"Now is Not the Time for New Gun Laws!"—Nick Gillespie on the Navy Yard Shooting


My new column at The Daily Beast is about quick calls for new gun legislation in the wake of Monday's horrific mass shooting at D.C.'s Navy Yard.

Here's a snippet:

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), a longtime proponent of assault-weapons bans whose effectiveness is questionable at best, announced that the killer was armed with a "military-style assault weapon" and asked, "When will enough be enough?" She argued for restricting sales of AR-15 rifles even though the shooter was not armed with that weapon.

Joining Feinstein in specifically denouncing the AR-15 was CNN host Piers Morgan, who said on his show that the Navy Yard installation had been "infiltrated by a man with a legally purchased AR-15, who just committed the same kind of atrocity as we saw at Sandy Hook and Aurora." After learning that Aaron Alexis had in fact been unable to purchase such a weapon due to existing laws, Morgan tweeted, "Lots of confusion over exactly what guns Wash Navy Yard shooter used. But do you think it matters to the victims? #GunControlNow"

Feinstein's and Morgan's imprecise reactions suggest exactly why legislation shouldn't be crafted, much less passed, in the heat of a crisis. Whether it's truly awful drug laws pushed in the wake of high-profile celebrity deaths, national-security measures rushed unread through Congress after the 9/11 attacks, or transformative bailouts to the banking and auto industries essentially cobbled together over a long weekend, laws should be the product of serious and dispassionate deliberation. We feel with our hearts, yes, but we should govern with our minds.

Read the whole thing here.

NEXT: Iran Frees 11 Political Prisoners

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. I haven’t had the will to expend energy on another gun crisis. The first night I read something about an AR-15 then heard no, just a shotgun. Was it just a shotgun or is it still unconfirmed?

    1. Doesn’t matter. If he used an AR-15 then they need to be banned. If he could have used an AR-15 they need to be banned. If AR-15s are manufactured on Earth they need be banned. For the Children.

    2. It was an 870 he purchased the day before, and it was the only gun he had with him when he entered the Yard. Police have said that he was likely killed by an AR-15, though. Err, I mean “patrol rifle”.

    3. Killer used a “Joe Biden Special”.

      There was no AR according to the FBI.

    4. If he had used an AR-15, then it would have been a million times worse.

      Let’s ban it any because, IT’S FOR THE CHILDREN!

      1. Yes, but how many times worse would it have been if he had used chemical weapons?

        1. Well, he did use chemical propellents…

  2. legislation shouldn’t be crafted, much less passed, in the heat of a crisis.

    What crisis? Tragedy, yes, but crisis, emphatically no. This is what a crisis-vote looks like.

    1. A cat stuck in a tree is a “crisis” in medialand during a slow news cycle (or an axe to grind), and there needs to be new legislation addressing both cats and trees… now!

      1. Correction: legislation shouldn’t be crafted, period.

  3. Robert Dobbs from Facebook
    23 minutes ago
    Nick Gillespie is a lolbertarian trying to pretend he’s Fonzi. Why do you care what he says? Leave his hackery over at Reason where it belongs.



    1. That is so awesome that I can merely look upon it with more awe than one experiences even when gazing upon The Jacket.

      “PWND” indeed.

      Fonzi. LULZ!

    2. His butthurt is thick and creamy.

    3. Every comment there is a variant of, “If not now, WHEN? If we wait more children will DIE and gillespie will want us to wait MORE!”

      They act as if we’re ever gonna agree to their demands. They don’t seem to realize that we just went through this, and congress couldn’t pass any legislation. A few states did and legislators have already been recalled over it. They can’t imagine that the average American doesn’t want more gun control or that politicians are afraid of losing their jobs martyring themselves over ineffectual legislation.

    4. He always has three reasons for some things, so that makes him Fonzi.

    5. Is Nick Gillespie afraid of liver?


      This is the part of his tweet that most resonated with me.

  4. Ok then, Mr. Jacket, when IS the time for new gun laws?

    1. If by “new gun law” you mean a law that repeals existing gun laws, sure. Right now.

      1. Right now yesterday.


      2. How many children have to die before you just give the left whatever they want, you heartless motherfuckers? A civil right isn’t yours to give, nor theirs to take… but let’s just do it anyway, for Pelosi, Feinstein, and Bloomberg The Children???.

