CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — A gunman unleashed a barrage of fire at a recruiting center and another U.S. military site a few miles apart in Chattanooga on Thursday, killing at least four Marines, officials said. The attacker was also killed. U.S. Attorney Bill Killian said officials were investigating the possibility it was “domestic terrorism.” FBI agent Ed Reinhold said authorities were still trying to establish a motive. A U.S. official speaking on condition of anonymity identified the gunman as 24-year-old Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez of Hixson, Tennessee, and said he was believed to have been born in Kuwait, though it was unclear whether he was a U.S. or Kuwaiti citizen.
“Lives have been lost from some faithful people who have been serving our country, and I think I join all Tennesseans in being both sickened and saddened by this,” Gov. Bill Haslam said. Within hours of the bloodshed, law officers with guns drawn swarmed what was believed to be Abdulazeez’s house, and two females were led away in handcuffs. The shootings took places minutes apart, with the gunman stopping his car and spraying dozens of bullets first at a recruiting center for all branches of the military, then apparently driving to a Navy-Marine training center 7 miles away, authorities and witnesses said. The attacks were over within a half-hour. Authorities would not say how the gunman died. The FBI’s Reinhold said he had “numerous weapons” but would not give details.
The Marine Corps said four Marines were killed, all of them at the Navy-Marine training site, and a fifth Marine was wounded in the leg but not seriously hurt. Also, a police officer was shot in the ankle, Mayor Andy Berke said. The names of the dead were not immediately released. In Washington, Vice President Joe Biden vowed: “We will get to the bottom of it.” “Their families have already given a lot to the country,” he said, “and now this.”
The shootings began at the recruiting center on Old Lee Highway, where a shot rang out around 10:30 or 10:45 a.m., followed a few seconds later by more fire, said Sgt. 1st Class Robert Dodge, the leader for Army recruiting at the center. He and his comrades dropped to the ground and barricaded themselves in a safe place. Dodge estimated there were 30 to 50 shots fired. Doors and glass were damaged at the neighboring Air Force, Navy and Marine offices, he said.
Law enforcement officials told recruiters that the gunman stopped his car in front of the recruiting station, shot at the building and drove off, said Brian Lepley, a spokesman with the U.S. Army Recruiting Command in Fort Knox, Kentucky. The recruiting center sits in a short shopping strip between a cellphone business and an Italian restaurant, with no apparent special security. The gunman opened fire next at the Navy Operational Support Center and Marine Corps Reserve Center Chattanooga.
The center is in an industrial area that includes a Coca-Cola bottling plant. The two entrances to the fenced facility have unmanned gates and concrete barriers that require approaching cars to slow down to drive around them. Marilyn Hutcheson, who works at Binswanger Glass across the street, said she heard a barrage of gunfire around 11 a.m. “I couldn’t even begin to tell you how many,” she said. “It was rapid-fire, like pow-pow-pow-pow-pow, so quickly. The next thing I knew, there were police cars coming from every direction.”
She ran inside, and she and other employees and a customer waited it out with the doors locked. The gunfire continued with occasional bursts for what she estimated was 20 minutes. Bomb squads, SWAT teams and other local, state and federal authorities rushed to the scene.
“If it was a grievance or terroristic related, we just don’t know,” she said.
Associated Press writer Ted Bridis in Washington; Travis Loller and Kristin M. Hall in Nashville; and Rebecca Reynolds Yonker and Claire Galofaro in Louisville, Kentucky, contributed to this report.
While my savagery with ink and pen may cause some to distrust the forthcoming personal revelation, in my youthful day, propriety and obedience was the norm, and eccentrism and premature liberty punished with an abrupt slap against the cranium.
Modern-day parents, often still fuming with indignation at how their overbearing parents and strict school teachers raised them to become adults in the world, don’t realize that it is mostly the bits of sense and wisdom imparted by that style of upbringing that allowed them to become self-sufficient adults in their own right.
While my parents would, today, be shuffled off to lengthy jail sentences if I were still a toddler and faced the onslaught of their palms, I accredit their efforts with seeing me through adolescence with all limbs and digits attached.
Today’s children are feral, uncouth, and a fucking nuisance—to be polite.
