Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin authorized National Guardsmen in the state to arm themselves following the shooting of Marine facilities in Chattanooga, Tennessee, on Thursday. The attacks, which killed four, raised questions of whether military officials in recruiting offices are safe and whether or not people who seem like an obvious target for terrorists should be armed while at work.
"Four unarmed Marines were killed in what appears to be a domestic terrorist attack,” Fallin said in the release. “It is painful enough when we lose members of our armed forces when they are sent in harm’s way, but it is unfathomable that they should be vulnerable for attack in our own communities. For that reason, I want to make sure that our National Guardsmen are authorized to arm themselves at our military facilities."
The Chattanooga attacks, carried out by 24-year-old Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, resulted in an increase in law enforcement security detail around military recruitment centers in high-profile areas, but the same level of interest was not shown everywhere. In New York's Times Square, the New York Police Department dispatched Critical Response Vehicles to ensure the safety of locations in the city. In San Diego and Phoenix, on the other hand, security remained the same.
Fallin's executive order instructed Oklahoma's adjutant general, Maj. Gen. Robbie L. Asher, to arm some full-time workers at facilities like the ones attacked in Tennessee on Thursday. That would include full-time workers in military recruitment centers but could be expanded to include other military installations as well.
President Barack Obama said on Thursday, "Obviously when you have an attack on a U.S. military facility, then we have to make sure that we have all the information necessary to make an assessment in terms of how this attack took place and what further precautions we can take in the future. As we have more information we’ll let the public know.”
The Pentagon also indicated that they were reviewing safety policy and procedure, which was to restrict officers at recruitment centers from being armed.
On Friday, Sen. Ted Cruz, a Republican presidential candidate, called for arming military personnel at recruiting offices.
On Thursday, Abdulazeez drove by two military installations in Tennessee, including a recruiting office, and fired at the buildings from his car with an AK-47 and 30-round magazine. Officials later indicated that they were investigating the case as an act of domestic terrorism. Abdulazeez, who reportedly went to high school in the area, was killed later that day.