        1. You were sneaking into Poe’s Law territory there for a bit, but you saved it at the end.

    2. When it can be sneaked – snuck – sneaked in under the radar, perhaps as an amendment to a defense spending bill or some legislation that allows puppies to live.

      1. Snacked… snacked under the radar.

        1. Ensneakanated.

          1. Drink Drank Drunk
            Think Thank Thunk
            Sneak Snack Snought

    3. 1938 Nazi Germany.


  5. Who is Robert Dobbs?

    And is it true? Is Nick trying to be The Fonz?

    Piers Morgan is detestable piece of shit. That is all.

    These people are irrational. Wasn’t there a ban (apparently signed into law by Clinton) against guns on military bases? What fucking gun control they babbling about now?

    1. From his Facebook page, he’s a self-described Democrat (?) and a stay-at-home dad with some super-groovy hipster tattoos that gets off on trolling websites.

      90% sure he’s trolled here. The voice is familiar.

      1. The guy probably is referring to R. Bob Dobbs.

        1. How terribly original. I sure he’s the first person that ever thought of that.

          1. Some people have no true respect for slack.

      2. Yeah well, I had a Fonzie mug growing up. So the comment stung.

        “You’re their Fonzie, aiee!” White Goodman.

  6. Those Daily Beast comments are generally terribly reasoned, the ones that try to reason at all.

    1. I give you…


      It’s always too something when it comes to gun loving boys and their toys and the girls who love them. Since money is the sole arbiter of such things in this country, we have no hope in hell of seeing any reform, meaningful or otherwise. Not gonna happen.

      1. He’s right for the wrong reasons.

      2. You mean like how Daddy Warbucks Bloomberg’s money was able to save his two pet gun grabbers in Colorado?

        Oops! Too soon?

    2. Rule #1 of the internets is never read the comments.

      1. Just like you won’t read this one, you grundle gripping gimp.

        That’s right. Alliteration all up in your grill.

      2. But momma that’s where the fun is!

        1. Momma told me not to come comment.

  7. Elisabeth Hasselbeck of Foxy News says that video games should be registered, not guns:


    1. What we need is a paranoid schizophrenic registry.

      1. No, what we need is a registry of voters. I want one of those interactive map thingies on my newspaper telling me where everyone who voted for Dianne Feinstein lives.

      2. What we need is a voluntary ‘I’m a fucking idiot addicted to government assistance to see me through the day because I’m a fucking idiot’ registry.

        But don’t tax me.

        ‘Are they getting louder or just dumber?’ Mayor Quimby

        “Dumber, sir.”

    2. Thank Christ the right isn’t exactly like the left!

      The only difference is which amendment to shit on.

    3. 1) Never going to happen.

      2) WTF would a “game registry” even accomplish?

      1. My wife’s best friend is an interesting example. Perhaps I can appeal to my brethren here at Reason for some assistance.

        She’s a yapper type always talking about others and how people don’t do the right thing, blah, blah. Always a drama with her. It drives me nuts. Thankfully my wife is Spock so she doesn’t get pulled into her antics.

        Anyway, over a couple visits her son busted up a couple of things in my house including my daughter’s little chair and bird feeder ornament she loved – the week prior he smashed her candy in a bag for some reason. The mother, earlier during dinner, was bragging how her sons DO NOT play video games at home or other people’s homes and was even talking smack about a kid who does.

        She was also talking about how her son has leadership qualities but wasn’t getting it at school.

        Long story short, she didn’t compensate me as I felt she should. At least come to me and say “sorry man, here’s $20” at which point I would have refused the money. Acknowledgement that her boy was wrong in front of me would have suffice. Instead, I get some mumbo jumbo bs that somehow my daughter encouraged him.

        The leader two years older than my daughter was encouraged by my skinny little twirp? I think there’s an Obama in him somewhere.

        It’s caused quite a wedge for me I can’t overlook. My wife was surprised they didn’t offer something but she’s moved on. Me? No fucking way I’m going to any of their functions.
        Anyway. Should I ask her to fuck me as compensation?