Seriously, I am dodging other people’s failure to use effective birth control almost every time I venture into public space. My struggles to walk the isles of a mall, or get to my seat in a restaurant, may be cute to the indifferent parents–who spectate approvingly as if their child owns all of public space–but if I were to accidentally knock over their prized first-born, I’d be facing the courts and then the town’s flash mob as they try to set me alight like a Salem witch.
It used to be that when a child got a good beating in life, other adults would look on approvingly and even warn their own offspring to take note of the effects of disobedience and misbehavior. Today, however, threats of lawsuits for ‘child abuse’ quickly disempower any parent hoping to instill discipline and obedience into their child.
Spare the rod and spoil the child is a cliché that we all have all come to distrust because of the way it rings so annoyingly familiarly to our ears (which is why I hate clichés). So let me polish this shopworn phrase: It is in denying the simple and obvious that things get complex and obscure.
Children are not innocent. More accurately, a child is an aimless force released into this world like a bullet expelled from the barrel of a gun. Unless that force is concentrated into some meaningful target–some end goal–then it may as well have been a blank or be a stray bullet aimed at civilization, which invariably must suffer the arrival of another untamed barbarian hacking away at the structures of civilization.
Often what separates terrorist acts from acts of war is the difference in precision; that is to say, not only the concentration, but also the tolerance of indiscrimination in the final effect.
Collateral damage is sometimes unavoidable. But what separates us from the terrorists, is that we are bereaved when our stray bullets kill innocents, while a terrorist only wishes they could have killed more.
Running around aimlessly and uncontrolled before you is someone who will imminently have to vote for what they consider the most competent person and party to lead an entire country, with the lives of tens of millions of people hanging in the balance! Don’t reflect indifferently on the byproduct of your indifference that you took with you into the public bathroom with where ‘it’ was caused, because the rest of us share the burden, and society, ultimately, pays the price.
If only people had a leash on their child as they would an untrained dog, but the sight of such consideration on the part of modern parents would send liberals into cardiac arrest on the street corners and shop floors.
Let me end this article in true contrarian style by saying that if you can’t keep your child under control in public, considers keeping it in a basement under your house! Society, as a whole, thanks you in its silent indifference and unvoiced gratitude.
Dolly Parton had a thrilling surprise for the young actress, Alyvia Lind, personally giving her the news that she will play Dolly as a child in the upcoming original movie “Coat of Many Colors.” “Coat of Many Colors,” named after Parton’s song, will be based on Parton’s upbringing, with the Parton serving as executive producer.
Parton had called the 1971 track her favorite song she has written. It tells the story of how her mother stitched together a coat for her daughter out of rags given to the family, telling her the biblical story of Joseph and his Coat of Many Colors. But when the girl, all excited, debuts the new coat at school, she is ridiculed by her classmates for wearing rags.
The original coat is now on display in Parton’s Chasing Rainbows Museum at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, TN.
NBC’s deal with Parton, includes a series of standalone TV movies based on Parton’s songs, stories and life. They will contain music but won’t be musicals, with Parton possibly appearing in some. Parton is developing the projects with production partner Sam Haskell of Magnolia Hill Entertainment and Warner Bros. Television.
– Posted by Country Girl cmtt
Cartoonist Jonny Hawkins drew a sketch of five board members sitting around a table at the annual church business meeting. One says, ‘I see our church’s biggest problems as communication and procrastination.’ To which a fellow board member replies, ‘I vote that we postpone this discussion till next year.’ We smile, but you know it’s the truth, don’t you?
Now let’s discuss the second step: 2) Do something today. Runner, author and cardiologist George Sheehan puts it this way: ‘There are those of us who are always about to live. We are waiting until things change, until there is more time, until we are less tired, until we get a promotion, until we settle down—until, until, until. It always seems as if there is some major event that must occur in our lives before we begin living.’ If you want to achieve your God-given dream, you can’t allow yourself to be one of those people! ‘How can I avoid it?’ you ask. By doing something that will move you forward today! You can’t fulfil your dream all at once. You have to get there in steps, and the only time you can actually take a step is—today. German philosopher Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said, ‘Each indecision brings its own delays, and days are lost lamenting over lost days… What you can do, or think you can do, begin it. For boldness has power and genius in it.’ So before the sun sets today, do something that will move you further toward your dream.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me do something today that furthers what You have planned for me and stop waiting for You to reveal everything before I act. In Jesus’ Name, Amen