The aftermath of Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez’s July 16th massacre of five service members at a Chattanooga Navy facility left some wondering how a lone gunman could survive such a target.
Isn’t the military’s primary job, in the words of Rush Limbaugh, “to kill people and break things?” I’m no military expert here, but I would imagine these days one would need at least some sort of metallic object propulsion device to fight even the most primitive modern fighting force, much less one (assumedly) untrained schmuck with a rifle and a handgun … right?
But those of us who didn’t know this already soon learned the ugly truth behind Department of Defense Directive 5210.56, signed by President George H.W. Bush in February 1992, effectively made military areas “gun free” zones. Thanks to the geniuses who adopted and implemented this policy, Nidal Hasan didn’t have to worry about any return fire when he murdered 13 people at Fort Hood and Aaron Alexis was free to slaughter 12 at the Washington Navy Yard unencumbered by pesky bullets coming his way.
Doubtless, Muhammad Abdulazeez expected a similar red-carpet experience when he charged Rambo-style into the Chattanooga Navy facility. “Gun-free” zones, after all, have been great to mass-murderers like James Holmes, Adam Lanza and Seung-Hui Cho. If bullets aren’t flying back at ya, it’s apparently like a video game to these nutjobs.
Except we learned that Abdulazeez didn’t quite get the warm welcome he was counting on. Instead, he got unexpected return fire from at least one place, and possibly even two. According to special agent Edward Reinhold, “Two service members attempted to provide cover and assist the military personnel getting over the fence and away from the shooter. The shooter continued to fire and killed two additional service members.”
“The heroic actions of these service members doubtless saved numerous lives,” he continuted.
[sharequote align="center"]It seems that, by pulling his weapon, Lt. Cmdr. White put himself at risk in more ways than one.[/sharequote]
I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume that these armed service members weren’t “supposed” to be armed, at least according to the above policy. Just yesterday, the Navy Times reported the name of the surviving service member who engaged the shooter, Lt. Cmdr. Timothy White. The other was a Marine who, unfortunately, was killed.
The article states, “It's also unclear why they were armed, as it is against Defense Department policy for anyone other than military police or law enforcement to carry weapons on federal property."
We’re told by Reinhold that the military will conduct a separate investigation to determine whether or not those service members were authorized to be armed. If not, are we to presume that charges would be filed?
Believe it or not, this presents a problem for liberals and anti-self-defense types. Because of the massive spotlight surrounding this shooting, if they choose to prosecute Lt. Cmdr. White they risk severe public backlash as the veil is torn off to reveal the insidious evil behind this and every other policy that prevents Americans from exercising their right to bear arms and defend themselves. However, if they let this one “pass” in spite of the clearly stated policy, they will create a path for others to disregard it.
It seems that, by pulling his weapon, Lt. Cmdr. White put himself at risk in more ways than one.
While it would be an utter and absolute tragedy for this brave sailor to have to go through so much as a paid day off, much less an actual, tangible punishment for his actions that day, in the grand scheme of things this certainly presents an interesting challenge. Were this a non-military matter, it would be a great time for a patriotic jury to render a nullifying “not guilty” verdict. But the decision military investigators make here will have repercussions far beyond the life of an extraordinary commander and hero who acted selflessly in defense of his fellow soldiers.
Feature Photo: FBI
TheBlaze contributor channel supports an open discourse on a range of views. The opinions expressed in this channel are solely those of each individual author.