Yes, the shooter was a practicing Muslim. A naturalized citizen born in Kuwait and having dual citizenship in Jordan. Right now, the FBI is assuming terrorism and is likely bullshit-filtering as we speak. Both his parents and his Mosque are claiming they had no idea what was up and are cancelling celebrations of Eid. (To put that into non-Muslim perspective, it's like the kicker for the Saints going on a shooting spree followed by the entire team cancelling all Mardi Gras celebrations, the day before Mardis Gras. Big deal).
Potus, as is his wont, has said very little other than a brief, by-the-numbers statement (released on the White House twitter maybe 2 hours after their Eid wishes were posted. Awkward).
As far as the arming of our military personnel, a bit of history.
Carry of firearms on military bases has been restricted to MP's and related on-duty personnel outside of ranges and the like since the early 90's.
Enacted by president Clinton? No.
Likely done as a result of president Clinton? Possibly.
The post-Vietnam military had problems, to say the least. Drug addiction, criminal activity, all manner of mess. While a lot of said problems were addressed in the 70's and 80's, they were also helped by the morale-boost brought on by Desert Storm.
Then came Tailhook in 1991. Once again, the military were cast as a bunch of hard-dicked fuckups. Two months later, the Soviet Union falls apart. Our evil empire from the cold war was in shambles. And our mighty military was suddenly looking bigger and more expensive than it needed to be.
Firearm restrictions (among other things) came in on a DOD directive in February of 92' and was enacted in March of '93, only a month after Clinton took office. While we knew about possible threats from the middle east (Beirut bombing and so on), it was far more likely that some drunk jackass PFC would do something stupid with a sidearm than an attack on U.S. soil ever happen.
So it has been thus ever since.
Now, however, we have seen that homegrown and lone-wolf attacks are not only possible but devastating. The Fort Hood massacre alone proved that.
ISIS itself has claimed a desire to attack military personnel on American soil.
Now, we even have as close to a control group as we're ever going to get.
Back in May, two jihadi wannabes attacked a "draw mohammad" contest in Texas. They managed to wound a guard before police killed them both. Nobody dead but our wannabe jihadis, killed on-scene.
The other day, our likely wannabe jihadi shot up a recruiting center (wounding a recruiter), before leading cops on a high-speed chase to a reserve center, killing four Marines and wounding both a sailor and a cop before dying in a shootout with the police.
I keep seeing in news reports the shot-up glass door of the recruiting office.
And just above the impact holes is a damned "No firearms" sign.
Now, one could argue that this is a solid case for effective training for our cops (which I'm told Chattanooga PD have some very effective training). But it also shows a need for trained, effective responding shooters in the ~immediate vicinity.~
The FBI's own study on mass shootings confirmed this, with the bulk of mass shootings over before police arrive on scene.
Increasing the number of effective, trained police isn't logistically viable.
With the growing interest in shooting across the country, however, increasing the number of effective, trained shooters in a given location is logistically viable.
Note that I say effective and trained.
The case can definitely be made for recruiters (all of whom are NCO's, SNCO's and officers in any case).
It is also cause to note that this will not be a panacea.
I truly doubt these will be the last warriors we lose on American soil in this fight.
But taking every chance, every opportunity to truly fight back?
That, I think, is worth doing.