dc-shooting

A guy on 4chan made the most brilliant and succinct argument I’ve read in a while regarding the self-absorbed stupidity of aggressive gun rights activists. I should have printscreened it, but this was before the DC shooting, so I’ll try to recite it as best I can.

You want to own a gun so badly because you never know what will happen? Someone might break in, someone might try to mug you, you never know? Okay, so then, do you carry around a vehicle glass cracker in case your car goes into the river? An epipen in case you’re allergic to something you don’t know yet? Portable defibrillator in case you have a heart attack? Do you keep a parachute in your plane’s carry-on? Do you even carry a spare set of keys in case you lock your first one in the car? No? Of course not. All you care about is owning that long, black gun because movies have convinced you that it’s cool.

I haven't seen anyone on my dash posting about this

There was a mass shooting in Washington DC earlier today. Most recent reports say 12 dead (at least) and possibly up to 3 shooters. This was a secure government facility that was attacked, the Navy Yard, and all of DC is in an uproar. If you guys could pray/send positive vibes, and keep everyone in DC/MD/NOVA in your thoughts today that would be really great. 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/liveblog/wp/2013/09/16/shooting-at-washington-navy-yard/?hpid=z2

Shootout on Capitol Hill

As if things couldn’t get any bleaker in Washington, a woman was injured near the U.S. Capitol after a car chase. Multiple witnesses heard shots, but it’s so far unclear who fired. There are also conflicting reports about the condition of the woman whom police were allegedly chasing. Some law-enforcement sources said the suspect had been shot.

As of 3:15 p.m. or so, a lockdown and shelter-in-place order at the Capitol had been lifted. According to a pool report, President Obama has been briefed on the shooting. The chief of the Capitol Police said they believe there was a child in the car with the suspect, but had no further information.

Read more. [Image: Reuters]

Obama calls for ‘transformation’ of gun laws

President Barack Obama on Sunday voiced his frustration with the nation’s continuing cycle of gun violence at a memorial service for the 12 victims of last week’s Navy Yard shooting.

“The senseless violence of the Navy Yard shootings echos other shootings,” said Obama in front of 4,000 guests at the Marine barracks in Washington D.C. He said the shooting “ought to lead to some sort of transformation” on gun violence and gun control.

“Once more our hearts are broken, once more we ask why,” said Obama. “We can’t accept this.”

Read more at Al Jazeera America

Photo: Brendan Smialowskva/AFP/Getty Images

This video was taken down on YouTube (see my original post here). Thank God I independently saved the video because it is being shut down everywhere else. This is merely a repost in order to cement the availability of this information.

The family of Miriam Carey, who has been identified as the driver who refused to stop her vehicle in the face of five armed police men has spoken out. Carey had gone to a mental-health evaluation after an encounter with police in Connecticut nearly a year ago, CBS News correspondent Bob Orr reports.

Relatives and friends have suggested she may have been battling some form of depression, but investigators Friday have yet to explain the car chase and shooting that played out between the White House and the Capitol with Carey’s 1-year-old daughter in the back seat.

D.C. mayor blames sequester for the shooting

That’s right, Washington D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray thinks things might have turned out differently had the mean old Republicans not cut funding for…er, something. I wonder if he knows that the feds just spent $3.2 million on a new acid-trippy obamacare TV ad in Oregon. Probably not.

From the Washington Times:

D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray said he wondered if budget cuts had something to do with a gunman getting onto the Washington Navy Yard on Monday, killing 12 before being killed himself.

“As I look at, for example, sequestration, which is about saving money in the federal government being spent, have we somehow skimped on what would be available for projects like this and then we put people at risk,” Mr. Gray said on CNN’s “New Day” on Tuesday morning.

Read the Rest

Why is the solution to any problem or perceived problem always more government with leftists? It’s amazing. Forget the fact that the naval yard was, in his own words, “one of the most secure facilities in the nation.” Forget the fact that, thanks to Bill Clinton, none of the service men there were allowed to have weapons on them. Just blame the sequester.

Personal thoughts.

Call me thinking outside the box here but if we soldiers are trusted to operate and carry arms overseas in war then why is it that that we are not allowed to carry concealed on military posts here in the states? The shooting today in DC and the shooting last year on Fort Hood could have been prevented if the people that carried out these shootings knew that an unknown number of personnel would be carring concealed weapons and that they would undoubtedly meet resistance and been unsuccessful in whatever the hell their plans were.

