Gov. Hutchinson Orders Adjutant General To Arm Full-Time Military Personnel

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ARKANSAS (KFSM) - Following the shooting death of four Marines in Chattanooga, Gov. Asa Hutchinson has authorized Arkansas National Guard Adjutant General Mark Berry to arm full-time military personnel.

The governor also ordered the Arkansas flag to be flown at half-staff on Monday (July 20), according to a news release.

"Our hearts break at the news of another senseless act of violence and terror, this time out of Chattanooga,” Governor Hutchinson said. “Our prayers go out to all the families of the victims, especially the family of Staff Sgt. David Wyatt of Russellville, one of Arkansas’s own."

He continued, "I want to join in those who are calling for greater security at our recruiting stations and military installations. We’ve had numerous instances of attacks. Clearly they are a target, and for us to have unarmed military personnel makes no sense, which is why I am directing Major General Mark Berry to arm full-time personnel as he deems necessary at military installations.”


  • Marco (@marcosignatura)

    Arming troops in civilian areas is an asinine idea for so many reasons. This was a quick assault, not a siege. Even if the Marines and Sailors were armed, the completely surprise nature of the attack still caught them unprepared for a firefight and rightfully so. They would have taken cover and then tried to locate a target, while attempting to rescue comrades and notify law enforcement. Any attempts at returning fire could have conceivably wounded civilians as they would have been firing from inside a building towards the outside. Yes, Marines are highly trained and very familiar with weapons, but this wasn’t door-to-door fighting in Fallujah or defending a FOB in Afghanistan. The targets were essentially offices, where more work is done with a computer than would be with any weapon. This was a kamikaze strike with apparently little in the way of specific targets, a heinous crime of opportunity that could have just as easily targeted a grocery store. Those calling for military personnel to carry weapons while on duty are missing many questions about logistics, costs, training, locational security, and the wisdom of non-military police/security forces carrying a sidearm when they are immediately outgunned by someone with an AK-47. M16A2’s for all? Even crazier. To prevent the next attack such as this on military personnel stateside, the military needs to reexamine the location of recruiting stations and other offices outside of the posts, enhancing fortifications and security, and warn personnel to not wear their uniforms off-post and to not keep military parking stickers on their cars. What is the difference between the Chattanooga shooter and the Charleston shooter? Does it seem more heinous to the “arm everyone” crowd because Marines were killed by an Arab over Blacks killed in a church by a White guy? Is one crime more heinous than the other? No, both were despicable acts by deranged “lone-wolf” individuals killing unarmed people. And in both cases, arming the victims would not have helped the outcome.

    • Austin Saylor

      You’re an idiot. You are telling me that Marines, trained for battle and surprise attacks, would have been outgunned? You seem to have a problem with arming our military in the face of a very real danger. You need to read up on how many crimes per year are STOPPED by good people with guns stopping bad people with gun.
      There is no need for me to destroy your rather long-winded rant as it based on such a naive point of view as to be laughable.

    • Charlie Coleman

      I have to say I do think your spot on, I was a Military Policeman, and the last thing I would want to see is some 19 year old G.I. clerk walking around with pistol. If they want more security then post an M.P or a DOD police office there.

    • Jayson Shell

      You’ve obviously have no clue what a soft target is. Had these men been armed then perhaps they would still be with us today. Go get some military training then see if you have the same outlook. Had they been what is known as a hard target….

  • Michael D. Rininger

    Thank God Gov.Hutchinson is doing what should have been done long ago.It is about time our STATE Governors stated arming recruiters ,maybe now there will not be anymore attacks like the one in Tennessee.

  • clayusmcret

    All they have to do is authorize CCW on all federal and state bases. When one has to assume people are carrying, they’re forced to assume all are carrying.

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