Larry Fitzpatrick woke at 3 a.m. two Fridays ago, hours after five servicemen were gunned down in Chattanooga, Tenn., and just knew he had to do something.
A few hours later when the Armed Forces Career Center opened in Lincoln Village, mere yards from Fitzpatrick’s home on the old National Pike, he sat on a folding chair in a parking lot, a .22 rifle at his side. Despite the sweltering heat, he vowed to protect the unarmed military recruiters in his neighborhood.
Under federal law, the men and women from each military branch who work in recruiting centers are not permitted to carry weapons.
Ever since terrorist Mohammad Youssuf Abdulazeez killed four Marines and a sailor at Chattanooga’s Navy operations center, after shooting up a strip-mall recruitment center similar to the one in Lincoln Village, many Americans have felt outrage that nothing has been done to protect vulnerable military men and women across the country.