The big news on Monday was about the mass shooting murders of at least a dozen people at the Navy Yard in Washington, DC. At around 8:30 in the morning the news began reporting that shots had been fired and some people were at least injured in the shooting. By 9:30am local news affiliates were reporting that at least four people, including one police officer, had been shot though their status was unknown. It was also being reported that the shooter was still at large. By 10:15 am the government had acknowledged that at least several were dead and up to 10 had been wounded.
The White House released a statement around this time urging calm and asking for the community to let the authorities do their job unhindered.
“The President has been briefed several times about the unfolding situation at the Washington Navy Yard by Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Lisa Monaco and Deputy Chief of Staff Alyssa Mastromonaco. The President directed his team to stay in touch with our federal partners, including the Navy and FBI, as well as the local officials. We urge citizens to listen to the authorities and follow directions from the first responders on site.”
As is always the case in situations like this, misinformation was rampant throughout the day, and honestly, that may continue for some time (Benghazi is a perfect example). Throughout the day the news was reporting that there seemed to be more than one shooter; in fact at one point it seemed that two shooters had been killed while one was still on the loose. However, the oft reported second and third gunman never seemed to materialize, and it seems that this was the work of one evil individual. The man’s name was Aaron Alexis, a 34 year old man from Fort Worth, Texas.
The President himself addressed the nation around 12:30 in the afternoon to update us on what had taken place and to make sure we knew that those involved would be punished.
“I’ve been briefed by my team on the situation. We still don’t know all the facts but we do know that some people have been shot and some have been killed. We are confronting yet another mass shooting and today it happened on a military installation that targeted military and civilian personnel… We will do everything in power to mark sure whoever carried out this cowardly act is held responsible,” Obama said.
Sadly, the President could not refrain from politicizing the shooting – seeming to imply that tighter gun restrictions could have stopped this situation from happening. Sadly, the elephant in the room seems to have been overlooked by the President… the Navy Yard is a “Gun-Free” zone. While filled with our nation’s servicemen and women along with many civilians, those military members are not able to carry a weapon on the Navy Yard. This makes them especially prone to a crazed gunman, a la the Fort Hood shooter, Nidal Hassan.
At this point it seems that Alexis was acting alone, and while authorities are still searching for another person of interest, they do not believe he had anything to do with the shooting. The death toll stands at 13 people, including Aaron Alexis, and as of yet we have been given no reason for the monstrous events of the day. As more time passes it is likely that more information will continue to come out about the investigation and what possible motive Alexis may have had for what he did today, but for now all we can do is pray for the families and loved ones of the victims. Today they are feeling monumental loss and suffering, so as fellow citizens, our thoughts, prayers and compassion should be focused on them.
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