The four Marines killed by a terrorist
in Chattanooga on Thursday might be alive had they been allowed to carry weapons, former Marine and Navy SEAL Carl Higbie told Newsmax TV.
"Marines are well-trained, and they are some of the best-regarded gun people in America," Higbie said Thursday on "Hard Line." "Why would you not want to keep them armed? And this is a product of bureaucracy in the administration."
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No military personnel except for guards and military police have been allowed to carry weapons on bases except during training since the early 1990s.
Higbie said many military personnel feel helpless on base without weapons in light of shootings at Fort Hood, Texas, and the Washington Navy Yard Shooting.
"Obviously, troops weren't able to carry their service weapons or personal weapons on bases under any recent president, but the fact is that should change," Higbie said. "I'd call on President [Barack] Obama now to introduce legislation that changes that immediately."
Maria Haberfeld, professor of police science in the Department of Law at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City, agreed, adding that the military doesn't have contingency plans for such attacks.
"It's not the first attack on a military base, and we should be very much proactive about this," she said.
Terrorists specifically target military bases and recruiting centers because they know them to be soft targets, Haberfeld said. "Of course, they're not going to go to a military base if they know that the military are armed. It's not going to happen."
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