        1. She brags about the video games as some sort of brilliant piece of parenting skills but fails to teach her kid how to make someone whole and take responsibility for their actions.


          I remember when three of my buddies on my street were playing street hockey years and years ago and an errand slap shot broke the neighbours window. Slumped shoulders, my friend didn’t flinch and headed to the door to tell them. Guess what? We all went. Two French-Canadians and myself. It brings a tear to my eye.

          Yet, not one person said a word to me in this instance.

          /waves fist.

          1. I’d bring it up. If she wants to brag, she can have the truth and if she wants to argue give her the reggie dunlop treatment.

            Hopefully the wife’ll have your back.

            1. It’s either that or she’ll have to come up with excuses for the rest of our lives as to why I don’t go to their shitty parties.


              Sex out of the question?

              1. Is she hot?

                I’m probably the last person you should listen to when it comes to interpersonal conflict. My entire strategy is to get really drunk and say the meanest most personal shit I can to those I have a conflict with. It saves you from having to deal with fools, but you start running out of friends quickly.

                1. At my age, they all start to be hot.

                  40+ and doable I guess.

                  1. Why is your wife best friends with this woman?

                    How close do y’all live?

                    Do you spend a lot of time together, as couples, as families?

                    IMO, in order to better respond, i.e., give the best counsel, the answers to the above would be helpful.

                    1. Why are they best friends? Who knows…goes back years. I think they met at work, like 20 years ago.

                      She lives five minutes from here.

                      Not a whole lotta time because of schedules etc. They have two boys in sports and my kid does her own thing add family functions and the fact I run a business, our gatherings are limited.

                  2. Anal, no lube.

                    It’s the Christian thing to do.

                    1. Kidding of course. I have all daughters; can’t stand women like that. My daughters aren’t perfect, but they know that if they do something that hurts another person they aren’t going to be able to go to Mom and Dad and get out of it; being hardass parents has its benefits.

                    2. I see it that way too.
                      They teach accountability in scholastic books for crying out loud.

                      Oh, did I mentions she’s a teacher?

                    3. My two grandkids haven’t learned that. Either one of them will stand there with their pants full of poop and, straight-faced, tell you that the other one did it.

                      Of course, they’re two years old, and my daughter will have them out of that phase pretty quick.

                    4. Don’t give me ideas.

        2. Whenever life presents a problem Reggie Dunlop has answers.


      2. You can have GTA-V when you pry it out of my cold, dead hands.

        No really, pry the controller away — I have carpal tunnel.

        1. RIP Dunlop.

    4. If she was the “right wing” voice of The View

  8. There should be a new gun law – banning gun free zones.

    1. Yeah, it should be amended in clear language to the constitution… right up near the top somewhere.

      1. If clear language like “shall not be infringed” didn’t work, so I’m not sure that anything would.

        1. But what if we added, “on pain of death?”

          1. We would refer you to Thornton Melon’s response to Professor Phillip Barbay’s inquiry as to “where to build our factory?”

            “how bout fantasyland?”

    2. I still cannot believe no one bothered to check the bag that must have contained the shotgun. Don’t tell me he actually walked into the navy yard with an UNCONCEALED shotgun? What am I missing?

      All of this could have been avoided if someone checked him out. The raging debate over gun control, video games, and mental illness are just side issues.

      Why is a navy yard a gun free zone? Even trained officers can’t carry guns there?Wasn’t there a “work place violence” incident involving a radicalized Muslim only a few years ago?

      1. Most military bases are largely devoid of weapons.

        Even a big combat arms base like Fort Carson only has some MPs and DOD cops armed. Everything else is locked up.

        You draw weapons from the armory, take them to the range, then take them right back and lock them up.

        Base commanders (and on up) tend to be a bunch of risk-averse control freaks.

      2. I still cannot believe no one bothered to check the bag that must have contained the shotgun. Don’t tell me he actually walked into the navy yard with an UNCONCEALED shotgun? What am I missing?

        Don’t follow? Why would he be searched?

        1. I doubt they search all bags in a low threat condition.

          Maybe they randomly pick a bag here and there, like they randomly search cars coming onto a base.

