A review of active shooter cases by the Air Force has confirmed what gun-rights advocates have long been saying: Firearms in the hands of good guys are often the best bet for stopping massacres.
Who ever said the Air Force wasn’t hardcore?
In a report given by an Air Force security forces officer, base commanders across the country will be able to authorize the carry of guns by on- or off-duty airmen. The 2015 attack on a Chattanooga, Tennessee recruiting office is a large part of what prompted the change in policy. Some critics had pointed out that armed servicemen could have stopped the threat before any innocent civilians were killed. Instead, the shooter’s rampage lasted until police were able to respond and kill the attacker, Muhammad Youseef Abdulazeez.
New details have emerged from an investigation that show one of the murdered men (a Marine) had a personal 9mm pistol on him when the attack occurred. Another, the commanding officer of a nearby reserve center, actually fired at the attacker but apparently missed.
There will be plenty of detractors who say that allowing servicemen and women to carry weapons will not solve the problem. And they are right on one side. It will not be a guarantee that an active shooter will not take civilian lives. What it will do is give those being attacked a chance to defend themselves until more help arrives.
The Air Force did not make a snap decision on this. They thought it through and weighed the consequences, and time will tell how things turn out. Today, an active shooter threat materialized at a San Diego naval hospital. Would the presence of armed service members have been enough to deter such a threat had it come to fruition?
One thing is for certain: I’ll be surprised to see an active shooter carry out their evil intentions on a U.S. Air Force base once this policy is in full effect.
The question is, will other branches follow with similar policies?