Political gun debate starts anew after Navy Yard rampage
September 16th, 2013
08:25 PM ET
7 months ago

Political gun debate starts anew after Navy Yard rampage

Washington (CNN) - Hours after the Washington Navy Yard shooting, some of Washington's most vocal advocates for gun control started to renew their calls for further restrictions on firearms.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, one of the strongest proponents of a ban on assault weapons like the AR-15 that suspected shooter and military contractor Aaron Alexis is believed to have used, issued a statement Monday asking "When will enough be enough?"

"Congress must stop shirking its responsibility and resume a thoughtful debate on gun violence in this country. We must do more to stop this endless loss of life," the California Democrat said in the statement. (Read Feinstein's statement below.)

It remains unclear exactly what happened at the Navy Yard Monday, with no indication of where the weapons used came from.

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Fellow Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia did not go quite as far as Feinstein in his calls Monday for gun control. But the sentiment was there in the statement Rockefeller put out that also expressed his sorrow at the tragedy. (Read Rockefeller's statement below.)

"We are becoming far too familiar with senseless, tragic violence. This is the seventh shooting since 2009, and these repeated incidents demand our attention," Rockefeller said.

Efforts to push gun control legislation through Congress led by Vice President Joe Biden have stalled since the Sandy Hook tragedy that saw 20 school children and six adults murdered in Newtown, Connecticut last December.

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CNN's Dana Bash reports that the Navy Yard shootings and several other mass shootings in the last 10 months are unlikely to undo the stall. Bash spoke to Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who told her he simply doesn't think the latest incident will be enough to garner the 60 votes a gun control measure would need to break a Republican filibuster.

Universal background checks have already proven political dead weight for Democrats at the state level, with the successful recall elections of two Colorado state legislators in Democratic-leaning districts last week.

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The National Rifle Association did not respond to a request for comment Monday. The gun rights organization has typically not responded to similar shootings immediately.

– CNN's Dana Bash contributed to this report.

Statement from Feinstein:

"I mourn those killed today at the Navy Yard in Washington and send my thoughts and prayers to those families grieving the loss of loved ones.

"There are reports the killer was armed with an AR-15, a shotgun and a semiautomatic pistol when he stormed an American military installation in the nation's capital and took at least 12 innocent lives.

"This is one more event to add to the litany of massacres that occur when a deranged person or grievance killer is able to obtain multiple weapons-including a military-style assault rifle-and kill many people in a short amount of time.

"When will enough be enough?

"Congress must stop shirking its responsibility and resume a thoughtful debate on gun violence in this country. We must do more to stop this endless loss of life."

Statement from Rockefeller:

“West Virginians everywhere today are grieving for those killed-and the families they left behind-after today’s horrendous act, made all the more terrible because it happened in a place and to people who serve our nation and work to protect us.

“We are becoming far too familiar with senseless, tragic violence. This is the seventh shooting since 2009, and these repeated incidents demand our attention. While the details are being sorted out, I hope you’ll join with Sharon and me in offering our deepest sympathies and heartfelt prayers to those affected by today’s horrific act of violence.”


Filed under: Dianne Feinstein • Gun control • Jay Rockefeller • Joe Manchin
soundoff (358 Responses)
  1. tarura

    It's not guns that kill people, it's sick maniacs that do it.
    Aurora, Newtown, DC – all killings by mentally disturbed.

    September 17, 2013 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  2. LoLoLoL!!

    There was no AR-15. He had a shotgun, and then he got a hold of an officer's pistol. Way to go, Feinstein. You really nailed this one. LOL!!!

    September 17, 2013 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  3. 21k

    i guess to the gun nuts, it would have been a much better situation if we had 100 hero-wanna-bees firing indiscriminately at whoever they thought was the bad guy.

    September 17, 2013 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  4. BaltoPaul

    More use of tragedy by the left to push their agenda.

    The shooter didn't use an AR-15. He used a shotgun. He also obtained two handguns from armed security officers that he shot with his shotgun. Yes, a simple shotgun. The sort Joe Biden approved.

    September 17, 2013 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  5. joseph Guilbert

    Some of the posts are simply amazing. Freedom of speech is not guaranteed by the faint of heart. That's why the second amendment was included in the first place. The intellectuals and the courts want to impose their lifestyles and politically correct speech on the those that disagree with their opinions. How do you spell potato? AR 15 shotgun.

    September 17, 2013 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  6. Josie

    First of all whomever let this man pass carrying a weapon into a gun free zone better have lost his job or more. Military installations are gun free zones, no soldier or citizen carry them on them unless required by their job and then they are signed out of the armory and then turned back in. So much for gun free zones being safe, in effect if someone does bring in a gun and shots those that abide by the law are unable to defend themselves. The shooter brought a shotgun not anything that is currently being banned, so does that mean those that use these guns legally for hunting or even for personal defense of their homes have to get rid of theirs too? I would love for the government try to take ALL guns away, crime will go up and then what will people say then? Look at Chicago and D.C. two places where there are high gun restrictions and also two of the most violent places to live in the country.

    September 17, 2013 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  7. Isaak Band

    Americans have a guns a hundred of years.Last few years shooting going on.What happening?Before nobody shoot,now so many.Are you really believe its a gan problem?

    September 17, 2013 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  8. Zz

    How about pass a law banning the press from plastering mass shootings all over the Internet an tv. Putting it in front of everyone's face all day is giving these people with no regard to life a way to go out with a literal bang and get their name in every home in America. If a person wants to die, and take people with him, no amount of gun laws will stop that. But refusing to make these people house hold names might deter them from these acts if there is no satisfaction in 15 min of game.

    September 18, 2013 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
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