The Navy Yard Shooting & Gun Control

Monday’s horrific mass shooting at the D.C. Navy Yard left 12 victims dead and more than a dozen people wounded. It’s raised impassioned, understandable – and ultimately misguided - calls for more gun control now. But legislation should almost never be crafted in the heat of a crisis.

Whether it’s truly awful drug laws pushed in the wake of high-profile celebrity deaths or national-security measures rushed unread through Congress after the 9/11 attacks, legislation should be the product of serious and dispassionate deliberation.

The fact is that as Northeastern University’s James Alan Fox has firmly established, there’s no upward trend of mass shootings over the past 40 years. And when it comes to violent crime, the trend is clearly down. FBI statistics show the murders committed with firearms dropped between 2008 and 2012. Over the past decade rape, sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated assault committed with weapons declined by 26 percent. Overall violent crime rates are about half of what they were 20 years ago.

The Navy Yard gunman, Aaron Alexis, somehow managed to get a security clearance to work at a military installation as a sub-contractor despite getting booted from the Navy and a history of gun-related violence, mental instability, and erratic behavior.

The Pentagon is auditing its security-clearance and hiring processes its bases; one assumes that other public and private workplaces will follow suit. Of course, this comes too late to offer any comfort to the families, friends, and co-workers mourning the dead and wounded. But in the end, it is far more likely to be effective than any sort of gun-control legislation rushed through Congress.

Approx. 1:45 min. Written by Nick Gillespie, produced by Meredith Bragg.

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  • DH||

    Haven't you heard, it's not called gun control anymore, it's gun safety. Gun control was just too draconian. They needed something that sounded more uh, safer. And fun too, for the kids. And how dare reason raise their voices against our glorious overlords. They' re only doing what's best for us. Cause they know better.

  • T. Walls||

    Also certain politicians, pundits and outlets were tripping all over themselves over the allegation that Aaron Alexis used an AR-15, which he did not. He used a shotgun, which to my knowledge is not banned anywhere with the exception of Tunisia. Not even the UK or Japan expressly prohibits shotguns or sporting rifles, although you have to be a member of a club, among other qualifications, to possess one.

  • Scarecrow Repair||

    This shotgun was a pump action; I think Britain only allows double barrel Biden specials.

  • Anders||

    The UK gun ban worked out well. Gun crime sky rocketed and they are freely available.

    The official statistics for gun crimes in the UK are pretty interesting, and they're drastically massaged downwards to a) keep the lie alive b) clear down the number of open cases that their Crown Prosecution Service (a truly Monty Python esque bunch of losers) has to deal with.

  • Anders||

    The EU enlargement let a lot of people from places like, oh, Macedonia move freely into and out of the country.

    You know what the principle exports of Macdeonia are? Child prostitutes, automatic weapons, drugs, and rapists.

  • ||

    A double barrel can be pretty fearsome. I can burn up as many shells in the same amount of time with a double as I can with my 870, the same gun Alexis used. Biden and the brits are idiots.

  • Scarecrow Repair||

    I've watched a friend get off double shots with a single barrel shotgun when I hand throw clays. I swear he'll get off three shots one of these days.

  • juliajuli||

    my roomate's mom makes on the internet. She has been out of a job for six months but last month her paycheck was just working on the internet for a few hours. browse this site......


  • World Unity||

    It's really a shame.
    Just a few days before Mr. Alexis--who was obviously mentally ill, and in need of help--committed his horrific acts, he reached out (in his way) by calling the police to his Rhode Island motel room, complaining about "hearing voices," and "microwave rays" being transmitted into his room.
    If he had been transported to a hospital--as is the proper treatment for a physically or mentally sick individual--he would not have been able to walk into that Naval facility in Washington, D.C., and do what he did.

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