FLORENCE, SC (WBTW) – A group of armed citizens are standing guard outside near the Armed Forces Career Center in Florence. This comes after a gunman killed five unarmed U.S. servicemen at a recruitment center in Tennessee.
“If it happened once, it’s going to happen again,” mentioned Steve Cooper, who is a part of the group.
Passersby may not be able to see the group as they chose not to line up in front of the center doors.
“It’s not a good idea tactically to hang yourself out there as a target,” Cooper explained. “We are putting people in the parking lot and surrounding areas so they can keep an eye on the place but not be standing out. Be more discrete.”
Cooper and the rest of the people in the group connected through Facebook.
“[It’s] not just veterans, not just former law enforcement but we also got students, housewives. If you got a concealed weapons permit you know you are welcomed to come join us,” Cooper encouraged. “So we are here for the long hall until the military fixes its policy and allows its people to be armed.”
Cooper served in the South Carolina Army National Guard and says the shooting didn’t come as a surprise.
“[We] should’ve been expecting something like that to happen. My first thought was that I wish I had been there. I wish I had been in the parking lot and saw what had happened. I never go anywhere where I’m not armed,” Cooper said.
The group wants to remain as discreet as possible and out-of-the-way of people working and coming and out of the offices.
News13 also reached out the U.S. Marine Corps and while we didn’t hear back the Army Recruiting Command says they don’t have an opinion either way, as long as there is no disruption.