Wisconsin is joining six other states in arming on-duty National Guard members after last week's deadly Chattanooga shootings. "Allowing our National Guard members to carry weapons while on duty gives them the tools they need to serve and protect our citizens as well as themselves," Republican Gov. Scott Walker said in a statement today, per NBC News. The Republican governors of Arkansas, Indiana, Florida, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas had already made similar announcements in the wake of the shootings.
It’s not yet clear how many or which of the Wisconsin Army National Guard force, made up of about 7,700 members, would be armed, with a spokesman for the National Guard Association of the United States saying "certainly" not all of them, per the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "What I believe everybody is concerned about is some kind of copycat," the spokesman tells the paper. "The knowledge that some guardsmen are armed may provide some deterrence." (The Chattanooga shooter's family says he suffered from depression.)