As with every mass shooting, politics and opportunism replace common sense, as we strive to understand and prevent future murders. In the hours after the Navy Yard massacre, we were treated with the spectacle of the media hysterically running around screaming, "AR15!" One would almost believe that the gun either walked on to the base on it's own, or possessed the soul of Aaron Alexis.
We quickly learned that Alexis used a Remington 870 shotgun to commit the murders on Sept 16th. Other than the base guards using carbines, AR15s were not part of the story.
Regardless of the facts, many in the media continued to imply that the gunman had an assault weapon. We also saw several politicians use the opportunity to call for more gun bans, and background checks. Neither would have prevented these horrible killings.
Alexis bought his weapon from a gun shop in Northern VA. He passed a background check when purchasing this firearm. I fail to understand how expanded background check laws would have kept him from buying a gun. The killer already had a record of shooting out someone's tires, and possibly shooting at a neighbor in the apartment above his own. He had also recently filed a complaint with law enforcement officers because he believed that someone was using microwaves to tamper with his mind.
Where's that NSA
I'll say it again, he passed a background check when buying this (or a similar model) shotgun. He passed an earlier background check in order to get a security clearance to work on the Navy base.
If there's a problem with an individual that hears voices and shoots out tires passing a background investigation, then perhaps some of our more anti gun politicians could address that issue (instead of babbling the normal useless rhetoric).
Some in the media implied (actually lied) that Alexis was denied the purchase of an AR15 due to his failing a background check. That's simply not true. As an out of state resident, Alexis could not buy a handgun. He could however purchase longarms with the proper paperwork and investigations. If one can buy a shotgun, then he/she can also buy an AR in VA.
Obama, and others in the anti gun movement, often talk about "Weapons of war" not belonging in the hands of civilians. The problem is that most firearms, or firearm designs originated as weapons of war.
The shotgun used by the killer is roughly the same Remington model that I used in the Marine Corps. It's also the same shotgun that many of us have hunted with. This firearm has been in production since the 1950s, and is one of the most popular shotguns in America. It's carried by hunters, the military, and law enforcement. Many use this weapon for home defense. 10 million have been produced since it's introduction over 60 years ago. The pump shotgun design has been around for well over 100 years.
Does Obama consider this a, "Weapon of war," or does it need more black plastic before becoming scary enough for him to use that euphemism? I suspect that the 870 is too mainstream for that classification, and the anti gunners will continue going after the low hanging fruit... assault weapons.
I wonder if there's any firearms that are approved of by those advocating, "Common sense," gun control? Perhaps Slow Joe's double barrels are it.
The anti gun dance will continue after every high profile murder. The self defense shootings will be buried on page 20, or simply ignored. We'll be told on the cable news shows that self defense shootings are almost unheard of despite that thing that I like to call... the truth.
Devastated family members of the slain will be trotted out to mumble something about gun control that makes little or no sense. While I greatly pity these people, they are experts on grief and not guns.
Here's a quick recap of this story for those that have been living in a cave for the last week.
1) Aaron Alexis passed a background check when buying a shotgun. This came a mere month and a half after he filed a complaint with the Rhode Island police dept, about 3 individuals using a microwave mind control device on him. Alexis passed a different background investigation when getting cleared to work on the Navy installation.
He had used a handgun in a crime in 2004.
2) Alexis never tried to purchase an AR15, and could have bought one in VA if he wanted. The same check that allowed him to buy a Remington 870 would have sufficed for the assault weapon. When the media claims that Alexis was stymied by background checks, they are lying or grossly misinformed. I suspect it's the former.
3) The pump action shotgun used in the massacre would have remained legal everywhere even if Feinstein's gun bans had became law earlier this year. This firearm was on no one's radar, and still falls under the hunting gun category that the anti gunners claim to approve of.
4) Alexis bought 12 shotgun shells (12 to 24 depending on the source) for his weapon. The number of pellets in shotgun ammunition varies depending upon the length of the shell, and shot size. I don't know what load he was using, but let's say that he was carrying 3" shells with 00 Buck (average self defense or hunting load). This ammo will have an average of 15 pellets per shell. Carrying two shotgun shells gives you the same number of projectiles as an AR15 with a fully loaded 30 rnd magazine.
He had 12 shotgun shells, and would have had the same potential number of projectiles as someone carrying 6 thirty round magazines.
If he went down on shot size or used 3 1/2" shells, then there would have been even more pellets. This is why most gun owners consider assault weapon bans to be useless.
5) Politicians and the media used this tragedy as yet another opportunity to lie to the American people about guns, laws, and the facts around the murders.
6) This was another gun free zone. We've seen it time and time again. Gun free zones are hunting grounds for the homicidal.