WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — After Monday’s shootings at the Washington Navy Yard in Southeast D.C., District Mayor Vincent Gray is calling for members of Congress to enact stronger federal gun control laws.
Thirteen people died in the rampage, the gunman included.
It was the deadliest attack at a domestic military installation since November 2009, when an Army psychiatrist killed 13 people and wounded 30 others at Fort Hood, Texas.
The shooter has been identified as Aaron Alexis, a 34-year-old defense contract employee and former Navy reservist. He died in a shootout with police. His 12 victims were all residents of the District, Maryland or Virginia.
“One of Monday’s 12 innocent victims was a District resident whose family had already been tragically touched by gun violence,” Gray says.
“Arthur Daniels was 51 years old, and he was working in Building 197 on Monday when his life was snuffed out. His widow, Priscilla, told me how their 14-year-old son was also murdered four years ago — shot in the back while running away from an assailant outside a Metro station.”
Daniels was a handyman working for a furniture contractor who just happened to be moving and installing furniture at the Navy Yard on Monday when the shooting began. He was the father of five children and the grandfather of nine, according to an Associated Press report.
“Gun violence is a sad fact of life in America, and in the District,” Gray says. “But it’s not a fact we have to live with forever.”
“How many more tragedies — whether at a military installation just blocks from the Capitol last week, or in a movie theater in Colorado last year or on the streets of our nation’s cities every day — how much more senseless tragedy do we have to endure before we enact common sense gun legislation?” he asked.
Gray ended his address by urging members of Congress to work through their differences “before even more are lost to the plague of guns” afflicting the country.
Listen to Mayor Gray’s full address here: