Shootings raise military security



Florida Governor Rick Scott oversees the Florida National Guard and can act without federal involvement. Photo / AFP

Governors in several states ordered National Guardsmen to be armed in
the wake of an attack on two military facilities in Tennessee, and
Florida Gov. Rick Scott went a step further Saturday by immediately
relocating recruiters to armories.
In an executive order, the
Republican governor said he wants Guard recruiters to move from six
storefront locations into armories until state officials can evaluate
and make security improvements, including possibly installing
bullet-proof glass or enhanced surveillance equipment.
Scott ordered the Guardsmen to be armed, as did governors in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Indiana.
for the recruiting centers has come under scrutiny since the Tennessee
shootings because some people believe they are too vulnerable. U.S.
military officials have said security at recruiting and reserve centers
will be reviewed, but the Army’s top officer, Gen. Ray Odierno, said
it’s too early to say whether the facilities should have security guards
or other increased protection.

Scott, however, said during an interview with CNN that
recruiting centers could be targets and that’s why he wants the National
Guard moved until officials are “comfortable” that they will be safe.
got to understand that you know we have people in our country that want
to harm the military,” Scott said. “They need to be safe and they need
to be armed.”
As governor, Scott oversees the Florida National
Guard and can act without federal involvement. He ordered officers to
make sure all full-time members of the guard are armed “in the interest
of immediately securing Florida National Guardsmen who are being
targeted by ISIS.”
The Tennessee attacks have not been linked to
the Islamic State group. Authorities have called their probe a terrorism
investigation and said they were looking into the gunman’s overseas
travel and whether he was inspired or directed by a terrorist group.
Secretary Ash Carter late Friday asked the military services to
determine if additional steps can be taken to ensure people are safe at
military installations, and said he wants a report back by the end of
next week.
The comments came as Navy officials confirmed a
separate incident outside Atlanta, where a recruiter accidently shot
himself in the leg with his personal .45-caliber pistol while discussing
the Tennessee shootings with one of his recruits. Officials said he
showed the sailor the unloaded gun, then reloaded it and inadvertently
discharged it as he was putting it back in his holster.
Congressman Scott DesJarlais said he has drafted legislation entitled
the “Enhancing Safety at Military Installations Act” that would repeal
bans on military personnel carrying firearms at military recruitment
facilities and bases. Wisconsin U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, the chairman of
the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said he
plans to introduce a similar bill.
“By disarming the Armed
Forces, gun-free policies at military facilities have made our men and
women in uniform easy targets for terrorist attacks,” Johnson said in a
The six storefront locations in Florida are located in
and around urban areas, including two just outside Tampa, one in
Orlando, one in Jacksonville and one in Miami.

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