“Florida Will Do Everything Possible to Protect Military in Wake of Tennessee Shooting”

A U.S. flag flies near a sign in honor of the four Marines and one sailor  killed in Chattanooga, Tenn.  Reuters/Tami Chappell

A U.S. flag flies near a sign in honor of the four Marines and one sailor killed in Chattanooga, Tenn.
Reuters/Tami Chappell




By Diamond Hunt-Coleman
Outlook Writer


After four Marines and a sailor were left dead in a recruitment center shooting in Tennessee, Florida Gov. Rick Scott has decided that some changes need to be made to ensure the safety of men and women who serve in our armed forces.

With wounds still fresh from the shooting, Scott has issued an executive order calling for National Guard personnel to be relocated from the state`s six store-front recruitment centers to their nearest National Guard armory.

Since the Tennessee shootings, security for recruiting centers has come under scrutiny because some feel that they are too vulnerable. U.S. military officials have said that all security at recruiting and reserve centers will be reviewed in efforts to protect their men and women.

The order also directs Adjutant Gen. Michael Calhoun to work with local law enforcement agencies to arrange regular security checks of the armories, to ensure that all qualified full-time guardsmen are properly licensed and armed both on and off duty.

In a statement released by Scott, he said, “The United States Military and the State of Florida National Guard serve our country with bravery and honor, and protect the freedom of our nation, the state will take any and every measure available to secure military personnel against the planned attacks of ISIS, inducing but not limited to securing the work areas and recruiting stations for the Florida National Guard.”

The temporary relocation will give the state some time to decide how the safety of these facilities can be increased. Some improvements that will be put in place are the installation of bullet-proof glass and enhanced video surveillance.

But will these improvements be enough to convince families that their loved ones will be safe when they are not on the battlefield?

Brittany Gray, daughter of a sailor and former Navy recruitment officer, is saddened by the news of the shooting but is happy to see that the governor is taking steps to make sure that men and women like her father are protected. However, she doesn’t believe that arming everyone is the answer rather more procedural training is the key.

“Guns aren’t always the answer to everything, but I don’t think everyone should have a gun… It can still go bad either way,” said Gray. “However, the state can ensure that men and women in the military have more training for situations like the Chattanooga shooting.”

Although the Tennessee attacks have not been linked to the Islamic State group, ISIS, authorities are still looking into the gunman`s overseas travel and whether or not he was inspired or directed by a terrorist group.