          1. I just retired a couple years ago. In 20 years my vehicle was searched exactly four times (not counting entering/exiting SAC alert facilities).

            Did this guy walk onto the yard or drive? Either way, the odds of getting searched are wafer thin.

            1. Sounds like he had a DoD Contractor ID and they waved him through. Once he started shooting, he may have killed an MP or 2 who had pistols. Nobody – including the Marines in the barracks – was armed.

  9. “So we cut off the wrong leg in surgery. Would you have us do nothing?!” So what if it was a shotgun (which is OK according to the 2nd place idiot-in-chief), we need to ban AR-15’s!!!

  10. New gun law… Hhmm… new gun law… OK, how about this for a new gun law : every time a manufacturer comes out with a new gun, particularly one which I believe to be good and useful, no retailer can charge more than 5% over MSRP for it.

    As long as they want me to go against my libertarian principles I’d prefer to do it in some way that benefits me.

  11. BTW, Kentucky Reasoners. My crew and I will be rockin’ out with our jock…in’ out at Knob Creek next month. Look for the black-n-orange reason t-shirt sporting any one of a variety of awesome full autos.

    Look out Cumberland Brews.

  12. Nick, I’m a big fan of the man in black.

    I disagree with you on this. At least in my town and in my state.

    There’s absolutely nothing we can do to stop a mass murderer.

    Gun registration and keeping the guns away from x-people will not work.

    Guns need to be eliminated.

    You wouldn’t feel the way you do if, god forbid, one of your loved ones was killed (not in a mass shooting that happens 1% of the time, but by the other gun crimes that happen 99% of the time).

    1. Derp!

      1. Government is good and all; besides, we wouldn’t want anarchy where things could really get out of hand.

      2. you just can’t get good derp these days. Lord knows they’re trying though.

    2. Guns need to be eliminated.

      Good luck with that, skippy. Might as well try to ban negative vibes, or anger.

      1. Why don’t we just ban murder? Oh, wait…

    3. Not even close to 1% you dipshit.

      Molon Labe motherfucker.

    4. Sweet, does that we can go back to using bows to kill instead, cause I’m stringed, nocked and ready to rock.

    5. [Guns need to be eliminated.]

      There was a time before guns. It was called the Dark Ages because of how peaceful it was.

      The three worst mass killings since the 1980s involved no firearms. NYC Happy Land Night Club, Murrah Building in OKC, and 9-11.

  13. The gun lobby is primarily backed by the gun manufacturing industry.
    Of course they say the answer is more and more guns.
    The more armed the population is, the more militarized the police will become as the apprehension process becomes more and more dangerous.

    We have nice solid laws in NYC. Very happy with them.
    I say let the states decide their own gun policies.
    My vote for my state, no guns.

    1. You’re the worst sockpuppet ever Alice. Except for Butt Plug.

    2. The gun lobby is primarily backed by the gun manufacturing industry vast majority of the American people and by the Constitution of the United States.

      Fuck off slaver!

    3. Alice, spoken like a true believer. As long as there are thugs, the weapons available to them will be immaterial.

      You used to sign your posts “No hugs for Thugs.” Why are you hugging thugs by voting to give them the upper hand?

    4. The more armed the population is, the more militarized the police will become as the apprehension process becomes more and more dangerous.

      No true Alice. Stop lying. The NYPD is rumored to be one of the most heavily armed police forces on the planet. Same with Boston, LA, and Chicago. All are relatively gun free and the population is mostly unarmed. Russia is known for its heavily armed police forces, and its population is mostly unarmed. The reason why police are militarized is because the criminals have weapons similar to police, not the general population.

      We have nice solid laws in NYC.

      I don’t need or want them.

      My vote for my state, no guns.

      My vote for my state, machine guns available to anyone who qualifies for a hunting rifle. Oh yeah, by the way, have fun dealing with the international black market and underground weapons manufacturers!

    5. A few years back a guy on Tokyo-fucking-Japan had a delusional beef with his doctor. He walked into an office which everybody knew was a front for a business where just about anything could be arranged. He went to a bank, withdrew the funds requested, came back and bought a handgun. He then went and shot the doctor.

