|Another spree shooting that got widespread, media coverage, another instance of exploitation by President Barack Obama. September 16, 2013, was the day when lone gunman Aaron Alexis murdered 12 people in cold blood and injured another three. Armed with a shotgun, Alexis made his way into the headquarters of NAVSEA, the Naval Sea Systems Command, which is located within Southeast Washington, D.C.’s Washington Navy Yard. He was killed by police approximately one hour into his attack.
Predictably, Democrats and liberals exploited this tragic news story to push for more gun control, politicizing the issue all the way. Most prominent among them was the president, who capitalized on a memorial service for the victims of the spree killing held six days later to aggressively push for a “transformation” of the U.S.’s gun laws. Since the president has been a consistently vocal supporter of tighter gun-control laws, his reference was all too blatant.
In a year when Obama’s agenda has been mostly undermined by various scandals, the crisis in Syria and the partial-government shutdown due to the Democrats’ insistence to demand funding for Obamacare, gun-control is still a hot-button issue. The president’s use of the victims’ memorial service underscores that reality.
Even though the president calls for tighter gun control as a solution to spree shootings like the one perpetrated by Alexis, evidence has emerged that just the opposite would be beneficial. According to Reason Magazine, the policy at many domestic U.S. military bases is that many soldiers are not allowed to carry firearms. Such policies make people on military bases vulnerable to shootings like the one carried out by Alexis. As NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre put it, Alexis’ rampage was only stopped when armed policemen arrived and shot him dead to stop the loss of more lives.
Alexis, a 34-year-old, civilian contractor, possessed a long history of defying authority. He was written up on eight, separate occasions for misconduct while serving in the Navy. In addition, he was also arrested for discharging a firearm within the city limits of Forth Worth, Texas.
Alexis was identified as a liberal who was an Obama supporter and a Bush critic, according to one of his friends, Michael Ritrovato, who appeared on CNN’s “The Lead with Jake Tapper” the day after the shooting. He was also confirmed to enjoy playing violent video games, which some commentators have speculated contributed to his violent spree killing.
If anything, the Washington Navy Yard Shooting has only intensified the gun-control debate in the country. Democrats are predictably blaming firearms and calling for tighter gun-control legislation while Republicans and libertarians point out that more guns for law-abiding citizens for self-defense purposes is the solution.
A Gallup Poll taken one day after Alexis’ shooting indicates that support for stricter gun control has fallen considerably in the U.S. Respondents who favored a “more strict” approach to firearm-sales laws dropped by 9 percent from a Gallup Poll taken in late 2012.