Mother of one of the victims: “It doesn’t really anger me as much as it hurts me. My baby was standing watch and he lost his life because he wasn’t armed.”
Navy instructor pilots have demanded their bosses allow them to carry weapons on their bases.
The request comes after Saudi Arabian Air Force 2nd Lt. Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani shot and killed three sailors and wounded eight others. For 10 minutes, he shot up the API (aviation pre-flight indoctrination) building.
The instructors spoke to Fox News but did not provide their names because they do not have the authorization to speak to the media.
From Fox News:
The instructor pilots said the incentive to arm was obvious. “We need to protect not just the pilots, but our aircraft that are worth millions.”
One pilot called base security at NAS Pensacola and other Navy bases “mall cops,” because protection on the base has been outsourced to private security and many were “fat and out of shape.”
“I have zero confidence the guy I show my ID card to at the gate could save me,” one pilot added. Fox News spoke to three Navy instructor pilots Tuesday.
It’s an opinion shared by many across the military, including the U.S. Army; more than a dozen soldiers and an unborn child were gunned down at Fort Hood in 2009.
“We trust 18-year-old privates in combat with grenades, anti-tank missiles, rifles and machine guns, but we let service members get slaughtered because we don’t trust anyone to be armed back here in the United States,” a senior U.S. Army officer told Fox News.
“Why are we cowering in our offices, it’s insane,” the officer added.
The instructors find it “insulting” that cops off base were the first responders:
“Our message is simple: arm us,” one pilot said. “We don’t want to count on cops or gate guards to save us in a crisis.”
Ensign Joshua Kaleb Watson, 23, passed away in the shooting. His family pushed “military officers to allow service members to protect themselves on base.” They said on Fox and Friends:
“He was well qualified to have a firearm and defend himself. If we are going to ask these young men and women to stand watch for our country, they need the opportunity to defend themselves. This isn’t the first time this happened and if we don’t change something, then it won’t be the last,” said Adam Watson, Joshua’s brother. “My brother was an excellent marksman. If my brother had not had that right stripped from him, this would be a different conversation.”
Joshua’s mother, Sheila, agreed.
“He was my baby. It hurts me. It doesn’t really anger me as much as it hurts me. My baby was standing watch and he lost his life because he wasn’t armed,” she said.
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