CBS News reported Wednesday that 34-year-old “Washington Navy Yard gunman Aaron Alexis tried to buy an AR-15 assault rifle at a Virginia gun store last week after test firing one, but the store wouldn't sell it to him right away.”
Alexis then purchased a shotgun he used in his rampage, sources tell CBS News.
NBC News reported Tuesday that – according to friends -- “he was tired of dealing with the government,” “felt a lot of discrimination and racism with white people especially," had “a growing sense of entitlement and disrespect” and “the tendency to feel like people owed him something all the time."
In 2004, he was arrested in Seattle for shooting at a parked car in what he called an "anger-fueled blackout."
During his time in the Navy Reserves as an aviation electrician's mate — a third-class petty officer – military officials said he “had disciplinary issues including absence without permission, insubordination and disorderly conduct.”
Among the problems: an arrest in September 2010 by Fort Worth police after he accidentally fired a bullet into the apartment above him while he was cleaning a gun with slippery hands. Prosecutors determined that there wasn’t enough evidence to bring a recklessness case.
As The Daily Mail reported Tuesday, Alexis “was being treated by the Veterans Administration for paranoia, insomnia and possible schizophrenia in August - but despite his psychiatric problems the Navy had not declared him mentally unfit which would have rescinded his security clearance and impacted his ability to purchase firearms.”
It would also have prevented Alexis from using his “valid security pass” to get into the Navy Yard.
While some reports claimed Alexis used an AR-15, The Washington Times reported that “law enforcement officials said Tuesday there was no evidence Alexis obtained, used or fired an AR-15 but that some of the officers who responded at the scene likely brought that weapon.”
“Although Aaron Alexis' past is littered with legal and medical red flags,” USA Today noted Tuesday, “there was nothing that prohibited him from legally obtaining the shotgun.”
Wasn't it Vice President Joe Biden who advised Americans that "you don't need an AR-15" and suggested the "buy a shotgun?"
Despite solid evidence that it was another mentally ill individual – not the weapon – who went on another killing spree, The Washington Times reported Tuesday that -- “just hours after” the shooting -- “gun control advocates tried to reignite the national debate over gun laws that had only just subsided.”
“So we are confronting yet another mass shooting, and today it happened on a military installation in our nation’s capital,” President Barack Obama said before delivering remarks on the economy Monday.
Alexis killed 12 people and wounded eight others before being fatally shot by police.
“It happened on a military installation” on Nov. 5, 2009 as well, when Maj. Nidal Hasan shouted Allah Akbar as he opened fire at the Soldier Readiness Center at Fort Hood, Texas, killing 13 fellow soldiers and wounding 32 others.
“Obviously, we’re going to be investigating thoroughly what happened,” Obama added, "as we do so many of these shootings, sadly, that have happened, and do everything that we can to prevent them.”
After “investigating thoroughly what happened” at Fort Hood, The Department of Defense issued an official report in Jan. 2010 -- “Protecting the Force: Lessons from Fort Hood.”
Considering the fact that the DOD’s plan -- “identifying and monitoring threats,” “providing time-critical information to the right people,” “maintaining adequate preventative measure to mitigate threats” and “planning for and responding to” an attack -- “obviously” didn’t “prevent” another shooting “on a military installation,” a better title would have been "Protecting the Forces: Lessons Lost from Fort Hood."
Perhaps Obama should try a different approach this time, like giving U.S. soldiers back their guns so they can defend themselves?
In the wake of the Fort Hood shooting, The Washington Times reported in a Nov. 11, 2009 editorial that “President Clinton’s first acts upon taking office in 1993 was to disarm U.S. soldiers on military bases.”
In March 1993, the Army imposed regulations forbidding military personnel from carrying their personal firearms and making it almost impossible for commanders to issue firearms to soldiers in the U.S. for personal protection. For the most part, only military police regularly carry firearms on base, and their presence is stretched thin by high demand for MPs in war zones.
