Allow our nation’s defenders to defend themselves


Add the slaying of four Marines and a sailor at a naval reserve center in Chattanooga , Tenn., by a jihadist to the list of other attacks on surprisingly soft, state-side military installations.

In June of 2009 Abdulhakim Muhammad (born Carlos Bledsoe) opens fire on soldiers entering an Army-Navy recruiting station in Little Rock, Ark.: One killed. One wounded.

In November of 2009 Army Major Nidal Malik Nadal Hasan kills 13 and wounds 30 in his attack at the Fort Hood Army Base, Texas.

CNN published a piece by Peter Bergen and David Sterman the day after the Chattanooga killings ( The authors say 119 Americans have been accused of plotting an attack inside the U.S. since 9/11. Nearly a third of those plots allegedly had U.S. military facilities as intended targets. That’s 40 more attempted Chattanoogas, Little Rocks, or Fort Hoods.

The bad guys showed their willingness to kill us in our country on 9/11. Almost 3,000 of us died in those attacks. Later attacks show their continued desire to kill us. Those wearing the uniform of our armed forces literally wear a large target on their backs.

Regrettably, the murdered service members were, ironically, not permitted to be armed. Why not let the targets shoot back?

I submit to my fellow citizens that those sworn to defend our freedom be allowed the freedom to bear arms to protect themselves.

In his dissenting opinion in Terminiello v. Chicago, Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson asserted that the court must temper doctrinaire logic with a little practical wisdom lest the constitutional Bill of Rights be converted into a “suicide pact.”

When one of our countrymen or women enters military service he or she solemnly swears (or affirms) to, “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” With manifest domestic enemies, would we have those who enter the service of our nation swear themselves into a suicide pact?

Let the armed forces be armed.

Lt. Col. Mallory Hope Ferrell (USAF Ret.)
Peachtree City, Ga.