Thoughts about the Navy Yard Shooting

The media gets it wrong: We know next to nothing about today’s shooting at the Washington Navy Yard. What details we do have were breathlessly reported by talking heads from all of the major news networks. They quickly exhausted what details existed and engaged in wild speculations from any and all angles. The details that were forthcoming were gleaned from news conferences with investigators and eyewitness interviews.

The problem is that eyewitness accounts are often wrong or fragmented. People really do understand the world through their own lens and that truth is often accentuated under deadly stress. People can remember things that did not happen, and forget things that did. They can also substitute other people’s memories for their own. This is exacerbated if they are exposed to other witnesses; or 24 hour news coverage. Solid investigation takes time. Too long for the media and the American attention span to maintain interest. This leads to the reporting of rumors as fact and their erroneous acceptance into the collective consciousness.

This phenomenon can be observed in every major “publicized,” attack since Columbine High School. The media winds itself into a knot, reports errors (many understandably), and the populace ends up with a mistaken understanding of complicated events.

The vultures are already circling: Anti-gun activists are already hammering their talking points. People’s families have been torn apart. Patriotic Americans who were in the military or working for our defense apparatus have been murdered. No one yet knows the details behind the motives, means, or methods of the perpetrators. Despite this lack of knowledge anti-gun folks are playing their one note recording. Total lack of class.

The military does not carry guns: This is difficult for many people to understand. Most people imagine a military base as being chock full of guns. Many of them are, but they are locked in rooms that look like bank vaults. American military bases are gun free zones. In 1993 President Clinton issued orders that made it illegal for military members to carry their personal weapons onto military installations, even if they were licensed and legal in the state where the installation was located. The only people who are legally armed during their daily duties are usually military police or civilian contract security. The status of their weapons is kept secret and varies from installation to installation. Federal installations are federal land and federal laws apply.

 This order remains in effect even after the Ft. Hood shooting. In that incident, at least three people on site (that we know of) immediately attacked the shooter.  They were armed with nothing more than bare hands, a chair, and a folding table. Two were killed and one was seriously wounded. Civilian police officers, contracted to the post, stopped the rampage by shooting the attacker repeatedly. It took them about ten minutes to get there.

Unless it is a part of their specified daily duty the military is not authorized to carry guns. Our nation’s Special Forces, Navy SEALs, Rangers, any and all Special Operations forces, are not authorized to carry guns at work. The same for Infantry, Armor, Combat Engineers, Marines, Sea Bees, and Combat Arms troops of any service or rank. I would love for someone to explain to me how that makes any sense. I am not saying that it would have made a difference in this case because I have no idea. At this point no one does. I do know that men with guns, civilians, had to come from outside of the installation in order to kill at least one of the shooters; stopping the murders. It took them seven minutes to get there…

May God be with the families of the injured and killed; may he continue to shepherd America.

One Response to “Thoughts about the Navy Yard Shooting”

  1. Where is Black Shepherd? It is disappointing to have such a strong voice silenced.

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