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Our ‘Armed Forces’ Should be Armed
Rep. Mike Tobash (R-Schuylkill/Dauphin)

To me, it’s a no-brainer. The men and women who so valiantly serve our country in the armed forces should be armed themselves. Unfortunately, this is not the reality.

As a nation, we were horrified when four Marines and one sailor were murdered in two separate shootings on July 16, in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Sadly, we cannot bring those individuals who lost their lives working at those military recruiting centers on that day back to us. But in a time like this – where our military men and women have become targets – we can, and should, be doing all we can to prevent similar future attacks.

My colleagues and I on the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee recently discussed this issue. As a committee, we voted in favor of a resolution that would protect the safety of military recruiters by urging Congress and the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) to allow recruiters to carry firearms while performing their duties. Since 1992, the DOD has limited the presence of weapons in public settings.

House Resolution 437, which has bipartisan support, asks the DOD to review current domestic force protection policies, including giving military personnel the authority to carry the weapons they have been trained to use and to protect one another if threatened with violence.

Even though the federal government has to be the one to take action in order for a change to occur, I think it’s important that we, at the state level, have our voice heard on this commonsense issue. President Barack Obama, please allow our armed forces to be armed!

Representative Mike Tobash
125th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives /
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