Wayne LaPierre, Executive Vice President of National Rifle Association, told NBC News on Sunday that “there weren’t enough good guys with guns” to stop the Navy Yard shooter on Monday, adding that “when the good guys with guns got there it stopped.”
LaPierre appeared on “Meet the Press” calling for more armed and trained personnel on military facilities and for mentally ill people to be "committed."
“This is a tragedy that should not have happened. A memorial service that should not be taking place and victims that should not be victims,” LaPierre said. “In a post 9/11 world, a Naval base within miles from Congress, The White House, seven miles from here, largely left unprotected, a terrorist target, a high value terrorist target, completely unprotected — that can’t stand.”
Department of Defense Direction 5120.56 went into effect under President George H.W. Bush in February 1992. It is designed to “limit and control the carrying of firearms by DoD military and civilian personnel.”
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“The NRA is calling today for layers of security around our military bases and the other thing we need to take a look at is all these brave men and women that are trained in firearms that signed up to serve in the military … they are largely disarmed on our military bases,” he continued. “We need to look at letting the men and women that know firearms and are trained in them do what they do best, which is protect and survive.”
LaPierre criticized involuntary commitment laws, stating that mentally ill people “need to be committed,” especially those who seek to buy a firearm.
“They need to be committed is what they need to be, and if they’re committed, they’re not at the Navy Yard,” he said.
“I’ve been into this whole (background) check business for 20-some years; I’ve said the system is broken for 20 years and nobody listens,” he said. “It’s broken in terms of our military bases … On the gun check, the NRA supported the gun check because we thought the mental records would be in the (national instant check) system, we thought criminals would be in the system. And we thought they would be prosecuted.”
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There is no national database of people diagnosed with a mental illness, nor is there a national medical database of every individual diagnosed with breast cancer, lymphoma, or macular degeneration.
“So the Aurora shooter in Colorado gets checked and is cleared, the Tucson shooter gets checked and gets cleared, Aaron Alexis go through the federal and state check and gets cleared,” LaPierre said.
The DoD directive limiting firearms on bases states, “The authorization to carry firearms shall be issued only to qualified personnel when there is a reasonable expectation that life or DoD assets will be jeopardized if firearms are not carried."