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Posts tagged ‘Washington Navy Yard’

Shots Fired at US Capitol, Briefly Locking Area Down.

A police officer was reported injured after gunshots at the U.S. Capitol, police said Thursday while putting the entire complex on lockdown.

“There are reports of injuries,” said Terrance Gainer, the Senate’s Sergeant at Arms.
“There were multiple shots heard by a number of sources,” Fox News reported.

The gunshots came after a car chase that began with a man attempted to ram the White House gate and was chased by police, Fox reported.

The gunman apparently was arrested, Fox reported.

The lockdown was lifted around 2:55 p.m., Fox reported.

Reuters reported that the gunshots injured several people including a law enforcement officer, a Senate aide and a Capitol police officer.

At least one person was photographed on a stretcher, Fox reported.

The report of gunshots comes two weeks after a deadly shooting at the nearby Navy Yard and amid a government shutdown.

As a warning was sounded, the House abruptly went into recess and lawmakers left the chamber floor. The House had just finished approving legislation aimed at partly lifting the government shutdown by paying National Guard and Reserve members.

People standing outside the Supreme Court across the street from Congress were hurried into the court building by authorities.

The White House was quickly locked down after the incident at Capitol Hill and the stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the compound was closed to pedestrians. Secret Service said the procedures were precautionary.

The U.S. Capitol Police sent out this message about 2:45 p.m., which was posted on Senate television, according to The Washington Post:

SHELTER IN PLACE. Gunshots have been reported on Capitol Hill requiring staff in all Senate Office Buildings to immediately shelter in place. Close, lock and stay away from external doors and windows. Take annunciators, emergency supply kits and escape hoods; and move to your office’s assigned shelter in place location or the innermost part of the office away from external doors or windows. If you are not near your office, go to the office nearest to you and shelter with that office and then check in with your OEC. No one will be permitted to enter or exit the building until directed by USCP. Staff is advised to monitor the situation. Further information will be provided as it becomes available.”

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Newsmax Wires


Defense Dept ‘Furious’ When FBI Showed Video of Navy Yard Gunman.

The Department of Defense was reportedly “furious” about the release of a video showing deranged Washington, D.C., Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis moving through the facility with a gun during a rampage that left 13 people dead.

Jennifer Griffin, national security correspondent for the Fox News Channel, posted the Defense Department reaction from an unnamed senior Pentagon official on her Twitter account.

According to Fox News, the official said: “People in [the Defense Department] are furious” the FBI had released the video footage … It was gratuitous.”

The video released by the FBI during a press conference showed Alexis pulling his rental car into a garage, walking into the building with a bag and then pacing deliberately down a corridor with a shotgun, ducking and crouching around a corner, and walking briskly down a flight of stairs.

Twelve workers were slain during the attack; Alexis also died in the rampage. Police believe he was mentally unstable.

The video can be seen here:

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Cathy Burke

NRA Holding Raffle for Guns That Obama Wants to Ban.

The National Rifle Association is giving its supporters a chance to win a host of pricey firearms through a month-long online “banned-guns” raffle.

The group says it is raffling off “fantastic guns that Obama, Biden, Feinstein and Bloomberg want to ban.”

The guns currently are on the market, but likely would be unavailable if any of the gun-control laws proposed by lawmakers in Washington are passed.

Latest: Do You Support the NRA on Gun Rights? Vote in Urgent Poll

The NRA has held raffles before, spokesman Andrew Arulanandam told Newmax.

This was the “first time that it has been branded a ‘banned-guns raffle,’ but definitely not the first time we have given away these types of rifles,” he said.

“This is something our members look forward to,” Arulanandam said, noting that millions of people have participated in the past. “I think there are people outside of the NRA family who also will be interested.”

Arulanandam said sweepstakes and raffles are conducted on an ad hoc basis, not necessarily annually.

The raffle’s timing is challenging in the wake of last week’s mass shooting at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C. — which left 12 victims dead and has given renewed attention to the national debate over gun violence — but the event has been planned for months and is featured in the current issue of the NRA’s magazine.

Proceeds go “to support the ongoing efforts to promote gun-safety education and preserve our Second Amendment freedom and hunting heritage,” Arunlanandam said.

Among the firearms being raffled:

Entrants may register online for up to 12 raffle tickets per person, per day. A suggested contribution is $5 per ticket, although no contribution is required for entry.

Entry deadline is 11:59 p.m. Oct. 21. Contact the NRA for more information.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Andrea Billups

Obama Says Fight for Gun Laws ‘Ought to Obsess Us’.

