California Senator Diane Feinstein has once again called for a renewed debate in Congress over gun control. What she means is more debate. The Congress debated gun control early this year, and her bills to control guns sank without a trace.
She wants gun registration. She wants crazy people identified before they can buy guns. But the crazy man who shot up the Navy Yard had clearance. He walked onto the Yard well armed. The Navy had cleared him.
Is this a case for shutting down Navy yards? Using Feinstein’s categories, it is. I mean, if the U.S. Navy is incapable of screening out crazy people with guns, isn’t it time to have a debate in Congress over the continued existence of the Navy? This is the logic of Diane Feinstein.
CNN reports the following.
Navy officers knew that Aaron Alexis had been arrested in 2004 for shooting out the tires of a car — in a blackout fueled by anger — and yet they admitted him into the Navy and granted him security clearance anyway, a senior Naval officer told CNN.
“It appears as if investigators were aware of the incident, interviewed him and were satisfied that it did not preclude granting the clearance,” the officer said.
Alexis, who killed 12 people Monday at the Washington Navy Yard, was a military contractor who used a valid identification to gain access to the secured facility, law enforcement officials said Tuesday.
But experts, lawmakers and many in the media are now asking how Alexis was able to obtain that clearance, given his previous run-ins with the law — some involving guns — as well his checkered past in the Navy and a history of mental illness. . . .
Alexis “should have been screened out early on in his enlistment,” said one expert on Navy processes, who asked not to be identified. “The Navy and the various entities responsible for his adjudication were either unwilling or worse unable to determine he was unfit for service in the United States Navy.”
The incidents in Alexis’ past “should have been a red flag that maybe we need to delve a little deeper into this individual,” said retired Navy Cmdr. Kirk Lippold.
And private experts told CNN Alexis shouldn’t have kept his clearance.
“In all of my experience with this, he absolutely should not have gotten a clearance. Anybody that I’ve encountered with any kind — even half of this record — does not get a clearance,” said private attorney Sheldon Cohen, who specializes in clearance cases. . . .
So why was he given clearance?
“The way it happens is a poor background check,” says Tim Clemente, a former FBI counterterrorism agent.
Navy officials are going back to see if his clearance should have been pulled.
“We’re looking at his entire service record,” Navy spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby told CNN’s The Situation Room. “See what red flags, if any, were missed, and if there’s an accounting to be done.”
Feinstein assures us that background checks are needed to reduce gun violence. She offers this recent incident as proof.
What it is proof of is this: the U.S. government is incapable of running anything as complicated as a background check.
Why wasn’t every person in the Navy yard armed? Why wasn’t the shooter gunned down within five seconds after he opened fire? Why does the Navy use unarmed guards? Read this recent ad. This is Feinstein’s solution: more unarmed security. She wants for all of us what the Navy wants for Navy yards.