AUSTIN (KXAN) — Gov. Greg Abbott announced Saturday that he will authorize the arming of National Guard personnel at military facilities across Texas. This order follows the recent deadly shooting of four United States Marines and one Navy sailor in Chattanooga, Tenn., earlier this week.
“It is with a heavy heart that I issue this order,” said Abbott. “After the recent shooting in Chattanooga, it has become clear that our military personnel must have the ability to defend themselves against these type of attacks on our own soil. Arming the National Guard at these bases will not only serve as a deterrent to anyone wishing to do harm to our servicemen and women, but will enable them to protect those living and working on the base.”
It’s a decision some military families tell KXAN they think is a good one. Janet Wagdalt and her husband Frank have a son stationed at Fort Hood and a daughter who will soon be joining him.
“Whatever it takes for them to be protected and protect others,” says Janet. “People should have a right to defend themselves, especially in the military when they’re doing their job.”
“I really think that the governor knows what he’s doing and if they’re going to be carrying weapons on a base, and right now if they’re becoming targets, I think it’s a great idea,” added Frank.
We reached out to Texas National Guard officials, who say they’re still putting a plan together and trying to piece together what this will mean for them.
“The adjutant general is taking immediate action in response to the governor’s authorization to arm National Guard personnel where needed,” Col. Steven Metze, with Texas Military Forces, tells KXAN. “We are always concerned about the safety of our personnel and the security of our facilities, and we are assessing the situation and will continue developing a plan that best protects the Texas National Guard. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends of those who were killed in Chattanooga.”