Top Army General: 'Have to Be Careful About Over-Arming' at Military Bases
U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno said today he's not sure whether the no-gun policy at military installations should be lifted.
He questioned whether the policy shift could "cause more problems than it solves."
A day after a gunman shot and killed four Marines and wounded three other people in Chattanooga, Gen. Ray Odierno, chief of staff of the Army, told reporters that arming troops in those offices could cause more problems than it might solve.
"I think we have to be careful about over-arming ourselves, and I'm not talking about where you end up attacking each other," Odierno said during a morning breakfast. Instead, he said, it's more about "accidental discharges and everything else that goes along with having weapons that are loaded that causes injuries."
Odierno said the security procedures at military facilities will be reviewed, but would not commit to adding armed guards or letting service members carry firearms.
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The ban is largely due to legal issues, such as laws that prohibit the federal government from using the military for domestic law enforcement, so troops don't routinely carry guns when they are not in combat or on military bases.
"We're always going to be somewhat vulnerable to a lone wolf, or whatever you want to call it, a surprise shooter, because we are out there with the population and that's where we have to be," said Odierno. "We can't separate ourselves as we continue to recruit and interact with the population."
On "The Real Story," Marine veteran Johnny Joey Jones responded by saying commanders should trust service members "to do what they're trained to do" and handle a weapon responsibly.
"In this day and age, they are a sitting duck. They are a target because they're in uniform," said Jones, a former staff sergeant who signed up for the Marines at the recruitment center attacked yesterday.
Jones said military members are in uniform among the population in order to do their jobs.
"They can't treat us like an enemy, but they need to be prepared for when we become the enemy," said Jones, adding that an alert to military personnel was just sent out earlier this month amid threats from ISIS on social media.
Jones also talked about his personal connection to the unit in which the slain Marines served.