Twelve victims are dead and eight are injured after a former Navy reservist opened fire yesterday morning at the Navy Yard in the nation’s capital. In remarks after the attack, President Obama called it “yet another mass shooting” – no doubt referring to the upward trajectory of mass shootings in America (this year is on track to be a record year for mass shootings).
Although investigators are still looking for a motive for the 34-year-old shooting suspect, Aaron Alexis, his history of mental illness and misconduct and his easy access to both weapons and security clearance raise concerns over how to improve gun laws and mental health records.
On Tuesday morning, six months after comprehensive gun reform failed in Congress, Illinois Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin took to the Senate floor to urge his colleagues it was time to debate new gun laws.
“What happened yesterday brings into question some important values in America,” Durbin said, “if we value our right for ourselves and our families and our children to be safe, if we value this Constitution…then we need to return to issues that are of importance.”
On Tuesday, Mark Glaze of Mayors Against Illegal Guns an Columbine author, Dave Cullen, joined NOW with Alex Wagner to discuss the implications of Monday’s mass shooting and the prospect for gun safety reform on Capitol Hill.
Although many factors contribute to America’s high gun violence, Glaze says it’s gun laws that are the main culprit.
“We have 20 times the murder rate of other Western countries,” Glaze said, “they watch American movies, they play American video games.” The difference, Glaze remarked, is that “we make it very, very easy for people, including people who are very seriously mentally ill to get firearms and other nations don’t.”