By: Teresa Mull
GPM reported last week that a Saudi military pilot killed three American sailors and wounded eight at Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida.
Now, Fox News reports, “Dozens of U.S. Navy pilots have written a letter demanding Capitol Hill lawmakers and top military brass allow more pilots to carry arms on bases, and allow those standing watch at flight schools across the country to be armed in the wake of the deadly shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola by a Saudi officer training there.”
Below are some excerpts from the letter:
“It is reprehensible that a military installation, much less its warfighters based there, be at the mercy of off-base, civilian law enforcement when faced with an immediate threat to their lives.”
“ENS Joshua Kaleb Watson was a small-arms instructor and captain of the rifle team at the United States Naval Academy. Yet when charged with standing the watch, he was equipped with nothing more than a logbook and a pen.”
The pilots hope their effort “will discontinue what has become a severe irony burdening our servicemembers: that they can be entrusted to fly multimillion-dollar aircraft over hostile territory, command companies of infantrymen into battle, or captain ships around the world, all while holding the nation’s top security clearances, but when back home are not trusted to carry a simple pistol in order to protect themselves, their families and their fellow servicemembers.”
GPM previously reported that some pilots, who asked not to be identified, told Fox:
“It’s so stupid that on a military base, the shooter was allowed to roam free for so long. In a gun fight, that’s an eternity.”
“I have zero confidence the guy I show my ID card to at the gate could save me.”
“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.”
“Our message is simple: arm us. We don’t want to count on cops or gate guards to save us in a crisis.”
Teresa Mull is editor of Gunpowder Magazine.