While volunteering is almost always appreciated and promoted, it turns out that some of it is unwanted and can even be dangerous to people nearby. Recently, the United States Department of Defense has asked armed civilians to stop patrolling and guarding US armed forces recruiters and the locations they work in. It seems as though a group of enterprising individuals have taken it upon themselves to defend recruiters from terrorist attacks after the shootings in Chattanooga, Tennessee that targeted recruiters and the offices they worked in. Due to the fact that recruiters aren’t legally allowed to arm themselves, conservatives and conservative organizations have raised an uproar and these civilian defence squads seem to be a result of that clamor. While the thoughts of heavily armed civilians patrolling public spaces might seem like a good idea to some people, it is also causing a large amount of concern and consternation from both governments and people in the communities being patrolled.
So what caused this sudden rise in armed civilian patrols? After the Chattanooga recruiting center shootings, it became public knowledge (not that it was previously hidden or anything) that recruiters for the armed services aren’t allowed to be armed. This is has obviously led to eruptions of GOP politicians yelling at the government for not doing enough to protect our soldiers on their home territory. It also, unfortunately, has led to a group of civilians, some of which are former servicemen and police officers, taking up arms and wandering around strip malls and commerce centers in the name of defending the troops.
There are numerous reasons why this is a problem. Aside from the belief that the government doesn’t care at all about the troops, these armed patrols are causing chaos and are scaring other unarmed civilians. This is obviously causing an issue both with the police who get called by said scared civilians, as well as with the government itself. Now, after one of the volunteer guards accidentally fired his weapon in public, the government has stepped in and is asking those from Operation Hero Guard to step down and stop patrolling the streets. Will this happen? That remains to be seen.
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