Washington Navy Yard attack: Still more questions than answers, but one thing is clear
by Chad D. Baus
Once again, our nation has suffered loss at the hands of man who had sought treatment for mental illness, and once again the discussion has quickly focused on "what went wrong?" and "who or what can we blame?"
The usual suspects are certainly being presented.
First to the microphone was California Senator Diane Feinstein, blaming a rifle that, as it turns out, apparently wasn't even used in the attack. President Obama has joined her in claiming that a better background check (on a man whom his administration had awarded secret clearance) could have prevented it.
Jumping on the "blame the AR-15" bandwagon, the New York Daily News had its "Dewey Defeats Truman" moment by publishing a cover photo of the rifle with a headline "Same Gun, Different Slay." As it turns out, the gun used in the attack - a Remington 870 Express shotgun - was specifically exempted from Feinstein's 2013 assault weapons ban legislation, demonstrating for the world that passage of the ban would not have stopped these killings, as proponents claimed.
Others are commenting about his particular "religion of peace" (Buddhism), while at least one friend states that he had become angry at white people and dissatisfied with America and spoke of leaving.
Still others are focused on security at the Washington Naval Yard. How did the attacker manage to get a shotgun past security? Why didn't his treatment for hearing voices or his legal problems involving firing guns at cars and through a neighbor's floor draw attention of those who gave him secret security clearance?
At least one Ohio Congressman is reportedly "enraged" about the lax security standards used by the Navy for its contractors to save money, and which have reportedly improperly vetted those trying to gain access to Navy installations.
And on the topic of security, a few (far too few in my opinion), are asking why our military installations are so-called "gun free" zones, why some military personnel on the base were reportedly issued firearms but not ammunition, and were thus forced to wait wait seven minutes for the police to show up (something the D.C chief has bragged about as if that is a quick response).
Before you say that is impossible, or think that no one is that stupid, consider that the employer of one Buckeye Firearms Association leader told him this week that, when he was in the Navy, he used to have to guard the hatch on the submarine with an unloaded pistol, that there was another guy on the sail with an unloaded shotgun, "and we carried nukes on board." He also said the guy guarding the guns on board had an unloaded pistol.
At this point in time, there still seem to be more questions than answers, but one thing is clear:
Disarming our military personnel on military bases in this country, especially in the wake of 9-11, is inexcusable, and the blood of the victims is on the hands of those who issued these orders, and on those who refuse to reverse them.
Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Vice Chairman.