      In case you are even stupider than you seem – in Japan there is no legal way to gain access to a handgun which was manufactured in the past 150 years. None. No loopholes for anybody.

      If Japan cannot 100% prohibit access to handguns there is no way it will ever work in the USA.

      1. If Japan cannot 100% prohibit access to handguns there is no way it will ever work in the USA.

        Surprised the yakuza sold him the gun, knowing the heat that might result.

        Piling on, in the instance where the two London jihadis hit a UK soldier with a car, walked up to him, cut off his head in front of a crowd of people, and then paraded around with bloody hands for the twenty minutes it took the cops to deign to show up, one of the jihadis had a handgun. (Which blew up when he tried to fire it, taking off his thumb. LOL.)

        In Britain. An island so fucking hoplophobic that the Olympic pistol team has to train outside the country.

        You will never get rid of firearms, and all of your bans will only serve to fuck over the law-abiding.

        1. “Surprised the yakuza sold him the gun”

          Hollywood aside, criminals are generally not all that bright.

          A couple years back two middle-aged Yakuza, supposedly in preparation for a hit, pulled the pin on a grenade and (accidently?) dropped in into a bag with another grenade or two. Some of this is speculative since at least two grenades exploded and neither of the participants survived.

          1. Some of this is speculative since at least two grenades exploded and neither of the participants survived.

            But they were able to “piece together” what happened.

            I’ll be here all week. Don’t forget to tip your waitress.

    6. Do the trolls think it’s only the JV squad at Reason After Dark?

    7. “We have nice solid laws in NYC. Very happy with them.”

      Sooo… N.Y.C has solved its’ gun crime? First I’ve heard of it. As long as *you* are happy, well… that’s all that matters…

      “I say let the states decide their own gun policies.”

      Sure, that’s incredibly noble of you, now if you can get Bloomberg to mind his own city, and Sarah Brady, Nancy, Diane, the DNC and their media empire, would kindly shut the fuck up (and stroke out)… everybody wins… amirite?

      “My vote for my state, no guns.”

      Sooo… N.Y.C == all of New York state? Well, what’s good for N.Y.C is good for everybody in New York, I suppose. Voting on other peoples rights is so progressive… I’m confidant that guns can just be voted away.

      1. Unfortunately, a nice big state is attached to NYC.

        1. But all those who don’t live in “the” city should aspire to be just like those who do.

          Besides, it’s for your own good.

        2. Believe me, there are many in Upstate NY (including myself) who wish it were otherwise.

      2. Funny that, for a person claiming to be a “fan of the man in black” you want to force laws down the necks of everybody in your state when a number of police chiefs in that state were/are openly opposed to some of the recent ban provisions.

        So are you a fan only when it strikes your fancy or also when some of those MiB are saying what is right and legal which might be counter to your opinion?

    8. “The gun lobby is primarily backed by the gun manufacturing industury.”

      Now you just went full retard.

    9. [The more armed the population is, the more militarized the police will become as the apprehension process becomes more and more dangerous.]

      As we just saw at the Navy Yard, one of the most dangerous places for a uniformed officer is a gun-free zone. It makes him a combination First Target/Supplier of Guns.

    10. Alice, how do you explain that violent crime, as well as gun crime and gun-related homicides have gone down drastically in the past 3 decades while gun ownership, as well as the total number of guns, has gone through the roof?

  14. “Thoughtless

    It’s never too soon to enact gun laws enhancing our God-given right to shoot people.

    The NRA should demand that all states decriminalize the shooting of anyone carrying a gun (other than a police officer).

    This will clearly prove that more guns will reduce violence.

    Probably quite quickly.”

    Then there’s that gem. So glad nobody commenting on the article is irrational. NRA appears to be a fairly all purpose bogeyman in this debate.

  15. How Obamacare affects small business.


    They don’t give a fuck. Progs will just sit back and scream on about how greedy small businesses are for scrambling to survive.

  16. 182 centimeters, full leather jacket.

  17. my classmate’s half-sister makes $72 every hour on the internet. She has been without a job for eight months but last month her payment was $16159 just working on the internet for a few hours.Here’s the site to read more……


Please to post comments

Comments are closed.