It all came and went so quickly—panicked reports of a shooting outside the Capitol, a lockdown (Kansas Republican Sen. Pat Roberts even seized a commemorative knife!) and then the word that it was all over, with a lone perp “in custody,” which turned out to mean in the custody of the Lord. The relief within the Capitol gave way to huzzahs for the police who had put an end to the threat: Speaker John Boehner tweeted “We all owe the Capitol Police a debt of gratitude for their work every day; no finer examples of professionalism & bravery” (never mind that the government shutdown has imperiled their pay), the House gave a standing ovation to the Capitol Police and Senate staffers even handed out black buttons with a picture of the Capitol dome and the words, THANK YOU, CAPITOL POLICE.

Meanwhile, somewhere in the bowels of the state, sat a toddler plucked from the speeding car. She was “unharmed,” headlines assured us—aside from, you know, having lost her mother.

Am I the only one left disquieted by this neatly-wrapped episode?

I’m no expert in police procedure—far from it. But I have enough of the reporter’s innate skepticism toward authority to be wary of letting this drama pass unnoticed—not just the security response, but the response to the response by my colleagues in the press. The fact is, a woman with no weapon but the black Infiniti she was careening around in was shot dead—apparently, if reports are correct, as she was trying to flee the car after having previously refused to leave it.

Yes, cars can be deadly weapons (although some police departments, including the District of Columbia’s own municipal force, are discouraged against shooting at cars, a policy that dates back to a 1998 Washington Post investigation, and that I saw no mention of in today’s coverage). And yes, this driver was behaving extremely erratically, putting at risk herself, her daughter and everyone in her path. And yes, the various security agencies in the capital are understandably on edge right now after the Navy Yard shootings and more than a decade of counter-terrorism ratcheting, not to mention the gunman in 1998 who killed two Capitol police officers. As Josh Marshall put it in a post approving of the response: “If you flee toward the US Capitol and resist arrest, I think you’ve probably signed your death warrant unless you very clearly surrender…I don’t think it’s surprising when you understand or have experienced the intense security posture that surrounds the main government installations in DC - the White House, the Capitol Building, the congressional office buildings, etc. That chase from the White House wasn’t a traditional chase and apprehension, probably more like a hunt, with threat elimination as its primary goal.” He adds a moment later: “Given what was known and her behavior, it makes perfect sense to me that the Capitol Police and whatever other federal authorities were in the mix were focusing on threat elimination as their primary goal rather than apprehension.”

But it’s precisely that plausible explanation that troubles me—that we’ve gotten to the point where it’s simply to be expected that such an episode would result in “threat elimination” by our extraordinarily heavily-armed security forces. I don’t mean to pick on Marshall here—he, at least, took the time to revisit the episode, whereas many other reporters simply moved on after learning that the “active shooter” they had been tweeting about was neither a shooter nor active but rather unarmed and dead.

My disquiet is not unlike what I was left with after the climactic ending of the Marathon bomber manhunt in Boston. There were even greater huzzahs then for the police’s victorious shootout with the younger brother trapped in the boat. Only much later did we learn that the shootout had been entirely one-sided—the cops mistakenly thought the fugitive had fired on them and opened fire on him, despite the fact that there was such a premium on capturing him alive. In fact, it turned out that he did not even have a gun on him. This should not have been such a surprise—he had fled on foot in a panic the night before amid the encounter with police that killed his brother. Yet authorities had decided to shut down a metropolitan area with one million people to seek him out—a decision that, again, got relatively little scrutiny after the fact.

Police do heroic things to keep us safe, often. They deserve to be paid, and paid well. But it’s one of the costs of living in a country bedeviled by both mass shootings and terrorism anxiety that we’ve become so unquestioning and obeisant in these moments when their overwhelming force is brought to bear—that we’ve become so used to the “shelter in place” order that we seem to remain in our place even after the order is lifted, without so much as daring to ask about the 17 bullets fired at a depressed dental hygienist going berserk in her car.

By Carol D. LeonnigTheresa Vargas and David A. Fahrenthold, Updated: Monday, September 16,2:30 PM E-mail the writers

The dead gunman in Monday’s shooting at the Washington Navy Yard is Aaron Alexis, 34, a Navy veteran and native of Brooklyn, an FBI official said Monday afternoon.

Police say it is unclear if Alexis acted alone. Authorities are still searching for another possible suspect: a black man in his 40s with gray sideburns, wearing an olive-drab military-style uniform.

(Courtesy of FBI) - Aaron Alexis, who has been identified as the dead gunman in the shooting at Washington Navy Yard.

Alexis died at the scene of Monday’s shooting, in which at least 12 other people died. D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray said no motive is known.

