Gun Control Takes Center Stage - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Gun Control Takes Center Stage

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(NBC) - The Washington Navy Yard is open for business again today. Most workers can return this morning as questions remain about how the alleged shooter was able to get in, and whether gun control laws would have made a difference. 

Workers return to the navy yard this morning. "Their spirits are high and they are looking forward to getting back to a routine," said Commanding Officer Captain Monte Ulmer.

Everything is reopening except the gym - the FBI is set up there and building 197 remains closed as the investigation continues

Building 197 is where authorities say Aaron Alexis used a shotgun etched with the words: "better off this way" and "my elf weapon" and went on a shooting rampage leaving 12 dead.

The Veterans Administration says it treated Alexis for insomnia, but never for mental illness. 

His reports of paranoia never made it up the chain. "What shoulda been done that wasn't done, should have been more done," said Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel.

Alexis' mother apologized to families whose loved ones were killed. "I don't know why he did what he did and I will never be able to ask him why," Aaron Alexis' Mother, Cathleen Alexis.

The shooting has Capitol Hill talking gun control again. There's a huge rally planned today. "I don't want another 15-year-old to be having to pick out his sister's casket," said Victoria Soto's Brother, Carlos Soto.

Gun control opponents say that additional gun laws wouldn't have made a difference. "There's no reason to believe that any kind of background check would have stopped this tragedy," John Malcolm of the Heritage Foundation.  

The Navy denies that a Pentagon report citing money issues with its security clearance program made the navy yard any less safe. "We don't cut budgetary corners for security, chairman," said Admiral Jonathan Greenert, the Chief of Naval Operations.

A review of all Navy security should be finished in two weeks. 

A memorial is taking place for the victims on Sunday. President and Mrs. Obama are scheduled to attend.

Tracie Potts, NBC News.

 

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