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

Turkey: No Ransom Paid for Release of Hostages Held by IS Militants

President Erdogan hails release of hostages as diplomatic success but declines to be drawn on whether their release freed Ankara's hand to take more active stance against insurgents More

Audio Sierra Leone Ends Ebola Lockdown

Health ministry says it has reached 75 percent of its target of visiting 1.5 million homes to locate infected, educate population about virus More

US Pivot to Asia Demands Delicate Balancing Act

As tumult in Middle East distracts Obama administration, efforts to shift American focus eastward appear threatened More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Saving Global Fish Stocks Starts in the Kitcheni
X
September 22, 2014 11:42 AM
With an estimated 90 percent of the world’s larger fish populations having already vanished, a growing number of people in the seafood industry are embracing the concept of sustainable fishing and farming practices. One American marine biologist turned restaurateur in Thailand is spreading the word among fellow chefs and customers. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Saving Global Fish Stocks Starts in the Kitchen

With an estimated 90 percent of the world’s larger fish populations having already vanished, a growing number of people in the seafood industry are embracing the concept of sustainable fishing and farming practices. One American marine biologist turned restaurateur in Thailand is spreading the word among fellow chefs and customers. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video For West Ukraine City, Conflict Far Away Yet Near

The western Ukrainian city of Lviv prides itself on being both physically and culturally close to Western Europe. The Russian-backed separatists in the eastern part of the country are 1,200 kilometers away, and seemingly even farther away in their world view. Still, as VOA’s Al Pessin reports, the war is having an impact in Lviv.
Video

Video Chinese Admiral Key in China’s Promotion of Sea Links

China’s President last week wrapped up landmark visits to India, Sri Lanka and Maldives, part of a broader campaign to promote a new “Maritime Silk Road” in Asia. The Chinese government’s promotion efforts rely heavily on the country’s best-known sailor, a 15th century eunuch named Zheng He. VOA's Bill Ide reports from the sailor’s hometown in Yunnan on the effort to promote China’s future by recalling its past.
Video

Video Experts Fear Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Alibaba Shares Soar in First Day of Trading

China's biggest online retailer hit the market Friday -- with its share price soaring on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares were priced at $68, but trading stalled at the opening, as sellers held onto their shares, waiting for buyers to bid up the price. More on the world's biggest initial public offering from VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid