The degenerate who killed them was firing “hundreds” of rounds with what witnesses said appeared to be a fully automatic AK-47. Imagine the courage it’d take to be a few yards away from that and still be focused on saving those around you rather than yourself.

Some of the five servicemen who were fatally wounded effectively sacrificed themselves during the assault on Thursday, diverting the gunman away from a larger group of potential victims, according to a law enforcement official briefed on the investigation into the killings…

Maj. Gen. Paul W. Brier of the Marines said: “Our Marines reacted the way you would expect, rapidly going room to room, getting people to safety. After they had gotten to safety, some willingly ran back into the fight. All of us can be extremely proud of what our Marines did that day.”

Mr. Abdulazeez went out through the back of the building, Mr. Reinhold said, and into the fenced-in motor pool area, where “two service members attempted to provide cover and assist the military personnel attempting to get over the fence.”

It was there, he said, that four of the five victims were killed and that the police caught up to the gunman. In the shootout that followed, an officer was wounded, and Mr. Abdulazeez was killed.

It’s a good thing those Marines had been disarmed by their government on site or else they might have done something truly dangerous, like fire back at a jihadi killer with a machine gun. Speaking of which, an interesting footnote to this tale of valor: Two weapons belonging to servicemen were found at the scene, according to the FBI, and “at least” one of them had been discharged. Did they belong to MPs? Because, under the Pentagon’s no-gun policy, those are supposed to be the only people carrying at a facility like this. In fact, says the Navy Times, it was actually a Marine and a Navy officer who fired at Abdulazeez using what appears to have been their personal handguns. Hmmmm:

A report distributed among senior Navy leaders during the shooting’s aftermath said Lt. Cmdr. Timothy White, the support center’s commanding officer, used his personal firearm to engage Abdulazeez, Navy Times confirmed with four separate sources. A Navy official also confirmed a Washington Post report indicating one of the slain Marines may have been carrying a 9mm Glock and possibly returned fire on the gunman.

Authorities will not know whether White or the Marine hit Abdulazeez until an autopsy and ballistics assessment are performed.

Makes me wonder how strictly the Pentagon’s policy banning carry in military facilities is actually being enforced down the chain. It must be tough for a CO to tell servicemen who handle weapons expertly as a matter of course on duty that it’s unacceptably dangerous for them to have a pistol on them while they carry out basic tasks like recruiting. Have any vets out there ever seen the policy go unenforced? If not, what’s your best guess for how the officer and the Marine got their hands on guns in time to return fire on Abdulazeez? In a sane world, the fact that American servicemen died defenseless at the hands of a mass murderer because their superiors didn’t trust them with a sidearm would be a national scandal leading to immediate reversal of the policy. As it is, only hard evidence that it was White or the Marine rather than the cops who dropped Abdulazeez will make the White House sweat on this.