On Monday, 12 people were killed in a mass shooting in our nation's capital, and at least 8 others were injured. Within minutes of the first shots, hundreds of police and naval officers surrounded the Naval Sea Systems Command headquarters, and police shot and killed the lone gunman. Law enforcement officials said that the shooter, Aaron Alexis, was a former Navy reservist, and had been working for a military subcontractor. Officials believe he entered the Navy Yard complex using his access as a contractor, and immediately began firing on civilian employees.
As of Tuesday morning, no apparent motive has been announced, and officials were still investigating the shooting. The tragedy was the deadliest day in Washington, DC in more than 30 years, and it was a somber reminder of other recent mass shootings, like Sandy Hook. During and after Monday's horrific events, the chief medical officer of nearby Medstar Hospital, Dr. Janis Orlowski, provided updates on the status of many shooting victims.
In one of yesterday's news conferences, Dr. Orlowski shared an emotional plea with the nation, and said we must address the ongoing gun violence in our country. Dr. Orlowski said, “There's something evil in our society that we as Americans have to work to try and eradicate. I would like you to put my trauma center out of business. I really world. I would like to not be an expert on gunshots. Let's get rid of this.”
In a perfect summary of how many feel about countless gun deaths, Dr. Orlowski said, “This is not America. This is not Washington, D.C. This is not good.” There are no answers that can explain this type of senseless violence, but perhaps we will finally learn from this tragedy, and start asking the right questions. How many lives must be lost before we're willing to stop these shootings?
The Thom Hartmann Program weekdays 3 PM to 6 PM on WWRL 1600.