Armed Citizens Unite To Protect Military Recruiting Centers In Wake Of Tennessee Massacre

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When Clayton Waites sees “gun-free zone” signs at recruiting centers, he views it as something different: “it's a slaughter-easy zone,” he says. 

Waites is part of small, national movement exercising their right to openly carry firearms to protect recruiting offices in Lancaster because recruiters can't be armed.  This comes in the wake of last week's deadly shooting in Chattanooga, Tennessee where five Marines were killed at recruiting centers.

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"If somebody were to think about doing something here and they drive by and they see me, they're going to think twice,” he explains.

He's an unassuming sign language interpreter.  But he's wearing a plated vest and carrying two guns – and it is completely within his legal rights.  He says "Being defenseless is unacceptable.”

Another man, Larry Fitzpatrick, is doing the same thing, outside a military recruiting center in west Columbus.  "I'll be here, protecting those people that work in that building until our government decides that they want to protect them,” he says.

Both Fitzpatrick and Waites are getting shout outs of support, but those against it are hesitant to voice their opinions.  A neighboring business said it was scaring clients.

However, Fitzpatrick said he’s not on guard to scare others or hurt anyone, but there "to protect.” 

The recruiters can't give personal opinions on the armed citizens, but Lancaster Commander of Recruiting Captain Tanya Nadudvari told 10TV "We fight for the rights of American citizens. I think this gentleman is just acting out on those rights.”

Police tell 10TV the men would not be able to openly carry outside the recruiting offices if the property owners objected.