As author, college professor and one of the nation's leading gun experts John R. Lott told Newsmax in December 2012, gun-free zones become “a magnet” for deranged killers who hope to become famous by running up a big body count.
“Time after time, public murder sprees occur in “gun-free zones” - public places where citizens are not legally able to carry guns,” the Washington Post editorial reiterated, adding that the shooting at “Fort Hood Army base in Texas was no different.”
Still, rather than address the problems that lead to another shooting, Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein -- who suffered an embarrassing loss when fellow Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid shot down her effort to impose gun restrictions with her “Assault Weapons Ban of 2013” legislation in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting – wants to use the Washington Navy Yard shooting to resuscitate that effort.
As The Washington Times editorial noted, Feinstein “denounced ‘the litany of massacres’ over the past few years and asked rhetorically: ‘When will enough be enough?’”
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.
Considering the “litany” of school stabbings, “when will enough be enough” before Feinstein tries to push knife-control legislation as well?
The Vancouver Sun reported Tuesday a 17-year-old “was slashed in the throat” during “a fight involving about 20 people on the grounds of Britannia Secondary School on Cotton Drive” in East Vancouver.
CBS News reported Sept. 4 that Luis Alonzo Alfaro pulled a knife during a fight in a corridor of Spring High School in Texas, fatally stabbing a 17-year-old student and wounding three others.
April 10, CNN reported that 20-year-old Dylan Quick wounded 14 people when he went on a “stabbing rampage” on the Lone Star College's CyFair campus in Texas."
According to the statement the suspect voluntarily gave investigators, he has had fantasies of stabbing people to death since he was in elementary school," a statement from the Harris County Sheriff's Office said. "He also indicated that he has been planning this incident for some time."
The Telegraph reported Tuesday that, Alexis also “played violent video games including Call of Duty for up to 16 hours at a time and friends believe it could have pushed him towards becoming a mass murderer.”
Despite the fact Alexis was 34, will there also be a revival of then-Sen. Hillary Clinton’s 2005 effort to ban the sale of violent video games to children under the age of 17?
Following Quick’s “stabbing rampage,” Dr. Keith Ablow -- “one of America’s leading psychiatrists” and “board certified in adult, adolescent and child psychiatry” – noted for Fox News that “it always comes down to mental illness.”
“After years of America destroying its mental health care system,” Ablow asserted, “cases of undiagnosed and untreated mental illness are to blame for the horrific episodes of violence that have made headlines and wrongly fueled gun control legislation.”
This is true for Jared Lee Loughner, who shot Congressman Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson, Arizona. It is true for James Holmes, the man accused of murdering 12 people in a Colorado movie theatre. It is true for Adam Lanza, the man who murdered 20 children and 6 adults at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.
It is true for Alexis.
“Take all the guns away,” Ablow wrote. “Take all the knives away. The number of victims of murders with no apparent motive—born of under-treated, poorly treated or untreated mental illness—will be reduced not one bit.
Because there will still be cars, and poisons, and hammers, and axes that can be used to inflict horrible injuries. The worst episode of school violence, back in 1927, claimed the lives of 38 children, and it involved explosives, not guns or knives.
“At the end of a televised medical briefing on the survivors’ conditions,” The Washington Times reported further, “Dr. Orlowski contrasted trauma from accidental shootings and what she called “something evil in our society that we as Americans have to work to try and eradicate.”
But there’s something wrong here when we have these multiple shootings. There is something wrong, and the only thing that I can say is we have to work together to get rid of it.
The question Feinstein and other gun-control advocates should address is: How, exactly, does one “eradicate” mental illness and “stop this endless loss of life” by restricting the Second Amendment rights and the capacity of law-abiding American citizens – and soldiers at a “military installation” -- to defend themselves?
“Leaders either fix things, do nothing or harm needed efforts,” Ablow concluded. “Those who would control weapons, instead of mental illness, are in the third category.”