Image: Obama Says Fight for Gun Laws 'Ought to Obsess Us'

President Barack Obama on Sunday memorialized the victims of the Washington Navy Yard shooting by calling for a transformation in the nation’s gun laws to address an epidemic of gun violence, saying, “There’s nothing inevitable about it.”

Reprising his role of the nation’s consoler in chief after yet another mass shooting, Obama said Americans should honor the victims of last Monday’s shooting by insisting on a change in gun laws. “It ought to obsess us,” Obama said.

“Sometimes I fear there is a creeping resignation that these tragedies are just somehow the way it is, that this is somehow the new normal. We cannot accept this,” Obama said.

He said no other advanced nation endures the kind of gun violence seen in the United States, and blamed mass shootings in America on laws that fail “to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and dangerous people.”

Urgent: Support Obama’s Gun Ban Plan? Vote in Poll

“What’s different in America is it’s easy to get your hands on a gun,” he said. He acknowledged “the politics are difficult,” a lesson he learned after failing to get expanded background checks for gun buyers through the Democratic-controlled Senate this spring.

“And that’s sometimes where the resignation comes from: the sense that our politics are frozen and that nothing will change. Well, I cannot accept that,” Obama said. “By now, though, it should be clear that the change we need will not come from Washington, even when tragedy strikes Washington. Change will come the only way it ever has come, and that’s from the American people.”

Obama joined military leaders in eulogizing the 12 victims killed in last Monday’s shooting, speaking from the parade grounds at the Marine Barracks, a site personally selected by Thomas Jefferson because of its close marching distance to the Navy Yard. The memorial service came on the first day of fall, which shone brightly in Washington, with sun sparkling off the instruments being played by the Navy Band and the gold dress uniform buttons worn by so many in the crowd.

The invitation-only crowd included around 4,000 mourners, with the victims’ tearful, black-clad family members directly in front of the speakers’ stage. The president and first lady met privately with the families before the service, White House officials said.

Authorities say their loved ones’ lives were taken Monday by shotgun-wielding Aaron Alexis, a 34-year-old former Navy reservist and information technology contractor who struggled with mental illness. Police killed Alexis in a gun battle.

By the end of the day, the Senate’s chief gun control proponent, California Democrat Dianne Feinstein, was calling on her colleagues to restart the debate on gun control and “do more to stop this endless loss of life.” Obama didn’t speak out on the issue until Saturday night, when he urged a Congressional Black Caucus Foundation dinner “to get back up and go back at it” to push gun control legislation that stalled in the Senate earlier this year. Obama proposed the legislation in the aftermath of the elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn., that killed 20 first graders and six staff.

Obama said it’s clear from the Navy Yard shooting that the country needs to do a better job to secure its military facilities and improve mental health services, but also address gun laws.

“Our tears are not enough,” Obama said Sunday. “Our words and our prayers are not enough. If we really want to honor these 12 men and women, if we really want to be a country where we can go to work and go to school and walk our streets free from senseless violence without so many lives being stolen by a bullet from a gun, then we’re going to have to change.”

The military leaders who spoke before Obama at the memorial service, including Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus and Adm. Jonathan Greenert, chief of naval operations, avoided any mention of gun control. But Washington Mayor Vincent Gray spoke forcefully for action, mentioning that one of the Navy Yard victims, Arthur Daniels, had already lost his 14-year-old son to gun violence and citing a string of mass public shootings in recent years.

“Why is it that these tragic consequences and these tragic occurrences never seem to move us any closer to ensuring that guns don’t get into the hands of criminals or mentally unstable people?” Gray asked. “I don’t know the answer. But I do know this — that this time it happened within the view of our Capitol dome, and I for one will not be silenced about the fact the time has come for action.”

Urgent: Support Obama’s Gun Ban Plan? Vote in Poll

The service ended with a bugler playing taps and singing of the Navy hymn after a reading of the names of the fallen, who ranged in age from 46 to 73 and included civilian employees and contractors. Eight people were also hurt, including a police officer and two others who suffered gunshot wounds.

Obama also mentioned each victim, and said memories of them will go on, along with “the sense that this has happened before.”

“What wears on us, what troubles us so deeply as we gather here today, is how this senseless violence that took place in the Navy Yard echoes other recent tragedies,” he said. “As president, I have now grieved with five American communities ripped apart by mass violence: Fort Hood, Tucson, Aurora, Sandy Hook and now the Washington Navy Yard. These mass shootings occur against a backdrop of daily tragedies as an epidemic of gun violence tears apart communities across America, from the streets of Chicago to neighborhoods not far from here.”
© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Wayne LaPierre: Navy Yard Shooting Result of Not Enough Security.

