A fuller picture of Monday’s Navy Yard shooting in Washington, D.C., is developing, in which a former Navy Reservist and current contractor named Aaron Alexis used his valid, current-issue ID to enter the Navy Yard and carry out a shooting spree that has claimed the lives of 12 employees, and wounded at least 8 others.
California’s Senator Dianne Feinstein didn’t wait for the tragic event to end before using it to call for more gun control laws:
Mrs. Feinstein, who was first thrust into the national spotlight as president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors announcing the shooting deaths of Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk, said, “Congress must stop shirking its responsibility and resume a thoughtful debate on gun violence in this country. We must do more to stop this endless loss of life.”
“Thoughtful debate” presumably doesn’t include waiting for the smoke to settle and facts to emerge before deciding on a course of action.
Here is what we do know.
The two primary gun control bills proposed and pushed by anti-gun Democrats this year have been a ban on so-called “assault weapons,” and a call for universal background checks.
We know neither bill would have done anything to have prevented the attack.
NBC News correspondent Pete Williams says that shooter Aaron Alexis followed Vice President Joe Biden’s advice to “buy a shotgun,” and purchased one in the past week in Lorton, Virginia. That the location of the purchase was confirmed within hours of the shooting strongly suggests that he bought his shotgun through legal channels, where he would have had to fill out a form 4473 and pass a FBI NICS background check.
Nor would a ban on so-called “assault weapons” have prevented the Navy Yard attack.
Multiple news sources are now confirming that Alexis entered the Navy Yard armed only with a shotgun. He used his shotgun to shoot Navy Yard security and obtain their weapons, a semi-automatic pistol and either an AR-15 or military-issue M16.
clearly, neither universal background check laws nor a ban on semi-automatic firearms would have prevented this rampage.
What might have?
Senators Charles Grassley and Ted Cruz had proposed a background checks amendment that would have strengthened mental health reporting to the existing FBI background checks system, but it was voted down by anti-gun Senate Democrats. What is less clear is if Grassley-Cruz would have been in place, or if it was constructed in such a way as to catch a man that local authorities never convicted.
Three things we do know for sure.
The Navy Yard, like all military bases, is a “gun free zone” where only law enforcement are legally allowed weapons. Military bases otherwise lock their weapons in armories, and concealed carry of privately-owned firearms is not allowed. Why are military bases “gun free zones?” Because of decision made by President Bill Clinton in 1993.
The other thing we know is that Alexis was showing signs of violent mental instability as far back as his 2004 “blackout” shooting in Seattle and was treated recently for “hearing voices.” Like the overwhelming majority of mass shooters, Aaron Alexis shows signs of having been mentally ill, and was never successfully treated.
Perhaps Democratic lawmakers with a gun control fetish can stop blood-dancing long enough to focus on the actual problem of mental illness this time.
The final thing we know?
The only thing that stopped this bad guy with a gun, were good guys with guns.
Odd how that always seems to be the case.