Jim Webb on Chattanooga: Soldiers ‘Should Have the Means to Defend Themselves’

‘I’m not talking about turning these different centers and bases into fire bases; but at the same time, they should have the ability to defend themselves in some way’

RADDATZ: Senator Jim Webb speaking in Iowa on Friday night. That event the first time all five Democratic candidates have appeared on stage together. And Senator Webb is back with us now.

I want to go to the shooting in Chattanooga. You were a marine, you saw many men die. Do you agree that recruiters should have — I think I know you do agree that recruiters should have guns. They should be allowed to carry...

WEBB: Well, they should have the means to defend themselves. And this is dramatically changed since 9/11. And there’s a basic logic here: if we don’t know who these shooters are going to be, and we do know that one of their targets that they’re focusing on are military people in uniform, then it’s just logical that we should provide them a means to defend themselves if they become under any sort of attack like this.

That doesn’t mean you have to turn a recruiting office into a bunker, as — that was being discussed before, but...

RADDATZ: But these are in civilian areas. I think that’s the difference there. You know, they’re in strip malls. They’re...

WEBB: Well, you know, we don’t take firearms away from police officers. There should be some means for these people to defend themselves.

I had a long talk with the chief of staff for the army after the Ft. Hood incident, which also was on a military base. There was not one military person in that gathering that had a firearm.

I grew up in the military. Firearms were normal in the situations when I was growing up.

By the time they called the police to get in there to help them, they had 13 dead people.

RADDATZ: How do you see that playing out? I know one of the things we talked about with the military is they’re not police officers. The MPs are police officers. So how do you see a scenario playing out like that if people were armed inside well —


WEBB: Well, like I say, it’s — this — I’m not talking about turning these different centers and bases into fire bases. But at the same time, they should have the ability to defend themselves in some way.

And the — try and think of it the other way around. How would you or I like to be sitting there in one of these chairs, on — you know, with a — in a profession of arms, familiar with weapons, waiting to see if someone’s going to come in and do harm to you and not have any ability —

RADDATZ: I’m going to leave that to you.

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