Aaron Alexis, 34, former Navy reservist, gained access to the Washington Navy Yard with his contractor pass yesterday where he killed 12 people and injured 8, 3 of which where shot but are expected to live. Police shot and killed Alexis at the scene.
President Obama’s words after the shooting echoed what many of us were probably thinking: “We are confronting yet another mass shooting.”
Not only does this latest act follow the long and devastating history of mass shootings in the U.S, but it also confronts the public with two main issues that have added to the current American social climate: gun laws and mental health.
(See: Aurora, Colorado Dark Knight mass shooting and Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown.)
Although authorities suspect that a recent job loss contributed to Alexis’ motive, the facts are not clear. But we do know that Alexis has a record.
In 2004, Alexis was arrested in Seattle for firing shots into the car tires of a construction worker. Then in 2010, Alexis fired a shot through his ceiling and into the apartment of his neighbor. Alexis said that he was cleaning his handgun when he accidentally opened fire, according to the Washington Post. He was discharged from the Navy Reserve in 2011.
When he was questioned in 2004, Alexis said that he began suffering from PTSD after seeing 9/11 unfold firsthand. Despite these facts, authorities have concluded that Alexis bought his gun sometime last week.
The 2nd Amendment states that the state cannot infringe on the public’s right to bear arms. However, states can set regulations, especially in cases that include prior convictions and unstable mental health.
It’s not that easy to buy a gun in D.C according to an ABC report.
As for New York, we're known as one of the states that are toughest on gun control.
What do you think? Will stricter gun control prevent these types of crimes from happening or will people find a way to kill anyway? Should Alexis’ “anger issues” and PTSD have played a bigger role in his access to obtain a firearm?