Who to Blame for the Navy Yard Shooting


Joseph Unger ‘15
On Monday the 16th of September, another tragedy shook America, this time at the capital of the nation.  By now most Americans know the story and the details. 34-year-old Aaron Alexis, former Navy reservist who now worked as a military contractor entered the Navy Yard base in Washington D.C. with a disassembled shot gun, reassembled it in a bathroom, and opened fire without discrepancy on the atrium.  The result was 12 dead, 3 reported injured, and Alexis shot to death by authority.  The motives of Alexis are still unclear but after mentioning to some about hearing voices for at least the past year, it is suggested that he was not completely sane.  For more specific information, visit  http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/18/us/navy-yardshooting-recap/index.html.
This tragic mass shooting is the sixth in the last 9 months which include the December shooting at the grade school in Massachusetts.  With every shooting, the time period between the mourning and questioning of how this could have been prevented seems to draw closer together.   Of course, this is due to the fact that after the mourning, the shooting leaves citizens questioning if more could have been done to prevent this as well as who exactly to hold responsible for the number dead, injured, and those across the nation left emotionally scarred after the shooter is dead.  The main scapegoat for politicians and the media becomes the laws placed on the ownership of guns.  Those for the carrying of arms are left asking, “What if everyone in the base had a gun?”  Those who are for gun restrictions, are left asking, “What if Alexis never got a hold of a gun in the first place?”  Such questions turn the issue into a never ending battle for how much control the government should have over its citizens.  Those who suggest background checks on those purchasing guns are countered by those who believe the government should not be able to keep a tab on each of its citizens.  Meanwhile, those who argue that everyone should have to carry a gun in self-defense are countered by those who see the potential abuse in such a situation.
At the end of the day, 12 are dead, at least 3 physically injured, and many more emotionally scarred.  The person who is responsible is dead leaving no one living to bring to justice.  If anything, the past nine months have showed us that when a mass shooting occurs, and no one is caught, Americans want something concrete to take the blame so everyone points their finger to the weapon that caused the murder.  So which side is right? In my opinion, the answer lies in the nether region in between, which neither side shows signs of stepping into.  But at the end of the day, I’m just a high school student at St. Ed’s.  If you want to read more on the issue, here is a mix of sources ranging in bias and factaulity as well as political sidings.