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Sep. 17, 2013

Navy Yard Shooting Fact and Fiction

Amid the media rush to report first, "facts" are often wrong.

Monday morning, Navy veteran Aaron Alexis opened fire at the Navy Yard in Washington, DC, killing 12 people before police took him down. All too predictably, anti-Second Amendment leftists began exploiting this evil act even before the facts were known. Jay Carney and Piers Morgan were chief among them. They, pardon the pun, jumped the gun because, as usual, the facts undermine rather than serve their argument.

Here’s what we know:

Alexis suffered several serious mental issues – paranoia and a sleep disorder among them – and he had previous encounters with police over gun use. Yet he passed multiple background checks, including to purchase a gun and to gain a security clearance to enter the Navy Yard.

The District of Columbia is the one place remaining in our nation where you can’t obtain any kind of concealed weapons permit, and there are still numerous draconian anti-gun laws on the books, even after the Supreme Court’s Heller decision undid the city’s outright handgun ban. There isn’t even a gun store located in the city. The Navy Yard itself is also under tight disarmament rules.

Alexis began his rampage with a shotgun (again, legally purchased in Virginia), and he took guns from his victims. Yet erroneous early news reports indicated that he was armed with an AR-15. He was not carrying one – but he was killed by one. (Early reports on mass shootings are nearly always wrong.) Where’s Joe Biden when you need him? The vice president admonished us to “Buy a shotgun! Buy a shotgun!” Well, Alexis had a shotgun.

On that note, the 9/11 hijackers used box cutters, not firearms of any kind, to kill 3,000 people. And if Alexis had walked into the Navy Yard with a fountain pen, stabbed a guard in the neck and stolen his pistol, 12 people may still be dead today.

Finally, and most important, the dead:

Michael Arnold, 59; Martin Bodrog, 54; Arthur Daniels, 51; Sylvia Frasier, 53; Kathy Gaarde, 62; John Roger Johnson, 73; Frank Kohler, 50; Mary Francis Knight, 51; Kenneth Bernard Proctor, 46; Vishnu Pandit, 61; Gerald L. Read, 58; and Richard Michael Ridgell, 52.

Rest in peace.

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