According to this news story, the alleged Navy Yard shooter began the shooting with a shotgun purchased in Lorton, Virginia, “during the past week or so.” After beginning the shooting spree he seized two more weapons, a 9mm pistol and an AR-15 assault rifle, from victims.
According to the NRA, purchasing a shotgun in Virginia is way easy. No kind of permit or license is required.
No state permit is required to otherwise purchase or possess a rifle, shotgun or handgun. Virginia residents may purchase firearms from any licensed Federal Firearms Licensee, even if they are out of state. A criminal history record information check is required prior to purchasing any firearm, except for an antique or its replica. A fee of $2.00 will be collected for such a check. For non-residents it is $5.00.
I point this out because the usual cognitively challenged commenters are saying that DC has very restrictive guns laws already. So, obviously, gun control doesn’t work! When guns are criminal, only criminals have guns! Guns don’t kill people, people kill people! How many must die in gun-free zones before we learn?
Yes, I’m learning from several right-wing sites that the Navy Yard was a gun-free zone, and everyone there was disarmed. Except, apparently, for whoever had the 9mm pistol and the AR-15 assault rifle.
I did some checking — military posts are not “gun-free zones.” Apparently there is a Clinton-era regulation saying that on military installations firearms can be carried on post only by “authorized” personnel, meaning security and law enforcement, but also anyone the base commander decides is authorized. So, apparently, some military installations are relatively lax about allowing non-security personnel to carry guns (see discussion at “The Firing Line”) and others are not. What the rules were at the Navy Yard I do not know. But the important point is that the regulations allow installation commanders considerable discretion regarding carrying of firearms. If some of them set pretty tight rules, they probably have good reason to do so. Like, experience dealing with a high concentration of testosterone-addled young men.
But in right-wing mythology, all military posts have been completely disarmed, and all the firearms are kept under lock and key and no one can use them, or something.
My other observation is that it ought to be obvious even to an imbecile that strict gun-control laws in DC will be compromised as long as any yahoo with money to burn can easily and legally purchase firearms in Virginia. Virginia is the chief supplier of firearms in New York City as well, I understand. But I’ve had this conversation with the, um, second amendment enthusiasts in the past, and they absolutely refuse to see this. There’s no point trying to reason with any of them about it.