News / USA

After Navy Yard Shooting, New Calls for Gun Control

After Navy Yard Shooting, New Calls for Gun Controli
X
September 19, 2013 1:44 AM
The investigation into the deadly shooting at Washington’s Navy Yard Monday is sparking calls for new gun control measures. Authorities say, earlier this month, Aaron Alexis purchased a shotgun he used to kill 12 people at the naval command building. Chris Simkins reports.
Chris Simkins
The investigation into the deadly shooting at Washington’s Navy Yard Monday is sparking calls for new gun control measures. Authorities say, earlier this month, Aaron Alexis purchased a shotgun he used to kill 12 people at the naval command building.

Federal law enforcement investigators continued to gather evidence at Washington's Navy Yard.

Authorities are still unable to say what caused Aaron Alexis to gun down 12 people in Monday's rampage before police shot and killed him. Witnesses say Alexis, a former Navy reservist and contract worker, entered the building with a shotgun, and a short time later began firing. John Weaver watched as the suspect killed his co-worker.

"I popped my head up, and I saw him pointing his gun at my friend, and he shot her," said Weaver.

The latest shooting has renewed the debate over stricter gun control. Many gun owners oppose stricter laws. President Barack Obama is again urging lawmakers to enact new legislation.

"The fact that we do not have a firm enough background check system [for purchasing firearms] is something that makes us more vulnerable to these kinds of mass shootings," said President Obama.

There were 78 mass public shootings in the U.S. over the past three decades, resulting in 547 deaths, according to a study released in March by the Congressional Research Service.  

On Capitol Hill, members of Congress were joined by families of shooting victims, including relatives of some of the 26 people gunned down at an elementary school in Connecticut last year.

Senator Chris Murphy:

"Something is broken with our democracy when 90 percent of Americans think the people should get a background check before they buy a gun and we cannot get a vote in the United States Congress," said Murphy.

Earlier this year, gun control legislation died in the Senate when some Democrats and many Republicans opposed new restrictions on firearms purchases.

Steve Billet is a political science professor at George Washington University.

"I think we’re numb, quite frankly, when it comes to the gun control issues. I think there are a lot of people who simply reconciled themselves to the fact that these are isolated incidents that we have to deal with from time to time and that’s that," said Billet.

Gun rights advocates like the National Rifle Association did not issue a statement after the Navy Yard shooting. But in the past they have fought against efforts to infringe on Americans' right to own guns.

The NRA is powerful. Its members and gun supporters in Colorado celebrated after voters ousted two state senators who supported modest gun control measures. Connecticut Congresswomen Elizabeth Esty is ready to fight back.

"This cannot become the new normal. This is unacceptable," said Esty.

Despite calls for stricter gun control, analysts say there's still not enough support in Congress to pass gun legislation this year.

You May Like

Video Indiana Controversy Points to Divergent Notions of Religious Freedom

Gay-marriage opponents are looking for ways to maintain their beliefs in face of changing culture, one writer says More

UNICEF Denies North Korean Measles Outbreak

Agency dismisses Russian media report after government, WHO assurances More

Turkey Seen Taking Harder Stance Against Militant Kurds

Stance comes as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is being seen as moving closer to generals More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedomi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 01, 2015 1:41 AM
Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Welcome Buhari's Return to Power

Crowds of jubilant Nigerians nationwide have celebrated the return to power of former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari. The retired army general won this year's presidential election with more than 2 million votes more than incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan. Buhari's supporters hope he can strengthen the country's economy and security once he takes office in late May. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Gamma Ray Observatory to Open Soon in Mexico

American and Mexican scientists have completed construction of the world's largest gamma ray observatory, situated high in central Mexico’s Sierra Negra Mountain. The observatory's huge array of water-based detectors will soon start discovering secrets about black holes and supernovas. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More