Aaron Alexis had served two years in the Navy reserves and was given a general discharge in 2011 after exhibiting a "pattern of misbehavior." He had however worked as a subcontractor on an HP Enterprise Services contract with the Navy since his discharge.
While many employees were having breakfast gun shots began to ring out at the facility which sits about a half mile away from the Capitol. Mr. Alexis apparently made his way to an upper floor which over looked an atrium, he then began firing down into a crowd of people... all the victims were civilian employees, not military personnel.
Police and S.W.A.T. arrived within minutes and a gun fight ensued which ended with police killing Mr. Alexis who was armed with an AR-15 assault rifle, a shotgun, and a semiautomatic pistol. The facility remained on lock down for several hours, as did the Capitol, as police were investigating reports of two other armed men in the area... it now appears that Alexis acted alone. As of late last night police were still looking for a motive.
It seems that these mass shootings are becoming all too common in our society... they occur in schools, at malls, movie theaters, the work place, political rallies... anywhere and everywhere; and each time we see our local and national leaders, political commentators and pundits, religious leaders, and anyone else who has a microphone or a camera to speak into make the same nonsensical arguments. Leaders on both the liberal left and the conservative right will now spend the next few weeks politicizing this latest tragedy until it quietly becomes back-page news; just another entry on the list of mass shootings.
But nothing will change. For some reason we simply refuse to address this issue in our culture and it is costing lives. And each and every time an event of this sort happens the result is the status-quo as law makers look to secure their own positions rather than make real change or real effort into finding a solution... and so nothing happens... and in a few days, or a few weeks, or a few months I will be on here blogging about yet another tragic mass shooting.
Update: the latest reports say that Alexis did not in fact have an AR-15... That he was armed with a shotgun and may or may not have had a handgun.