FBI Assistant Director Valerie Parlave asked the public to call 1-800-CALL-FBI with any information about him: “No piece of information is too small. We are looking to learn everything we can about his recent movements.”

By Monday afternoon, a portrait of Alexis had begun to emerge. He left the Navy in 2011, and until recently lived in Fort Worth, and was a regular—if unusual—figure at a Buddhist temple.

Alexis spoke Thai, the language of many other temple worshippers, and also worked as a waiter at a Thai restaurant. At the Wat Busayadhammavanaram Meditation Center, Alexis came to meditate twice a week. But he still seemed so tightly wound that at least one worker there sought to avoid him.

“He would help people if they came in carrying heavy things,” said J. Sirun, an assistant to the monks at the center. “From the outside, he was a quiet person. But on the inside, I think he was very aggressive. He did not like to be close with anybody, like a soldier who has been at war.”

Alexis was memorable because he had so many Thai friends and spoke Thai “very well,” Sirun said. “He understood about 75 percent of the language.”

“I didn’t think he could be this violent,” Sirun said. “I would not have been surprised to hear he had committed suicide. But I didn’t think he could commit murder.”

Somsak Srisan, who also frequented the temple, learned that Alexis needed a place to stay. He offered to rent him a two-bedroom white bungalow behind the temple. Srisan said Alexis lived there for a year and didn’t smoke, didn’t drink, and never missed a payment on his $600 a month rent.

Srisan said he doesn’t know why Alexis left his job at the base. They spoke about it only once, and it was a brief conversation, he said.

“I asked him, ‘Why you quit the job with the government?” Srisan said, speaking broken English. “He said somebody doesn’t like me.”

Srisan said he didn’t ask Alexis any more questions because, “I don’t want to go too deep with him.”

A manager at Happy Bowl Thai, where Alexis was a frequent customer and a friend of the owner, said she was struck by how kind he was.

“Yes, he was a very nice guy. I would never think he would do this. Never,” said the woman, who declined to give her name.

Military personnel records show that Alexis spent nearly four years in the Navy as a full-time reservist from May 2007 until he was discharged in January 2011, according to a summary of his personnel records released by Navy officials at the Pentagon.

Those Navy officials said they were still researching whether Alexis had been employed as a defense contractor or a civilian employee of the Navy, and were uncertain if he was assigned to work at the Navy Yard.

Police are investigating whether the identification of former Navy petty officer Rollie Chance was used by Alexis to enter the Navy Yard compound. An ID belonging to Chance was found near the body of Alexis, the gunman.

Federal investigators visited Chance’s home Monday. A relative of Rollie Chance said in a telephone interview that Chance, from Stafford, Va., was not at the Navy Yard and was neither a witness nor a suspect and asked the media to leave the family alone.

In the Navy, Alexis achieved his final rank of Aviation Electrician’s Mate 3rd Class in December 2009. Officials said they did not immediately know the reasons for his discharge.

Alexis was assigned to the Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 46 at Naval Air Station Fort Worth in Texas for the bulk of his time in the military, from 2008 until he left the service in 2011, records show. He was awarded the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the National Defense Service Medal— two common awards for military personnel.

Meanwhile, a relative of Alexis said she hadn’t seen him in several years.

“We haven’t seen him for years,” said Helen Weeks of her nephew in a telephone interview. “I know he was in the military. He served abroad. I think he was doing some kind of computer work.” Weeks, who lives in Seattle, said that Alexis had grown up in New York, including in Brooklyn and Queens.

Weeks said she was receiving constant media calls Monday afternoon in which reporters asked her if she knew if Alexis had been involved in a shooting in Washington, D.C. She said she had not been contacted by police.

“I’d be shocked if it was him, but I don’t know,” she said, her voice trailing off.

Monday, as word spread about the shooting, many members of the Wat Busayadhammavanaram community gathered at the temple to discuss what happened.

“They don’t believed it that he could kills 12 people like that,” Srisan said.

A story posted on the Web site of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram Monday said that Alexis was arrested in 2010 for illegally discharging a firearm. The paper cited a Fort Worth police report that said police had been dispatched to Alexis’ apartment complex about 6:40 p.m. Sept. 4, 2010, on a report that someone had fired a shot through the floor and into the ceiling of a woman’s apartment.

Police found that Alexis had fired a shot through the ceiling of his apartment, missing his upstairs neighbor by a few feet. Alexis later said his gun had gone off while he was cleaning it, the paper said.

Craig Whitlock, Steve Hendrix and Julie Tate contributed to this report.