee the battlefield — here at home, no less — especially when the reason is that you wouldn’t want people to think that joining the military meant you had to be around icky guns.

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