Image: Wayne LaPierre: Navy Yard Shooting Result of Not Enough Security

By Greg Richter

The Navy Yard shooting this past week that left 12 victims dead is the result of inadequate security and doesn’t point to a need for tougher gun laws, says the National Rifle Association‘s Wayne LaPierre.

“In a post 9/11 world, a naval base within miles of Congress, the White House” was left largely left unprotected, even though it is a “high-value terrorist target,” LaPierre said on NBC’sMeet the Press” on Sunday.

LaPierre said his organization is calling for layers of security around U.S. military bases. Though military personnel are trained in firearms, “they’re largely disarmed on our military bases,” he said.
“When the good guys with guns got there, it stopped,” LaPierre said.

People with mental problems, such as Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis, need to be committed to mental health facilities rather than be allowed to walk the streets, he said.

“I’ve been into this whole [background] check business for 20-some years,” LaPierre said. “I’ve said the system is broken for 20 years and nobody listens.”

The NRA supported gun-check laws because it thought mental records and criminal records would be in the national instant check system, he said.

“If we leave these homicidal maniacs on the street, they don’t obey the law, they could care less about it, they’re going to kill,” LaPierre said. “It’s practically like a plane going down the beach with a sign behind it saying, ‘I’m dangerous.’ And we leave them on the streets.”

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Poll: 48 Blame Mental Health System for Mass Shootings.

Forty-eight percent of Americans blame the mental health system “a great deal” for mass shootings in the United States — though fewer told Gallup in its latest survey that gun-control laws should be made stricter.

The 48 percent figure was unchanged from January 2011, Gallup said on Friday.

The latest survey of 1,023 adults was conducted Sept. 17-18, the days immediately following the Washington Navy Yard shooting.

Aaron Alexis, 34, a discharged Navy reservist and subcontractor, entered the property with a shotgun and killed 12 people before he was gunned down by police.

Alexis had been treated since August by the Veterans Administration for mental-health issues, the FBI said.

The January 2011 survey was taken by Gallup shortly after the Tucson, Ariz. massacre that killed six people and injured 12 others, including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

In addition, fewer Americans in the latest poll blamed easy access to guns for mass shootings — 40 percent, versus 46 percent two years ago — making the nation’s mental health system “the perceived top cause of such incidents,” Gallup said.

While the Navy Yard shooting renewed the gun-control debate on Capitol Hill, fewer Americans — 49 percent — told Gallup that stricter gun laws were needed.

That compared with 58 percent in December, when Gallup surveyed Americans after the shootings in Newtown, Conn., in which 26 people, including 20 school children, were killed by Adam Lanza.

Lanza, 20, whom police said was mentally ill, had shot and killed his mother before driving to Sandy Hook Elementary School, where the other shootings took place. He fatally shot himself in the head as first responders arrived.

“The current result represents just slightly more support for stricter laws than Gallup found between 2009 and 2011,” the survey research firm said.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Todd Beamon

Obama Orders Review of Clearance Standards for Federal Contractors.

Image: Obama Orders Review of Clearance Standards for Federal Contractors

By Melanie Batley

President Barack Obama has ordered a review of security clearance standards for federal contractors and employees across all government agencies in the wake of Monday’s Navy Yard shootings by a defense subcontractor who killed 12 people.

According to Politico, the White House said the review will focus on the “oversight, nature and implementation of security and suitability standards for federal employees and contractors.”

“At the president’s direction, OMB [Office of Management and Budget] is examining standards for contractors and employees across federal agencies,” said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney. “This is a matter that the president believes and has believed merits review.”

The Navy has also ordered a review of security at military installations, while a report released Tuesday by the Defense Department inspector general found that the Navy failed to “mitigate access control risks associated with contractor installation access” because of cost reduction efforts, Politico reports.

“Our sailors, Marines and civilians are familiar with the dangers of service, but our security is something we can never take for granted,” Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said. “I ordered a review of every Navy and Marine Corps base in the United States to ensure that we live up to our responsibility of taking care of our people.”

The president had already ordered a review of intelligence community contractors after former contractor Edward Snowden leaked classified details of the National Security Agency’s phone and Internet data collection programs. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is also expected to order a worldwide review of physical security and access at all military installations, Politico noted.

Meanwhile, questions continue to mount as to how Aaron Alexis, a 34-year-old former Navy reservist with a reported history of mental issues and police run-ins, was able to obtain a security clearance to access the Navy Yard.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

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