Political gun debate starts anew after Navy Yard rampage
September 16th, 2013
08:25 PM ET
9 years 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?"

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"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. aj

    3. Had people been allowed to carry firearms a lot less people would have been shot.

    September 16, 2013 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  2. martin

    The day they have more money than the NRA...maybe!

    September 16, 2013 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  3. tiredtiredtired

    (He stormed a military installation), If I am not mistaken , he didn't storm anything ,he just walked in . He worked there ! And that does not say much for the military does it, where were they at ? Taking peoples guns won't stop the nuts out there. Next time , they just might use a pressure cooker , going to ban those too or the shotguns? Ask the question first ,how did he get the guns and after two other times , why did he still have the weapons he had ?

    September 16, 2013 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  4. lewtwo

    It has been reported in multiple stories that Alex got his assault rifle from a cop that he had shot with a shotgun. So does this mean that Feinstein wants to ban the police from carrying weapons as well ??

    September 16, 2013 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
  5. That Bald Dude

    Ever notice that when the left wants a "thoughtful debate" on gun control, it only means "you need to agree with us and do what we say?"

    September 16, 2013 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  6. Dustin

    Just because it is a military base does not mean everyone is walking around with guns. guns there are locked away and must be registered. except for the criminals of course.

    September 16, 2013 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  7. Gilbert Gour

    You guys are making me sick... Twelve peoples have been senselessly executed today by a deranged man, and the only thing you are talking about is the type of firearm he used.... Seriously, are you guys deranged or what ????

    Any untrained person can put all the bullets of the magazine of an AR-15 within a 2 inch grouping at 100 yards....

    Do you believe your own stories ???

    I understand that CNN has gun biased, but common, stop taking people for morons...

    Sad, simply SAD !!!

    No credibility left !!!

    September 16, 2013 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  8. GGD

    Sen. Feinstein, enough is enough right now. It's time to put an end to the fantasy that gun free zones are gun free. The thoughtful debate has taken place, and it's been exposed that this country has a violence problem. This country has a security problem. This country gets it's values and ideals from TV, movies, screwed-up celebrities, and the mainstream media who tout those people and those values and inundate our existence with the artificial importance of them. Enough is enough Sen. Feinstein, what are you going to do about it?

    September 16, 2013 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  9. Jim Dandy

    The old debate must be why the Seattle police didn't charge him with a gun crime when he shot those tires out.

    September 16, 2013 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  10. Richard

    Do we really have to go here again? Does anyone think our government can "fix" senseless shootings? It isn't the laws we have or don't have, it isn't the gun, it isn't the NRA, it is the sick people who crave attention by doing these horrific shootings we need to blame.

    September 17, 2013 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  11. SMH

    Well, if the news I'm reading is correct, its going to be hard to make this a gun control issue on assault rifles. They are reporting the suspect bought a shotgun last week. Then initiated his assault using the shotgun. Shot a police officer, took his pistol and then used the pistol to continue his assault. At some point he was able to get his hands on an AR type rifle. I'm hearing conflicting reports that he took it from an officer he shot but I'm also hearing he got it from a safe or other secured area in the building. So assuming all that is true, two of the weapons used by the shooter were not his but those of law enforcement.

    September 17, 2013 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  12. Paul

    Liberals are ignoring the fact that the suspect only came in possession of those weapons AFTER the fact: both the handgun and the AR-15 were stolen from police officers AFTER he was inside!

    September 17, 2013 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  13. MBSeattle

    There is no debate. How silly are we? It is all our fault that we are not all armed because like Newtown those unarmed students could have taken control of the gun man by pulling out their piece because according to the NRA (Not Real Americans) this kids should have been able to protect themselves.

    It is those silly state senators from Colorado that were recalled last week. Dare they challenge this perfect logic of arming the public to prevent unwanted gun violence .

    I am sure were will here more from the NRA this week on how to stop the gun violence that took the twelve lives in DC today. Listen carefully and slide your piece under your pillow and sleep tight tonight, you have the answer.

    September 17, 2013 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  14. Wade

    So a black liberal democrat goes insane and it has something to do with GUN CONTROL? WOW.

    September 17, 2013 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  15. VoteForPedro

    Doesn't matter. Cr@zy Wayne Lapierre and his NRA gun-nut-cult, will squash any minor reasonable change to gun laws. All the paranoids out there think Obama is coming for all their guns.

    September 17, 2013 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  16. j.

    I have an idea: when will we start to take mental health as serious as we take heart attack and stroke? How about starting to educate people and do something about the stigma? People know what they see on tv and movies, but we make sure a kid knows how to put a condom on before they know algebra. How many people have to lose their lives before you've had enough Ms. Feinstein?

    September 17, 2013 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  17. russell

    Funny (insert sarcasm here) that they want to start the gun control debate again. Obviously the criminal here didn't know that D.C. has a ban on high capacity mags and such. The real issue here is how did he get a clearance to work at the base with the police record he had of gun violence? It is not the guns people. If a person wants to do evil that person will find a way. Don't punish the innocent for what a criminal does.

    September 17, 2013 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  18. Barry said W did it!!!

    " When will enough be enough" says the great Feinstein. I agree 100% " when will enough be enough" of having to read or hear anything that your dentures clank out of that empty shell on your shoulders. Everyone better pull out there metal underwear and restock the fridge again Nanny Bloomberg now has another reason to grab your privates and take your soda pop. And this time of night I believe Biden is in his back yard shooting empty whiskey bottles with the ole double barrel so intruders will stay away. I dread the amount of ignorance we will get to hear from these Obama Popsicle lickers this time around.

    September 17, 2013 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  19. Bigdoglv

    Enough will be enough when you quit using blood to support your political agenda.

    September 17, 2013 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  20. notaposter

    I hope Feinstein just retires.

    September 17, 2013 12:16 am at 12:16 am |
  21. Anonymous

    So Billy Bob Clinton disarms our on post military staff in 1993. And now Democrats are worried and concerned. You guys are a joke

    September 17, 2013 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  22. 1nd3p3nd3nt

    we talk about gun violence while negotiating international intervention in a civil war where over 100,000 people have been killed already and weaponized sarin gas usage was just confirmed by the U.N.

    why can't we find the method to the madness ?

    guns can protect us from tyranny AND confiscation... registration is the way to go

    September 17, 2013 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  23. Dave Long

    With the tragic event this close to the seat of our government, we'll have a great window into whether or not our legislators can put the general welfare ahead of special interests. I'm not holding my breath.

    September 17, 2013 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  24. aiquoy

    Now I bet geniuses will call for a ban on military guns too...

    September 17, 2013 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  25. glenview0818

    He took the guns that he killed most people with from Law Enforcement officers.

    September 17, 2013 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
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